The bubble ponytail is one of the latest hair trends to re-surface all over Instagram and TikTok. As well as seeing it constantly pop up on our feeds lately, countless A-listers and It girls are confirming the style that offers a cool twist on simple ponytails or classic plaits is the go-to we need for upping that hair game.
One of the most recent examples is Doja Cat rocking the distinctive "bubble" effect, created by putting in several elasticated hairbands at equal distances down the ponytail, while performing "Say So" at the Grammy Awards.
And if you’ve become as obsessed as we are, the great news is while the bubble ponytail may look like it’s tricky to achieve and needs a trip to the hair salon, it’s actually very easy to recreate at home. The flirty and swanky style that looks high maintenance but is remarkably easy to pull off is perfect for those who want to look super cute with their hair up but don’t have lots of time or the expertise needed for a more complicated style like the French or milkmaid braid. Plus, with the hotter months coming up, the laid-back yet impactful style is a great way to keep cool without even having to even use a heat-imbued styling tool (unless your hair is curly). Not to mention, it can be a real saviour for those days we were supposed to wash our hair or need to hide those dubious roots.
The bubble ponytail, which first made waves when it was seen on the runway at the Valentino show during Fashion Week back in autumn 2014, obviously works best for long hair. However, it can also be carried out on shoulder length hair and on extensions. The trend really lifts naturally thick hair, as well as adding more thickness to fine strands.
To create the uber-sophisticated version of the ponytail, the first thing to do is straighten your hair if it’s curly or you want your locks to look very tidy. On the other hand, a more beachy look can be achieved by spritzing on some surf spray. Then start by tying your hair into a regular ponytail, securing it in place with one, or preferably two, elastics and brushing out the rest of your ponytail so it's smooth and knot-free. (Spraying on some dry shampoo or texturising spray at this stage is a good way to add fullness and texture without making your hair feel rigid.) Next, continue by grabbing another hairband and tie it a couple of inches further down your ponytail. With your fingers, tease the space between the first hair band and the second to stretch out the hair and loosen it into more of a bubble shape. And keep repeating this step until you reach the end of your ponytail, leaving the chunk at the end free for a modern finish. To perfect the look, tease each “bubble” once more, spritz some hairspray all over and smooth down flyaways.
In more good news it’s really easy to switch things up, after all variety is the spice of life! For example, if you want a sporty look, go for a ponytail high on your head, while a mid ponytail (just above your ears) is more casual and one at the nape of your neck offers a slick and lustrous look. Also, pulling out any baby hairs and your fringe can help it look more carefree, whereas keeping everything taut is the way to appear neat and polished. And if you have mid-length hair and want it to seem a bit longer, creating two high ponytails, one above the other is a good trick to remember. You can also chop and change once you get more confident by creating pigtail bubble braids by braiding extra hair into the bubbles or just experimenting and getting creative with some extra twists and flips in the bubbles.
Additionally, certain accessories can make a difference to the way you want to turn up on that day or evening. From braiding velvet ribbons through the ponytail or adding bows on top of each hair elastic for a luxe touch or using different hued elastics for a fun pop of colour or to co-orditante your outfits, the possibilities are yours to discover.