What Are Pigtails?

There really isn't a huge debate on this subject, but there are some differences of opinion. This article looks at some of the differing opinions related to pigtails hairstyle definition, attempts to find some middle ground (perhaps unsuccessfully), and closes with this author's own definition and description of the ideal pigtails.

A ponytail is when the hair is tied together into a bunch and hanging from the back of the head. Most would agree on that. But if that ponytail is braided, is it still a ponytail? Some say it is, others say that this is called a braid. The same question applies to pigtails, the most common term for the gathering of the hair into twin ponytails (one on either side of the head). Can pigtails be braided and still be called pigtails? Do the terms "braided pigtails" and "unbraided pigtails" make sense? Some argue that "braided pigtails" are just "braids" and not pigtails at all!

The Random House College Dictionary defines "pigtail" as "a braid of hair hanging down the back of the head." Huh? It refers to ONE pigtail hangs down the back of the head, and calls it a braid? Hmm, there's no mention of TWO pigtails at all! Something doesn't seem right here. The dictionary entry for "ponytail" matches the definition I gave above. So what's up with all this? Is the dictionary wrong? Are there multiple dialectal or regional terms for twin ponytails, hence the difficulty for a dictionary to properly address the word's definition? Has the definition been too fluid over time for the dictionary to pin it down? And why doesn't the definition include the phrase "the cutest hairstyle ever?"

The word pigtail is also a wire cabling term that applies to a particular method for terminating an electrical cable's braided shield. (There's that word "braid" again!) Another technical, and even more contemporary, use of the word pigtail is for some sort of wireless accessories for radios or cell phones, or something like that - I haven't completely figured this one out yet.

A few years ago, a survey was done in a college classroom regarding the term pigtails. The students pretty much agreed that pigtails are two ponytails, one on each side of the head, and that they cannot be braided. If they were braided, they were called braids. The class instructor, being of a different generation, had a different definition. He believed that pigtails specifically meant two braids and that two unbraided ponytails should actually be called doggie tails. My personal analysis of this "experiment" is simply this: The instructor must have been elderly, or nearly so, and possibly losing his memory, so who knows what his generation really called "twin ponytails." And doggie tails? There is no way I could ever adapt to using such a term. The word dog, or anything like it, can never be used to describe a woman with the playfulness, boldness, and/or superior self-esteem to wear her hair in pigtails. The students clearly had a much better handle on what pigtails are all about.

So, where does this leave us? There appears to be generational differences and possibly regional or dialectal differences contributing to the debate (if you'd call it that). So, I'll put it this way: Pigtails are two gatherings of hair hanging on the left and right sides of the head. They may be braided or unbraided. But I'll add my preferences here as well, because the way I see it, there's one right kind of pigtail. Pigtails are far more attractive when unbraided. They should be located on the sides of the head, maybe a little behind and above the ears. Pigtails that are too high on the head, too low, or too far around in back, just don't possess the true spirit of pigtails. And pigtails without this true spirit are simply unable to work their undeniable magic on the wearer and those around her.

Bob Decker is a pigtails hairstyle aficionado and one of the webmasters at http://www.PigtailDreams.com. The website tastefully honors "the cutest hairstyle ever."

In The News:

Breaking into the world of beauty  The New Indian Express
Secret behind ageless beauty  Deccan Chronicle

Help Prevent Wrinkles Through Diet

How many times has your mother told you, you are... Read More

Beauty

There are many vantage points from which to find beauty.... Read More

Flax Seed Oil and Wrinkles

Flax seed oil helps lubricate the digestive system and softens... Read More

SPF? What Does It All Mean?

Spf or sun protection factor, is the amount of increased... Read More

9 Easy Steps To A Pedicure

Before putting on those sexy, comfortable open toe shoes make... Read More

5 Sunless Tanning Lotion Tips For Summer

If you use sunless tanning products it's probably because your... Read More

Face Off

The other day, I indulged in one of my many... Read More

The Best Tan is a Sunless Tan!

Never used a sunless tanner? Don't sweat it?it's a no... Read More

Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Alpha Hydroxy Acids treatments have the ability to create a... Read More

Lens Materials Found On Sunglasses

Did you know that there are multiple types of lens... Read More

How To Give A Manicure

This guide will give you the basic directions for nail... Read More

Do You Want To Look Ten Years Younger?

Do you want to look ten years younger?Here are twelve... Read More

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) Who Do They Benefit?

IN WHICH CASES ARE AHA RECOMMENDED?* Hyperkeratinization (increased accumulation of... Read More

More Care Hair Myths - the Truth and the Lies

We all have a favourite myth about hair care ?... Read More

Permanent Makeup and the Fear of Pain

Nobody likes pain, but who said it has to hurt?... Read More

Long Hair and Updo Hairstyles

You have long hair and you are ready for an... Read More

Whats Up With Botox?

BOTOX® is part of a family of drugs called "botulinum... Read More

Benefits of Soy in Facial Creams

Creams with soy are recommended around 40yrs and up or... Read More

Anti-Wrinkle Lifestyle Tips

Experts say that, when it comes to getting wrinkles, 10%... Read More

Eye Spy - In Search of a Greater Lash

Shopping for mascara can be an "eye opening"... Read More

Hot Colors for Cooler Days

Labor Day not only marks the end of the summer... Read More

Eye Care: Make Your Eyes Look Beautiful and Let It Say Your Hearts Voice

Ralph Waldo Emerson very rightly said, "One of the most... Read More

Human Hair Extensions Create Beautiful Long Hair Styles Instantly

As you glance across virtually every print medium such as... Read More

A Crazy Life and Pimples

The factors contributing to acne breakouts are many. Hormonal influences,... Read More

Beautiful Skin 101

Most women shy away from being called 'too sensitive.' But... Read More