Forget what you thought you knew about the humble ponytail; it’s about to become your secret weapon at any formal affair. With its simplicity and versatility, the ponytail is a breakout star that steals the spotlight at formal events.
From red-carpet inspired sleek looks to creative twists on the classics, these formal ponytail hairstyles are here to shake things up.
1. Sleek Low Ponytail
This sleek low ponytail is as easy to wear as it is easy to create. Tie your pony at the nape with an elastic, then wrap a section around the base and secure with a bobby pin. For a flawless finish, use a fine-tooth comb to smooth out any bumps.
2. High Ponytail With Swoop
You have your gorgeous dress, your make up is on point and you’re feeling ready for what the day brings you—complete the look with a high ponytail with swoop. It’s the ultimate old-school diva style with a vintage glam and the face-framing magic we love.
3. Formal Ponytail Hairstyle With Pin
Instantly transform your formal ponytail by adding a stylish pin positioned above the base of your pony. Hair accessories can reinvent your hairstyle and your whole look, so don’t shy away from experimenting.
4. Slick-Back High Half-Up Half-Down Ponytail
Volume, drama and face-framing, but make it extra: this cute slick-back ponytail has sophistication and playfulness. The rich curls create a halo around the face and bring the features into focus.
5. Wavy Formal Ponytail Hairstyle
After you’ve tied your ponytail, create loose waves with a curling wand and set with a flexible hold hairspray. Enhance the waves by gently tousling the tresses with your fingers for a tousled look.
6. High Ponytail With Side Bangs
Want a laid-back look that’s still appropriate for a formal occasion? You can’t go wrong with loose waves. Tie them back into an elegant, deliberate ponytail, leave out some face-framing strands for a look that bridges the gap between casual and formal.
7. Low Middle Part Ponytail
Here’s a staple to keep in your arsenal of formal hairstyles: a low middle part ponytail. Keep things simple by parting your hair down the middle before gathering it into a low pony. Achieve extra sleekness with a few drops of shine serum.
8. Low Formal Ponytail With Clip
Secure your low formal ponytail with a clip or barrette to instantly upgrade it. An accessory that complements your outfit will complete your look, while one that contrasts it will amp up the drama.
9. Half-Up Half-Down Ponytail With Bow
Bows and ribbons are the hottest trend of the year, and this half-up half-down ponytail with a bow is as pretty as it’s trendy. When picking a bow, choose a velvet or satin material to make it extra luxe or go with something more casual for an everyday look.
10. Low Formal Ponytail Hairstyle
A low formal ponytail hairstyle is as classic as it gets, and this easy but polished look can take you from work to play to formal affairs. To add extra volume to your pony, tease the crown slightly before securing it.
11. Braided High Ponytail
Ready to be the main event at your event? Gather your feed-in braids into a high ponytail for a look that shows off your braids and the beauty of your face.
12. Low Wraparound Ponytail
Wrapping a section of hair around the tie to conceal it shows you put some thought into your look, so it instantly makes it more formal. This simple but effective technique is a shortcut to creating a polished look.
13. Half-Up Half-Down Ponytail
The secret to an effortless half-up half-down ponytail that works for any occasion is to prep your hair before tying it. Decide if you’re going for a sleek look, soft waves, texture or curls and style accordingly, then simply grab a section on each side and secure.
14. Low Ponytail With Pin
An interesting accessory instantly refines a simple ponytail, making it seem like you’ve made more effort than you actually have. Smooth out flyaways with an anti-frizz serum to get an even more elegant and sleek finish.
15. French Braid Into Low Ponytail
The classic French braid into low ponytail is the embodiment of grace and charm. Don’t skip on the soft face-framing strands and gently pull at the sides of the braid to give it a fuller and more textured look.
16. High Half-Up Half-Down Ponytail
This wavy high half-up half-down ponytail strikes the perfect balance between formal and sensual. Tease the crown for volume and leave a few strands loose to softly frame your face and really play up that dreamy mood.
17. Curly Low Pony With Cuff
Make sure your natural curls are well hydrated and defined before before tying them into a loose ponytail low at the nape of your neck. A chunky cuff stands out next to the soft curls, creating a classically elegant look.
18. Low Ponytail With Bow
A low ponytail is one of the basic formal hairstyles, so it has plenty of variations and ways to personalize it. For example, this elegant bow gives it a classic, refined look that still has a sprinkle of cuteness.
19. Bubble Braid Ponytail
Playful and trendy, the bubble braid ponytail has become a favorite for formal events. Create multiple sections using elastic bands, then tug at each one to achieve a voluminous look. Pro tip: you can take your ponytail up a notch by adding clips between the sections.
20. Voluminous Low Ponytail
Fluff it up and play up the glamour of your low pony with extra volume. The key is in the product: start off with a texture spray to separate and lift, then finish up with hairspray to ensure your pony stays full-bodied throughout the night.
21. Mid-height Formal Ponytail Hairstyle
Mid-height pony is as classic as it gets—this versatile style can be your go-to when you need a quick formal look. Secure the ponytail at a comfortable height, wrap a small section of hair around the tie for added polish and you’re good to go.
22. High Half-Up Half-Down Pony With Curtain Bangs
Loose curls, sky-high half-up half-down pony and flawless curtain bangs—all you need to look glamorous at any casual or formal event.
23. Voluminous High Ponytail
Look amazing with this bold voluminous high ponytail wherever you go. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial that will show you how to achieve ultra-volume with a simple trick.
24. Sleek Low Ponytail With Clip
Ready to turn a basic ponytail into a masterpiece? Just add a killer accessory and voilà—effortlessly cool. And for extra sleekness, don’t forget a swipe of smoothing serum.
25. High Half-Up Half-Down Pony With Front Pieces
Silky-smooth tresses curled at the ends, front pieces showcasing your facial features and a high half-up half-down pony—with this super flattering and elegant hairstyle you’ll be ready for any special occasion.