With the warmer months finally here, there’s no denying that the humble ponytail is still the must-have summer hairstyle. Not only is it practical (we’ve lost count of the amount of unflattering ‘the wind blew all of my hair in my face’ photos we have), but the perfect ponytail can make you look prettier, softer and younger. Here are seven of our favourite pony-styles to embrace this year.

1. High volume

As seen on: Jessica Alba

If you’ve got a round or heart-shaped face, this style is perfect for making your face look longer and more elegant. Use a back-comb brush and plenty of hairspray to get lots of lift in the crown and create a small quiff (use your cheekbones as a guide to how wide the amount of hair should be). Pull the rest of the ponytail tightly back using a wet comb. Secure with a snag-proof band quite low on your head. The result is a sleek and elegant up-do that allows your facial features to sing: perfect for formal events.
 

2. The dishevelled beach ponytail

As seen on: Hilary Duff

Hilary may be in her twenties, but this style is perfect for women of all ages. It works best if your hair is shoulder length or below to create plenty of texture through the pony itself (salt spray works a treat for this). Tie the ponytail in the low-centre of your head and pull the hair near the band slightly to create a looser hold. Make sure you leave plenty of loose strands free to frame your face, which will draw attention to your eyes and cheekbones. Finish with large, costume earrings to accentuate your jawline.
 

3. Half-up half-down

As seen on: Nicole Richie

Nicole’s ponytail here is a true example of how you can show off your unique style whilst still looking glamorous. This style is perfect if you have a fringe, giving the final look a bohemian feel. Leave a section of your hair free at the back and pull the rest of your hair into a tight high pony. Use kirby grips to secure the loose section so it falls in the right way. Perfect for laidback ladies whose wardrobes have an edgy twist.
 

4. Fair maiden

As seen on: Whitney Port

This is another great style for all ages and also looks fabulous with grey hair. Loose curls add softness to this style, so start by treating your curls and brushing out. Part your hair in the centre and take sections from the front on each side and twist tightly. Secure below your ears with grips and loosely pull the rest of your hair down into a loose pony at the nape of the neck. Keep the centre parting in for a girly finish.
 

5. Voluptuous flick

As seen on: Penelope Cruz

Penelope knows that thick hair makes you look younger. This ponytail is truly flattering and is perfect for women with a bit of shaping at the front (shorter layers or a fringe) and mid-length hair. Achieve it by running straighteners over the finished ponytail to create a uniform flick effect finish. If you have thin hair, try a clip in ponytail for extra volume.
 

6. Sleek and chic

As seen on: Kate Winslet

If your style leans towards timeless and classic, this sleek style is definitely one for you. The good news is it’s perfect for thinner hair, which gives you a longer looking, streamlined finish. Using a hairbrush sprayed with hairspray, tightly pull your hair back and secure quite high on the back. Don’t leave any loose strays for this one – a polished look is what you’re trying to achieve.
 

7. Romantic side pony

As seen on: Carrie Underwood 

This is the perfect, romantic style for weddings. Blow-dry your hair upside-down for plenty of volume and then curl it for texture. Brush out the curls and tie loosely to one side, allowing the pony to fall in front of your shoulder. Pull out some strays, secure with kirby grips and you have an instant soft, flattering pony. Finish the ethereal look with a floor-length gown.

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