50 Natural Hair Ponytail Styles: Most are Easy

Last updated on May 27th, 2023 at 10:43 am

There so much versatility to styling natural hair. That includes some cute and easy low ponytail hairstyles! I’ve been natural for well over 20 years and over that period of time I’ve done a lot of natural hair ponytail styles. Most of them are quite simple to do which also adds to the versatility of having naturally curly hair. Ponytails in general are just a classic hairstyle.

natural hair ponytail styles
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While most of these amazing ponytail hairstyles can be done on various hair lengths, you’ll notice that some styles will look best on long hair. However, there’s definitely some cute hairstyles to do with a ponytail for everyone of every hair texture. You’ll even find a style if you have short hair!

Also, in the interest of disclosure some of the photos may look a little grainy. Please forgive those. They are a bit dated but the styles are still classic.

Beneath each style description, you’ll find a hair length recommendation that I think the styles looks best on but feel free to try what you like. I define the lengths as follows:

Short Hair – at least neck length (anything shorter will be difficult if not possible to pull into a workable ponytail)

Medium Length Hair – between shoulder length and arm pit length

Long Hair – arm pit length or longer

Lastly, you can rock most of these styles for special occasions and even to formal events. Natural hair is IN no matter what “they” say.

Tools and Accessories

ponytail hair accessories

Below you’ll find 50 variations including cute ponytail hairstyles with braids and twists.

These are mostly easy ponytail hairstyles done on my very own black hair. I either use a hair tie, a Puff Cuff, telephone coil elastic, banana clip, snap hair tie, Goody Flex barrette, an elastic bungee, silk (or satin) scrunchie, seamless elastic bands, scarves, headbands and even flowers to accessorize them.

Also, you can find all the accessories that I use to either secure or adorn my ponytail styles here:

What I Don’t Use to Create My Natural Ponytail Styles

One thing I don’t ever use is hair extensions and that includes things like a drawstring ponytail. It’s just not my thing.

However, I know that a lot of black women love adding hair. So, if you have shorter hair, that’s definitely an option for you to do a new style or create a new take on one of the styles for your hair.

These styles are being shared to provide you with some inspiration. There aren’t any tutorials but the images themselves are pretty self explanatory. Since I have fine hair, you won’t find too many ponytail styles that are overly complicated because that just means too much manipulation.

1. The Sleek Ponytail w/ Braids

sleek ponytail with braids

Doing a ponytail with a sleek look can be done on a number of levels. It can be done with the loose hair being straight, curly, braided or twisted. It can be down high, low or medium height.

For a super sleek style, you definitely need some styling gel and/or edge control to lay every hair in place – especially your baby hairs! This style was done with lots of gel and some braids. Plus, a part in the middle for good measure.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

2. Braided Natural Ponytail

braided natural ponytail

Low ponytail’s with no special detail are definitely a good thing to do when you are dealing with uncooperative hair, unwashed hair or are simply having a bad hair day.

You can also vary with how low you go and how you style your loose hair. Here’s a low ponytail where the base of the ponytail is secured with a silk scrunchie and accentuated with braids done on wet natural hair. It’s not as sleek as the above style but it’s the perfect hairstyle for when you’ve just washed your hair and need to get out of the house quickly.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

3. A Natural Ponytail (with accents)

natural ponytail

As if all the other ponytails aren’t LOL! This style is one of those black ponytail hairstyles that is all about embracing your hair’s natural curls with very little “extra.” That’s not to say you can’t decorate it with hair jewelry. I chose to do so with just a few small hair clamps. Yet, you’ll notice there isn’t any real “defining” of my edges. It’s just me pulling my hair up into a….ponytail 🙂

Suggested hair length: all lengths

4. Ponytail with Box Braids

ponytail with small box braids

This style can be easily converted to any style. I created some box braids and put them in a ponytail. With braids as a base, you can do all sorts of ponytail styles, protective styles and more.

Suggest hair length: all lengths

5. A Long Ponytail

long curly ponytail

Long hair is subjective. So, if you don’t think this ponytail is long, that’s on you ha! (read that linked article) Here, my hair is in its stretched curly state and pulled up to a mid height so imagine if it was placed at a lower height. Also, imagine my hair fully straight. Long ponytail vibes yes mam, yes sir.

Suggest hair length: long hair

6. Natural Ponytail with a Middle Part

middle part ponytail

An effortless ponytail done on old hair, parted in the middle, no edge defining required.

