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Short Ponytail Hairstyles: The 30 Most Charming Ideas to Consider

Are you a fan of short hair and want to play with ponytail hairstyles? Even if your hair doesn’t flow halfway down your back or it barely brushes your shoulders, a ponytail is still achievable. So snag some hair elastic, grab a handful of bobby pins, and stock up on the hairspray.

Stunning Short Ponytail Hairstyles

Are you under the impression that all short hair ponytails are messy, sloppy, and unattractive? Get out from beneath that misconception because it is built on lies. You just have to know how to style them!

1. Short Sleek Ponytail

short sleek ponytail

To get a smooth, sleek ponytail, you’ll need to comb out the hair as you’re gathering it into a ponytail. Comb each side so it’s free of lumps, then secure it with a hair tie.

2. 80s Short Ponytail

80s short ponytail

The 80s were all about side ponytails. Take a trip back in time by gathering your hair together at one side and securing it so the hair falls over the shoulder.

3. Short Ponytail with Bangs

short ponytail with bangs

Is there anything cuter than a ponytail with bangs? Whether it’s a messy ponytail or a bun, straighten your bangs so they look super chic with your hairstyle.

4. Short Half Up Ponytail

short half up ponytail

A half ponytail is great for when you want some of your hair out of your face, but still want to feel feminine and flirty. Use a colorful scrunchie to secure your ponytail!

5. Short Ponytail for Black Girls

short ponytail for black girls

Is your hair naturally curly or thick? Gather it up in this cute high ponytail that will look adorable if you leave your hair its natural texture.

6. Shaved Sides with Bangs

short ponytail with shaved sides

For women who like an edgy touch to their hairstyle, try out shaved sides! This high pony also flaunts V-cut bangs that stop short of the eyebrows.

7. Loose with Thin Bangs

short ponytail for older women

Even older women with short can still pull off a ponytail. For a softer style, gather hair up at the nape of your neck, wind it up, and secure with a hair claw instead of a hair tie. With or without long thin bangs, it’s a low maintenance look.

8. Pigtails with Side Bangs

two short ponytails with bangs

Pigtails have no age limit! The playful look has room for plenty of creativity, including in the hair ties where you can use bright colors to contrast against your hair color. Side bangs are a great way to cover a wide forehead.

9. Pink and Blonde Curls

short ponytail for black women
Instagram / ulahairrrr

For those times when you want your hair off your neck and face, use a slicked back ponytail to contain ultra thick and curly hair. Light blonde and pink hair color are beautiful against dark skin. Don’t forget to swirl those baby hairs along your hairline.

10. Short with Undercut

short ponytail with undercut

Edgy and bold are the two words that come to mind when we see an undercut with a short ponytail. Leave it plainly buzzed or trimmed like this or experiment with shaved in line designs.

11. Short Messy Ponytail

short messy ponytail
Instagram / arrowtownhair

Messy ponytails are a go-to for women who are either on their way to the gym, running errands, or even hanging out at home! Finger comb hair, but not too carefully, so that a few lumps are present and tendrils fall loose.

12. Short Curly Ponytail

short curly ponytail

For women with naturally curly hair, a ponytail is just the style to bring all your texture to everyone’s attention. Whether it’s secured high or low, it’s beautiful.

13. Short Low Ponytail

short low ponytail

A ponytail gathered at the nape of the neck is another easy hairstyle to do. Make it look this pretty by adding a hair clip at the front.

14. Short Ponytail with Middle Part

short ponytail with middle part

Do you have curtain bangs? They’ll look so cute with a low ponytail. Straighten them for sleekness or give them a slight curl to draw attention to eyes.

15. Two Short Ponytails

two short ponytails

Put some pep in your step with a spunky two ponytail hairstyle. Simply use a hair tie to secure each one at ear level. You can even use a printed bandana to make the look even more fun.

16. Short Wavy Ponytail

short wavy ponytail

Wavy hair is another texture that looks great as a ponytail. If your hair is layered, it’ll look even better as the hair fans out in an effortlessly pretty way.

17. Very Short Ponytail

very short ponytail

Even if your hair is super short, as in above the shoulders, you can rock a cute ponytail. To get it all in one hair tie, you’ll have to gather it low and slick back the hair for neatness.

18. Short Undercut Ponytail

short undercut ponytail
Instagram / shornnape.undercuts

Adding an undercut to your hairstyle will not only give it a dose of edge, but make a ponytail look rocker-chic! Keep it buzzed to less than an inch to avoid it looking sloppy.

