Ponytails are boring. There, we said it.

And while it doesn’t really matter what your hair looks like at the gym, it’s awfully nice to catch a glance of yourself in the mirror and be like, “Hmm, not so bad.”

  1. Pony Braid: Part cop out, part perfect remedy for a frizzy hair day. All you need is a second elastic and about three seconds, so it won’t cut into your workout.

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How to do it: Use an elastic band to secure your hair in a high ponytail. Braid (regular or fishtail, if you want to get fancy). When you get near the end of your hair, secure with a second elastic band.

  1. Braided Bun: A ballet-style bun looks especially chic at sporty fitness classes like boot camp and indoor cycling. Unlike a ponytail, it keeps your hair off your back.


How to do it: Follow the instructions above. Then wrap your braid around the base of your ponytail and secure with one or two elastics bands.

  1. Pigtail Braids: Sporty and adorable, these double braids do double duty: They keep your hair out of your face and secure it much better than a ponytail, which relies on just a single elastic to stay in place.

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How to do it: Begin with a side part, then divide the hair on the back of your head into two even sections. Secure one side with an elastic band to keep it out of the way while you French braid the loose side. Secure the bottom of the braid with an elastic band, leaving about two to three inches unbraided. Remove the elastic on the other side and repeat.

  1. Side Braid Bun: If you love the way pigtail braids look and feel, but hate the way the ends poke your neck or back, this swept-back style is for you. It creates a softer look than most ponytails, and differentiates you from every other ponytailed girl at the gym.

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How to do it: Follow the directions for No. 3, then use an elastic to secure both braids in a low pony close to the nape of your neck. Wrap the ends around the elastic and secure with bobby pins.

  1. Braided Halo: Perfect for not-so-sweaty activities like yoga or low-key Pilates, this style will keep your hair off your face and impress the girl on the mat behind you. Unlike ponytails, which leave awkward hair ridges, this style will leave you with soft, beachy waves when you take it down.

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How to do it: Begin with a center part, and French braid the hair on the left side of your head until the braid just passes your left ear. Switch to a regular braid (just continue braiding without picking up any extra sections), and continue until the braid can reach the middle of the back of your head. Secure with an elastic and repeat on the other side. Then, use an elastic to secure the braids in a tight half pony. Remove the elastics you used to secure the braid ends.