Suggested hair length: medium

7. The Bubble Ponytail on Naturally Curly Hair

bubble ponytail curly

There are many ways to create a bubble ponytail. Some use thread. Some do it on straight hair. I did it on curly hair and used my seamless elastics

Suggested hair length: long hair

8. The Bubble Ponytail on Blown Out Hair

bubble ponytail stretched hair

My second version of a bubble ponytail done on blow out hair. Plus, I threw some twists into the front side of my hair for a little extra somethin’.

Suggested hair length: long hair

9. Ponytail Updo with Color

ponytail updo with color

This high ponytail was done on my naturally curly hair. I added the scarf more a more casual look. Then, I used some Hair Paint Wax to give it more interest.

Suggested hair length: all lengths

10. Natural High Ponytail

high natural ponytail

This high ponytail was done on old frizzy hair. It’s very natural looking IMO but I did do a little edge defining to offset some of that frizz!

Suggested hair length: medium to long

11. Waterfall Ponytail Hairstyle

waterfall ponytail

This is a type of high curly ponytail. It’s 1/2 up and 1/2 down with the top framing your face in a waterfall like style. It’s a very nice style that can easily be worn to special events.

Suggested hair length: Medium to long

12. Ponytail with Flat Twists

ponytail with flat twists

Also done on my stretched natural hair, this ponytail was done with two flat twists. Hair is split down the center and the two flat twists are twisted back into the ponytail. Then, secured with a Goody Flex Barrette.

Suggested hair length: all lengths

13. Fishtail Braid Ponytail

fishtail ponytail

This one is a bit more complicated than the rest. It does require some length and the ability to fishtail braid. Not to worry though. You can do this with added hair and this tutorial that I followed to learn how to fishtail braid many years ago:

If the ends of your hair easily unravel, you’ll need to secure it with an elastic.

Suggested hair length: long hair

14. High Curly Ponytail w/ a Curly Bang

high curly ponytail with bang

This is one of my favorite types of ponytail. My curls were in high def here. I used a super curl defining cream. Don’t ask me which one because I don’t remember. Sorry, I was a product junky back then.

The curly bang area is separated with a structured satin headband and the rest of the hair is secured with a satin scrunchie to create a mid height ponytail.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

15. The Summer Ponytail

summer ponytail

This is a loosely secured ponytail which also plays on the bubble ponytail style but moreso to stretch the hair. The pretty yellow flower is what makes this a summer hairstyle. It’s very casual.

Here are some of my other Go To Summer Hairstyles

Suggested hair length: medium to long

16. The Loose Bouffant Ponytail

low bouffant ponytail

For this ponytail, we are working with very shrunken hair that’s gathered at the base of the neck and then loosely secured. It’s the shrinkage that helps create that bouffant “hump.”

Then, of course to give it some interest, I added a floral headband to match my blouse.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

17. Triple Hump Ponytail

triple hump ponytail

One ponytail created with 3 “humps” or bumps. Each is created by strategically pining them in place and them securing the bottom with a hair tie.

Suggested hair length: long hair

18. Banded Ponytails

banded ponytail

Hair is usually put into a ponytail (or 2 ponytails) and then stretched with elastics or thread. This is called the banding method. However, you can totally rock this as a style as I have done here.

The key is to not make it look like you are stretching your hair. That’s why I used a different hair tie to secure the ponytail initially.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

19. FroHawk Ponytails

frohawk ponytails

Three ponytails secured really closely together so they look like one long hawk. Of course, you can see the parts on the side but you can’t see the elastics that secure the hair.

Suggested hair length: all lengths

20. Side Curly Ponytail w/ Side Bang

side curly ponytail with side bun

This natural hair ponytail style is pretty self sufficient also. Naturally curly hair bang on the side, ponytail on the side. 

Suggested hair length: medium to long

21. The Wash and Go Ponytail Updo

wash and go ponytail updo

One of my favorite ways to style my wash and go – 1/2 up and 1/2 down. Plus, defined edges and curls poppin’

Coincidentally, this is another of my summer hairstyles.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

22. Natural High Ponytail w/ Bantu Knots

ponytail with bantu knots

This high ponytail was secured with a small Puff Cuff. The front was separated out, parted in a zig zag fashion to create 4 bantu knots.

