30 Formal Hairstyles for Long Hair to Wear in 2021

Different looks to style with all that hair. 

We love attending formal events, no matter the season, and finding the perfect formal hairstyle for long hair is crucial. When you’ve got mermaid length long hair, the hair styling options are endless. Take formal hairstyles for long hair, where you can create trendy sleek looks or voluminous styles and braids that add depth (and some serious style) to your hair.

Here’s some inspiration on how to configure your long hair into a cool, modern hairstyle for your formal event. Read on to see our favorite interesting formal hairstyles for long hair this year.

Formal events are kind of a big deal. They give you the chance to dress up and change your look for an evening of ultimate dress-up. Don’t let these events pass you by without trying a new, elevated formal style! Even if you don’t think you’ll be able to recreate the look yourself, use these styles as inspo to show to your stylist.

1. Slicked Back Roots

formal hairstyles for long hair edgy sleek hair
This whole look is perfection.

For a sexy formal look, try out this slicked-back style. The length of your hair keeps this edgy look still feminine. Apply a dollop of TRESemmé Extra Hold Hair Gel to your roots and comb your hair back for this cool, sleek style.

We love this hairstyle paired with an angular or high contrast dress. It’s the perfect combination of sharp and soft.

2. Voluminous Side Braid

formal hairstyles loose side braid
Stylized braids are one of many elegant hairstyles for long hair that are best for formal occasions.

We love the effect of this voluminous side braid. It gets that extra-large look by pulling all your hair to one side before braiding. Loosening up the braid also helps to get the voluminous look, even if you have thin hair. Braids are great formal hairstyles for long hair because they take the stuffy edge off of your style.

3. Triple Twist

formal hairstyles for long hair twist
Do the twist for beautiful formal styles.

We love doing the twist on formal hairstyles for long hair because they create a sophisticated vibe without having to do all that much work. Follow this tutorial to create a pretty twisted half updo. The lower you take the twists, the more of a braided effect you will get.

4. Fishtail Bun

formal hairstyles for long hair fishtail braid bun.
The perfect fishtail braided bun.

Do you need an effortlessly chic formal style that is actually pretty easy to do? Then, you’ve got to try out this fishtail bun!  It’s one of the many elegant hairstyles for long hair that you can do quickly.

All you need to do is to create a fishtail braid with all of your hair, right down to the ends. Then, take the braid and coil it into a bun. Pin into place with lots of bobby pins to make sure your style doesn’t budge.

5. Croissant Bun

beautiful formal hairstyles for long hair croissant bun.
It’s a mix between the princess roll and the chignon.

How elegant is this croissant bun? It’s beautiful and keeps your hair off your face and neck. To create these elegant hairstyles for a long hair look, check out our step-by-step tutorial where you’ll learn how to create a croissant bun.

Be sure to use Dove Style+Care Strength and Shine Flexible Hold Hairspray on hand to lock in this style.

6. Iconic Updo

formal hairstyles iconic updo
This iconic bouffant-style updo is the perfect formal hairstyle.

Any kind of bouffant style is a dream to wear to a formal event. This formal hairstyle for long hair has a celebrity vibe to it. Give it the perfect final touch with a bling hair clip on top. You will be the center of attention at your next event!

7. Half-Up Fishtail Braid

formal hairstyles for long hair fishtail braids
Get fishy with your braids.

We’re really into fishtail braids this year! And what’s not to love, especially since you can create a half-up fishtail braided look in minutes.

Just take a section of your hair from above each ear and fishtail braid three or four inches. Tie together both of the braids at the center of the back of your head. You can cover up the hair tie with another section of hair to make them look more formal. Yes, braids can be just one of many fancy hairstyles for long hair that are so on-trend.

8. Voluminous Chignon

formal hairstyles for long hair voluminous chignon.
Add the volume and style the rest of your hair however you please.

