27 prom hairstyles to try (for all hair lengths and types!)

It's not just your outfit that matters, it's also your prom hair!

Obviously, perfect prom hair is the goal of any attendee, especially as it’s one of the biggest events in the school year calendar. So we wouldn’t be at all surprised if you were feeling the pressure of having to look your very best for the party. Of course, that means finding your dream dress, tracking down your Cinderella shoes and having the perfect hairstyle to top it all off.

And while we might not be of much help in dress, shoes and accessories department, we do happen to know a thing or two about hair. So whether you’re toying with the idea of romantic braids, an elaborate updo, or glamorous big, bouncy waves, we’ve got it all covered.

1. Bouffant bun with loose tendrils

Prom hairstyles: Woman with long blonde way hair in a bouffant bun sitting on the floor wearing a pink dress.
Reach new heights with a bouffant bun updo. Credit: Rupert Laycock

When looking for hairstyles for prom, you’ll find that many styles are just a revamped version of your everyday look.

Take this bouffant updo, try adding some height to your crown before styling in a bun, and don’t forget to leave some loose tendrils out at the front for a more romantic finish.

2. Wet-look prom hair

Prom hairstyles: Woman with straight brown hair in swept back wet look hairstyle standing against a red backdrop
Get the red carpet look with a wet-look hairstyle. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Looking for a new way to style your hair for prom? Get the A-list look with swept-back strands.

Editor’s tip: To hold your swept back style in place, we suggest using a firm hold gel like the VO5 Mega Hold Gel Spray.

Use on towel-dried hair and using your finger or a comb, push your hair back. Finish with another spritz for extra hold.

3. Knotted half-up with waves

Easy Prom Hairstyles: Back shot of a woman with long blonde curly hair, styled into a half-up, half-down knot, wearing floral dress in a studio setting.
Because who doesn’t love a half-up, half-down hairstyle for prom? Credit: Verity Jane Smith Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Half-up, half-down hairstyles are a popular choice for prom hair and the appeal of this beautiful knotted style is undeniable.

4. Bouncy blowout hair for prom

Prom hairstyles: Woman with honey blonde big bouncy blow dried hair wearing a white and gold studded top
Go big or go home. Credit: indigitalimages.com

Give your hair the royal treatment with an extra bouncy blowout.

Editor’s tip: Make your blowout last with a volume boosting dry shampoo.

We love the Love Beauty And Planet Volume & Bounty Dry Shampoo for extending our hair wash days and for giving hair extra bounce.

5. Curly side ponytail

Prom hairstyles: Woman with naturally curly hair styled in a side parted side ponytail bun wearing a white dress.
This curly updo is great for those looking for cute prom hairstyles. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Look prom ready by styling your curly hair in a side ponytail.

Finish your look with a sparkly set of statement earrings.

6. Slicked-back pony

Prom hairstyles: Woman with long straight brown hair in a slick low ponytal.
Is this slicked-back pony your prom hairstyle? Credit: indigitalimages.com

For the most elegant outcome, keep your ponytail low and make sure your hair is super sleek and shiny before sweeping it back and securing with a clear elastic.

7. Soft waves

Prom hairstyles: Woman with long wavy auburn brown hair wearing a red tiara headband and a wedding dress
Take your mane game up a level for prom. Credit: indigitalimages.com

We know casual waves might sound to every day for a prom, but we promise this universally flattering hairstyle will be the envy of all your friends.

Editor’s tip: Give your tresses a mirror-like finish with VO5 Tame & Shine Spray. You’ll love the glossy, silky finish this spray will give your strands.

8. Defined curls

Prom hairstyles: Woman with natural hair in curls wearing a black outfit, red lipstick and hoop earrings
Let your curls do the talking.

Enhance your curl pattern by doing a twist out ahead of prom, that way your curls will be extra defined.

9. Long wavy ponytail

Prom hairstyles: Woman with long wavy blonde highlighted hair wearing a white dress.
Show off long hair with a wavy ponytail. Credit: Rupert Laycock

With gorgeously long hair, you have plenty of options when it comes to hairstyles for prom.

Try curling your hair into beautiful waves and styling into a ponytail for a hairstyle that looks good from all angles.

10. Curly ponytail prom hair

Prom hairstyles: Rihanna with brown curly hair in a high ponytail wearing a off the shoulder dress
Make your curls pop with a high ponytail. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Do you need a prom hairstyle you can easily do on yourself? Then this Riri-approved hairstyle is the look for you.

Style tip: Hide your headband by wrapping a piece of hair around the band and securing with a bobby pin.

11. Half-up ponytail

Prom hairstyles: Woman with long wavy blonde highlighted hair in a half-up half-down ponytail wearing a white camisole top
Get the best of both worlds with a half-up, half-down hairstyle. Credit: Rupert Laycock

If Ariana Grande is your go-to for hair inspiration, then why not channel her signature half-up, half-down ponytail for prom?

Style tip: Add waves to give your style a more formal feel.

12. Slick side-parted bun

Prom hairstyles: Olivia Culpo with dark brown hair in a side parting low bun updo wearing a white frill neck top.
Which side will you choose? Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Sometimes a simple switch of a hair parting can completely transform a look.

Which is why we suggest ditching a middle parting for a sharp side one for an easy prom hairstyle.

