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How to Do an Extended Ponytail | Step-by-Step Guide

Extended ponytails can look sleek, chic, and unique if you do them correctly. An extended pony is a great way to add a little bit of style to your look, and it’s a very low-maintenance way to look fresh and put together all day long. 

When you’re working with extensions, it’s essential to get everything just right. This guide will help you master the art of the extended ponytail with just a few simple steps.

Read Next: Sleek Ponytail Ideas

How to Do an Extended Ponytail in 5 Steps

Piece on how to do an extended ponytail with a woman holding her hair

Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

Extended ponytails can look incredible and red-carpet-ready without too much effort. One of the enormous benefits of this hairstyle is that you can wear it all day and look fresh and put together for hours. All you need to do is spend a little time getting ready, and you’re good to go.

The Short Answer

You can achieve a beautiful extended ponytail right at home in these five easy steps:

  1. Gather Your Materials and Tools
  2. Prepare Your Hair
  3. Put in Extensions
  4. Style Your Hair

Before you begin, there are a few things that you should keep in mind to achieve the extended ponytail of your dreams. First, the best extended ponytails are sleek and free of flyaways.

To ensure you’re starting off right, you should start with freshly washed and conditioned dry hair. Working with wet hair can increase breakage and damage your hair in the future. Dab a little bit of gel on your hair to slick it down.

But don’t go overboard, because too much product can make your hair look crunchy or unkempt. Consider securing your extended ponytail with a fabric band rather than a rubber band. These can actually break your hair.

Also, depending on the texture of your hair and whether or not you’re adding extensions, you will need to have some bobby pins on hand. Get identical bobby pins, or close to, the color of your natural hair. That way, they will be less visible after you’ve put your entire look together.

How to Do an Extended Ponytail in 5 Steps

This step-by-step guide will help you achieve the perfect extended ponytail that will look fresh for hours. Preparation and patience are essential.

1. Gather Your Materials and Tools

Start by prepping your hair. Freshly shampooed and conditioned hair is critical to the look. If your hair is damaged, you can spritz on some leave-in conditioner or moisturizer before starting. Ensure that you have everything in place before putting in your extensions:

  1. Hair gel
  2. Comb
  3. Gentle brush
  4. Fabric or elastic band

Once you have all of these tools, you’re ready to put together your complete look. Decide how high you want your extended ponytail to be, and get to work.

2. Prepare Your Hair

First, comb through your hair with a wide-toothed comb to get rid of any snarls. Once your hair is smooth and tangle-free, you can start putting together your extended ponytail.

Brush through your hair and begin to section the top of it, putting your hair back into what will become the extended ponytail. Secure each section.

3. Put in Extensions

If you’re using extensions, now is the time to clip them in. The goal is to make sure that the extensions meld appropriately with your existing hair, so ensure that you secure them as close to your scalp as possible.

Try to make them blend in as much as possible, but remember, the ponytail itself will hide visible extensions, so don’t worry if you can see one or two of them.

4. Put Up Your Extended Ponytail

Gather all of your sectioned hair together and put up your ponytail. Pull the hair as taut as possible without breaking it, and make sure that the hair leading into your ponytail is smooth and sleek. Add in a little extra gel on your crown as needed.

5. Style Your Hair

Although you can certainly leave your extended ponytail as it is, you can also style it. If you’re using hot tools, like a flat iron or curling iron, make sure that you protect your hair first with a heat-protectant spray.

Then, working in sections, curl or flat iron your extended ponytail. Yes — it’s really that easy!

At-Home Extensions vs. Salon Extensions

At-home vs salon hair extensions for a piece on how to do an extended ponytail at home

Kobrin Photo/Shutterstock

Although you don’t need extensions to get a beautiful extended ponytail, they can help amplify your look and give you tons of volume, especially if you have thinner or shorter hair. The best type of extension for you largely relies on what you want to achieve.

Do you want your extended ponytail to be a glamorous one-night look, or will you be wearing the style for a while? Do you have the patience and skill to put in extensions? Will you use the extensions to complement other looks?

Salon Extensions

Your salon professional will sew in your hair extensions for multiple uses and wear. Generally, extensions are braided or woven into existing hair, and they take best to thick or curly hair. People with thinner or straight hair can get extensions too.

