30 Striking Prom Hairstyles to Elevate Your Look

The devil is in the details, and prom hair is that central element that complements the dress and puts all your look together. It’s truly overwhelming when it comes to making choices, especially when you can’t afford to make a mistake. To take off the pressure and help you make the best decision, we have collated a variety of the most terrific prom hairstyles to get inspired and show your stylist.

Recommended Video

Best Prom Hair Ideas

Choosing hairstyles for prom is not an easy task, as you need to balance between modern hair trends and timeless elements that won’t make you shy away from your prom photos in a couple of years. Here are some of the best prom hair hairstyles for short, medium and long hair that will get you on the right track.

#1: Half Up Half Down Prom Hairstyle with Twists

Romantic and feminine, the textured half up style is a perfect match for any outfit and occasion. No surprise, it’s one of the most popular prom hairstyles for long and medium hair.

#2: Braided Bun with Face Framing Tendrils

Plenty of volume and texture, chunky French braids, and loose curls around the front – here’s the recipe for your perfect prom hairstyle. Wear it with an open-back dress and finish the look with some dangly earrings.

#3: Low Messy Bun

If you wish to go for a classy lady-like look, complement your gown with this sophisticated, elegant prom updo. Soft and textured, this prom hairstyle looks both chic and understated.

#4: Soft Braid with Real Flowers

Channel your inner mermaid with this tousled, free-spirited hair look that consists of multiple elements combined into one braid prom hairstyle. Finish it with some wildflowers to match the color of your dress.

Rustic Prom Hairstyle for Long Hair

Instagram / @willow.hair

#5: Crown Braid Prom Hairstyle

Textured and full-bodied, a crown braid is a go-to for those who like a romantic look with a subtle rustic vibe. Suitable for all hair lengths and textures, this hairstyle is made of two Dutch or French braids that come from each side and join at the back.

#6: Full Glam Brunette Bun

A big, textured bun is one of the most sought-after prom hairstyles. It’s ideal to be coupled with a ballgown style dress to nail that red carpet-worthy look.

#7: Messy Bun with Two Fishtail Braids

If you are clueless about how to wear your hair for your prom, look no further. A braided crown and a loose messy bun create a dreamy duo to make a show-stopper appearance.

Messy Low Bun Hairstyle for Prom

Instagram / @hairbykayti

#8: Tousled Fishtail Braid Duo

If updo hairstyles are not your thing and half ups aren’t special enough for the big night, go for this relaxed and effortless look. You may wish to use clip-in extensions to add some fulness and length to your own hair.

Bohemian Braided Hairstyle for Special Occasion

Instagram / @sabrinadijkman

#9: Textured High Bun with Loose Curls

Give your hair some oomph with this cute updo boasting loads of volume and texture. Loose tendrils around the front will give some face framing and soften your features.

Prom Updo for Thick Hair

Instagram / @mrs_updo

#10: Low Ponytail Hairstyle for Prom

Ponytails are currently on top of the list of prom hairstyles inspiration. Versatile and on-trend, they are a go-to for medium and long hair. To nail this look, opt for loose, brushed-out waves and avoid too tight curls.

#11: Prom Hairstyle for Short Hair

Whilst putting short hair up doesn’t seem as straightforward at the beginning, finding the right hair stylist is the key to this quest. Some curls and bobby pins will help your stylist to create their magic. One of the best prom styles for short hair, indeed!

Textured Prom Hair Idea for Short Bob Length

Instagram / @olgakorol_hair

#12: Low Twisted Bun

Buns are one of the most popular prom hairstyles for long hair thanks to their versatility and elegance. Another reason to love this cute updo is that you don’t have to worry about the curls falling out or hair making you feel too hot.

Sleek Twists Prom Hairstyle for Medium Length Hair

Instagram / @kellgrace

#13: Big and Beautiful Curly Hair

Are you lucky to have naturally curly hair? Blow dry it using a diffuser and some curl-enhancing serum to emphasize the natural texture of your locks. Sweep your hair on one side for a striking look.

#14: Sophisticated High Ponytail for Prom

We love this super sleek Hollywood waves high ponytail. Perfect for prom or any other special occasion, this elegant and simple hairstyle is a super sensation.

High Ponytail Hairstyle for Prom

Instagram / @kasia_fortuna

#15: DNA Rope Braid with a Bow

While any braided detail always adds to the style, this elaborate design will certainly attract a lot of attention on the dance floor. Finish it with a velvet bow to match your outfit.

