Cooler temperatures, changing leaves, school in session—we have to face it sometime. Summer is on its way out, and fall is fast approaching. And bringing a new batch of trending hairstyles with it. One of our favorites has already been spotted on some of the most famous manes in the world: the medusa ponytail. Characterized by a super slick ponytail comprised of multiple tiny braids, this mythology-inspired look was first debuted by Bella Hadid earlier this year. Cut to fall, this snake-like style has now been seen on the likes of Kendall Jenner and singer Rosalía. Safe to say we’ll be seeing a lot more of this trendy updo.
That’s why we sat down with celebrity stylist Kat Thompson to break down the medusa pony look. With a clientele list including names like Angourie Rice and Lana Condor, Thompson knows a thing or two about taking on trends. Read on for her tips on how to nail the medusa ponytail!
About the Expert
Kat Thompson is a celebrity hairstylist and men’s groomer.
The Medusa Pony, Explained
The first step to nailing this look is to understand it. ”The Medusa pony is showing up more and more and I’m here for it!” Thompson says. “The look got pinned as the ‘Medusa Pony’ because of its multiple braids coming from one single ponytail (much like her infamous snakes).” High impact, but super simple—that’s what we like to see.
How to Get the Look
This look really hinges on the slickness of the initial pony. “You achieve this look by tightly pulling your hair into one ponytail, using an elastic to secure it,” Thompson explains. “Then, choose however many braids you want (or work with the density of your hair) and create individual braids and secure them each with an elastic as well.”
Getting that sleek pony right takes practice—and the right products. “To achieve a sleek look it’s best to use a product that will hold the hair and tame any flyaways,” Thompson recommends. “I love Oribe’s Rock Hard Gel. It works best on damp hair and will keep each braid tight and frizz-free,” she continues.
Medusa Ponytail Looks We Love
Of course, it’s not all about the single pony moment—the medusa ponytail can be worn in so many ways. Here are some of our favorites below!
1. Super Sleek
No part necessary to rock this killer trend. Four well-defined braids round out this classic take on the pony.
2. Tiny Braids
One of the best things about the medusa pony is it’s customizability. Opts for smaller braids and lean into the snake aesthetic, or go for larger braids for bold statement look.
3. Dual Braids
Medusa pony pigtails? Double the baby braids up for a fun, influencer-approved take on the trend.
4. Center Part
Combine two trends in one. We’re loving the way Kendall Jenner incorporated her signature center part into the Medusa ponytail look.
5. Accessorized Medusa
A few accessors never hurt anybody. Add some silk scrunchies to a multi-braid pony for a vintage feel.