How to Do a Poofy Ponytail

by Tarah Damask
Reese Witherspoon sports a poofy ponytail at the 32nd Annual People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles, California.

Reese Witherspoon sports a poofy ponytail at the 32nd Annual People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles, California.

Learning the tricks to creating a poofy ponytail can mean the difference between a sleek, glamorous pulled-back style and an everyday pony. While it may seem difficult to create an even, voluminous look on top without creating a bit of a mess, brushing up on the necessary tools and tricks will help you achieve a beautiful finish. You may need to practice perfecting the poof a couple times before you're satisfied. Once you've got it down, your beauty arsenal will contain one more chic, swept-back style for those moments when you're in the mood for a little volume.

Apply volumizing spray to towel-dried hair. Spray the product over the top of your hair. Flip your head over and spray the underside as well.

Wrap 3-inch segments of hair around a large, round brush. Pull hair around the brush while moving the brush away from your head toward the ground. Follow the brush and wrapped hair with a hair dryer until all of your hair is dry.

Part your hair horizontally along the back of your head from the top of one ear to the top of the other. Clip the bottom portion out of the way with a hair clip.

Hold the top portion of hair in your hand and run a comb against 2- to 3-inch segments of hair, from tips to roots, teasing the top portion. Begin at the crown and work your way forward until all of the top portion of your hair is teased.

Push the top portion of your hair forward and out of the way -- use a clip if necessary -- and pull the bottom portion of your hair up into a medium-height, tight ponytail beneath your crown. Secure with a tonal or clear elastic.

Push the top portion of your hair back toward your crown. Smooth the top layer of hair with the comb or a soft-bristle brush, evening out any inconsistencies until you have a symmetrical poof on the top of your head.

Gather the ends of your top poof at the point where you have secured your ponytail without disturbing the volume. Wrap a bungee cord instead of an elastic around the ponytail and the ends of the top poof so the finished product looks like a single ponytail with a ton of volume on top.

Our Everyday Video

Brought to you by LEAFtv
Brought to you by LEAFtv

Items you will need

  • Volumizing spray
  • Large round brush
  • Hair dryer
  • Hair clip
  • Comb
  • Tonal or clear elastic
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Bungee cord
  • Flexible-hold hairspray
  • Toothbrush


  • Skip blowing your hair out if you have particularly voluminous hair -- whether straight, wavy or curly -- and simply pull your hair back into a ponytail just beneath your crown without flattening the top portion of your hair. Use a bungee cord to avoid damaging your volume and the resulting natural poof. Use your fingers to pull out some wisps along the top portion of your hair for a more roughed-up, romantic poof.
  • For fine hair, spray flexible-hold hairspray onto the top portion of your hair and tease hair with a fine-tooth comb or a toothbrush, beginning at your hairline, after you have swept your hair into a pony. This will create added staying power and visual interest to hair that tends to fall flat.

About the Author

Tarah Damask's writing career began in 2003 and includes experience as a fashion writer/editor for Neiman Marcus, short fiction publications in "North Texas Review," a self-published novel, band biographies, charter school curriculum and articles for various websites. Damask holds a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of North Texas.

Photo Credits

  • Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images