20 timeless prom hairstyles for every hair type

Mar 13, 2024

20 timeless prom hairstyles for every hair type
Need some inspo? Screenshot this for later and thank us later
Prom season is finally here, and if the very idea of this night has fueled your dreams since your high school journey began, your excitement is undoubtedly off the scale. 
As you go through the intricate details of your prom preparations, envision the dance floor, the Instagram-worthy photoshoots, and the epic after-party. It's a panorama of choices, from dresses and suits to corsages and boutonnieres, each contributing to the overall look of your unforgettable night.
Amongst the logistics and planning, your hairstyle emerges as a very important part—it’s a statement piece that adds the perfect finishing touch to your prom looks. The decisions are plentiful, from choosing between a classic updo or loose curls to making decisions about transportation or the magic of the last dance. 
The pre-prom photoshoot location, the ride to the venue—limo, party bus, parent drop-off (preferably not), or Uber—and the delightful post-dance plans, all play a part in the grand ending of your prom night.
To ensure you're well-prepared and don't overlook a single detail (when it comes to hair), we've brought to you 20 perfect prom hairstyles. Consider this your go-to source for looking good come prom night, where every aspect is carefully thought out, leaving you with memories that'll last a lifetime. 
Though we’ll be making plans all semester about how this one night will go, make sure to remind your plus one about his haircut the DAY before—a man’s life, hey.
You’ve done your hair care routine, now, what about prom hairstyles?
1. Classic chignon
Fancy it may sound and fancy it looks—but that’s the best part about it. A chignon is a twisted bun, and it screams sophistication mixed with a ‘barely tried’ look. This hairstyle matches all kinds of accessories and necklines, so we think it’s perfect if you’re stuck on what to go for.
Styling tips: Ensure a sleek and polished finish with a luminous hairspray for extra hold. We don’t want any strays getting in our way for those insta stories, do we? 
2. Sleek ponytail
You don’t have to be Ariana Grande to create a gravity-defying ponytail from the comfort of your house. Achieve modern elegance with a high, sleek ponytail that highlights facial features and adds a touch of glamor. Backless dresses are made for this updo, so get ready for all eyes to be on you. 
Styling tips: Use a thin-tooth comb for a smooth, polished appearance so that your pony screams silkiness. 
3. Loose waves
Effortless and chic, loose waves create a romantic look suitable for various dress styles and face shapes. It can be done from home and requires no prior planning or hair appointments—so it’s the lazy girl's cheat code.
Styling tips: Use a curling wand for tight waves a couple of hours before you leave. Go about your daily tasks, then use a wide-tooth comb to brush them out—perfect. 
4. Braided crown
Channel your inner prom princess with a braided crown, adding intricacy to your prom night look. Who needs to wait to find out who the prom queen is, when you’ve declared it’s you in the first place? You heard it here first.
Styling tips: Secure the braid with discreet pins for a seamless finish, and pack on the hairspray. It doesn’t matter whether your hair is straight or curled, it's the crown that does the talking.
5. Half-Up half-down bun
Strike the perfect balance with a half-up half-down bun, blending sophistication with a touch of playfulness—all while keeping the straggler hairs kept at bay.
Styling tips: Tease the crown for added volume before securing the bun, or add in some texture powder to prevent backcombing. 
6. Messy bun
Oh, a messy bun—it may not scream prom night to you, but it’s actually one of Hollywood’s most worn styles. Embrace a carefree yet stylish appearance with a messy bun that cries effortless but pretty. 
Styling tips: Allow a few strands to frame your face for a relaxed vibe.
7. Vintage Hollywood waves
It all came flooding back when Barbie premiered last year and we haven’t got enough! The Hollywood wave is everywhere right now, so you don’t need to be transported to the golden era for this one.
Styling tips: Use hot rollers for defined, bouncy waves mimicking the iconic Margot Robbie’s locks. We’re sold.
8. Ballerina bun
High neckline dress? We’ve got you covered. Achieve a clean-girl hairstyle that channels the ballerina-core trend to a T. The ballerina bun shows off your cheekbones and draws all the attention to your face.  
Styling tips: Smooth out flyaways with a small amount of hair gel, and use day-old hair for extra hold. 
9. Waterfall braid
Want to show off your fresh set of highlights? A waterfall braid will do just that. Add a touch of whimsy with a waterfall braid, draping gracefully for a mystical princess look. Loose hair flows from the rest of your locks, and it looks imperfect yet perfectly done. 
