Learn to Do a Black Tie Ponytail in a Jiffy with GIFS

Jooj your old gym standby with four easy steps.


Before we begin the old step-by-step on How to Do a Black Tie Ponytail, there are a few elephants in the room that I would like to address:

The first elephant is named Thomas. He joins us today from the San Francisco zoo, he does not like the weather New York is having, but is excited to explore the city regardless. Can we all give a warm welcome to Thomas?

[Pause for warm welcome.]

The second elephant is that this post will likely not apply to every reader. I have long, straight hair. This makes for a different type of ponytail than if I had curly hair, or short hair, or gigantic ears where human hair might be, like Thomas. (I do have mildly gigantic ears though.)

Tomorrow on Man Repeller, we’ll be running a Round Table that explores various Women-And-Their-Hair topics, from society’s understanding of “normal” to the reality that actually, hair is diverse, and while we all have a very personal relationship with our hair, it’s just that: personal. And diverse.

Which is more or less my way of saying: this is what I, Amelia, am working with. It is but a plant upon my head that I grew. Roll with me through these GIFS, ignore my broken-out skin (or don’t, YOLO), and then in the comments, show me what you are working with; it’s almost the weekend, and we all need inspiration for the Saturday night hair party nation.

Step 1: Play Twister

The first step in making your ponytail look “fancy” is the ends. This is great news if you hate showers, own dry shampoo, and can handle a maximum of 5 minutes under the blowdryer. Get the bottom half of your hair wet, twist it like a rag, then hold tight while you blow that cinnamon stick dry.

Something weird I do: keep my hair back in a headband until the last minute for volume. You can ignore this if you hate Blair Waldorf or foreheads or extra steps.

I usually try to avoid making these faces when I seduce people, but not today!

Step Two: Go Halvsies

Splitting your hair into two sections to make a formal high pony is a game changer. My friend Jess taught me this trick in college. It allows you to control the volume up top without the bottom half of your hair weighing everything down, and it makes your overall tail look fuller. (Tip: use a strong, thick hair tie for that genie in a bottle swing. Do not use a scrunchie.)

Step Three: The Whole Enchilada

Grab the underbelly of your hair and scoop it up to meet your top pony. If you hate bottom bumps, here’s your chance to smooth the lower half while keeping volume up top. (Use another thick tie.)

Step Four: Seal the Deal

Adding a thick, black satin(ish) ribbon (or one of these things) will cover your hair ties and provide that ~*bit of polish*~ to really tell the room and its subsequent elephants that, Yea man, this shit is officially fancy now.

Knot the ribbon but keep the bow under the tail to avoid anything too cutesy.

Working backwards, here we have the finished black tie ponytail.

And with that, you’re black tie ready. Now if only you had a dress.

Get more Beauty ?
  • pm.

    I love you so much.

    • pm.

      ps no scrunchie 🙁

      • Amelia Diamond

        you turn that frown upside down!

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  • Quinn Halman

    I have short curly hair so it sort of looks like shrubbery instead of http://cdn.funnyhub.com/2015/jan/running-horse/running-horse04.gif (a majestic horse mane) whenever I put it up into a ponytail. Hardcore hair envy right now.

    • So good. HA!


    • Amelia Diamond

      I am not going to do work instead I’m going to watch this all day

    • Molly

      You nailed it with the shrubbery reference, that is my hair in a ponytail exactly. I long for straight ponytail.

  • For those of us not blessed with gorgeous, full hair, I find that a simple pony tail clip in adds a lot of va-va-voom. I really love the effect of the black tie, I’ll have to try this next time!


    • Amelia Diamond

      clip in tail!! show me

      • I got mine from my old salon in Austin. It doesn’t look like they sell them online, but they’re AMAZING and not expensive, as far as clip in’s go. If you’re ever in the area…


  • Andrea Raymer

    As so done withthefinest least voluminous hair ever, I really appreciate this half-up, then add the other half trick, I never thought of that and now intend to use this trick forever. I also tend to do a double ponytail if I get really annoyed that my hair won’t stay up.

