The power of the pony

Aug 27, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. ET

The ponytail really is a girl’s best friend. It’s reliable, steadfast and will do what it takes to go with you anywhere. Whether you’re going to the gym, running errands, going on a first date or are famous enough to make an appearance on the red carpet, the ponytail is ready to be by your side, or rather, on your head.

Woman with ponytail

The ultimate power of the ponytail lies in its versatility. Whether you have medium length, wavy hair or long, straight locks, the ponytail can come to your style rescue.

Stylists have fun re-inventing the pony every year to complement the current fashion trends. In 2011, we saw a plethora of textured and messy ponies based at the nape of the neck. But 2012 runways have exposed the high, polished ponies in a variety of charming hues to pay homage to fashion’s recent celebration of color. Here is a sampling of ponies to inspire you the next time you go to pull your hair back.

Classic ponytails

Smooth and polished, pulled straight back and secured in the middle of the back of the head, you can never go wrong with a timeless, classic ponytail.

Low ponytails

Low ponies are seen all over the red carpet and are perfect for formal occasions. As you can see, they work with texture and are set to the side or sleek and down the middle -- even with shorter hair.

High ponytails

High ponytails are all the rage in 2012. Stylists are loving a high, polished pony. Rihanna shows that it can be fun with bangs and curls, whereas Eva loves a slick and sleek high set pony.

Katy Perry's colorful ponytail

Colorful Katy

Olivia Wilde's funky ponytail

Olivia goes wild

Lauren Conrad's dipped pink ponytail

LC dip dye

When it comes to inspired hair, there is no such thing as a tame ‘tail. LC rocks a pink dipped pony look while Olivia Wilde had some fun with a highly stylized pony. Katy Perry epitomizes rock 'n' roll with her extra high, extra saturated brightly colored pony. Summer is the perfect time to experiment with different types of ponies to keep hair off your face and neck and keep you looking (and feeling) polished, powerful and cool!

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Photos courtesy of (Special credit to Patricia Schlein, DJDM, Robert Wallace, Lia Toby, Nikki Nelson, Ian Wilson, Apega, Peter Luedemann)