15 Easy Hairstyles That Will Have You Ditching Your Damaging Ponytail

There's no doubt that putting your hair up in a ponytail is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get it out of your face. We've been doing it pretty much ever since we had hair long enough to fit in a pony. And, well, it just seems natural, right? But what you may not know is that you could actually be seriously damaging your hair by tying it up all the time. Yep, sadly, it's true. 

"When you wear your hair in the same ponytail every day, you're adding stress to the same spot over and over and over again, and eventually that's going to cause your hair to snap and break off at the base of the ponytail," hairstylist Jenna Marie Shafer explained to Byrdie. Not only that, but the American Academy of Dermatology Association also found that wearing hairstyles that pull on your locks too often can actually result in a receding hairline and even hair loss.

"So how exactly am I supposed to style my hair and keep it away from my face?" we hear you ask. Well, never fear. We're breaking down 15 other ways to tame your locks so your hair can have a few days off from being put into your signature pony.

Bring on the braids

For those with textured hair, braids can be a godsend. As long as you do them properly, of course. Although braids, also known as cornrows, can also cause damage to hair if they're not done professionally and taken care of, alternating them with a ponytail will keep your hair in much better condition. "The best way to wear braids with minimal damage is not braiding too tight at the scalp, taking breaks between wearing braids, and moisturizing your scalp before, during, and after wearing braids with essential oils," stylist Jessica O'Brien suggested to Byrdie.

Tie it up with a topknot

If it's good enough for Jennifer Lopez, it's good enough for us, right? "No matter your hair type, buns are a cute and easy option for styling. I love that you can go for a more casual look with a messy bun or dress it up with a more sleek look," salon founder Annagjid "Kee" Taylor told TZR. The best thing about this look is that it's oh-so-easy to recreate, and it doesn't matter if it looks a little messy — it's supposed to! If you do it the right way, it'll also be far less stress on your locks. We recommend keeping it in place with a silk scrunchie and hairpins rather than the traditional hair tie, which can cause extra breakages and knots.

Ditch the ponytail for a chic chignon

Another way to keep those pesky hairs at bay without grabbing a hair tie is to opt for a chignon. This cute bun style sits much lower than a top knot (as the name literally refers to where it should be on the head). In French, chignon actually translates to "the back of the neck" so it should be putting much less stress on your hair than your day-in, day-out ponytail. The simple-yet-sophisticated style also makes a lovely and romantic bridal updo. In order to prevent those pesky breakages from hair ties, try hair-friendly coil ties and rely more on hairpins that will then be hidden under your hair. 

You could grab a claw clip, too

There are so many claw clip hacks for easy hair styling. Seriously. So. Very. Many. And for many of them, you don't even need a hair tie at all! Pulling your hair back and securing it with this kind of oversized clip will ensure your locks are out of the way, and the style can also be customized to what you're doing that day. If you're stepping out for the evening, you can grab something a little fancier. If you're not, you can go for something a little more undone and casual. All with less damage than a constant ponytail. It's a win-win.

French braids are a solid ponytail alternative

Feelin' French? It doesn't matter if not, because you don't have to be from Paris to pull off a French braid (or French plait, which this look is also known as). While a regular braid will still ensure your hair is out of your face like a ponytail, a French braid goes a little further. That's because it'll also take back any shorter hairs that may drop out of a ponytail. We love this look because not only is it super chic and more sophisticated than a simple pony, it's taking stress off the area you'd usually put a hair tie because it will instead go at the end. That makes it a great alternative to trade in for a traditional pony.

You can double up your French braids

Why go for just one French braid when you can go for two? There's a reason we see this look so much in the sports world — it's quick and easy to do (when you know how, of course) and will really pull your hair back, potentially even more than a standard pigtail. A double set of French braids is also a super cute way of adding some hair accessories to your 'do. You could add anything from a cute bow to bedazzled hair ties to your look. "It's a similar concept to a ponytail, but a little more fun than just that straightforward look," Justin Anderson, celebrity colorist and hairstylist, told TZR.

