Ponytails aren’t so much a trend as they are an evergreen hairstyle. But despite this, they change and morph to suit a year’s trends – last year was all about a sleek ponytail, a tie-in with the year’s sports fashion trend. Through their style evolution, one thing about ponytail hairstyles remains certain: they are styles that are never to be going out of style. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many of 2014’s hair trends are built upon the ponytail. And in all of them, one interpretation stands out as on-trend: the low ponytail.
From the hassle-free to the sumptuous, from daytime to evening, the low ponytail is amongst the hairstyles to master for your spring 2014 hair repertoire. But not any low ponytail will suffice.
After the break we’ll take you through the key themes for this particular hair trend, marking the most on-trend interpretations and providing you with tips and tricks to help you to spice up this classic hairstyle. As with all of Fashionising.com’s trend guides, if you’d like to keep up to date, you can subscribe to our newsletter.
The low ponytail: a classic revised.
We all know what a classic ponytail is: a hairstyle that gathers all your hair from the front and holds it together at the nape of your neck. With that serving as foundation, the ways to style the ponytail are unsurprisingly varied. But in 2014, particularly spring / summer 2014, the styling of the ponytail is dominated by one distinct accent: whether it goes from loose to messy or it’s super-straight and sleek, the ponytail look this season is the low ponytail.
Low ponytail hairstyles for summer 2014.
Effortless, but tres-chic nonetheless, the low ponytails that packed the spring 2014 runways served as a reminder that sometimes simplicity is the best weapon. Without requiring a team of stylists, or a dozen different products to be achieved, the low ponytail is the one style you can trust to look equally stunning either in a flawless interpretation, or a perfectly imperfect one.
Sleek, low ponytail for the evening.
It’s been the chic sportswear trend that’s had the biggest influence upon hair trends of late, so it seems only right to start with its influence in this trend guide too.
The sports trend has meant sleek, polished low ponytails. Don’t think sports in terms of messy, wet hair, instead think of it as the trend is: minimalist and understated. After all, that’s what the sports trend has evolved into: sports might be on the way out, but Celine-silhouette minimalism is definitely in. The sleek finish is the epitome of chic when incorporated into a low ponytail and styled accordingly. When swept back as if slicked back or styled with a centre part, the sleek, low ponytail accompanied by minimal accessories and daring smoky eyes becomes a key look for the summer evenings.
Because the centre or slicked-back ponytail is an evening look, be sure to try it with a smokey eye makeup finish for full effect.
Low ponytail evening hairstyle at Cushnie et Ochs and Jason Wu, S/S ’14
Sleek low ponytail slung to the side for the day.
Wanting the low ponytail as a daytime look?
Sleek and a tad sporty, the low ponytail slung to the side complements the impeccable vision of woman held by DKNY and others, that of the super-cool girl that’s soaking up a big city’s life. Sleek and featuring a side part (another of spring’s hair trends), this is the kind of ponytail that serves as a statement of mere simplicity. It’s also the sporty and minimalistic alternative to the side braid hairstyle.
A laid-back outfit is all you’ll ever need to balance this styling of the low ponytail’s modern feel, but be sure to give an orange lip shade a try – it’s another of this season’s beauty statements.
Low ponytails with a side part at DKNY, S/S ’14
Low ponytail with thick headband.
Take sleek and minimalistic and add an accessory.
The styling techniques presented above are pretty easy to try out on themselves, but there’s nothing able to enhance the simplicity and beauty of a low ponytail like a well-chosen hair accessory. From thick, minimalist hairbands much like the ones finishing off Victoria Beckham’s austere take on low ponytails, to edgy leather bands and gold barrettes, the options are enough to keep things interesting all year long.
Low ponytails at Victoria Beckham, S/S ’14
Low ponytail with a casual finish.
If sports and minimalism aren’t your style, then spring 2014 allows for plenty of cool, low ponytail interpretations.
A daytime look, this low ponytail with a casual finish still has plenty of polish. Like the daytime sleek low ponytail, this casual interpretation works with a deep side part, sweeping across the forehead and behind the ear.
Low ponytails at Stella McCartney, S/S ’14
Messy, low ponytail for straight hair.
You can take the casual factor up another step with a message, bed-hair texture low ponytail. Gathered at the nape of the neck and tucked behind the ears, it evokes an absolutely effortless feel provided the elements are right: don’t pull all your hair into the ponytail, leave some strands to fall across your face and to sit out behind your ears. And don’t forget the all important texture / volume on the crown.
Low ponytails at Lanvin and Jil Sander, S/S ’14
On the runway at Rochas it was sometimes accessorised by a thick headband, sometimes not – and both works just as well. Nonchalant and easy, with it’s free-flowing strands and ultra-low tie, this ultra low ponytail is as effortless as it gets. Follow the ultra low ponytail how to at that link.
Textured, low ponytail for wavy hair.
Built upon waves (natural or otherwise) and wrapped with a single strand of hair or an elastic holder, the textured ponytails seen at Derek Lam epitomise this casual-yet-sophisticated take on the trend. Soft and utterly feminine, this nonchalant version of the low ponytail works best with medium to long hair. If you’d like to replicate the full Lam look, also read over our tie-in day to night makeup guide for the show.