13. Short glamour waves

Prom hairstyles: Zoe Newlove with short blonde Hollywood vintage waves hairstyle wearing red lipstick.
Prom is the perfect excuse to wear a vintage hairstyle.

Channel the silver screen with vintage ‘50s-inspired glamour waves.

Style tip: Accentuate the volume by wearing your hair in a side parting.

14. Half-up fishtail braid

Prom hairstyles: Woman with long blonde hair in a fishtail half-up with flowers
Calling all boho babes! Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Adding fishtail braids to your prom hairstyle will give your style a boho vibe.

Style tip: Go the extra mile by adding delicate flowers like above.

15. Glamourous quiff hair for prom

Prom hairstyles: Woman with dark blonde hair in quiff updo wearing white dress.
Why fit in when you can stand out. Credit: indigitalimages.com

Prom hairstyles are not all about perfectly coiffed hairstyles. Adding a little edge to your look with a glamorous quiff can be the key to standing out.

16. Undone wavy updo

Prom hairstyles: Woman with dark brown wavy hair pinned back wearing a black jumper.
Undone but perfectly put together. Credit: indigitalimages.com

Whether you have long or short hair, try adding soft waves and pinning your strands into an undone updo for an effortless finish.

17. Braid and bun

Prom hairstyles: Woman with long dark blonde highlighted hair in a upside down braid bun wearing a grey blazer dress.
Not your usual bun updo. Credit: Rupert Laycock

Look good from all angles with an upside down braided bun.

Editor’s tip: Give your prom hairstyle extra hold with the VO5 Invisible Firm Hold Hairspray.

This ultra-fine fast drying spray offers frizz control, with humidity protection and UV filter.

18. Low braided bun with a tiara

Prom hairstyles: Woman with dark brown hair in sleek low bun with a tiara pearl headband.
For the prom queens. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

The best part of prom is the tiara of course! So, make sure you have a hairstyle fit for Prom Queen, like this low bun.

19. Half-up, half-down bouffant

Prom hairstyles: Brunette with brown hair in half-up half-down bouffant wearing orange red top
Match a vintage dress with a vintage hairstyle.

If your prom dress is vintage, why not find a hairstyle to match? This ’60s-inspired half-up, half-down bouffant will add a subtle retro twist to your look, while still oozing contemporary glam. Win-win!

20. Side-swept curls

Prom hairstyles: Woman with red hair in side swept curls wearing a white top on runway.
Side-swept curls will give you a classic look. Credit: indigitalimages.com

If your hair is mid-length or long, and you don’t want anything too fussy, then elegant side-swept curls will make for the perfect prom hair choice.

21. Bright bob prom hairstyle

Prom hairstyles: Woman with straight green and dark brown bob laughing wearing a red jacket.
Add some colour to a bob haircut. Credit: indigitalimages.com

Just because you’re sporting a short crop doesn’t mean you can’t make an impact at prom. Rather than putting your hair up, why not consider injecting some pizzazz via temporary hair colour using sprays, or chalks.

22. Braided crown

Prom hairstyles: Woman with brown natural hair in twisted halo braid.
Braided crown hairstyles are great for all hair types. Credit: Dvora

Romantic and oh-so-pretty, a braided crown is a perfect look for prom. The good news? It works on all hair types and lengths, so whether you have coily natural hair or even dead straight locks, you can pull this look off with success!

23. Donut bun

Prom hairstyles: Woman with dark blonde hair in donut bun updo
Use a donut to get the perfect bun for prom.

The donut bun is a classically elegant prom hairstyle that’s guaranteed to look great and stay intact all evening long. What’s more, it’s incredibly easy to achieve, too.

Next read: Want to learn how to style your hair like this at home? Just follow our step-by-step guide here!

24. Half-up, half-down hair bow

Young black girl with blonde box braids tied into a hair bow
Half-up, half-down bow hair

An ultra-cool twist on the hun, the half-up, half-down hair bow will give your prom dress a feminine, yet edgy look. Plus, it works on all hair types, from box braids to super straight locks, too!

Editor’s tip: If you have fine tresses, just remember to spritz some TONI&GUY Sea Salt Texturising Spray before styling to add grip (AKA making it easier to style).

25. Classic French braid

Prom hairstyles: Woman with medium length brown hair styled in a French braid
Braided styles can be dressed up for prom.

If you plan to dance the night away at your prom, keeping your hair off your face is a must! And this classic, yet totally on-trend hairstyle will allow you to do just that.

Perfect for girls with luscious long locks, the French braid is simple yet highly effective!

26. Elegant vintage waves

Prom hairstyles: Woman with brown hair in 1920s inspired finger waves.
The effort is worth the reward.

To inject a generous dose of Old Hollywood glamour into your look, precision ’20s-inspired finger waves, styled into a beautiful updo, are absolutely perfect – ensuring that you’ll look sleek, sophisticated and ultra stylish for the entire night.

27. Messy chignon

Prom hairstyles: Woman with brown hair in tousled chignon hairstyle
The chignon is a fail-safe choice for prom, and this slightly tousled and textured version makes it instantly modern.

The chignon is a fail-safe choice for prom, and this slightly tousled and textured version makes it instantly modern. This look is by far one of our favourite prom hair looks, and just proves that sometimes you just can’t beat a good old classic!