19. Short Ponytail for Thin Hair

short ponytail for thin hair
Instagram / newvisionhair

To make a ponytail look its best on your thin hair, gather it low and loose at the nape of the neck. Use a printed scrunchie to match your outfit on office days or tighten it up when out running errands.

20. Short Bob Ponytail

short bob ponytail

For bob length hair, you could gather it all in a low ponytail or try this half updo. Use just a quarter of the hair for a style that looks perkier and hip.

21. Quick 5-Minute Ponytail

 Messy Short Ponytail hairstyle

Ponytails, particularly short hair ponytails, don’t have to be perfect. Messy, tousled ponytails with falling tendrils of hair are casual and sexy.

Scrape your hair back and secure your ponytail in the middle of the back of your head. Don’t worry about any strands that escape your pony; just let them fall and frame your face.

22. Side Braided Short Ponytail

Side Braide Short Ponytail hairstyle for girl

Simultaneously liven up your ponytail and secure your short tresses by weaving a side braid along your temple first. You can do it on just one side or on both. It will hold the shorter layers of your hair in place, plus it saves your hairdo from being boring or predictable.


23. Snub Tail

 funky Short Ponytail hairstyle

Don’t underestimate the cute factor of a short, stubby ponytail. You might not have more than a handful of hair, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pull it back and pull off a funky style.

What you see here is what happens when you pull a bob haircut into a pony. You might need a few bobby pins, but that’s it.

24. Librarian Chic

Chic Short Ponytail hairstyle you love

Softly waving tendrils framing your face, topped off by a short hair ponytail that barely sticks out of the elastic. There’s something sweet yet casual about this coiffure.

It’s ideal for girls who have wavy or curly hair because the pieces that fall out of the hair tie still have texture and shape.

25. High and Flirty

 Short Ponytail

You know Cameron Diaz has the 411 on what looks good. This woman never has a bad hair day. So, trust her ponytail style, as well.

Even if your hair only touches the nape of your neck, you can pull it into a medium-high ponytail resembling Cameron’s. Slick back all of your hair first, then spray some hairspray, and you probably won’t even need bobby pins.

26. At the Crown

 Crown Short Ponytail hairstyle for girl

To make shorter ponytails appear longer, you simply have to secure them higher up on your head. It sometimes helps to hang your head upside down, then brush all of your hair smooth.

Hold it loosely in your opposite hand to gather it into a ponytail. Use hairspray or pins to keep any hair from falling in the back.

27. With Volume

 Short Ponytail

Short hair ponytails don’t always have a lot of volume because of the effort it takes to get every strand of hair in a rubber band.

Opt for a low ponytail secured at the nape of your neck, however, and you can create a retro bump of volume at the crown. Try this style if you have layers in your hair, as well.

28. Short Side Ponytail

short side ponytail
Instagram / squirmhairstyles

It’s almost impossible to create a side ponytail if you have short hair because the opposite side usually isn’t long enough. Chin- and shoulder-length haircuts still count as “short,” though—kind of. The point is, if your hair falls somewhere within that length, you can—and should—pull off a side pony.

29. Protective Puff

natural Short Ponytail hairstyle for black women

Ponytails are both practical and on-point when you’re growing out your natural hair or simply giving it a breather. Show off your curls and coils with a short, puffy ponytail that also reveals how superbly laid your edges are.

30. Curly Tail

 Short Ponytail

Are you a curly girl? Lucky! Short hair ponytails do best with curly hair. Instead of being stubby or sticking out awkwardly, the short pony is cute and curly. Pieces that escape just take the coif to the next level.

Short Messy Buns for Women


How short can my hair be to tie a ponytail?

Most people with hair about 8 inches from the top of their head can gather it into a small ponytail at the nape of the neck. This is not a hard and fast rule and can vary depending on the person’s hair thickness and head shape.

Will a ponytail damage my short hair?

Regularly wearing your hair in a tight ponytail will cause damage over time, no matter the length of your hair.

You can mitigate the damage by avoiding putting it in a tight ponytail when wet and avoiding pulling the hairline back too tightly. There is a link between wearing a tight ponytail and a condition called traction alopecia. Be careful about wearing the style too often!

Why is my hair long but ponytail short?

When hair is down, you are seeing it at its full length. When you pull it up into a ponytail, the hair is gathered up into the ponytail, so it looks shorter.

You might think that short hair ponytails are non-existent, but you can pull your hair into a ponytail even if you only have a few inches to work with—you might just need to get inventive. Will you wear your hair up when it’s short?