Prom season is happening now, which means it’s high time to dust off those hair inspiration screenshots and book those beauty appointments. This is no time to scrimp on style: Horror references notwithstanding, prom night is the one time of the year where you and your friends can revel in a glamorous, red-carpet experience. From tuxedos to limos to slinky outfits and a slew of paparazzi-worthy prom hairstyles for long hair, it’s an event that you certainly don’t want to be underprepared for.
The trick is finding a hairstyle that’s pretty, flattering and fashionable, but won’t look dated or cheesy in pictures.
Check out our gallery of nine of our most favorite formal hairstyles that are sure to bring out the Prom Queen in everyone.
1. Braided crown
Best for all hair textures, this is for girls who want to stay on the fashion track but who also want to embrace their hidden princess. Create a crown braid that starts from one temple and ends at another. Secure the ends with bobby pins and accessorize with a small brooch, concealing any seams.
2. Sexy chignon
If you’re looking for a no-fuss hairstyle that still packs a pretty heavy style punch, the chignon is your jam. The style looks most chic on straight and wavy hair textures since the crown looks better when a bit sleek. Turn up this look’s sex appeal by creating a deep side part at your hairline and securing all strands into a bun at your nape.
3. Shiny ponytail
Here and now is not the time to go au naturel, ladies—a sophisticated shiny ponytail demands poker-straight strands in order to reflect light the best. Straighten hair with a flat iron and apply some shine serum such as Nexxus New York Salon Care Encapsulate Serum to the mid-lengths and ends. Part hair as desired and gather strands into a ponytail at the back of your head. Leave one tendril free to wrap around your hair tie, hiding it from view for a more grown-up feel, or choose an evening-worthy accessory such as a gold or silver barrette.
4. Middle-parted waves
Who says evening-worthy hair always has to be in an updo? Get playful with some sexy locks around your shoulders with thick, glamorous waves. Use a curling iron with a 1 ½” barrel on hair that’s been prepped with mousse or styling spray, such as Dove Style+Care Curls Defining Mousse.
5. Big curls
Do you know the secret to the head-turning appeal of those lingerie models? Those giants, bombshell curls! Recreate those sultry ringlets in your prom hairstyles by priming your hair with a thermal-protecting styling cream such as TRESemmé Make Waves Shaping Gel Cream as you wrap sections of your hair around a 1 ½” curling iron barrel. Let it set for a few seconds before unfurling.
6. Top knot
Display your inner diva with a tight top knot that leaves no room for error. Girls with thinner hair might need the help of a hair donut for this, which entails looping the foam circle through a high ponytail. Next, cover the entire donut with hair from your ponytail, looping around until completely concealed. Tuck ends under the donut and secures with pins.
7. Straight and sleek
Another “un-do” that’s high-fashion is the straight and sleek look. This style works best on thicker, straight hair that’s parted down the middle or worn with a narrow half-updo. Proceed to blowdry strands, first using blowdry lotion such as Bed Head by TIGI Motor Mouth for traction. Clamp sections of hair with a flat iron to remove any kinks, and refine ends and lengths with a shine serum.
8. Waterfall Braids
Braids that start at the crown on your head and leave the rest of your lengths free make for quite the classic romantic look. Start by French-braiding hair at the crown or hair parting, moving sideways instead of downwards, leaving the ends free to hang loose (or up in a chignon, for a more runway take). End by curling the tips of your hair with an iron for a fancy regal feel.
9. Pumped Up Beehive
A bouffant is a retro hairstyle that’s been making a comeback. Copy the pretty, mod vibe of this look by first texturizing hair with some backcombing, and then section off your hair into three parts—your main part, then one side, and the crown. Tease the crown and refine the front with a rat-tail comb, and gather all sections in one hair tie or pins at the nape of your neck via a ponytail or chignon. Spray with TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray to set.
Which of these prom hairstyles for long hair do you want to try for your big night?