If you’ve got teasing on your mind, try out this voluminous evening hairstyle for long hair. Start off by adding lots of volume to the roots of your hair all the way around. Brush your hair back with a boar bristle brush to make sure you get that sleek and elegant look. Then, pull the length of your hair into a bun at the nape of your neck.

9. Wide Waves

formal hairstyles for long hair the mermaid waves
Hello mermaid princess!

We love loose waves on long hair. You can get this evening hairstyles for long hair look a few different ways. Our favorite is to use a large barrel curling iron as you create loose, stunning waves. You can also hold the curling iron horizontal to give an extra wavy look!

10. Double Milkmaid Braids

formal hairstyles double milkmaid braid
The ultimate braided updo, perfect for a formal occasion.

What’s better than one milkmaid braid? Two milkmaid braids. This braided updo is incredibly easy to create but looks like it took you hours.

Make sure you give this style lots of hold so it survives the night. Finish styling with a few sprays of Nexxus Weightless Style Ultra Light Hair Spray.

11. Pop-Up Braid

formal hairstyles for long hair pop up
Create a 3D braid for your special occasion.

This 3D braid will work for a range of formal occasions. Ideal for bridesmaids of any age or even the bride herself, this style works just as well for prom night or a daytime party! It doesn’t get any more versatile than that.

12. Sparkly Accessories

formal hairstyles for long hair sparkly clip
Accessorize your style.

When in doubt, wear a sparkly accessory. To recreate this style pull half your hair back and pin it in place with a sparkly clip!

13. Low Bun

formal hairstyles for long hair low bun
This look is chic and timeless.

Gather your hair back into a low bun and use a hair tie to keep the look in place. This low bun is chic and timeless, ideal for any formal occasion you have coming up on your calendar. Accessorize it or wear it plain for a super simple chic look.

14. Headband

formal hairstyles for long hair headband
Try the accessory of the season.

The headband is the accessory of the season for a reason. This classic accessory adds instant height to any style and pulls your hair away from your face to let your makeup do the talking.

15. Half Up

formal hairstyles for long hair half up
It’s a classic for a reason!

When in doubt, go for a classic half-up look. Ideal for anyone who wants some hair around their face but doesn’t want to be overwhelmed by all their strands, the half-up style is both chic and romantic.

16. Backcombed Style

formal hairstyles for long hair backcomb
Give your hair a tease to elevate it for your formal occasion.

Take your style to new heights with some backcombing. This look is great if you don’t want to attempt an updo. Make sure you gently backcomb in sections to build up volume without creating unwanted knots.

17. Braided Twist Updo

formal hairstyles for long hair twist braid updo
Add some detail braids to a twist updo.

A bold twisted updo, top knot hybrid will definitely go with your next fit for a formal event. Give your updo some extra detail by adding a couple of small braids to the sides of your look. We love how deceivingly detailed this updo is, from afar it may look just like a top knot, but closer up you can see all the twist and braid detail.

18. Twist Chignon

formal hairstyles for long hair twist chignon
Give your chignon a little twist.

Instead of creating a braided chignon, switch up the look by creating twists. This is a great side detail to feed into any kind of low bun or ponytail style. Leave a small section of hair out by your ear to this delicate look.

19. High Ponytail

ormal hairstyles for long hair high pony
A voluminous ponytail is a great go-to for formal events.

When in doubt, go for a slightly messy high ponytail. This look hinges on using your fingers to loosen some sections to create volume and frame your face. Add some extra texture by giving your hair a loose curl before putting it up.

20. Flower Braid

formal hairstyles for long hair flower braid
Create a flower shape with your braided style.

This style looks more complicated to create than it actually is! Create a standard three-strand braid on both sides of your head. When you bring them together into a half updo style, create a knot formation to add a fun flourish in the back.

21. Sleek Blowout

formal hairstyles for long hair sleek blowout
Get the look with the help of your hairdryer. Photo credit: Valerie Elash

Sometimes you just need a sleek blowout to feel like the boss that you are. Really treat yourself to the best finish possible by using a round brush and focusing on smaller sections, so no frizz gets left behind.

