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5 Amazing DIY Prom Hairstyles

Prom season is here! And we’re so ready. As stylists, we love all the amazing updos, long, flowy styles, and short, elegant looks we help clients craft during this special occasion. 

But you don’t have to be a pro to get a salon-grade prom hairstyle. These tutorials will help you do your own hair for prom, making you feel even more confident and amazing than you already are.

Like any big event, prom can get stressful, so remember to have fun! At the end of the day, you’re bound to look beautiful, and our ideas for prom hair are just the icing on the cake.

What Types of Hairstyles Are Best for Prom? 

First, it depends on the texture and length of your hair. If you’re looking for prom hairstyles for curly hair, then natural can be the easiest to style. With naturally curly hair, you’ll be ten steps ahead of someone who has to roll or curl their straight locks for their final look. 

Wearing your own hair down may feel a bit too basic for prom, but that’s where braiding and accessories come in. Prom hair accessories range from silver, gold, and diamond headpieces to dangling clips, jewel headbands, and sparkling hair vines that you weave into waves or a braid. 

When you’re browsing ideas for prom hair, you’ll likely come across updos, half up half down prom hair, princess-tier braids, and plenty of glittery accessories. We encourage you to experiment with a few looks and try them out several times before the big night.

In this guide, we’ll cover our top suggestions for long hair, short hair, curly hair, and give you some walk-throughs on our top prom hair updo styles as well. 

Prom Hairstyles for Long Hair

Wearing your hair down for prom can give a romantic, dreamy look. Not only is it easier to style, but you’ll also feel more comfortable and not have to worry about keeping anything in place as you dance the night away. 

When it comes to styling long hair for prom, we suggest using gentle waves, jumbo curls, and loose, elegant looks that feel effortless but look flawless. Using Velcro rollers can help you get the fullest curls with maximum volume that you can either sweep into a half up half down prom hairstyle or low ponytail. 

Incorporating some accessories, like flower hair clips for prom in glittering diamonds or eye-catching jewel tones, will complete the look. 

Just make sure that you properly shampoo, condition, and style your hair with the right products. We suggest Biotera or All About Curls depending on your hair texture. When it comes to keeping your look in place, Volumax freezing spray or volumizing mousse delivers fantastic results. 

Prom Hairstyles for Short Hair 

Having short hair doesn’t mean you can’t get glam for prom! While you may not have enough length for a full updo, you can play up your usual look with curls, soft waves, and accessories. 

You may decide to incorporate a few braids, sweep your bangs off your face, change your parting, or add a sparkling headband or flower clips for prom. 

One of the interesting things about prom hairstyles for short hair is that with the right curl density and volume, you can recreate the effect of an updo. If you have a short bob, for example, using small curls to create neat spirals that are close together will add volume. 

Pinning a few up and away from your face will allow you to simulate the appearance of a prom updo. 

Updos are an option for those whose hair is shoulder-length, but ones that use sweeping curls and shorter braids work best. You don’t want to try a look that pulls your hair too tight — this will run the risk of locks falling out throughout the night, stress you out with constant touch-ups, and leave you uncomfortable when you should be having fun. 

Prom Hair Updo Tutorials 

Get ready to style! These are our top updo picks for prom that are a great fit for medium and long hairstyles. But before you start braiding and pinning, you’ll need to prep your hair so it’s full, strong, and looking it’s absolute best. 

Updo Prep 

Shampoo and conditioning are the first steps of any updo. You should do this the night of your prom to ensure your hair is soft, shiny, and free of any excessive oil that could alter your final look.

While air drying is good for your hair, you may want a blow dryer before styling into an updo. This is to create fullness and volume that will help support the final look.

Apply a styling product to your wet hair (if you’re using one, like a mousse, not a setting spray). Then, begin to blow dry while moving the hair from side to side with your fingers. 

You may use a brush to lift from the roots and add volume. Drying the roots first is essential for max volume. Then, start taking sections of hair (roughly 2 inches across) and using a round brush to dry the hair. 

A flat brush can also be used for a volumizing blowout, but you’ll want to start by moving the hair toward the face while blow drying, and then start moving it toward the back of your head. 

Then it’s time to add curls with rollers, a round brush, or a curling wand. Be sure to apply a heat protectant spray before blow drying or curling with any heated equipment. 

If you’re trying to straighten curly hair before an updo, then you’ll need to apply a smoothing product to the hair first. This will ensure that you can easily, gently straighten curls with a brush while you blow dry. A flat iron can also work if that’s what you’re more familiar with.

Braided Bun Updo

This classic look is elegant and perfect for creating a simple yet striking style. It’s especially ideal if you want to incorporate a jeweled headband or similar accessory.

  1. Shampoo, condition, and blow dry your hair. If it’s curly, you’ll need to straighten it for this look.
  2. Separate your hair into three sections — parting just before the ears and just behind the ears. The biggest section should be in the back. 
  3. Brush the back section into a high ponytail, and secure it with a strong band. 
  4. Divide the ponytail into two sections, and braid each section to end. 
  5. Slowly wrap each braid around the elastic band, pinning in place with bobby pins.
  6. Repeat the process on the front two sections, cross the braids on each, and pin them onto each side of the bun. 
  7. (Optional) Incorporate a braided headpiece onto the top of the bun for greater volume. Pin with bobby pins, then set the final look with hairspray. 