    • Amelia Diamond

      it’s actually awesome for the gym if you have heavy hair. I HATE THE FEELING OF A SAGGING PONY TAIL. gives me a roots-headache.

      • Allie Fasanella

        I know it’s crass, but I call the sagging ponytail the limp penis pony. It’s the worst

      • Charlotte Fassler

        ow the roots headache. Its a con of having heavy hair. I use 2 hair ties usually to keep everything up….

        • Charlotte Fassler

          it’s kind of like wearing a sports bra over a bra but the hair equivalent

      • I feel you both #heavyhairprobs

    • Andrea Raymer

      I just realized how many typos were in this post. Not posting on mobile anymore, thats for sure.

  • ugh Amelia I love you and your hair. What exactly do I tell my hairdresser when I say I want the “Amelia?”

    • Amelia Diamond

      I love you back! Tell your hair dresser the Amelia is a drink and that you’d like one with two shots, please.

  • Maf L.

    You’re the best, Amelia!

  • My hair has the color and consistency of a hay bale so ponytails often turn into a small collection of dreadlocks — but damn does your ponytail look great. Amelia, you’re dashing.

    • Amelia Diamond

      But you do the braid! I love that!

  • parkzark

    She’s beauty and she’s grace, she’s miss united states.

  • Allie Fasanella

    Amelia Diamond, you fairy goddess. This is some hair porn if i’ve ever seen it.

  • Amelia, we are hair twins! Those pics remind me that I am in dire need of a haircut tho because your ends look healthy and gorgeous, whereas mine are bordering on split and nasty! I need to stop going 9 months between cuts.

    • Amelia Diamond

      (I just got it cut, you should have seen it last week.) I LOVE A HAIR TWIN.

  • That halvsies tip is genius, I always have that problem since I have such thick hair! Zero volume up top when my hair’s up in a pony, it makes me look like I have a flat head? BTW Amelia your hair is gorgeous!!


  • Kirsten Maclean-Horrell

    Halvsies is going to save my ponytail game so hard. Many thanks.

  • itllbealrightonthenight

    I don’t understand where the bottom half goes? How do you attach it to the top without it weighing it all down?

    • Amelia Diamond

      I’ll try to pull a still from this, but I swoop all the hair hanging down (the part not secured in the top half pony) and attach THAT stuff to the top half pony with a second elastic. Like pretend the top half pony is a permanent fixture — a sail mast, and you’re attaching everything else to it like one big happy family.

      • itllbealrightonthenight

        Thanks, I’ll try it today. My hair is enormous, this may help.

  • toni

    ummm Amelia, I love u :0

  • Andy

    the two hair tie trick! i did not know this existed! oh my gosh i see my life in a whole new light now!

  • Julie I

    Oh man! That double ponytail trick just blew my F-ing mind! Mic drop on the blow dryer! I’m out!

  • pamb

    Can we get a shot of the two ponys? That’s the part that always gets me. Don’t people see the two ponys?
    I also clip my bangs up in a goofy 80s pompadour and leave them that way on my drive to work. I take the clip out as I exit the car and voila, tons of volume!

    • Amelia Diamond

      Ah, so, I don’t make two separate ponys and then combine them with a third elastic. What I do is make a half pony so the top part stays really secure. Then I lift all of the under hair and collect it with a new elastic, but it *becomes* part of the top half pony. … Like an anaconda swallowing a pig or something. ?? (I do the pompadour clip too)

  • Ask Socratic
  • You have beautiful princess hair. Also, loving the tip about putting top half up first then bringing the bottom half in. Genius!

  • Love it, here is my version!


  • What would I do without you all… probably die and have an ugly pony tail



    • Amelia Diamond


  • Rachel Godfrey

    I wanna go out tonight just so I can wear my hair like this…