Try pulling your traditional ponytail through

If you're totally stuck on the ponytail idea but need to change it up a little to avoid damage, try the pull-through version of the look. For this one, you have to create a ponytail as normal (using a non-pull hair tie, remember!) then loosen it, create a gap between your hair and the hair tie, and literally push your ponytail upwards through the hole. Tighten your pony, and you're left with a super cute high ponytail look. You'll get all the benefits of the classic style, but by adding this extra step, you're changing where the stress is placed on your locks. That means it'll keep your hair healthier in the long run.

There's another take on the classic ponytail as well

Here's another style for those who just can't live life without some kind of ponytail. This twist on the classic involves creating a standard low ponytail and, just like the pull-through pony, loosening it and creating a hole. But instead of pushing the hair through from the bottom, this time, you're going to flip it and push it down through the hole from the top. Add a cute scrunchie, and you're good to go! Because you're starting with a low pony, alternating this with the other looks on our list will help reduce breakage.

Why not bring out your inner Princess Leia?

Ditching the ponytail creates a great opportunity to have a little more fun. And what could be more fun than a double set of buns? Whether you call them Princess Leia buns or Mickey Mouse ears, there's no doubt this is a super cute way to put your hair up. Again, we'd suggest relying on less damaging hair ties and pins to get this look right and keep tears to a minimum.

Swap out your ponytail for pigtails

We know, we know. This one won't be for everyone, but why not throw caution to the wind and try a cute pair of pigtails? Dua Lipa proves they're not just for kids anymore. Of course, pigtails may not work in every social situation, so you'll want to consider what's on your schedule before going for the double ponytail. What it will do, though, is split your hair into two and give a little relief to your locks instead of keeping your ponytail in the same place.

Try the pineapple 'do

For those with heavily textured, slightly shorter hair, piling it up on your head and creating what's known as the pineapple 'do is a fun alternative to the ponytail. It gets its name from, well, the way it looks like the top of a pineapple, as your stunning curls cascade from the top of your head. We'd also suggest using a clip at the back to add a little extra volume. Though it's a similar concept to the ponytail, you'll have less stress on the hair if you use the two interchangeably. That's because you won't be putting a hair tie in the same place time after time. Not to mention, it looks totally gorgeous and way more done than your standard pony.

Bring your braids up

If you're not feeling any of the other braided looks on our list (or maybe you are and just want to keep mixing it up), there's always the option to bring your braids a little higher. Known as the crown braid, this look involves braiding your hair in two sections and then securing said sections on the top of your head. This is a particularly useful ponytail alternative on the hottest of days when you just need your hair out of your face.

The fishtail braid will give your hair a ponytail break

Yep, there are plenty of stunning braid ideas out there to beat the ponytail fatigue, and this is one of them. Instead of the standard braid or the increasingly popular French version, the fishtail braid adds a little more texture to your hair. Once you've learned the technique, this hairstyle gets much easier to do on your own locks. And, of course, it looks absolutely gorgeous.

Ditch your ponytail for bantu knots

Bantu knots are a stunning way to easily get your hair under control. There are a few ways to customize this look too, as you can put as many of the twisted knots in your hair as you like. You can also put them wherever you like! Still, it's a good idea to only try this look once in a while. That's because although it's a healthy alternative to the breakage-inducing ponytail, this too can have a detrimental effect on your hair if you do it too much.

Don't know how to braid? No problem!

It's pretty obvious that braids are a great alternative to the damaging classic ponytail, but the options can be a little limiting if you're not sure how to braid. Well, fear no more! Rope braids are here to make things far easier. Instead of the traditional three-strand braids or plaits, all you have to do is divide your hair into two sections, twist each section of hair around, and then add a hair tie to the bottom. Using this style instead of putting your hair in a ponytail will also help keep damage to a minimum. Who needs a breakage-inducing ponytail? Not us!