The messy short ponytail is a stylish alternative to the standard ponytail. If you think your hair is too short for this trendy style, then think again and grab the teasing comb. Creating the messy ponytail is as simple as poofing your hair and pulling it back into a short stub. Celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Sienna Miller and Nicole Richie have all sported the short, messy style. While it may sound easy to create the style by just messing up your hair slightly, make sure you do it the right way so your hair stays in the style you want throughout the day.

Things You'll Need

Wash and condition your hair as normal. Towel dry the hair by blotting and squeezing the moisture out. Comb through the hair once it is barely damp.

Apply a grape-size amount of styling gel to your palm. Rub your palms together and work the gel into your hair from the tips to the roots.

Dry your hair with a hairdryer set to medium-heat. Flip your head upside down to dry. This will add lift to your hair and create a messy style. Use your fingers to work through the hair as your dry.

Flip your head back over and smooth the hair down with your hands. Gather a section of hair at the crown of your head and tease to create volume. To tease, comb hair from the ends to the roots, rather than the usual opposite direction. Tease several sections around the crown of your head. Smooth the hair down slightly before pulling into a ponytail.

Pull your hair into a high ponytail with your hands. Be careful not to flatten the crown of your head as you gather your hair back. The tail of your ponytail will range from a small stub to a few inches in length.

Insert the long end of the teasing comb into the hair at the crown of your head. Pull the crown hair upwards to add volume but do not pull so much that it pulls hair out of the ponytail. Slide the comb out and repeat the process until you have the desired size “poof” at the crown of your head.

Slide the comb end out and insert into another area in the crown and pull upwards slightly. Do not pull hair out of your ponytail.

Pull short bangs back into a front poof and secure with bobby pins or use pomade to slick the bangs to the side. Secure any other loose strands of hair to your head with bobby pins. Secure the look with a coating of medium-hold hairspray and a light spray of shine serum.


  • Insert two or three thin headbands at the crown of your head. The messy hair will poke through.

  • Avoid products with silicone because this will weight hair down and may cause hair to fall flat throughout the day.

  • Carry a small bottle of hairspray with you to touch up the hair throughout the day.