Back in 2016, Ariana Grande told us that her signature ponytail is something she’s worn since middle school. "The ponytail has always been a part of my life,” she explained. “But I do like to mix it up now and again." But if you’ve been following her career over the past eight years or so, you’d know that her M.O. on the look hasn’t really changed much at all.
Grande’s ponytail is a huge, very noticeable part of her public persona — and it just might be the smartest branding move we've seen from a hairstyle. So much so, it’s been mentioned in countless interviews and articles, her Twitter replies, and late-night sketches. Fans have even gone so far as to craft in-depth conspiracy theories surrounding the rare moments Grande decides to give her scalp a break and let her hair down.
Ahead, we tracked every time Grande has mixed up her ponytail, offering us Instagram #hairporn in the process.
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In the first season of Victorious, Grande was contractually bound to dying her hair cherry red for her role as Cat Valentine. By 2010, Grande was able to tone down the bright hue for something richer — what we now know as “red velvet” hair. As for the ponytail? It was low, loose, and nothing like her current one.
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Grande told us that by the time her show Sam & Cat was coming to an end in 2013, she was able to ditch dyeing her hair red for a wig. That left her room to play with color — which she told us she loves: “Color is definitely something that I would play with, but in general, my favorite is being more of a blonde-y color with ashy tones.” It’s about that same time that Grande opted for a “cold brew” brunette shade, just a few tones lighter than her natural color.
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Grande’s ponytail isn’t her ponytail if it’s not long enough to drape over her shoulders. The thickness of her 2014 ponytail could rival that of Lenny Kravitz’s giant scarf.
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A year later, at the 2015 Grammy Awards, the ponytail was much darker — perhaps the darkest it’s been since she was on Broadway.
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Just because Grande was dressed like Marilyn Monroe at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards doesn't mean she'd ever take the stage without her ponytail completely intact. Note: The pony is lower and a bit more glam.
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With the Dangerous Woman tour in full swing, Grande brought her A-game when it came to the pony. It got longer, darker — and probably heavier — and practically was an extra backup dancer on stage. I mean, have you seen her “Be Alright” performance? (Honorable mention: Her pearl hair accessory phase.)
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A month later, Grande arrived to the Met Gala trading the “No Tears Left To Cry” (rumored) wig for darker roots and extensions. Of course, the pony is adorned in a matching bow.
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By June, Grande was a year older, engaged, and back on her hair accessory bullshit — this time with ‘90s hair clips.
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