Low Braided Ponytail Hairstyle for a Party

Instagram / @bylauracarita

#16: Half Up Style with Loose Curls and Fishtail Braids

Half up half down style is a great balance for those who don’t feel comfortable wearing all their hair up but want something fancier than just hair down. Add a fishtail bride and a little plait on one side as some special accents.

Half Up Half Down Hairstyle for Prom

Instagram / @hairbyrebekah

#17: Voluminous Braided Ponytail

We can’t get over this chunky side plait for prom – so textured yet smooth. If you have naturally straight hair that hardly holds a curl, this hairstyle is your best bet.

#18: High Ponytail with an Inverted French Braid

An inverted French braid also known as a Dutch braid is a lovely little detail often featured in different prom hairstyles. It seriously upgrades this high ponytail look.

Ponytail Prom Hairstyle with a Crown Braid

Instagram / @jessicadomoney

#19: Braided Bun with Twists

Sophisticated and elaborate hairstyles are excellent to complement open shoulder sparkly dresses. We are absolutely in love with the rope braid details around the front that personalize this hairstyle.

Elegant Prom Updo for Natural Hair

Instagram / @divinebrides1

#20: High Messy Bun with Wavy Wispy Bits

Are you considering doing your own prom hair? This is just the right hairstyle for you: easy enough to create yet looking very sophisticated and suitable to be worn for such a special night out.

#21: Soft Wavy Prom Half Up Hairstyle

This soft, feminine half up style is great for medium hair length. If you love a bit of sparkle, prom is the best time to wear it. Order some crystal bobby pins or a clip to accessorize your hair.

#22: Voluminous Curls with French Braids

Big and bouncy is everything when it comes to natural hair, and this hairstyle gives us major prom queen vibes. Leave your curls to flow effortlessly or add a braided detail to one side to open your face.

Black Hair Prom Hairstyle Idea

Instagram / @lamajbackwards

#23: Textured Waves and a Flower Band

If you didn’t fall in love with any of the prom updos, simply curl your hair and leave them down. You are going to need straighteners or a curling iron and some strong or medium-hold hairspray.

Prom Hair Idea with Hair Down

Instagram / @adornebabechancy

#24: Pull Through Braid Ponytail

Quick and easy, this hairstyle doesn’t require much prepping and can be done on straight hair in literally half an hour. It’s a great choice of a prom hairstyle for a last-minute appointment.

High Fishtail Ponytail for a Prom Party

Instagram / @lalasupdos

#25: Low Ponytail with a Braided Detail

We hope you’d never again believe those who say that sleek ponytails are boring. Just look at this hairstyle, cool enough to make you start growing your hair for prom.

#26: Hollywood Waves for Prom

This vintage-inspired hairstyle is a perfect option to show off your beautiful long hair. Set your hair in pin curls and gently brush them out. If you don’t want to take the risk, just ask a professional hairstylist to create this look for your prom.

Hollywood Waves Prom Hairstyle

Instagram / @lenabogucharskaya

#27: Smooth and Simple Half Up Half Down Style

Half up half down is one the most requested hairstyles for prom as it virtually suits any hair type and length. This minimalistic style is one of the many popular variations of this look.

Simple Prom Half Up Half Down Hairstyle

Instagram / @nicoledrege

#28: Polished Chignon Prom Hair

Are you still undecided which of the prom updos to pick for your big night? Go for this chic, classic chignon and add a few pearl pins to accessorize it.

Beautiful Chignon with a Pearl Colored Accessory

Instagram / @caraclyne.bridal

#29: Headband Fishtail Braid

Isn’t this style a literal illustration of the phrase that your hair is your best accessory! If you fancy something more dramatic to complement a simple dress, this look is all you need.

Loose Waves with Chunky Dutch Braid for Prom

Instagram / @taylor_lamb_hair

#30: Short Hair with Curls and Braids

Although it might seem challenging to find a prom style for a short haircut, there are more options than you can imagine. This bob length half up half down style looks particularly sweet and girly.

Prom Hairstyle for Short Hair

Instagram / @pinned_hair

We hope you found some of these prom hair ideas useful and wrapping up, we’d like to mention one important thing. Please note that the best hair condition for styling is fresh and dry. There used to be a myth that second-day hair is better for curling but those days are gone. Nowadays, professional hairdressers have plenty of modern products to create the desired finish on your hair.