18 Elegant Hairstyles for Any Formal Occasion

No matter how spontaneous and disheveled you prefer to look in day-to-day life, it’s impossible to avoid occasions when you need to be elegant. Elegant updos and downdos are required for different types of formal events and in office settings. Even if these are rare opportunities in your life, we bet you won’t mind looking elegant once in a while simply for a change. Some of us think that elegant styles can add you years or mistakenly associate them with something strict or restricting like a white shirt and a business jacket. These are just misconceptions. Viewing the following gallery, you are going to see how versatile and inspiring elegant ‘dos can be. So, why not to give them a try?

Where Are the Frontiers of Elegance in Hairstyles?

Why we consider one hairstyle elegant, while another is referred to as casual? There are certain signs which help to recognize an elegant ‘do. Both pulled up and hair down hairstyles can be elegant. Therefore, in case you give your preference only to one type or another, you can create a concept of your own super-flattering elegant hairstyle.

  1. Elegant updos. Updos are a more common type of elegant ‘dos. They are a great match for floor-length décolleté gowns or dresses with interesting back cuts. Pulled up styles allow to show off stylish accessories, like eye-catching earrings and chic necklaces which otherwise could be lost under your mane. Elegant updos are neat and accurate: every lock is settled carefully even if it’s an intricate fancy design.
  2. Elegant downdos. If you do not feel like pulling your hair up, you can easily do with a free-flowing style that looks pretty elegant. Such hairstyles are commonly wavy with hair swept back, off the face or to one side. The waves are smooth, shiny, polished and sprayed to hold together.
  3. Elegant half up half down styles. These often feature a bouffant and free flowing curl. Bangs are also possible but they are supposed to be neat and preferably styled to a side. Under the influence of current tendencies, contemporary elegant hairstyles may acquire a very light messy touch. How does it look? See below…

#1: Messy, Tucked Chignon

Give the classic chignon hairstyle a modern messy twist and make it extra voluminous. Spritz your hair with texturizing spray before twisting it into a bun. Tuck the ends at the nape of the neck and tug at the bun until you have the fullness and volume you desire.

#2: Loose and Lovely Bridal Updo

Who says elegant hairstyles require a ton of work? Take your natural waves and pull them back into a loose low bun. For some added romance, allow a few strands to hang loose. Top the look off with a headband or tiara, and you’re ready for that walk down the aisle!

#3: Fairytale Hairstyle

Try out an ethereal half updo for your next formal event. Take small sections of hair and secure them with clear elastic bands. Tie a few sections together and repeat this tie-and-gather method for a unique look that will have you looking like a fairy princess.

#4: Soft, Curled Locks for Medium Hair

Don’t limit yourself to updos for formal affairs. Curl your hair with a one-inch curling iron and finger comb it so the waves loosen and hang naturally. Spritz with a volumizing, strong-hold hairspray, and you’ve got yourself the perfect look for a night on the town.

#5: Sweet and Simple Beach Waves

Sometimes basic is best, right? If you’ve got an ultra-short bob and can’t figure out what to do with it, try curling it with a flat iron. Leave the ends uncurled — this will allow for natural, beachy waves that are effortless and beautiful.

#6: Twisted and Curled Low Chignon

There’s a reason chignons have been a top choice in elegant hairstyles for so long. They have a way of transforming your look from “basic” to “fancy” in an instant. Go for the tried-and-true twisted chignon and see if you’re not the belle of the ball.

#7: Quick and Easy Sideswept Curls

Show off your length and hair color by letting your curls flow to one side. Create a deep side part and curl your hair with a 1 ¼-inch curling iron. Spritz the curls with a spray wax or hairspray, but do not brush out the curls! You want to keep the shape of the curl for this look.

#8: Sleek and Glamorous Updo

Go for a Cinderella-esque look by piling your hair up at the crown. Wrap a thin braid around your bun as well as a bedazzled headband or a string of pearls. This will add some flair to your elegant natural hairstyle.

#9: Everflowing Side Braid

Bohemian plaits are a great choice in elegant hairstyles for long hair. Try a sideswept plait that wraps around the front of the head and continues down the side. This will not only look amazing with your printed chiffon dress, but also show off your braiding skills!

#10: Bohemian Fishtail Crown

If you’re a girl who prefers a more bohemian look, a fishtail crown is the way to go. Nothing screams style and elegance like effortlessly braided hair. Top off the look with a metallic headpiece and you will look every bit the Greek goddess!

#11: Undone Braided Updo

Messy buns may seem like a more casual look and an inappropriate option for a formal event, but you’d be surprised by their versatility! When done right, a loose, undone chignon is the perfect accessory for your fancy attire.

#12: Perfectly Waved Long Bob

Elegant hairstyles for short hair can sometimes seem to have few options. It’s often best to go with easy, voluminous curls when working with a straightener to get a sleek long bob or a shorter cut. The key is to keep the curls natural-looking and slightly undone so you avoid the “Shirley Temple” effect.

#13: Simple and Flawless Blowout

Never underestimate the power of a good blowout. Thin and fine hair could benefit from a sleek, blown-out style, as it adds natural volume and fullness. Try teasing the hair slightly at the crown for a little extra oomph.

#14: Pretty Pompadour and Low Bun

Pump up that low bun by teasing the bangs and sleeking back the sides. This will deliver a pompadour look that is incredibly chic and trendy! Make sure to secure any wispy hairs with hair wax or gel, as such formal hairstyles look best when they are sleek.

#15: Romantic Retro Hairstyle

Classic and retro ‘dos make for amazing elegant hairstyles. Give yourself a 1920’s makeover by pulling your curled locks into a loose updo held with a thin double-stranded headband for a cool retro vibe!

#16: Tangled and Twisted Low Braid

Some braids are all about the twists. Twist sections of the hair and intertwine them for a complex-looking ‘do that is actually easier than it looks. This look is great for those with thick, long locks!

#17: Flicked Back Stacked Bob

Short-haired ladies rejoice! You can still get fancy with your cropped cut! Simply blowdry it with a large round brush, curling out the ends slightly. Make sure to pay extra attention to the crown so it has some lift and fullness.

#18: Princess Braids With Curls

Princess braids are a great option for elegant ladies. Try two overlapping braids as a cute accessory for your loose, lovely curls. This style is perfect for a garden wedding or event.

As you see, all vintage hairstyles are considered elegant. This is why they are so popular nowadays. Referring to the past for ideas, we incorporate a modern touch to once favored ‘dos to give them a second chance to spark with a giddy success.