Ponytail Twist

How often do you wear ponytails? There’s nothing cuter, but sometimes you want to mix it up. Our side ponytail was our most popular hair tutorial ever, so today we’d love to share another ponytail look. This twisted ponytail takes less than a minute, and is perfect for work, dates and weekend picnics. Below, my friend Caroline explains how to do it, and Jamie Beck took photos…

1-2. Split your hair into two sections, straight down the back, but off center, about 3/4. You want one large section, and then one smaller section that’s about an inch or two away from your ear.

3. Take the larger section and make a ponytail, securing tightly with a rubber band.

4. Twist the smaller section AWAY from your face. Make the twist as tight as you can, so it doesn’t become too loose later on.

5. Wrap the twisted section over the top of the ponytail and around to the bottom.

6. Pin the twisted wrap in place. I like to use lots of U-shaped hair pins to make it really secure. After you’ve secured the twist with enough pins, let it untwist and blend in with the rest of your ponytail. Done and done! SO easy!
P.S. 14 more hair tutorials, including cinnamon roll buns and a mermaid braid

(Photos by Jamie Beck for Cup of Jo. In the step-by-step photos, Caroline is wearing an Alexander Wang Classic Tee. In the outdoor photos, Caroline is wearing this chambray shirt and black jeans. Caroline’s jewelry is from her own line, Brvtvs.)

  1. This is lovely! Thanks for sharing!!

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  4. Loved your ponytail tips. I will try this. Thanks for sharing your post.

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  8. it appears so beautiful and kind-of romantic. Are unable to wait to use it out on my hair. Btw: looks amazing for the reason that chambray shirt. Happy Tuesday to you personally both. xo

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  9. Hi Jo and Caroline,

    I love your hair tutorials… but my hair is mid length (just above my shoulders) so I can’t do a lot of the beautiful styles you ladies put up. Could you make the next one a style for shorter haired peeps like myself?

  10. Your hair tutorials have changed my life! Easy to follow and they always come out great. The nautical side bun has been my go to style all summer, but I am trying this one today.

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  12. Elise says...

    For those with shorter hair, if you just take the ponytail itself and wrap it once more around the top of the twist, it makes a gorgeous bun! Then pin it in place.

  13. I love this! I wear ponytails almost daily for work because I hate it when I’m with a costumer and have hair all in my face. This is fabulous and I will defiantly try this tomorrow!

  14. B says...

    This is gorgeous! I tried to recreate the look at my desk chair yesterday when I saw your post! I love all of your beautiful hair tutorials and your blog in general! I’m 19 and have been reading for years, your blog inspires me for my future!


  15. So easy and cute! I just moved to Austin, TX where it’s wayyyyy too hot to ever wear your hair down, so I’m excited to have a new style to try that will keep my hair off my neck!

  16. What an awesome hair tutorial! I’ll be trying this today I think, haha.

  17. Will try this tonight… as in right now.

  18. I love these hair tutorials so much Jo!! :D
    For a date recently I wore the pretzel braids but instead of starting out with 2 pigtails I split my hair into 4 and then braided those sections. :) The hairstyle looked a lot more intricate while still being so easy to do! :D
    Keep ’em coming! ;D xoxox

  19. I love your hair tutorials!!! The pictures are so inspiring :)

    Sounds weird, but I love long hair because I can make a ponytail.
    Other people keep asking – why don’t you cut it if it’s in your way anyway??

    Well, what do they know! ;)

    Thank you very much.

  20. Anonymous says...

    I love it! I am wearing this today and it turned out really nice although I was worried at first it would not be as pretty as your original! Thank you … Agnes

  21. Sarah says...

    If only I could wear my hair that long! So pretty. But, with curly hair, it just gets too big and wild. Would LOVE to see a tutorial for medium/short curly hair! pretty please! :)

  22. What a great way to change up a regular old pony.. This could probably even work with my shorter hair!


  23. how about tutorials for curly (natural) hair please..?!

  24. I wear a ponytail almost every day but this made me happy, it would be a bit different.
    I couldn’t get it .. lol … I sprang 10 thumbs .
    I have to make my husband do it for me tomorrow :)
    love, C ( with 10 thumbs and long hair)

  25. Anonymous says...

    my hair is WAY too thin for this.

  26. This is simply gorgeous – and it’s the simplicity of it that makes it so.

  27. Ha! Just read all of the above comments talking about short/curly hair. Whoops!

  28. Joanna, I love these, but how about a hair tutorial for short and/or curly hair? Straight-haired ladies get all the love :o/

  29. Love all of these tutorials, but I’m looking forward to the shorter hairstyles, as I can’t wear any of these. :)

  30. Marni says...

    Hi Joanna!
    I love these hairstyle posts! So inspiring :) I’m a naturally curly lady and would love if you could feature some styles for us gals as well

  31. I love my hair in a taller ponytail as I get so warm with my hair all over my neck. I also love tall buns but cycling to work means I have to think about my helmet going over my hair so this twisted ponytail would be perfect for the whole day!

