After a cute prom-posal and selecting the perfect outfit, all that’s left is nailing down the right prom beauty look, including a glamorous hairstyle. From puff ponytails and creative updos to slicked back strands and beachy waves, there are so many options that it can get tricky deciding on one.
To help you make up your mind, we’ve rounded up 25 of our favorite prom hairstyles to wear this year. From prom hairstyles for long hair to options that will look great on short hair, there’s no doubt you’ll find something you love.
Read on for all the prom hair inspo you need, along with the hair products you can use to create some of your favorite looks.
Prom Hairstyles For Short Hair
It’s all about the technique when it comes to achieving the perfect prom hairstyle on short hair. Below, find seven beautiful looks for shorter lengths.
1. Pixie Cut With Side Bangs
For a cool way to upgrade your classic pixie haircut, try a pixie with bangs. This look keeps your strands short while allowing you to frame your face with bangs. You can also use the dip-dye trend to paint your bangs for a colorful accent. Grab the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray to try out different colors.
2. Faux Hawk
If you’re seeking an edgy hairstyle to wear to prom look no further than the faux hawk. Not only is a faux mohawk always on trend, but it can also give your prom beauty look the perfect combination of glam and rocker chic vibes.
3. Wavy Bob
A sassy, wavy bob is great for a classic prom look. Rub a small amount of the L’Oréal Paris Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In throughout your strands to smooth out any hair flyaways. If you plan on using hot tools, be sure to use a frizz-taming heat protectant, like the L'Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Heat Slayer Pre-Iron Spray Leave-In, before you start styling. It has a lightweight formula that will offer up to 450-degree heat protection and works as a leave-in spray to reduce frizz.
4. Stacked Mini Buns
With three buns delicately spun and stacked on top of your head, you’ll be able to make a major hair statement while keeping your strands up and out of your face. Get the look using the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Air Volume Dry Shampoo to add some texture and body to your mane. Once your hair has fully dried, split it into three sections, and twist each section into a miniature bun. Complete the look by securing the buns with a few hair ties and bobby pins.
5. Wave-Layered Natural Curls
Not only does this style allow you to rock a gorgeous set of curls, but you also don’t have to worry about using any heat. Apply a styling product like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-in Conditioner and gently scrunch to style your curls across your entire head. Be sure to lay your edges using an edge brush and a bit of gel, like the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Mega Gel.
6. Slicked Back Hair
When you have shorter strands that don’t fit into an updo, it can be a challenge trying to keep your hair out of your face — a necessity when you’re planning to dance all night — and we have a solution. Grab the L’Oréal Paris Satin Extra Strong Hold, Light Hairspray, Unscented and create a swept back hairstyle that will allow you to show off your ‘do in the back while also keeping your face free.
7. Colorful Buzz Cut
If you’re currently sporting a buzz cut, high fade or low fade, perhaps adding hair isn’t your preference. Prom hairstyles don’t have to come with loads of length — or any length at all. Spice up your everyday hair with a splash of color. Grab the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray for a bright, bold hue that you can wash out the day after prom, or L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color if you want something that will last a bit longer.
Prom Hairstyles For Medium Hair
With a bit more length to work with, you can create stunning braided hairstyles, twists, and curls. Check out these favorites below to start planning your prettiest prom hair yet.
8. Bubble Ponytail
For a simple hairstyle that will complement more dramatic makeup, opt for a bubble ponytail. It’s a look you can actually easily do at home. Create a center part and section off face framing pieces at the front of your head. Then gather the rest of your mane into a ponytail and pull at the hair on the crown of your head to add volume. Finish off by adding in three to four clear elastics an inch apart down the length of your ponytail and gently tug at a few pieces of hair to give it a bubble effect.
9. Spiral Curls
Tight, spiral-shaped ringlets are especially fun for the big dance since they'll bounce with your every move throughout the night. If you have wavy or curly hair, try using the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Super Curls Leave-In, a deeply nourishing hair cream that can help create soft and bouncy curls. Apply a generous amount of product to damp hair before you begin styling.
10. Braided Messy Bun
Give your updo an upgrade with a braided hairstyle. Start by creating three separate small-sized Dutch braids on one side of your head, then gather all of your hair into one high ponytail. Use a curling iron on the lengths of your ponytail and then create a bun by pinning the curls up. Complete the look with a few spritzes of the L’Oréal Paris Satin Extra Strong Hold, Light Hairspray, Unscented.
