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The Editors
Updated on January 28, 2022
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Side buns, side ponytails, side braids, side cascading curls… these have been rocked by celebs on the red carpets at all the biggest recent events, so, well, congrats, side hairstyles have become a hot trend. As prom season is approaching, all seniors are excited about the choice of chic outfits, accessories and matching hairstyles. Side hairstyles for prom, showing your beautiful neck and shoulder line are a great idea of how you may stand out from the crowd at your graduation party. They are extremely flattering for all types of cocktail wear, especially for one-sleeved, single-strapped and strapless dresses. A hairstyle should compliment your dress. Besides, it would be nice if it doesn’t look too outdated even 20 years from now. That’s why, once you have decided what you are going to wear, start looking for hair inspiration ideas. Here you will find 45 stunning side hairstyles to sparkle your inner best at the prom party.

Side Hairstyles for Prom

What are prom hairstyles like presently? Mainly mussy, disheveled, with wavy texture and a romantic rustic touch. Looking at them, you have a feel that they are made spontaneously without use of any styling products. Such hairstyles often include elements of braiding, messy buns, knots, twists and look fantastic on young girls.

There’s also a group of side graduation hairstyles with a polished finish. These are more elaborate, sleek or free-flowing and glossy, with distinct contours and clean lines, curves and edges. They look elegant, glamorous, sexy and with an evident effect from styling products.

A side hairstyle will work awesome on long hair. If your hair is medium length, you may use extensions specially for your prom hairstyle. With asymmetric dresses pile your hair to the sleeveless/strapless side for balance. Exquisite headbands, hair flowers and pieces of hair jewelry are going to accentuate your side hairdo and make it more expressive.

Side Updos and Downdos for Prom

The following side-swept gallery is going to acquaint you with very versatile side hairstyles from formal and classic to vintage and most voguish ones. Choose something that you believe will reflect your personality and make you feel comfortable with. You should look as if the chosen style was designed for you exclusively to bring out the best in your looks.

1. Winding Waves

curly side updo for wedding or prom


A look like this is so posh that it could easily work at other big formal events like a wedding, especially with the addition of a gorgeous white flower. But, what makes this look unique is the fact that it uses individual curls to create a winding detail across the nape; a delicate and very special design, indeed.

2. Cascading Curls

While they are trendy, braid crowns can be also very creative if you put the right spin on them. This style re-creates a waterfall effect for the mass of flowing two-tone spirals. It’s an enchanting and classic look that still feels the moment.

prom side curly hairstyle


3. Messy and Modern

Don’t take away from enjoying yourself at the party by worrying about whether your hair looks good. The focus of the night is to enjoy yourself with friends, while looking and feeling your best. The side-swept hairstyle in this photo is messy and approachable, but the braided detail makes it just a bit more formal.

messy side updo with a braid


4. Knockout Knots

Instead of pinned-up curls, use your spirals to create a bulky knotted detail in your side-swept hairstyle. It’s more interesting than a side bun, but still feels classic at the same time. For a soft romantic effect, leave out some curly tendrils to frame the face.

prom twisted side updo


5. Elegant from All Angles

Here is a nice hairdo for strapless dresses. Because the neckline of such a dress leaves so much skin exposed around the shoulders and neck, you want an updo that will fill the space without overpowering it. Plus, with the braid across the nape and side ponytail, this will look good from all angles.

side braid updo for prom


6. Side Swept Curls and Draped Bangs

Here is a hairstyle that would make Rapunzel jealous. The thick, undone curls make her mane extremely full. The gently feathered bangs increase the effect. Ask your stylist for a wavy ‘do, but make sure they brush your locks after curling to relax them.

Curly Side Downdo For Long Hair


7. Looped Low Bun

There are dozens of side hairstyles to play around with. If it is a formal finish that you desire, sculptural side hairdos such as hers are the way to go. Her front layers sweep around the looped chignon to continue the line around the whole head.

Chignon With A Bouffant


8. Textured Side Braid and Ponytail

Combine elegance, rock n roll coolness, and high fashion, and you’ll get this ‘do. It’s the total of some of the most popular hairstyles today. You get a textured crown which merges into a messy braid. The wavy ponytail with ombre ends finishes things off nicely.

Curly Braided Mohawk For Long Hair


9. Twisting Braided Updo

It’s okay if your braid isn’t perfectly straight. In fact, sometimes it is better if it is intentionally crooked. Check out this updo. The thick plait curves around the head to meet up with the low bun at the nape of the neck.

Side Twisted Bun Updo


10. Twisted Hairstyle Over One Shoulder

The best side hairstyles for prom are those that have a carefree vibe. Combine prom curls with a ‘do that falls over one shoulder for a relaxed-but-sophisticated style. The easy twists and flowing locks fit the requirements.