  32. I love the hair tutorials so much! I did the perfect topknot today, and I do the three little buns every week. I think I’ll be doing this pony tail tomorrow :)

  33. I love my long hair but this is a great timesaver especially during those hot and humid days – hello frizz! :)

  34. Keeping long hair neat and professional can be a challenge – and get boring. This would be a nice change from the usual. The pictures and detailed steps are helpful – thanks. Always hate pics in magazines or on sites where you can’t figure out how to duplicate.

  35. Love this! Your hair tutorials are excellent. I imagine myself wearing each of them, even though I always wear my hair down everyday! I have got to change things up in the hair department and this looks like a great ‘do’ to start with!

  36. Anonymous says...

    Caroline is so gorgeous!

  37. I love this one! I’ll probably even try and do it (I’m pretty hair-challenged ;)

  38. Ponytails are my go-to hairdo for lounging around. But I never thought to wear them in such a chic way like this.

  39. What a cute idea!! The ponytail looks great.
    xo Andrea
    Wonderful and Marvelous

  40. I love this kind of ponytail, very simple yet chic!

  41. Love her ponytail, just got short hair so I am so sad not to be able to try the ponytail.

  42. For those asking about the madewell chambray, it is oversized so you should order a size down. I usually wear a small or medium and I bought a small and it’s kind of too big. also, note that the hem in the back dips lower than the front and it’s quite long. you can kind of see it in these pictures and probably also on the madewell site. Just something to keep in mind depending on how you like your shirts to look and fit :)

    thanks for the hair tutorial Joanna!

  43. This is really lovely! I can’t wait for my hair to be long enough to do this!

    Abi x

  44. Beautiful! Thank you so much for posting these tutorials, I’m a hairdresser and I refer clients to your blog on the regular for pretty, easy things to do with their hair. So many magazines get things like this wrong so it’s great to have a place to point them!

  45. These are lovely photos and if my hair was a bit longer I’d do this. So now I can’t wait for my hair to grow. I love all of your hair tutorials. Joanna, I clicked on the link for the Alexander Wang Classic Tee. Maybe I live in a different world, but I don’t understand the appeal of wearing a $78.00 tshirt.

  46. This is a perfect style for those lazy “I don’t want to do my hair” days.

  47. Becca says...

    Joanna, this is beautiful! Each new tutorial seems to be the best yet and Caroline looks lovely. I would actually really be interested to know if you’ve tried any of these, or maybe see others try these on their own (and do you or they have any tips). For some reason, each time I try a new style, I end up looking ridiculous, but would love to learn from others, who may lack Caroline’s skill set in beautiful styling.

    Just a thought!


  48. I love wearing my hair up, but a regular ponytail can be a drag most days! Love this reinvinted style :)

  49. This is simply GORGEOUS! I love it, gotta try <3

  50. Lisa says...

    LOVE this one, can’t believe I’ve never thought of it before!
    I’ll definitely try it today, fingers crossed it’ll be nice and secure.

  51. Sarah says...

    I totally have this shirt! And wore it yesterday, with black jeans…great minds think alike? For those that asked, I think the shirt is oversized, I’d usually be a large in button downs but I got a medium in this and there’s still plenty of room.

    Love the pony!

  52. Is there ANYTHING this girls hair can’t do? For real. I want a list of her favorite hair products- add on post?:)

  53. Anonymous says...

    i like these hair tutorials–they are cool! but it would also be awesome to switch it up, and see these styles executed on other folks (i.e., not the same model) / other hair types.

  54. daisy says...

    oh yay i just saw your comment below! :)

  55. daisy says...

    Would you ever do a tutorial for short hair? xo

  56. I am off to the mirror where I will try this. There are days that I just get sick of the plain pony tail !

  57. KJ says...

    Caroline – I came here to ask the exact question! Anyone know how the chambray shirt fits?

  58. Perfect timing since it was an “I don’t know what to do with my lion mane” kind of day. This combined with side ponytail tutorial = perfect now style. Thanks for sharing both!

  59. So pretty!!! Now if only i could work up the courage to grow my hair out!

  60. love that chambray shirt. would you happen to know what size she’s wearing? i know it’s a weird question. i want to get it but it needs to be the perfect fit!

  61. Hey there Its my first ever comment on your blog but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t come across posts which i haven’t loved. I love your posts and the way you present them..I myself just started blogging few days back but I’m new to this so i’m still refining my blog..Well to end it I would say i’m going to try this style today only n It’s super cute!
    P.S One of my fav hairstyle :

  62. wow! it looks very chic and smart :)

  63. Anonymous says...

    Understated, natural elegance. So pretty.

  64. How pretty! I will definitely need to try this!

  65. Alice says...

    Very pretty! Although, could you do some hair tutorials on a different model with curly hair? Like actual curly hair, not just straight hair that has some wave, lol. No one ever post tutorials for curly hair besides, “add gel, air dry” and call it “natural” :(

  66. i just attempted this, in my office, without a comb or mirror. for the first time, ever, i think i managed the pull it off.

  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

  68. totally spotted your friend yesterday! maybe we work in the same building …. saw the star tattoo and meant to check back to your blog to see if it was the same chick. alas, it is. x great pony!

  69. Caroline is my girl crush. Love this look.

  70. Anonymous says...

    Very nice one. But how about some hair tutorial for curly hair?

  71. Cute!