Suggested hair length: all lengths (adjust the height of the ponytail to accommodate length)

23. BoHo Braided Ponytails

boho braided ponytail

I created the trendy BoHo braids on my fine natural hair (video tutorial here) and then one of the many styles I chose was to put them in 2 pig tails.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

24. Natural Side Ponytail w/ Cuffs

natural ponytail

Blown out but still all natural. There is actually quite a bit of shrinkage still but it’s stretched well. This ponytail was secured with large elastic bands and then decorated with hair jewelry.

Suggested hair length: all lengths

25. Stretched Ponytail w/ Large Twists

twists stretched ponytail

Here, you’ll find hair that’s received near maximum stretch without heat straightening. This made for twisting and securing the twists into a ponytail with a silk scrunchie very easy.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

26. Loose Twists Ponytail

loose twists ponytail

There’s about 60 loose twists in this ponytail and you can almost not even see them. They are very loosely twisted and because the hair is very stretched, this style has some serious longevity and promotes length retention.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

27. Banana Clip Ponytail w/ Cornrows

banana clip ponytail

There’s a reason the old school banana clip from the 80s is still around. It’s helps to create a really good ponytail. And, while it’s great for securing all of your hair, it’s especially good for when you need it to secure braids or twists. 

Suggested hair length: all lengths

28. My Perfect Ponytail

perfect ponytail

Now, before you get your insides all twisted, I don’t call this a perfect ponytail because my hair is straight hair. The reason I call it “my” perfect ponytail is because I just trimmed my hair and my ends were so smooth. The style required very little effort to do and it showcased the length of my hair well.

I also love this ponytail so much because it was secured with a simple seamless elastic ponytail holder and lasted for days on end. My straight hair didn’t revert back easily. Plus for my fine hair, that’s a nice full looking head of hair if don’t say so myself.

Check out: How to Make Fine Hair Look Bigger in a Ponytail

Suggested hair length: long hair

29. Flat Twisted Ponytail

ponytail with flat twists

Done on blown out hair, this ponytail was completed by me creating large flat twists on my hair and pulling it back into the ponytail, securing it with a Goody Flex barrette. 

Suggested hair length: medium to long

30. Small Twists Ponytail

small twists ponytail

A mid-height ponytail crafted with small twists.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

31. Mid Height Ponytail with Small Braids

ponytail with small box braids

Similar to some of the other natural hair ponytail styles done with twists, this one is done with small braids

Suggested hair length: medium to long

32. Boxed Ponytail with Elastics

boxes ponytail

Similar to box braids, I created 8 ponytail sections and pull them all back into one bigger ponytail.

Suggested hair length: all lengths

33. A Regular Mid Height Curly Ponytail

curly ponytail

Another one of those easy curly ponytail hairstyles, this one was secured a mid height. You can change the placement of it but just make sure you add a cute headband like this one.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

34. Twist Back Curly Ponytail

twist back curly ponytail

I wish I had captured other images of this one. It’s essentially two large twists pull back and wrapped underneath. Then, secured.

Suggested hair length: all lengths

35. Cute Twisted Ponytail

cute twisted ponytail

On this day I was playing in my straightened hair and came up with 3 ponytail hairstyles! This one and numbers 36 and 37.

This style is a needle thread pony and is then twisted down the length.

Suggested hair length: all lengths

36. Twisted Ponytail Bun

This is one of those ponytails that’s actually a great protective style.  The reason it’s among styles classified as protective styles is the ends are completed tucked and protected. This is a great example of how to take a regular ponytail and convert it into a protective style.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

37. Twisted Braided Ponytail

looped ponytail with braids

This is cute right?! I love this style.  It’s created by making a regular ponytail, looping the hair through (the needle thread technique) and then splitting the loose ponytail hair into two.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

38. Front Rolled Low Ponytail

front rolled low ponytail

The top of the hair is split into two sections, rolled inward and then pinned in place.  Then, the base of your ponytail is secured low. I didn’t do any edge defining here and my gray hairs are on full display.

Suggested hair length: all lengths

39. Front Rolled Mid Height Ponytail

front rolled mid height ponytail

This is a variation of style number 38 with the ponytail being elevated to mid height.

