Different Styles of Pigtail

By Fiona Miller

Pigtails can be worn by women of all ages and walks of life. While pigtails are most synonymous with youth, an older woman may wear pigtails to keep the hair out of her face when performing an arduous task (although it may not look too professional to wear to work). This hair style is associated with several girls in works of literature such as Heidi and Pippi Longstockings. In addition, braided pigtails are worn by women (and men) of all ages in the Native American culture.


Pigtails may be worn straight on either side of the head. A higher pigtail will denote a much more juvenile style than if the pigtails are worn lower. For decoration, you can add ribbons or colorful hair bands to the top of the straight pigtail. The straight pigtail is a fairly simply style that works well on young girls to keep their hair out of their eyes as they play.


Pigtails can be braided, two on either side. You can top off the pigtail with a rubber band and then braid down and end the braid with another rubber band. You can also simply start braiding right at the top of the hair and continue down until you tie it off. Braided pigtails can include a ribbon or colorful hair band at the bottom of the pigtail for decoration. You can also opt to braid a ribbon into the pigtails for a little something extra.

Curled Pigtails

Curled pigtails, made famous by Cindy Brady in the "Brady Bunch" work well on young children with very thin hair. Simply place your child's hair into two high pigtails on either side and place a curler or two in her hair for her to wear overnight (foam curls that can be purchased at the drug store often work best). You can also use a curling iron to get the curls perfect in the morning before school or other scheduled events.

Pigtail Buns

Pigtails can be placed in two buns on either side of the head to keep hair completely out of the face. This often works well for little girls in dance class. Simply make two high pigtails and twist them into buns, securing them with bobby pins. You can also braid the pigtails before twisting them into buns.

All Over Pigtails

Many little girls, especially African-American children, wear several pigtails in their hair (up to 10 at a time). For this look, simply separate each pigtail before tying it off with a headband. The hair you have separated off for the pigtail is usually twisted or placed in a braid before being tied off with a barrette, clip or rubber band.

French Braid

French braids can also be done as pigtails, although they take a certain amount of practice to master. A French braid is defined by a braid that starts at the top of the hair and gradually gets bigger, gathering more hair as it goes down. Before trying this style on a child (especially a younger one who may get wiggly and impatient), try experimenting on a friend or with a doll. Watch the French braiding video located in the YouTube.com address listed in Resources for a step-by-step tutorial.