16 Red Carpet Updo Hairstyles to Copy for Your Prom

Get inspired to try something new for your prom with this collection of red-carpet inspired looks.

Having award show season just a month or two before prom is truly a gift. Who can give better hair and dress inspiration than celebrities with professionals making them look as gorgeous as possible? And this year the styles were so hot where we saw red carpet updo hairstyles that featured looks that were sleek, vintage, romantically messy and so much more! So whether you’re looking for some inspiration to help you DIY your look, or need some inspo to share with your stylist, we have you covered in our roundup of 16 cool red carpet updo hairstyles that you can rock for prom.

Red Carpet Updo Hairstyles for Prom

red carpet updo hairstyles for prom: the messy low pony.
A messy ponytail that’s perfectly undone. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

1. Messy Low Ponytail

If you need one of those romantically messy prom updos in just a few minutes, you can’t go wrong with a low ponytail. They’re even NYFW-chic hairstyle approved! Start off by adding extra texture to your hair by scrunching in the Suave Professionals Texturizing Sea Salt Spray, then give yourself a rough center part, make sure it’s not too perfect to keep with the messy romantic vibes. Set your hair into a low ponytail and pull out loose strands to frame your face. Gorgeous in just minutes!

red carpet updo hairstyles for prom: classy low bun.
Put those flyaways to good use! Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

2. Side-Parted Low Updo

A similarly messy style is this side-parted hairstyle. To adjust from the low ponytail above, you’ll just do a deep side part to the front section of your hair. Brush the rest back, and set it into that low ponytail. Then you can create a low bun for a more formal look.

red carpet updo hairstyles for prom: slicked down low bun.
Use extra gel for a trendy wet updo.

3. Slicked-Down Updo

Slicked-down hair is the hot new thing right now. Especially if you are wearing a minimalist dress, this slick look will be a real head turner. Start off with your hair brushed out and parted to the side, then apply some of the Nexxus New York Salon Care Exxtra Hold Sculpting Gel to your hair. The more you apply, the shinier and more wet your hair will look. After slicking down your roots, wrap your hair into a low ballerina bun.

red carpet updo hairstyles for prom. Romantic updo.
Hello, easy romantic hairstyles! Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

4. Romantic Updo

How gorgeous is this modern updo? Just imagine it paired with a blush-toned dress or a chic black number. This style is great for gals with natural curls. If you have a straighter hair type, start off this style by curling your hair with a larger, one and a half to two-inch curling iron. Part your hair down the middle, and secure into a messy rolled updo for a romantic and vintage look. Again we recommend a few face framing pieces of hair to accent your pretty face.

red carpet updo hairstyles for prom: twisted half updo
A twisted half-updo anyone can do. Photo credit: Dvora

5. Rope Braid Half-Updo

This half-updo is great for gals doing a more casual prom experience. You’ll wear your hair however you love it best! Pin straight hair to beachy waves to Old Hollywood curls would all look gorgeous in this half-updo. To create the twists you’ll take two large sections of hair from above each ear. Going one side at a time, take the two sections and twist until you reach the back of your head. Once both ropes reach the center back of your head you can secure them together with a hair tie and cover that hair tie with a small section of hair.

red carpet updo hairstyles for prom: messy bun
A messy bun chic enough for prom. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

6. Messy High Bun

If you really need a prom ready look in just a few minutes, why not wear a messy bun? We’re sure you know how to whip one together. This look is easier to achieve if you have longer hair because you can then loosen up small sections of hair out of the bun without taking the whole thing out.

red carpet updo hairstyles for prom: loose chignon
For our classic ladies. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

7. Loose, Simple Bun

For a more pulled together take on the quick prom bun, try out this loose and simple look. You’ll start off this bun by creating a ponytail where you would like the bun to sit. Make sure you loosen up the roots of your hair to get the chilled out effect. Then, wrap around your ponytail to create a bun, pinning in place as you go so it’s nice and secure while you dance the night away.

red carpet updo hairstyles for prom: folded bun
Headband totally optional. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

8. Voluminous Folded Bun

Continuing with another simple but chic style, we’re loving this folded bun look. To make sure you get the biggest effect, start this style with a voluminous blowout. We suggest prepping your hair with the Catwalk By TIGI Bodifying Spray For Volume Blow Dry first for the biggest effect. Then you’ll pull your hair into a tight ponytail, leaving out one small section of hair to wrap around the hair tie later. With your ponytail secured, fold the tail in half and secure with another hair tie. Then you can wrap around with the extra section of hair to clean up the look.