Low ponytails at Derek Lam, S/S ’14
The low ponytail at Victoria Beckham's fall 2013 show was effortless, textured, and chic. A little bit of teasing goes a long way in making this feel voluminous without feeling too much like a full bouffant. Learn how to create it for yourself.
Relaxed. Effortless. These are the hallmarks of the tomboy ponytail, a style that is far less androgynous than the name implies.
Other low ponytail how to / tutorials.
Wet look hair isn’t the easiest of styles to wear, yet mixed with a low ponytail it takes on a whole new air. Suited to long hair and an evening look, you can read a full how to guide to the textured wet ponytail hairstzle at that link.
A contrast of straightened hair and texture sets this particular interpretation of the low ponytail apart. Detailed with a side part and a beautiful flourish to the ponytail, you can read more on the smooth and textured ponytail evening look at the link.
The duct tape is optional, but the futuristic minimalism of Alexander Wang’s sleek ponytail is not.
When it comes to the low ponytail in 2013 you’ll see many of an interpretation of it match the look with either a side part or a wet finish. This look does both. And while that in itself isn’t unique, this wet look low ponytail tutorial will guide you to a look that is very sleek and very sexy.
There’s the voluminous, low ponytail that we detailed above and then there is the outright 1960s interpretation of the look. With plenty of volume courtesy of a slight beehive, you can make this swinging 60s ponytail your own by following the link.
Another interpretation of the low ponytail for the evening? Or perhaps one that just has a beautiful classic flourish? Honestly, the looped under ponytail offers both options.
Low ponytails from past seasons.
Elegant low ponytail.
Requiring a royal attitude and an embellished look to match, the elegant, regal low ponytail seen at Valentino is the perfect example of how a basic hairstyle can be morphed into a perfectly polished one with the right choice of accessories. Covering the ears and adorned with an ornate headband, this low ponytail talks about a different era and yet manages to look incredibly modern.
Far from the nonchalant, messy interpretations of the low ponytail, this hairstyle is regal, classical, and a little austere. Valentino's ponytail covered the ears and yet was made modern by a leather embellished headband. It's a unique one to try for yourself.
Ultra low ponytail.
Laid back and relaxed, the ultra low ponytail is a hairstyle that has an almost ethereal quality to it. This low ponytail styling is held together a few more inches below the nape than those styles highlighted above and it lets your hair hang loosely around your face, framing it.
Taking advantage of this ultra low ponytail is Rochas where the very feminine yet tailored silhouettes of the collection were balanced off by styling the models’ hair in an ultra low ponytail.
Ultra low ponytail
Jil Sander also used the ultra low ponytail for spring / summer 2013, giving it a styling twist that everyone with long hair should try at least once. This particular version is an ultra low ponytail that’s very straight and has a modern-yet-serene feel to it. While a statement, it’s not very hard to recreate. Here’s a basic how-to for making the untral low ponytail your own, while you’ll find more how-to guides to the hairstyle further down the page.
- Complete all your usual hair preparation from washing through to applying heat protectant sprays or anti-frizz serums, and then blow dry your hair straight.
- Create a centre part and then straighten your hair out even more using a flat hair iron.
- Gather your hair towards your nape without tucking it behind your ears.
- Secure your ponytail with an elastic and then slide the elastic down to about 2 inches from your nape.
- Apply any hair glistening spray to add some shine to your ultra low ponytail.
Low ponytail with side part.
Parting your hair in a different style to most other women (i.e. not the centre part) can work wonders. A small move of your hair’s parting to the left of right can quickly change a look, enhancing it, as as is the case with the low ponytail which works well perfectly with another of 2013’s hair trends, the side part.
Richard Chai Love used this interpretation of the low ponytail hairstyle to complement a very sporty spring / summer 2013 collection. The side parted, low ponytail worked well with tennis inspired looks, giving off the sporty and sleek vibe while still remaining polished.
Elsewhere we fawned over the low side parted ponytail that featured upon the Jenny Packham spring / summer 2013 catwalk. The hairstyle here was parted on the left and then twisted from the right side of the head going all the way to the left side of the nape, where it finally fastened into a ponytail. Simple yet stunning, this twisted low ponytail interpretation of the trend gave off both a classic and elegant vibe.
Low ponytail with side part at Jenny Packham
Casual, low ponytail.
It’s not hard to style a low, casual ponytail – simply gather all your hair to your nape. But a fashioniser needs to be different. Of course, you can leave it to designers like Alexander Wang to add some flavor to this most of low ponytail interpretations.
At his show, the models pounded the runway wearing a sleeker and more minimalist casual ponytail. The top of this hairstyle interpretation is flattened with a wet look style and then the centre part is lined with tape giving a nice twist, albeit an optional one when it comes to interpreting the look for yourself. If you’d like to read a tutorial for the Alexander Wang hairstyle, follow that link.
Inspiring a simpler, gelled up and casual low ponytail is Y-3 whose models word a hairstyle where the top of their hair was gelled, brushed back, and then held together in a low ponytail. This low ponytail is the epitome of casual and is a great relaxed, everyday look.
Simple low ponytail
Voluminous, low ponytail.
Adding volume means adding some wow factor into a hairstyle and volume with the low ponytail makes the hairstyle edgier.
Reminiscent of the 1960s ponytail, Tadashi Shoji’s catwalk featured a casual, volumised styling of the low ponytail which, with pair a nonchalant attitude with plenty of flyaways.
Low ponytail with volume