The term "pigtails" refers to a hair style almost exclusively worn by women that consists of two ponytails, one on either side of the head. The style is most popular with young girls, perhaps because of the way the pigtails bounce playfully when they walk. In fact, a grown woman wearing pigtails is generally assumed to be trying to look like a little girl, for whatever reason, and is not advised to wear her hair this way if she wants to be taken seriously.

How to Style Your Hair in Pigtails

The most common and easiest pigtails are those that hold all of a girl's hair in two bound sections. To achieve this, first part the hair in the center and separate it into two equal portions. Try to situate the pigtails at roughly the same place on either side of the head, for symmetry. The higher on the head, the bouncier the pigtails. Lower pigtails tend to hang down in front of the shoulders and can be a nice way to show off a shapely neck or draw attention to a woman's chest. Hold the hair in place with an elastic or a ribbon.

Girls with shorter hair occasionally wear pigtails that hold only two small sections of hair while letting the rest of the hair hang loose. This style keeps long bangs out of her face in a way that's more casual than using barettes. To create this style, pull two equal sections of hair from the front of the head back from the face, and form them into pigtails secured above and behind the ears. These pigtails will not protude as far from the head, nor will they be quite so bouncy and fun, but they're still very cute. This look is less effective for girls with long hair because the weight of the long pigtails will pull them down and forward.

Pigtails can also be braided or French braided (or perhaps "freedom braided"). Wearing braided pigtails low on the head and in front of the shoulders results in an Indian look, which can be a little exotic. Twisting braided pigtails into buns on the sides of the head results in the easily identified Princess Leia 'do, which isn't recommended for any day other than Halloween.

Why Pigtails?

Mothers often style their little girls' hair this way because, as mentioned previously, pigtails are very cute, bouncy, and fun.

Older girls and women generally put on pigtails as part of a costume. This can be innocent fun: dressing up as Goldilocks for a children's theatre performance, for example. However, pigtails can also represent a slightly more adult attempt to capture the look of "barely legal" pornography actresses or maybe a naughty Catholic school girl. While some maintain that this is inappropriate and reminiscent of taboo pedophilia fantasies, I prefer to believe that it is a healthy way to play with the often confining virgin/whore dichotomy that most women find themselves forced to confront. Let her wear pigtails and lingerie, and be both innocent and experienced!

An ex of mine also maintained that he liked to see a woman in pigtails not because her pigtails made her look younger, but because they make great "handles." Thus, the argument can be made that the hair style serves both aesthetic and functional purposes.

Famous Pigtails

Pocahontas, Pippi Longstocking, Cindy Brady, Wendy, Britney Spears

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