Styling tips: Secure the braid with invisible hair ties for an invisible look that no one will see. 
10. Fishtail braid
When you think of a storybook whimsical fairytale, all thoughts go to Taylor Swift’s statement hairstyle. Finish your prom look with a fishtail braid, combining intricate weaving for a bohemian-inspired look any Swiftie would die for. 
Styling tips: Make sure to loosen sections of the braid for a more relaxed, textured finish.
11. Pinned curls
The trick to arriving at prom without those droopy curls that dropped out in the cab? Pin curls. Ooze vintage charm with tight curls, that loosen to the perfect wave in a few hours.
Styling tips: Use bobby pins or clips to secure curls in place, allowing for them to cool into the perfect wave. Remove pins and see gorgeously soft curls that last all night. 
12. French twist
If you haven’t seen the clean girl aesthetic doing the rounds on social‌ media—where have you been? Effortlessly elegant, the French twist offers a clean girl updo, perfect for formal occasions like prom.
Styling tips: Use a strong-hold hairspray to maintain the structure of the twist throughout the night—then clip it in place with a claw clip, bow, or any statement piece you can find.
13. High topknot
A bun, a topknot, or whatever you call it—it’s sure to add a boss babe aura to your look. Achieve a modern and chic look with a high bun, adding an element of fun to your prom dress. 
Styling tips: Tease the hair slightly for extra volume before securing the topknot and spray with texture spray for some added hold. 
14. Bouncy curls
How many different curls are there, you may ask? MANY. Channel a playful and vibrant vibe with bouncy curls that frame your face and brush the shoulder. 
Styling tips: Use a volumizing mousse to enhance the bounce and texture of your curls and see them lasting to the after party.
15. Braided ponytail
Combine the classic ponytail with delicate braids for a look that Rapunzel would be envious of. Clip in some extensions for that added length, or keep your own—this looks too good. It doesn’t matter what length your hair is.
Styling tips: Experiment with different braid styles, such as fishtail, Dutch or French, and get your girls to smooth out the back. No time for flyaways over here. 
16. Twisted updo
Chances are, if you googled ‘easy prom hairstyles’ this one would have come up. This look has stood the test of time, and it still is a golden oldie. Opt for a twisted updo to add a twist to the regular clap clip updo you rock every day.
Styling tips: Secure the twists with hairpins, ensuring a secure and polished finish. It will look that professional, everyone would think you’ve walked out of the salon.
17. Low Bun with flower accents
We just can’t get enough of low buns, and if you’re like us—neither can you. Dial up your prom look with a low bun adorned with flower accents to bring a feminine touch to your look. Floaty long prom dress that needs some detail? Don’t be silly, it’s all in the hair. 
Styling tips: Choose flowers that complement your dress for a cohesive look or go for a statement flower pin that demands its own attention.
18. Boho chic braids
Boho chic is usually everywhere at prom, but make yours that little bit different. Embrace bohemian vibes with loose, textured braids, perfect for a relaxed yet stylish prom look.
Styling tips: Pull out a few strands to create a slightly messy and carefree aesthetic.
19. Straight hair with statement accessories 
This one’s considered under the simple prom hairstyles—but that doesn’t mean it looks simple. All you need is some shine spray and your hair will do the rest. Who needs to put all the time in the world into your hair when you’ve gone above and beyond for your dress? Keep your hair in a silky straight style and pop in some statement accessories.
Styling tips: Use straighteners, hair shine spray and then top with bows, ribbons, or cutesy clips. 
20. Textured old money bob
Last but not least, we’ve got one for the shorter hair girlies. For those with short hair, opt for a textured bob that’s flicked out at the ends. It grazes the collarbone, makes your makeup pop—and is a nod to 90s glamor. What more could one want?
Styling tips: Use a shine spray to enhance the silky texture of your bob and secure it with hairspray so it flicks all night long. 
Lights, camera, action. Don’t forget one important thing…
Now, with your hair tools and the Lauren Ashtyn inspo board we’ve made above at the ready, which prom hairstyle is for you? Classic chignon, sleek ponytail, loose waves, or maybe the old money bob? Choose wisely and remember one important factor to any prom night—those pictures need to be Insta worthy. 
Just kidding (kind of). It’s to have fun with all of your friends and make it a night to remember. See you at the after party.