10 gorgeous graduation hairstyles to wear under your cap (whatever your hair type!)

Beth | 19 June 2017

Graduate in style with these first class hairstyles!


Graduation day almost here? You’ve rented your gown and picked out what you’ll be wearing underneath it, yet still have no idea which hairstyle will work with your mortar cap? Don’t worry: we’ve got it all sorted. Picking graduation hairstyles doesn’t have to be a tiresome task. In fact, you’d be surprised at the wide range of ‘dos that look great when paired with a cap and gown – and, of course, for the after party!

So whether you need graduation hairstyles for long hair, short hair, natural hair or anything in between, get inspiration from our carefully curated edit, below!

Stunning graduation hairstyles for the big day


Short graduation hairstyles


blonde woman with short hair with her fringe braided into a headband braid with a flower hair accessory
You don’t need long locks to pull off this stunning style!

1. Braided headband

Regular All Things Hair readers will know that we’re a bit braid obsessed, so it’s only natural that we tried to sneak a few braided graduation hairstyles into this list! If your hair is too short to put it all into a plait, try adding a cute twist to your look with a pretty headband braid. Finish off with a clip (the glitzier the better!) and you’re good to go.

Tip: Prepping your strands with a spritz of the VO5 Dry Texturising Spray will give your hair a more gritty, grippy texture, making it easier to create your braid and ensuring it lasts as long as possible.

graduation hairstyle slick back
Thought you couldn’t do anything with short hair? Think again! Credit: indigitalimages.com

2. Wet-look quiff

Don’t worry if you have an ultra short crop, because a stylish, cap-friendly ‘do can still be yours for graduation day! Simply try rocking a wet-look quiff: it’s a quick, simple and stylish way to really show off your features and give your look a high-fashion edge.


Graduation hairstyles for long hair

classic low ponytail graduation hairstyles
Simple and sophisticated, you can’t go wrong with a classic pony. Credit: Indigital

1. Chic low ponytail

If you’re after classically chic graduation hairstyles, then look no further: a simple ponytail is just perfect. To make it extra special, don’t forget to up the elegance by concealing your hairband. Simply take a strand from your ponytail and wrap it around the base, securing with a bobby pin underneath.

Do keep in mind that it’s best to position your ponytail lower down so that a mortar cap can sit neatly on top of your head!

glossy looking waves for graduation
There’s no better time to rock gorgeously glossy waves! Credit: indigitalimages.com

2. Polished waves

Thought waves were only reserved for casual affairs? Think again. Truth is, they can work for formal events and have the added bonus of looking effortlessly feminine, too.

All you need to do to ensure those softly-undulating kinks stay photo-ready all day, is to run an oil or serum (we heart the Toni&Guy High Shine Serum Drops) through your lengths to fight frizz and add a gorgeous glossiness to your locks.

side fishtail braid for graduation
There’s nothing fishy about this unique and impressive style!

3. Side fishtail braid

If a classic ponytail seems a little too low-key, side braided graduation hairstyles are ideal, especially if you have long hair. Carefully scrape your strands to one side, then simply plait the ponytail in a standard 3-strand braid and tie with a hairband.

However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could always try a more intricate fishtail braid, instead. Wondering how to do it? Just follow our step-by-step tutorial, right here!

curly hairstyles side swept curls
Try sweeping your curls to the side for a film star finish! Credit: indigitalimages.com

4. Side-swept curls

Drawing inspiration from the red carpet, this hairstyle oozes grown-up glamour and sophistication, perfect for your graduation day.

Simply curl your tresses, sweep them to one side and secure with bobby pins at the back. The key to maintaining your glam curls all day? Hairspray, hairspray, hairspray!

Try: The VO5 Wave Creation Hairspray, which has been created especially with curly hairstyles in mind!


Graduation hairstyles for natural hair

graduation hairstyles natural hair twist-out
Do the twist!

1. Twist-out

Any naturalistas looking for graduation hairstyles for long hair should give the twist-out method a try. Bantu knots will result in a tighter and more voluminous twist-out, while 2-strand twists have a more defined look.

Just remember: this hairstyle needs time to set overnight, so make sure to schedule in time the evening beforehand!

youtuber mini marley with her afro hair in a low puff with a white graduation mortar cap
Consider your graduation style sorted!

2. Low bun

We’re big supporters of the humble ballerina bun here at All Things Hair HQ. It’s the perfect solution if you want to protect your hair and look slick on graduation day – not to mention it only takes 5 minutes to do. Practical, protective and pretty? Yes, please!

youtuber mini marley with her hair in a side puff with a white graduation mortar cap
Decisions decisions…which side to choose?!

3. Side puff

If you’re looking for graduation hairstyles that’ll allow you to embrace your natural afro texture, while still keeping your mane under control, give this adorable side puff a try! Voluminous yet sleek all at the same time, it’s an easy and elegant option to consider.

youtuber mini marley with her red hair in a long braid hairstyle with a white graduation mortar cap
Naturalistas, it’s time to join the braids gang!

4. Rapunzel braid

Why not add a touch of drama to natural hairstyles for graduation day, by experimenting with hair extensions? You can even buy pre-plaited synthetic braids that attach onto your natural hair, for a look that gives off maximum drama with minimal effort required! What more could you want?!


Which one of these graduation hairstyles will you be rocking?! For more occasion-worthy hair looks, head over to our Formal Hairstyles page now for plenty of date night, drinks and even interview-appropriate styles!


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