How to Do a Perfect Genie Ponytail

by Celeigh O'Neil ; Updated September 28, 2017

Use two ponytails to add length and body to your updo like actress Kat Graham.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If you're looking to take your updo game to the next level, the genie ponytail will take you to new heights. Despite its whimsical name, it's equal parts feminine and versatile. The genie pony sits at the top of the head, making even the finest of hair appear full and long. It looks flirty when paired with a cocktail dress and casual attire alike, and can be pulled off with a handful products in just a few blinks of an eye.

Brush your hair from root to tip with a natural-bristle brush to remove any knots and create a smooth finish. Begin with hair that was washed one or two days previously, as it will have more grip and maintain volume the easiest.

Place one thumb above each ear, and pull them toward each other around the back of your head. Pick up the section that falls above your thumbs.

Hold the section straight up in the air, grasping the ends. Insert a natural-bristle brush 3 inches from the roots on the underside of the section. Brush the hair down until you reach the roots and return the brush to the starting point. Repeat this 10 times. This action creates volume at the crown of your head to give the illusion of fuller hair.

Position the top section so that it sits 2 inches above your ears. Use a hair elastic in the same tone of your hair to tie it tightly.

Pick up the remaining hair. Use the brush to neatly pull it into a ponytail that sits 1/2 inch beneath the first ponytail. Tie it tightly with an elastic.

Lift the bottom ponytail up and wrap it around the elastic of the top ponytail. Tuck the base of the bottom ponytail underneath the top ponytail, and use a hair pin to secure it to your scalp. Securing it at the base will allow your hair to remain full while creating the illusion of one long ponytail.

Pour a dime-sized amount of hair oil into the palm of your hand and gently smooth it over any flyaways. Genie ponytails are sleek at the crown, allowing the ponytail portion to standout. Choose a dry oil if you have oily hair to avoid weighing your locks down.


  • If you decide to create the style on freshly washed hair, spritz the roots with dry shampoo to add grip.

Photo Credits

  • Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

About the Author

Celeigh O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. She has a Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Ottawa, as well as degrees in fashion illustration/design, digital arts and certification in hair and makeup artistry. O'Neil was a frequent contributor to Toronto's "Dialog" newspaper and has worked as an instructional writer, creating lessons in fashion, art and English for students of all ages.