French Twist Updo

This is a good prom hairstyle for medium hair and longer locks. This classic look has been in vogue for decades, thanks to Audrey Hepburn’s timeless fashion in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. As long as your hair is at least 6-inches long, you’ll be able to achieve this look.

This messy French twist is full of effortless elegance, and it only takes some curling and pinning to pull off. 

  1. After shampooing and conditioning, you may apply a curling product to your hair. If you already have natural waves or loose curls, then you’re good to go. 
  2. Curl hair with medium-size rollers or a curling wand for medium curls. 
  3. Divide the hair into three sections, two in front of the ears and the largest in the back. 
  4. Tease the back of your hair for fullness, then smooth it with a flat cushion brush. 
  5. Pull the hair in the back toward the left, and pin it with a few bobby pins.
  6. Fold the left hair toward the right creating a roll. Pin the middle crease with bobby pins. 
  7. Split the left front portion into two sections; pin the one closest to your ear to the back of your head, and follow with the second after leaving some loose curls to frame the face. 
  8. Repeat this step on the right side of your head. 
  9. Use a rattail comb to create a soft part around either side of the face. 
  10. Tease the top section of the hair (that’s been left out of the roll) and divide it into three sections.
  11. Pin each section pack, adjusting their position for volume.
  12. Arrange the ends of the hair in the final twist for your preferred look, and pin them in place. 
  13. Set the final look with hairspray. 

The Halo Braid

You’ll feel like a literal goddess with the halo braid, which echoes Greek mythology, fairies, and fantastical glamor. This angelic updo is one of our favorite prom hairstyles for long hair. 

  1. Start with a shampoo and deep conditioning, then brush and detangle your hair. 
  2. Straighten out any wavy or curly hair as you blow dry. 
  3. Once your hair is completely tangle-free, gently mist it with water so it’s slightly damp. 
  4. Take a small section of hair from the left side of your head (if you’re right-handed), and divide it into three parts. 
  5. Create an inverted braid, or Dutch braid. This is like a regular braid, but you cross each section under instead of over. 
  6. As you create a new section on the braid, add more hair, working your way around your hairline. 
  7. Braid all the way around your hairline, bringing your arm across your chest as the hair gets too difficult to hold. 
  8. Braid from the opposite side as you work up toward your forehead. 
  9. Wrap the final braid around your head to create the “halo,” then pin it in place.
  10. Tuck the end of the braid in at the base of your head or nape of your neck before pinning in place with a bobby pin. 
  11. Play with the braid by gently pulling it away from the head to loosen any tightness. 

This is a tricky hairstyle that can take time to pull off. It takes a lot of practice, so be patient, and don’t be afraid to reach out to our pro stylists via LiveChat or hotline anytime for advice. 

Fallen Pieces Low Do

This is one of the easiest and prettiest prom hairstyles for curly hair. If you want to rock your natural hair this prom season, this look is for you.

  1. Nourish your locks with some All About Curls shampoo and conditioner. 
  2. Towel dry, then apply a heat protectant before blow drying. You can also use a diffuser. 
  3. Divide your hair into three sections, leaving two in the front. Use a clip to hold your hair back. 
  4. Pull about 3 inches from the top of your back section and clip in place. 
  5. Divide the remaining portion of the back section into three sections. 
  6. Pull the middle section up and pin it in place with a bobby pin.
  7. Loop the other two sections up, and pin in place. 
  8. Unclip the top section you set aside, and divide it in two or three sub-sections.
  9. Loop these sections toward the other back loops, and pin them in place with bobby pins. 
  10. Take any remaining hair and loop it toward the back as well. Secure everything with bobby pins. 
  11. Play around with the remaining curls in the front of your face to create a soft, sophisticated look.

Half-Up 

This half up half down prom hairstyle is a great style if you aren’t sure whether you want a full updo or if you just prefer to wear your hair down. You may not like having all your hair up and away from your face, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look just as elegant!

Playing with waves, curls, and volume can completely change the way your usual down hair looks, and the half-up style makes this look the perfect balance between comfortable and classy.

● After shampoo and conditioner, blow dry your hair. Use a round brush to create waves, or apply rollers. 

● Remove any tangles or parts so the hair falls flat against your back. 

● Section the top half of your hair off with a clip. 

● Use a curling iron to apply medium curls along the back row. 

● Create a middle part, and tease at the roots for volume. Brush hair completely back. 

● Take two sections of your hair from the front, leaving a curl or two loose around your face.

● Bring the left portion to the back of your head, and secure it with a bobby pin. Repeat on the right side. 

● Incorporate accessories, like flower clips or a jewel hair vine. Set with hairspray. 

Prom Hairstyling Tips 

Before you get ready to go all out for your big night, make sure you have the right products. You should only use shampoo and conditioner that’s suited to your hair type and texture. For example, a store-bought shampoo for straight hair won’t be effective for someone with curly hair.

For curly-haired beauties, we suggest All About Curls to nourish and strengthen your looks while minimizing frizz. 

You should also practice, practice, practice. Most prom hairstyles require pinning, twisting, braiding, and curling to achieve the best results. These are skills that take time to master, so have fun playing around with different looks. The skills you learn can even help you glam up the rest of the year, too. 

Last but not least, make sure you see your regular stylist for a trim before prom night. 

Get Professional Tips for Prom Styling 

Need help? We’ve got your back. Contact our professional stylists through live chat or call us directly for help with any and all of your prom hairstyling needs. 


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