 Suggested hair length: medium to long

40. Decorative Twist Back Ponytail Bun

twist back ponytail bun

Another protective style that’s based on the ponytail but tucked into a bun. I didn’t use any bobby pins; just a simple clip cellulose acetate hair accessory.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

41. The Pineapple Ponytail

pineapple ponytail

The pineapple ponytail is usually done to secure your hair for bed. It protects your curls from being crushed while sleeping.  However, I think the style can be pretty high sadity when you straighten out your hair, throw in some large curls and pull your hair waaaaaay up with a satin scrunchie. Yup, it shows length and fullness. Score for those of us with fine hair too! 

Suggested hair length: long hair

42. Shrunken Curly Ponytail

This style was secured with a banana clip on super shrunken curly hair (aka first day wash and go hair!).  It’s a sleek pullback but that was just my preference on that day. You can definitely leave your edges in their natural state.

Suggested hair length: medium to long (when done on short hair, the shrinkage can turn that style into something that doesn’t quite resemble a ponytail!)

43. Box Twisted Ponytail

box twisted ponytail

Here, there’s a part in the middle with medium size squares and twisted. Once done, you’d pull the majority of the twists to the back of your head and leave the rest of your hair twists hanging down in the front.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

44. Clipped Loose Twists – 3/4 Back, 1/4 Down

clipped loose twists

So, this style lies in the 3/4 of twists that are pulled back into a (you guessed it) ponytail! The twists are secured with a claw clip (also made from cellulose acetate. Seems this is what most hair accessories are made of these days….barring metal)

Suggested hair length: medium to long hair

45. Faux Bang Curly High Ponytail

ponytail with faux bang

OK. So, you can consider this curly ponytail high or medium height. You choose. The point is the bang isn’t real LOL! It’s rolled and pinned in such a way that makes it look like there’s a curly pony with a bang. Genius right?

Suggested hair length: medium to long

46. Curly Mini Twists 1/2 Up 1/2 Down

half up mini twists ponytail

I no longer actually recommend doing mini twists on fine hair but this style was too cute not to share! I did it many years ago and of course it lasted for a month (maybe longer). 

The twists were done on blown out hair. The top section is secured into a ponytail with a Good Flex barrette (my favorite. can’t you tell?!) The trick to making it curly is to dampen your hands with water and then scrunch the twists to encourage them to curl. This can only be done on naturally curly hair. Just sayin’.

Suggested hair length: long hair

47. High Curly Pony with a Side Part Bang

high curly ponytail with side bang

This is such an effortless curly ponytail. It’s pretty self explanatory.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

48. Side Braided Ponytail Puff

side braided ponytail puff

You start out by parting your hair on the side. Then, finger comb all of your hair to the other side. You’ll then start the braid from the part and braid all the way down and stop where you will gather your hair into the ponytail. I used a silk scrunchie but you can use a seamless elastic too. 

This is one of those cute ways to put your hair up in a ponytail that you can do in a pinch when you really don’t want to bother with you hair much but still want it to look kind of cute.  

Suggested hair length: medium to long

49. The Double Ponytail

double ponytail

A play on two ponytails to make your hair appear fuller, you split your hair in two horizontally. Then, you gather the top into a high ponytail followed by gathering the bottom section of hair into a ponytail, as close as you can get it to the top one. Seamless elastics were used for this one but you can also use Puff Cuff mini’s for less stress on your strands.

Suggested hair length: medium to long

50. Ponytail w/ Cuffed twist

cuffed twist ponytail

Last but not least, in this style you’ll find a simple curly ponytail. You separate out one small section of hair to create a twist in the front and the rest of the hair is pulled back. Alternatively, you can gather the back up into a side or high ponytail.

The twist is then decorated with hair cuffs in gold (or silver). Pin that twist back into the ponytail. Then, lay those edges. This is totally optional but I think it makes the style cuter to define your edges.

Suggested hair length: all lengths (but the front needs to be long enough to twist and pin back)

Hopefully, you’ve found some inspiration in the 50 natural hair ponytail styles shared. I don’t usually care if my hair looks “perfect” but if that’s a concern for you, feel free to recreate the styles with a bit more “polish.”

As a reminder, you’ll find the products I use to create my ponytail hairstyles them below here in my Amazon shop.

Go Here Next:

If you’re looking for great hairstyles for fine natural hair that wont’ shred your strands, read this article:

Over 50 Cute Hairstyles for Naturally Curly Hair

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Michelle Smith

Michelle is a Christian natural hair enthusiast. She's been natural for 20+ years and shares natural hair care tips and easy hairstyles for those with low density or thin fine natural hair. It's her joy to inspire you to live by faith in God while caring for your "crown."

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