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Ponytail

From Academic Kids

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Girl_with_ponytail.jpg
Detail from an 18th century envraving showing a girl (left) with a ponytail

A ponytail is a hairstyle in which most or all of the hair on the head is pulled away from the face, gathered and caught back with a hair tie, clip or similar device, and allowed to hang freely from that point. It gets its name from the resemblance to an undocked tail of a horse or pony. Ponytails are most commonly gathered at the middle of the back of the head, or the base of the neck. Depending on fashions, they may also be worn at the side of the head (over one ear), or on the very top of the head (allowing the hair to fall down the back or one side of the head).

If the hair is divided so that it hangs in two sections they are bunches or pig tails, and if it is plaited, it is called a braid or plait rather than a ponytail.

English footballer  and his trademark ponytail
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English footballer David Seaman and his trademark ponytail

Ponytails are more common on women than men, due in no small part to the fact more women wear their hair longer than men. Men with long hair, or mullets, frequently tie it back into a ponytail, but avoid the top- or side-of-the-head variants. In Georgian England (the second half of the 18th century), fashionable men wore their hair long and tied back into what we would now describe as a ponytail, although it was sometimes gathered into a silk bag rather than allowed to hang freely. At that time, it was commonly known by the French word for "tail", queue. Women (as opposed to girls) of this period, and up until the 20th century, would never have been seen outside of the boudoir with their hair in such an informal style as a ponytail. Today, one of the most famous men with a ponytail is Roberto Baggio, retired Italian football (soccer) player.


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A woman with a ponytail

Today, women in their twenties commonly wear their hair in ponytails in informal or office situations (they are likely to choose a more elaborate style for a formal occasion). It is a practical choice as it keeps hair out of the eyes. They are also popular with school-aged girls, partly because flowing hair is often associated with youth (older hair tends not to suit these styles so well) and also because of its simplicity. A young girl is likely to be able to retie her own hair after a sports class for example.ja:ポニーテール

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