Bridal Half Updo For Long Hair


11. Twisted Low Bun for Prom

The way the different sections of hair intertwine within this loose updo is fascinating. When you first look at it, it’s not easy to figure out how this hairstyle is put together, but you can experiment with twists and come out with your own unique variety of a messy chignon.

Loose Messy Curly Updo


12. Braided and Twisted Off-Center Updo

A low asymmetrical updo is a pretty hairstyle solution for every day or a special occasion. Combine twists with loose braids, wrap and coil to achieve the result you’ll be happy with. This braided side bun looks pretty spontaneous, and we love that!

Side Braided Bun With A Twist


13. Side Swept Brunette Waves

Hairdos for prom don’t need to be overly complicated. An effortless ‘do is a perfect accessory to a formal dress. Instead of a sleek, sculptural hairstyle, go for an undone one. The curly pieces of this relaxed pony don’t feel stuffy. They’re young and fun.

Tousled Wavy Side Hairstyle


14. Double Crown Braid Hairstyle

Skip an embellished headband and dress your locks up with a double halo braid. If you have long hair finish your updo with a messy bun shifted to one side.

Two Braids Messy Updo


15. Princess-like Side Downdo

Every girl dreams of being a princess, and with this hairstyle you can be one for prom or wedding. Messy and, at the same time, groomed look is not so easy to achieve, but when you manage, you truly succeed with your hairstyle.

Messy Curly Half Updo For Long Hair


16. Curly Knot Sideways

You don’t need to have waist-skimming locks to create beautiful hairstyles to the side. If you have medium-length hair, you still have enough length for a cute asymmetrical updo. It’s one of those side swept hairstyles that can be adapted to suit different hair lengths.

Asymmetrical Braided Updo For Medium Hair


17. Diagonal Braid and Loose Bun

Remember that it doesn’t take much to create a dazzling ‘do. A thin braid and some pinned up pieces produce a romantic hairstyle in minutes. Set the look with a medium hold hairspray. It will keep your locks in place, but you will still have touchable hair.

Braid And Messy Chignon Updo


18. Voluminous Prom ‘Do To-The-Side

A good hairdo is about balance. The voluminous crown is completed by the tousled front layers and the double-pinned middle section. The draped ends over one shoulder look playful and create a feel of a shifted hairstyle – fresh and unusual.

Two-Tier Bouffant Half Updo


19. Cascading Waves for Long Hair

The intertwining sections with curls are a good idea of a formal side downdo for long hair. Blend a few braids into one for a sophisticated braided piece. The soft weave produces one of the most beautiful prom side hairstyles.

Braided Side Downdo


20. Half Updo with Bangs and Braided Headband

A hairstyle with loose waves pinned to one side of your head creates a lovely asymmetrical ‘do you can accomplish within minutes, but it still would be nice to bring additional elements into the mix. One of the most popular ones is a braid. In this example the plait adds a new textural twist and complements the relaxed waves.

Half Up Hairstyle For Medium Hair


21. Long Side Swept Curls

Long hair is made for side downdos. What can be prettier than soft, shiny, touchable curls flowing down one of your shoulders? You can add a small bouffant and loose twist to make it look like a modern formal hairstyle that gives the impression of hair that has been worked on, but not overworked.

Curly Side Downdo For Long Hair


22. Messy Twisted Chignon

This amazing updo looks absolutely effortless and done by a child. Loose, messy side updos are very popular, and even a beginner can cope with them. If you don’t like fancy, hair-to-hair hairstyles, this is a decent alternative.

Loose Messy Updo


23. Low Curly Side Ponytail

Dress up your basic ponytail by braiding or twisting small sections on either side and pin them together to create a look of a pony. Add some texture by curling your strands beforehand. Consider whether you want your bangs braided or hanging freely.

Side Hairstyle With Bangs


24. Side Bun with Soft Curls

Twists and curls mixed in one hairstyle create a harmonious updo. It is hard not to fall in love with this dimensional hairstyle. If your hair is on the thinner side, the blend of colors and textures will give you the appearance of thicker locks. No extensions necessary.

Side Curly Bun For Shorter Hair


25. Double Twist and Curls to One Side

Mix side curls with multiple twists for a romantic prom hairstyle. Side hairstyles with waves are more impactful than straight hairstyles. Why? They are kind of mermaid-like, girly, tender, romantic… love, love, love!