Make sure your finished style is sleek and smooth by prepping with a blow-dry balm like Nexxus Weightless Style Smooth & Full Blow Dry Balm.

22. Pearl Embellishments

formal hairstyles for long hair pearl accessories
Add some pearls around your hairline for a glamorously unique look. Photo credit: Rex Way

Show off your freshly laid edges by adding some pearl embellishments. These take any look to the next level and will have everyone wondering how you came up with this look. Tip: Get the pearls to stick with some eyelash glue!

23. Clean Center Part

formal hairstyles for long hair center part
Go for a clean center part. Photo credit: Khaled Ghareeb

Keep it simple and clean with a perfect center part. The center part has been a major recent trend and it’s easy to see why. Use the end of a rat tail comb to make sure your part is as straight as possible.

24. High Half Updo

formal hairstyles or long hair high half updo
Take your half updo to the next level. Photo credit: Justin Essah

If you want to elevate your half updo, we fully support you. Give your style tons of volume by starting your half updo style at the crown of your head. Leave two small sections of hair out in the front to frame your face.

25. Low Ponytail with a Side Part

formal hairstyles for long hair side part low pony
A sleek low pony with a strong part is a must-try. Photo credit: Valerie Elash

Low ponytails add a level of sophistication to a style that is perfect for a formal occasion. Go for the side part to create a little more volume and add some drama to the look.

26. The Wet Look

formal hairstyles for long hair wet look
Create a “just out of the shower” illusion with your look. Photo credit: Raj Jariwala

Go for a more high fashion look with the wet style. This look creates the illusion that your hair is damp and you’ve just gotten out of the shower when really it’s just a little concoction of hair products. To recreate this look, you’re going to need some mousse and hair gel.

Start by applying some Suave Professionals Firm Control Boosting Mousse to a brushed back style. You can apply mousse to dry hair, just be careful not to overload or your hair will become overly crunchy.

Finish the look by following with some TRESemmé Extra Hold Hair Gel throughout the style to keep it shiny and in place.

27. Loose Waves Ponytail

formal hairstyles for long hair loose waves pony
Loose waves + a high pony, what’s not to love? Photo credit: Valerie Elash

Create a high ponytail style but add some wow to the look with a few tricks. Before creating your ponytail, create some loose waves to give the style more body and movement. To finish the look, conceal your elastic by wrapping a small section of hair around it and securing it with a bobby pin.

28. Braided Ponytail

formal hairstyles for long hair sleek ponytail braid
It’s a ponytail and a braid, the ultimate formal style. Photo credit: Rex Way

Go for the bold, sassy, and very trendy sleek braided ponytail. This look is so easy to create and it adds so much flair to a formal outfit. You can also take this look to the next level by adding in extra length with some extensions.

29. Loose Waves

formal hairstyles long hair loose waves
Curling irons are a girl’s best friend. Photo credit: Valerie Elash

Loose waves are a formal event go-to for a reason. When you’re curling your hair there are two ways to switch up this classic style. You can either curl every section of hair away from your face for a more uniform style, or you can switch direction with each section as you go for a more natural take on the style.

30. Mini Bouffant

formal hairstyles for long hair mini bouffant
A sleek yet voluminous mini bouffant is very classy. Photo credit: Khaled Ghareeb

It’s sleek and voluminous, so you know it’s extra classy. Creating a bouffant takes a lot of patience and hair spray, but the end result is totally worth going through the process.

If you’ve got a formal event coming up, do not miss the chance to go all out with a beautiful hairstyle. There are so many styles to get inspired by, you might find yourself having a hard time choosing which one to go with. Having too many styles just gives you more reasons to go to more formal events, happy styling! If you do decide to try out one of these looks, be sure to take a picture and tag us @AllThingsHairUS!

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