6 Ways to Get a Thicker Ponytail
If your hair lacks natural volume, getting a thicker ponytail might seem out of reach.
But a regular old ponytail is guaranteed to fall flat. (Not exactly the easy, breezy style you were hoping for – we know.) Don’t let fine, thin hair stop you from learning how to rock a classic updo.
From styling tips to hair care basics, we’ve uncovered 6 ways to get a thicker ponytail. Now you can feel cool and confident all summer long:
Prep Your Ponytail
Styling fine hair takes some prep work – but it’s easy to master once you know the tricks of the trade.
According to beauty editor Aubrey Almanza, it’s all about getting the right texture, so your ponytail has a good base.
“First, make sure your hair is dry and that it’s been a day or two since it was washed,” advises Almanza at Prevention.
“Skip your usual shampoo and conditioner routine, and use a dry shampoo…to remove grease and add much-needed texture,” she adds.
From there you can tease your hair at the roots to add more height, or sweep it up into your summer ‘do.
Need even more help with mastering volume? When you step out of the shower, nix the vigorous towel rub, suggest the experts at Matrix hair care.
“Instead, gently blot your hair with your towel when you step out of the shower,” write the editors.
“Use a water-absorbing microfiber towel to avoid roughing up the cuticle,” they add. “Doing so will make blowouts easier, will diminish frizz and is a gentler drying solution for fine, thin hair overall.”
Since fine hair also needs a little bit of extra help with lift at the roots, consider massaging your scalp once a week with an exfoliating scrub.
“Treating your scalp to a weekly massage clears pores of follicle-blocking sebum,” explains Ally-Marie Corliss at Birchbox. “Using your fingertips, apply gentle pressure to your scalp and mimic the motion of squeezing a lime.”
Not only will a regular massage feel amazing, it also helps stimulate blood flow to the scalp, which will encourage new growth.
Now that you’ve prepped for your ponytail, here are six flawless styles for giving your hair instant oomph.
1. Double Ponytail
If you’re looking for volume and lift, the double ponytail is where it’s at.
“Not only does this make you look like your hair has grown inches overnight, it also adds crazy volume and thickness to even the finest hair,” assures beauty editor Alle Connell at StyleCaster.
By pulling back your hair not once but twice, you’ll create a gorgeous, thick mane in the classic silhouette.
Need a quick tutorial? StyleCaster has got you covered.
2. Bring It, Bobby
Have you ever tried to whip your hair into a pony only to watch it deflate minutes later?
Fine hair loses its volume when you pull it back – often because there wasn’t enough lift at the roots to begin with.
“Everyone thinks mousse is so ’80s, but it actually works,” stylist Jen Atkin told Glamour.
“Dispense it in the hands, put it on the wet or dry roots, and do a light blow-dry using your fingers.”
Now that you’ve put a little swing back in your step, don’t let your ponytail get droopy. Use two bobby pins – in an “X” pattern – at the base of the ponytail for instant lift, so you can show off your ‘do.
3. Big Tease
If you have a big night out on the town, you may want to opt for this tame version of an ‘80s hair tease.
“A lot of times women put their hair in a ponytail and then they tease only the ponytail,” stylist Orlando Pita explained to Glamour. “You want the volume all throughout. You want your hair to look thick and rich from root to tip. The trick is to tease all of the hair before you tie it back with an elastic.”
Be sure you have the right tools when you tease, or backcomb, your hair. Use a bristle brush designed for the job and tease one section of your hair at a time.
But if you overdo it, warns stylist Ben Cooke, you could cause damage.
“Take the arm-work out of creating volume by learning how to backcomb properly,” Cooke explained to Marie Claire. “You don’t have to be vigorously back-brushing the hair for hours on end as this is only going to lead to damage.”
Need some guidance on how to give your hair some oomph without looking like you walked off the set of Showgirls? The editors at Byrdie take you through the tease.
4. Half Pony
Create the illusion of more volume by pulling half of your hair back and securing with a clip or ponytail holder.
“Putting your hair in a half-up, half-down style will give the appearance of fuller locks by separating the hair into two sections,” suggests Molly Carroll at StyleCaster.
“Keep it loose and simple and make sure to keep some volume at the roots,” she adds.
Remember, it’s all about building up your ponytail base. Create volume where you need it – and fake the rest.
5. Side Pony with Fishtail
Admittedly a fishtail is a braid – but it has the added benefit of making your hair look both fuller and classy as all get out.
Once you’ve created plenty of volume with mousse, a rough dry, and a blast of heat at the roots of your hair for extra lift, pull your hair to the side in a loose pony.
Now it’s time to get fishy. Braid the remaining hair in the four-stranded fishtail style, then secure with a hair tie. (You can take the first ponytail holder out once you’re done, for a long, loose braid.)
You can even “pancake” the individual plats of your braid, poofing them out a bit to give you even more volume.
Sometimes we all just lust after a style we can’t have. When you want to go longer, sleeker, straighter and fuller all at once, extensions will give you the flexibility.
“Hair pieces had an iffy reputation for a while, but now they’re more common and the newer versions are fantastic,” hairstylist Matt Fugate told Refinery29. “The clip-in ponytail works well because you can add thickness to your own, or you can incorporate a ponytail hair piece into a chignon to make it thicker.”
Want to learn more about what kinds of extensions will work best with your budget and hair type?
Styling fine hair can be a challenge. It never seems to do what you want, and when it comes to updos, it’s almost easier to say, “Forget it.”
Don’t give up on your hair so easily! These 6 tips for thicker ponytails will give you the va-va-voom you’ve been missing and help give you the textured base you need for a killer casual style.
With a little bit of prep and plenty of texturizing spray, you can achieve maximum volume for your hair – and rock a full ponytail all summer long.