Curly Half Updo With Twist And Braid


26. Chain of Flowers

If you are a young lady who likes to take trends and make them her own, this is the perfect hairstyle for you. While other girls will be wearing floral or braid crowns to prom, you will shine with tender pale blooms blended into the gorgeous look braided loosely to the side.

loose curly braid with rose buds for prom


27. Outgoing in Orchids

A side bun belongs to the group of classic cute hairstyles for prom. But, if you have a boisterous personality, it may seem too tame for the most important dance of the year. A bright orchid is a great addition to your look especially if you are wearing a dress in a complementary hue of violet, cream or chartreuse.

side updo with hair flowers for prom


28. Dark Romance

When it comes to prom, a large volume of pink dresses packed into one room is pretty inevitable. Distinguish yourself with the help of a beautiful hair accessory. The black feathers will really pop against brown blonde hair.

low blonde curly updo for prom


29. Cinderella Style

Every young woman deserves her Cinderella moment and to feel like she’s the belle of the ball. Put a twist on your loose updo, shifting it to a side and accenting your chic side hairstyles with jeweled barrettes. It’s a dazzling hairdo that will complement any ensemble.

formal blonde side updo


30. Stacks of Spirals

If you are worried about how to style your hair for one shoulder dresses, your best bet is to avoid anything that hangs down and covers the strap’s detail. This tightly pinned look helps your outfit shine, but still provides a visual interest with fabulous texture.

curly side prom updo


31. Asymmetrical Knotted Updo

There’s nothing more beautiful than healthy, shiny hair, and if you are blessed with beautiful locks, this is the perfect prom hairstyle for thick hair. Not to mention, the multitude of loops and curls is a great way to show off the glimmering honey and caramel hues throughout your chocolate mane.

twisted side updo for prom


32. Double Fishtail

Although it seems contradictory, fishtail braids are actually a great option for thin hair because they provide the illusion of thickness. A double fishtail is ethereal and charming, exactly what you want for a memorable school dance.

messy voluminous side braid


33. Curly Braid

If you are drawn to the delicate floating feel of baby’s breath in your bouquet, you will love the similar touch on this style. Although there are many elements involved in this side hairdo, from the half-updo with braids and a curly ponytail to the delicate floral beads, it still manages to be elegant and expensive-looking.

loopy curly braid for long hair


34. Jeweled Basket-Weave Updo

Looking for tips on creating a memorable side hairstyle? Remember these two things: braids and barrettes. They are the two easiest ways to take your prom hair from basic to brilliant. This look is great for girls with medium length hair.

braided curly side updo


35. Flowing Finger Waves

You don’t have to wear the traditional ponytail or bun as a side hairstyle for prom. Simply pinning your locks to the side is all it takes to achieve an alternative romantic and sweet style. Finger waves provide a vintage feel to help set you apart from other girls there.

finger waves side prom hairstyle


36. Positively Polished

A French roll is always chic and looks good on any woman regardless of age. Despite this, moving it to one side gives it more of a modern edge without taking away from its polish. The best part is that a roll works on a variety of different hair textures, making it a pretty universal style.

vintage side updo for prom


37. Curly and Classy

Not every side updo has to be so buttoned-up. The point of prom is to have fun and unleash yourself and maybe your hair too? So, why not to do just that literally and figuratively? Loose messy waves are relaxed, but still polished.

curly side updo for ombre hair


38. Blooming Braid

This cute hairstyle for prom is less of a beauty statement and more of a work of art. It’s a basic French braid with a fishtail end adorned with delicate rose-like buns. It is a perfect look for ladies with long highlighted hair, because the lighter sections help the petal detail to stand out more.

messy side fishtail


39. Bobbing Along

Similar to the previous look minus the barrette, this is perfect for girls with a chin-length cut. While you may think that your hair is too short for an updo, by pulling it to the side you gain the appearance of a full ponytail.

braided side updo for shorter hair


40. Red Lip Rebel

There is a major trend in recent years of recreating popular celebrity looks for prom, and who rules the red carpet better than Rihanna? Channel her “bad gal” attitude with shaved side details and a bright red lip. Just make sure you have the rule-breaking outfit to match.

black side updo for prom


41. Passionate Waves

The passionate waves are especially charming on the black base and bright looks. Gathered into a disheveled knot and fixed sideways, they shape a gorgeous on-trend hairstyle for prom or any other special occasion.

42. Heavenly Melange

Highlights are irresistible in all kinds of twists, weaves and rolls. This fancy knot takes control over the front top and side tresses, resolving into fabulous chocolate waves with caramel highlights.

43. Orchid’s Charm

The graceful lines of this gorgeous hairstyle bewitch and beckon. The charming waves and curls, skillfully assembled and fixed next to one ear with an exotic orchid, have all the chances to make you the queen of prom or even somebody’s heart, who knows?

44. Disheveled Side Tuft

A maximally natural look is a hot current trend. Even a stylish formal hairdo can look fresh, effortless and spontaneous as if done on a whim in a matter of minutes.

45. Braid Spikelet Inspiration

Awesome in its naturalness and ease, this trendy hairdo with a rustic touch will be just the thing you need for prom, party or even theme wedding.

Well, we can literally feel your pre-prom excitement. You need to make one responsible choice here, as you are going to keep your prom pictures through years to show your children one day. So, give your future prom look a good consideration, and may you be the most beautiful one among the girls on the day X.

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