When you think about how you want to wear your hair for a special occasion like prom, the biggest objective is to avoid the barrel-curled crunchy-with-hairspray effect that plagues so many #TBTs. Usually, the perfect hairstyle — one you’ll still love scrolling through the Facebook photos weeks later — is just a leveled-up version of your usual go-to, with a little extra attention for good measure.
To help you design your perfect prom hair vibe, we’ve brought you some of our favorite formal-occasion updos on Instagram — all inspired by on-trend cool girls who aren’t here for crunchy chignons. Whether you’re feeling the polished fishtail braid or a more beachy half-up half-down look, scroll through the gallery ahead for 11 chic prom-ready updos, for a style you’ll be into long after the impending hour-long photo op.
Go smooth with a glossy updo, purposefully pulling out your face-framing strands for dimension.
Laura Harrier’s sleek, side-swept braid is already hair goals, but it’s her edges — styled in glossy swirls and swoops along her hairline — that make the style extra special.
The on-trend prom-goer knows that sparkly statement hair pins are all the rage this spring — and they just happen to level up any outfit.
A wide satin headband gives a loose updo a little extra pizazz.
According to celebrity stylist Laura Polko, the low bun is timelessly chic. “The goal of the low bun is to make it look almost effortless,” she tells us. “The trick is to make a low ponytail and circle the ends, securing them in place with an elastic or bobby pins.”
A rhinestone-encrusted ponytail sounds a lot blingier than it looks — in reality, it’s a dainty sprinkle of sparkle.
If you want an updo that doesn’t entail putting all your hair up, pull it into a deep side part and ladder a few glittery bobby pins down one side.
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