11. Fishtail Braid
Embrace romantic, bohemian vibes by twisting your mane into a beautiful fishtail braid. Simple yet totally elegant, leave a few face-framing strands loose for an even more romantic touch. Start by applying some of the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Air Volume Dry Shampoo directly onto your roots to give them a lift and then weave your whimsical braid.
12. Puff Ponytail
The perfect style for medium and long Afro-textured strands, the puff ponytail is on-trend and classic at the same time — and it’s a gorgeous choice for prom. You can do a high puff on top of your head, a low puff to the back, or double puffs if you’re truly into the pigtail trend. No matter what you pick, your crown will look like it’s fit for the royalty you are.
13. Tucked Fishtail Braid Updo
Sometimes, the perfect prom hairstyle is just a simple twist on your everyday look. If fishtail braids are your signature style, try upgrading them for prom by turning them into a refined updo. Start by styling your strands with the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Volume Inject Mousse. Using a rat tail comb, tease the hair at the crown of your head to create lift and brush your hair into a low ponytail then complete your braid and have fun with it.
14. Crystal-Embellished BunLove the idea of a simple sock bun hairstyle but want to take it up a notch for your special night? Consider accessorizing your bun with rhinestones. This easy-to-do hairstyle will garner attention all night and it offers a great way to play up a more simple dress and neutral makeup look.
Prom Hairstyles For Long Hair
While your hair length is perfect for classic styles such as voluminous curls, we’re here to inspire you to try a few new styles with the following looks.
15. Sleek Ponytail With ‘60s Flip
Consider rocking a sleek ponytail with flipped ends for prom. This trendy ’60s inspired hairstyle has taken over our social feeds and we Stan for it! It’s also a great option to keep your hair out of your face. Use a flat iron to create flips towards the end of the hair and repeat this process across all the sections until you are done.
16. Old Hollywood Waves
In case some of your favorite A-listers haven’t already inspired you with their golden age glam, we’re here to throw old Hollywood waves into the hairstyle pool. Not only can you get this look at home in just five steps, but it’s a hairstyle that can be paired with almost any makeup look and still be the star of the show.
17. Knotless Box Braids
If protective styles are your forté, then you’ve likely tried out knotless box braids. If not, now’s a great time to get into the trend. There are various styles and lengths you can go for, plus, you can choose to wear them long, styled into a bob, or twisted up into a high bun.
18. A Voluminous Blowout With A Middle PartA center part can be the perfect way to make any hairstyle appear polished. And adding face framing waves or curls to a blowout will give off an effortless and sophisticated look. Be sure to use a frizz-taming heat protectant, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant before you reach for your blow dryer.
19. Waterfall Braid
There’s just something about a braid that can instantly upgrade just about any hairstyle and a waterfall braid is no exception. Pair it with loose, voluminous curls for a dreamy prom hairstyle that's straight off your Pinterest board.
20. Faux Lob
Want to try a shorter look for prom but can’t commit to chopping your strands? No problem! A faux lob hairstyle will let you try out short hair for the night without making a big commitment. Just be sure to invest in lots of bobby pins and have lots of patience with your stylist.
21. Stacked Braid
A stacked braid is such a unique way to take a traditional braid up a notch for a special occasion like prom. It includes stacking a smaller braid on top of a larger plait for a look that has layers and dimension. Give it a carefree, Boho vibe with face framing tendrils or by leaving some strands out at the nape of your neck.
22. Double Dutch Crown Braid
If ever there was an occasion that called for a regal beauty look — it’s prom. Give your mane a hairstyle worthy of royalty with a beautiful braided crown. We recommend checking out some online tutorials on creating a double Dutch crown braid if you plan to get the look at home.
23. Slicked Back With Curls
If you have long hair and are set on keeping your strands out of your face on prom night, slicked-back strands with lustrous curls are a fabulous choice. This look exudes edge and sophistication, and it’s seriously stylish. It perfectly complements any outfit with a sweetheart neckline or really low back.
24. Braided Ponytail Mohawk
Make a fashion statement like no other with another take on the faux hawk! This braided ponytail version is equal parts girly and edgy. Gather your mane into a high, wide ponytail and braid it all the way down, then tie it off with a clear elastic. Gently pull your braid apart for a fuller effect and spritz it with hairspray to keep your strands in place.
25. Half-Up Top Knot
Get the best of both updos and flowing tresses by putting your mane into a half-up braided top knot. This is the perfect ‘do for those who can’t decide if they should wear their hair up or down for prom. It’s cute, it’s fun, and it’s easy to do on your own.
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