But the process might be a little bit more laborious, and the extensions may not last as long. Make sure that you set aside ample time to get your extensions.

Depending on how many you want, the quality/texture of your hair, and the look that you want to achieve, extensions can take up to four or five hours. It’s also essential to visit a salon when it’s time to remove your extensions. Trying to pull them out on your own can cause a lot of hair damage.

Read Next: Hair Extensions Cost

Temporary Extensions

Alternately, you can have a temporarily full and lush look at home with temporary extensions. Again, there are a couple of different options available to you.

Although these extensions don’t take as much time as salon extensions to put in, you will still need a bit of patience and maybe even a friend to help you get the hair in the back.

Clip-In Extensions

You clip in these extensions right near your hairline, as the name suggests. Although it can be a little bit tricky to get the placement right, your reward will be long, beautiful hair that you can pull into a lovely extended ponytail.

Plus, you can take out clip-in extensions fairly quickly. Make sure that you get high-quality extensions and try to get a color that matches your natural hair.

Tape-In Extensions

The upside to tape in extensions is that they last longer than clip-in varieties. The downside is that they can damage your hair if you’re not careful.

Although you can apply tape in extensions at home, you might want to go to a salon to avoid breaking your natural hair. As with clip-in extensions, quality matters. Try to get hair that matches your natural shade as closely as possible.

Tape-in extensions don’t last as long as ones that are sewn in, but you can have them for roughly six weeks if you take care of them. Remember to properly wrap up your hair at night to avoid snags and breaks if you decide to go this route.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman showing us how to do an extended ponytail


These frequently asked questions will help you achieve the look you want without too much muss or fuss. Since everyone’s hair is different, it’s vital that you work with the texture of your hair to achieve a sleek, pulled-back look.

What products should I use?

Since everyone has different locks, you need to work with what your hair needs. Start with clean, conditioned hair and then go from there. Some people will want to use leave-in conditioners or moisturizers.

If you’re using hot tools to style your ponytail, you should use a product with a heat-protectant in it to shield your hair from the extreme heat these tools generate.

Many products have multiple uses, so you can cut back on time and expense by finding one that conditions and protects. Additionally, you’ll want to use some kind of gel or pomade to slick down your ponytail.

If your hair is thick and has a lot of flyaways, you should consider using a more potent product. More delicate hair might just require a few squirts of gel and some hairspray.

How long will my extensions last?

All extensions are different, but most last at least six months. Talk to your stylist about what you can expect from your professional extensions.

For example, if you’re using clip-in extensions to pump up your ponytail, you’ll have to manually remove them when taking out your look. Make sure that you do this carefully to avoid pulling or tearing your natural hair.

Does my hair need to be a certain length?

Your hair has to be long enough to pull back into a high or medium ponytail for this look to work.

If you’re adding extensions, you’ll just need to ensure that your natural hair is long enough to secure with the elastic and let the extensions do the rest. The key here is to ensure that the hair on the crown and back of your head doesn’t fall out of the ponytail while it’s up. 

Are at-home extensions okay to use?

At-home extensions are perfectly okay to us, as long as you clip them in correctly before putting up your extended ponytail. You will need a lot of patience, clean hair, and tools to section out your locks.

Alternately, you can get salon extensions. We get into the pros and cons of both a little bit later on in this guide. Ultimately, it’s a personal preference, and there is no right or wrong answer.

Keeping your extended ponytail

If you want to wear your extended ponytail for more than one day, consider wrapping your hair in a silk scarf while you sleep.

This will keep you from messing up your look and stop your hair from pulling out of the pony at night. It will also minimize breakage. Then, the next day, you will just need to add a little bit of product to your hair to help get it right back into shape. 

So How Do You Do an Extended Ponytail?

Extended ponytails are a beautiful look that just about anyone can achieve with a bit of patience and the right tools. Start with clean, fresh hair, and make sure that you protect your locks before trying to style them.

Use a multi-purpose leave-in conditioner and heat protectant. Next, all you need is a little bit of patience. Section off your hair and start to build your ponytail.

Then, you can style it as needed and keep your look for as long as you would like. If you’re using extensions, make sure that they’re hidden in your natural hair for a comprehensive look that’s full, breathtaking, and downright lovely.