6 New Ways to Wear Your Ponytail

Every morning it's the same: I wake up 30 minutes before work, scrub my face, and pull my hair into a messy ponytail (and I'm not talking about sexy messy, it's just messy). Sound familiar? Please tell me I'm not alone (and click here for the lazy girl's guide to hair care if you're with me).

While my look allows for extra sleep and virtually no time in front of a mirror, my hair has definitely seen better days … something my coworker recently pointed out. (Um, ouch?). So I set out to find cute styles that use a ponytail as a base, but alter it in some way to amp up the fashion factor and downgrade the "looks like she's hungover again" vibe.

Related: 10 New, Non-Boring Ponytails

These six styles are my favorite of the bunch -- scroll down to see them -- or click here for the full list.

No. 1: In-N-Out

This ponytail is a little reminiscent of the '90s topsy tail trend, but adds a much-needed refresher. Plus, it works great for all hair lengths. Here's how to get the look:

1. Apply a smoothing serum to damp hair.
2. Blow dry your hair straight with a round brush.
3. Pull your hair into a low, loose ponytail and secure with an elastic.

Click here for the rest of the how to.

No. 2: Rapunzel Inspired

Even if you don't have uber long hair, you can still copy this style, just try adding a ponytail hair extension for more length before styling. Here's how to get this style:

1. Blow dry your hair and brush it into a very high and tight ponytail. Leave out a 2-inch section of your hair. Secure the ponytail with an elastic.
2. Braid the section of your hair not included in the ponytail. Secure the braid with a clear elastic.
3. Wrap your braid around the elastic of the high ponytail, and tuck the end of your braid underneath your ponytail. Secure with a few bobby pins.

Click here for the rest of the how-to.

No. 3: Braided Backward

This is a great look for day old hair, where a little frizz and texture go a long way. Here's how celebrity hairstylist Andi Scarbrough of Byu-Ti Salon in Santa Monica, Calif. says to the look:

1. To avoid flatness at your crown, take a fine tooth comb and tease the roots, only of the top/back area.
2. Create a side part and French braid your hair on each side, starting at your temple and working your way back.
3. Once the two braids meet, stop adding new hair and braid the two braids together until you reach the ends. Temporarily secure your ends with an elastic.

Click here for the rest of the how-to.

No. 4: Twisted Chic

Here's a great updo for prom, weddings (if you're a guest or bridesmaid), and summer parties. Whether your inside our out, this hairstyle will keep you feeling cool all night, literally. Here's how to steal the style:

1. Set your hair with hot-rollers or use a curling iron to curl your entire head. Once curls have cooled, spray hair with a flexible-hold hairspray.
2. Next, use a teasing comb or the edge of a boar bristle brush and back-comb at the crown to give your hair a little texture and volume boost.
3. Pull all your hair to one side and over one shoulder. Beginning on the opposite side, gather your hair and roll it up horizontally until it reaches bottom of your ear. Secure the roll with bobby pins.

Click here for the rest of the how-to.

No. 5: Colorfully Cool

Here's a ponytail alternative that is simple, but uses color to give it that added edge. While this style may not be ideal for a day at the office, your friends are sure to be green, or pink, or purple with envy. Here's how to get this style:

1. First, smooth the hair into a high, tight ponytail at the top of your head. Use a boar bristle brush and a firm-hold hairspray to tame any flyaways. Secure your ponytail with an elastic.
2. Next, separate your ponytail into two even sections. In one section, clip in a few colored hairpieces around the pony base.
3. Twist each section out and away from the center of your ponytail to make two rope-like sections. Make sure to twist the sections in opposite directions.

Click here for the rest of the how-to.

No. 6: Soft Fishtail

Fishtail braids are perfect for summer. If you're looking for something even simpler, try a soft fishtail, which gives you the combined style of a braid and a ponytail. Here's how to get the look:

1. Separate your hair vertically into two even sections.
2. Create a fishtail braid, beginning at the tops of your ear and ending at the nape of your neck. (To learn how to make a fishtail braid, click here.)
3. Secure at the nape of your neck with an elastic. Wrap a small strand of hair around band and pin it underneath the ponytail.

Click here for the rest of the how-to.

To see six other great ponytail alternatives, click here. Now I want to know: What's your go-to hairstyle?

More on BeautyRiot.com:

7 Easy Steps to Great Summer Skin

12 Worst Photoshop Disasters

Behind the Scenes of a Photo Shoot