Difference between Ponytail and Pigtail

Key Difference: Ponytails and pigtails are different hairstyles for women. In a ponytail, all the hair is collected at the back of the head and tied together. Pigtails commonly refer to two braids that are styled on the opposite sides of the head. It may also refer to hair is not braided and left loose or a single braid.

There are many different hairstyles for women. Two of which are ponytails and pigtails. Both of which are staples in a girl’s hair styling repertoire.

The name pony tail comes from the fact that it literally looks like a pony’s tail. In this hairstyle, all the hair is collected at the back of the head and tied together. It commonly ties on the crown of the head or at the nape of the neck. However, it may also be tied elsewhere, such as off at one side, etc. It may also be tied at more than one place to create a more elaborate look.

This is the most simple and quickest hairstyle that a woman can pull off, which is why it is very popular. It literally takes just a few seconds to collect all the hair and to tie them with a hair tie. However, due to the ponytail’s popularity, there have been many variations that have developed over the years; some simple and some very elaborate that include a series of twists, knots, backcombing, etc.

Pigtails are another popular hair style. In most common usage, the term refers to two braids that are styled on the opposite sides of the head, tied often just behind the ear. In this hairstyle, the hair partitioned into two parts, often right down the middle. Each section is then braided, which falls either from the nape of the neck or behind the ear. The braids are then tied at the end.

However, at times the hair is not braided and left loose after tying with a hair tie, similar to a ponytail. This is also referred to as pigtails. Hence, here it looks like two ponytails on the opposite sides of the head. The term pigtails also refers to a single braid, which may be anywhere on the head. Like ponytails, there have been many variations on the traditional pigtails, some very elaborate. Nevertheless, the variations on pigtails are less in quantity as compared to the variations of the ponytail.

 Other than appearance, there is another difference between a ponytail and a pigtail. While, ponytails are popular among all ages of women, primarily due to its simplicity, pigtails, especially the ones on opposite side of the head, are commonly seen on younger children, primarily on school going girls. However, this trend keeps on changing, and pigtails are often seen on young adults up to the age of 30 as and when they come in fashion. However, they are very less commonly seen on middle age women. Still, the single braided pigtail is quite popular among all ages, as like the ponytail.

Comparison between Ponytail and Pigtail:




Definition (Merriam-Webster)

A hairstyle in which the hair is pulled together and banded usually at the back of the head so as to resemble a pony's tail

A tight braid of hair


Tying all the hair in the back of the head; can be simple or elaborate

Can be a single plaited braid or when the hair is divided into two segments and tried on opposite sides of the head, this can be braided or not.


Can be seen on all ages

Primarily seen on younger children

Image Courtesy: hair.allwomenstalk.com, sheknows.com

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