I explained that I want my hair "ein bisschen kürtzer, aber nicht zu viel... ich möchte einen, err... uh... Ponytail (waving hands) machen". They looked at me in confusion, then: "Ahh! Pferdeschwanz!" My strategy of just using the English word, trying to pretend it's a German word, didn't quite cut it. It was quite close though (ponytail vs. horsetail).
I told about this to a German friend, and he said that
The discussion then moved on to Vokuhila which is a German word for a horrible hairstyle (vorne kurz, hinten lang).
And as always, there is a third level, when I told yet another group of German friends about these discussions. One of them told this joke: "Suche einen Mann mit Pferdeschwanz, Frisur egal."
I'm not going to translate it.