red carpet updo hairstyles for prom: twisted curled updo
A super chic twisted prom updo. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

9. Twisted and Tousled Updo

We love this updo because it looks so much harder than it actually is! What you’re going to do is start off with somewhat tightly curled hair. We suggest a one inch curling iron or slightly smaller. Then, you’ll brush your roots backwards. From the front section of your hair, just above both ears take a small section of hair and twist backwards, pinning to the back of your head. This will help to round out the look and give some dimension head on. Then, take your curls, roll them back up and pin around the back of your head, covering where you secured the twists. Make sure to use plenty of pins to keep this looking good all night long!

How to wear this year's red carpet updo hairstyles for prom. Big beehive.
Beehives are a big look!

10. Beehive Updo

How great is this beehive for prom? We’re more than a little bit obsessed. Beehives, if you’ve never done one before, can be a little bit intimidating, so we do suggest taking this one by your hairdresser if you aren’t confident styling your hair. We suggest working on day old hair for this look, but sprucing up your roots with some of the Dove Refresh+Care Volume and Fullness Dry Shampoo. Also, check out our big beehive tutorial that can help guide your ‘do.

How to wear this year's red carpet updo hairstyles for prom. Face framing updo for short hair.
Short hair can be worn in updos too!

11. Face-Framing Easy Updo

This updo is perfect for gals with shorter hair. It can be done from just below chin-grazing bobs or longer! Start by parting your hair roughly in half and braiding your hair starting behind each ear. Just make sure to leave out those face framing pieces! Braid your hair down to the ends, securing with mini hair elastics. Then you can pin the braids to the back of your head, tucking the tails under the braids.

red carpet updo hairstyles for prom: french twist
The rolled up look is too chic.

12. French Twist

The French twist is one of the most classic (and easy!) updos we know. This style looks chic on literally everyone, we promise. You’ll want to start with a voluminous blowout so you can get the look of having lush, thick hair. Then, follow our tutorial to recreate this chic French twist updo.

How to wear this year's red carpet updo hairstyles for prom. Twisted half updo on box braids.
Box braids kind of make this look, right?

13. Twisted Half-Updo

This is another one of those styles that falls into the quick and easy (but still totally gorgeous) category. To create this twisted half-updo, simply twist your hair away from your face, starting from your part. You can twist both sides or just one for an asymmetrical look. Pin the twists to the back of your head and you’re done!

red carpet updo hairstyles for prom: messy curly bangs
Put all the attention to the front of your hair. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

14. Messy Curly Bangs & Chignon

If you have long bangs, or short face-framing layers, this prom style is for you. You’ll be able to pair these gorgeous curly bangs with most updos, but we’re partial to the simple chignon. Get the look by roughly and quickly curling your bangs away from your face with a large, two and a half inch curling iron. Only let your hair sit on the barrel for a few seconds to get a loose curl. Then just rough up your hair a little bit before finishing with your chignon.

red carpet updo hairstyles for prom: knitted bangs
A knitted hairstyle that’s bound to turn heads.

15. Romantic Knitted Bangs

Have you ever seen a prettier hairstyle that these romantic knitted bangs? As seen at the Jenny Packham show at NYFW, this hairstyle is all about creating the look of knitting, creating a romantic and on-trend hairstyle that’s bound to turn heads at your prom.

red carpet updo hairstyles for prom: edgy cornrow braided ponytail.
A cool way to rock braids for your prom. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

16. Edgy Braided Low Ponytail

This last pick is for our edgy prom attendees. The look is so simple, but really high impact. You’ll start this style by creating three (or more!) evenly spaced cornrows with the top section of your hair. When you reach the crown of your head, stop adding hair to the braid, and continue on to a three-strand braid. Secure each braid at the end with a mini hair elastic. You can then pull all the braids and the rest of your hair into a sleek, low ponytail for a pulled together look.

Need more red carpet updo hairstyles to inspire you? Check out these wet hair looks from the red carpet.

Sign up to our newsletter and get exclusive hair care tips and tricks from the experts at All Things Hair.


All Things Hair on Instagram