We are *ever so slightly* obsessed with all-things ’90s here at Brit + Co, especially when we can take something that sets off the nostalgia alarm and make it feel new. Does the name topsy tail ring a bell? You know, that totally rad hairstyle where you pull your pony back through itself to create a twisted knot effect? It turns out that knotted updos are back in a big way this season, and we just couldn’t help our grunge-loving selves but create a versatile, modern version of our favorite messy ’90s ponytail — consider it a hump day hair pick-me-up, a flirty first date ‘do or even a cuter way to wear your hair to the gym. Just follow the five easy steps below!

Step 1: Make Three Side Ponytails


The goal here is to give yourself three side ponytails, one on top of the other. Start by pulling the top section of your hair around the crown of your head and secure it into a side ponytail with a thin elastic. Next, grab the middle section of your hair, pull it to the side directly under the top pony and secure it with an elastic. Finally, pull the bottom section of hair directly under the middle and top pony and secure it with an elastic.

Step 2: Topsy Tail


Starting with the top pony, gently separate the hair below the elastic. It’s okay if the elastic slides down the pony a little. Then take the end of your ponytail and lift it up and over the elastic and through the base of the ponytail that you just separated.


Repeat for the remaining ponytails. Your hair should look twisted and sit close to your head.

Step 3: Tuck Your Ponytails


Starting with the top section, grab the end of the pony, tuck it into the split base of the middle ponytail and pull it through. Be sure to hide the top pony behind the middle pony — you want it to look like your hair is effortlessly cascading into each section, ultimately forming one long ponytail. Do this to the middle into the lower ponytails as well.

Step 4: Loosen Up


Once all the ponytail ends are tucked and blended into the lower ponytail, gently use your fingers to separate and loosen the topsy tails. This will make the look fall into place with the undone finish that’s really big right now.


Ponytail = upgraded, and DIY-ed in under five minutes flat.


Give a little spritz of hairspray to hold it in place, but no need to overdo it because the flyaway hairs will only add to the look. You could pair this hairstyle with a pair of jeans and boho tank or step it up and rock with your office attire, or perhaps even for date night. This look is especially fun if you have any highlights or pastel colors in your hair like our girl Janetti!

Janetti is wearing her own jewelry and a Brit + Co DIY shibori tank. Make your own with our tutorial here!

What other 90’s hairstyles did you obsess over? Share in the comments below! Who knows? Perhaps you can spawn the next throwback hairstyle-turned-modern-must-make!