17 Beautifully Braided Hairstyles for Prom

Braids are all the rage these days. It’s no wonder given how easy it is to create elaborate upstyles or to accent a fun, casual look. Try using different braiding methods like simple three-strand, French or herringbone braids. Test a whole new look by combining a few braid styles for a totally unique result. Braided looks also offer a great way to control long hair. Ultra-long hair can be braided, twisted and pinned to showcase your hair in a fresh way. Practice a few styles and don’t stress about it looking too neat.  A soft, messy braided upstyle is tres’ chic for any occasion. Get your braid on with these Braided Hairstyles for Prom.

Tiara Crown Braid

Tiara Crown Braid hairstyle Instagram @ladollyvita333

Q&A with style creator, Siobhan O’Mahony
Freelance Hairdresser in New York, NY

How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

I call this a tiara crown braid because it is a slightly different take on the traditional halo braid. Instead of following the hairline the whole way around, it rests much higher up on the head, which to me tends to look more like a princess crown. I was actually inspired by some of the extras on Game of Thrones, particularly during the purple wedding scene!

This look incorporates two distinct braiding techniques: the Dutch or “inside out” braid, and the lace braid.

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

I love Aveda products, especially the Control Force hairspray! It’s literally hair glue in the sense that it seriously locks everything into place. For someone with a heavy curl or wave, I’d probably resort to the Aveda Brilliant line. A pomade can help with stray strands, but will still aid in maintaining a client’s natural texture.

I also like to have a variety of pins on hand, meaning traditional bobby pins, and then a few open “u” pins. For someone with heavier hair, I’d upgrade to a larger two or three inch-long pin for security, and then the open pin for rearranging and manipulating small curls or braid imperfections.

To recreate this look, make a horizontal headband divide to split the front from the back. Brush everything in the front to the left, and starting on the very right side above the ear, begin a sideways Dutch lace braid, adding hair from along your entire hairline into the top strand only. Make sure to keep your hands high up on the head, because the braid will naturally follow your finger placement. Once the entire front is braided across to the left ear, continue adding hair in from the back section.

If you’re looking to create a smoother more formal tiara, make sure to comb through every section before blending them into the braid. When all the loose hair is tied in, continue to braid to the ends before sealing it with a small elastic. Wrap the tail around your head to close off your tiara circlet, and pin everything down for security.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

For this look to be successful, you’ll probably need shoulder-length hair or longer.

One of the reasons I love braids, and especially crown/tiara braids, is that they look beautiful on all women, no matter the race, age or hair texture. As you can see from the picture, I was shooting for a dressier rendition of this style, but it can absolutely be worn with a casual dress or a pair of jeans for a weekend date. Instead of slicking everything back and into place, let your baby hairs fall out of the braid, and either have them frame your face naturally or lightly curl them with a thinner barreled wand.

Add in some shine spray, or a piece of hair jewelry for variety. Remember that you wear your hair, it doesn’t wear you!

Chic Braided Chignon

Chic Braided Chignon hairstyleInstagram @brookeashstyles

Q&A with style creator, Brooke Furlong
Stylist / Esthetician @ Jojo’s House of Beauty in Grand Rapids, MI


How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as a chic braided chignon. I love this look as a whole, but my favorite part would have to be the movement and how it kind of creates an “S” shape.

Any advice for someone considering it?

I used Kevin Murphy products to create this look. I blow dried using Body.Mass which is a leave-in plumping treatment. Once dried, I used Powder.Puff while back combing the entire head. Volume is key to get this style to look full.

Once this style was finished, I sprayed my teasing comb with Session.Spray and lightly brushed over the style to smooth down flyalways. I then finished this look by spraying it with Shimmer.Shine.

The beautiful lady I created this look for had very long and thick but fine hair, which is where the backcombing and products come in handy to get this style to stay. I recommend this look for girls that have at least shoulder length hair. This style is a very simple yet classy look for those who want to look elegant, but not over the top.

French Braid Into Chignon

French Braid Into Chignon hairstyleInstagram @jenbennetthair

Q&A with style creator, Jennifer Oato Bennett
Educator & Stylist @ Rudy’s Barbershop in Seattle, WA


How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

This look is a simple French braid into a chignon. My favorite thing about this look is how effortless it appears while having interesting details from all angles!

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

Start with a texturizing spray like Bumble and bumble Dryspun on clean, dry hair. Mostly use it at the roots for volume, then a light mist through the hair. This will create enough grip in the hair to hold the volume and shape.

After braiding and securing the chignon, use a shine spray to seal down any flyaways. I like R+Co’s shine spray.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look is best for someone with dimension in their hair. I recommend this look for any hair texture, but with higher density. If the hair is very thin, the braid can expose the scalp. Because it does not require curling, it is also great for someone whose hair does not hold curl well.

Romantic & Relaxed

Romantic & Relaxed hairstyleInstagram @shear_harmony

Q&A with style creator, Harmony Janney Cochran
Hairstylist @ PR at Partners – Tyson’s in McLean, VA


How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

This is a soft, romantic and relaxed up style. My favorite thing about it are the braid and pieces around the face in the front.

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

Curl the hair prior to upstyling to give it more manageability. Place the braided accent on whichever side you prefer to have pictures taken.

I recommend using MoroccanOil Hydrating Styling Cream for smoothing out frizz, and MoroccanOil Strong Hold Finishing Spray to set and hold the final look.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look is ideal for anyone with medium to long hair that is fine or thick. The client pictured here has long, fine hair. The style is perfect for someone who wants a look that’s effortless but still out of their face and off their neck.

Any face shape works, you just may need more height for a round face or more pieces out in front if the face is oblong or heart shaped.

Soft Halo Braid

Soft Halo Braid hairstyleInstagram @jessicagarnica_

Q&A with style creator, Jessica Garnica
Hairdresser @ TONI&GUY The Galleria in Houston, TX


How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

I call this look the halo braid and I like that it is a super easy braid to achieve! This is a very angelic and soft style.

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

For this look, I slightly curled the ends of the hair to give it a better grip. I added True Lasting Color Oil from S Factor to produce shine, sprayed Bed Head Oh-Bee-Hive for texture, and used Bed Head Hard To Get Wax to tame down baby hairs and frizzies after the look was complete.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I recommend this look on a person with a long oval face. The roundness of the braid may make a round head look even more round.

In my opinion this look is perfect for casual or formal occasions! This look is easier to do on long, one length hair or long layered hair. Short layers and short lengths might pop out or be too short to go around the head.

#1 Herringbone Honey

Written by Tanya Ramirez

An exotic blend of French and herringbone styles create this richly textured ‘do.

Herringbone Honey Lovely Braided Hairstyles for PromStyle by Carlie Frank, The Brown Aveda Institute, Mentor, OH

 How to Style:

  1. Prep clean, dry hair with a light hold working hairspray.
  2. Brush hair with a paddle brush and slightly back comb the top crown area. Create a soft parting in the fringe area.
  3. Beginning on the right side, gather hair in the fringe area and begin your Herribone/French braid. Pick up small sections of hair and add them to your braid as you work your way along from the side to the back. Continue braiding until you reach the end then secure with a small rubber band.
  4. Still working on the right side, create your second braid just below the temple area, using the same technique noted above in step three..
  5. Move over to the left side and repeat steps three and four.
  6. To style, gather a braid from either side and twist and pin as desired in the center back area of the head. Repeat again for the lower set of braids and twist and pin as desired in the nape area.
  7. Finish with a medium hold hairspray.

Recommended Hair Products:

Try DermOrganic Fast Drying Shaping Spray for great hold with touchable texture.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This look is suitable for most face shapes. This style works best on medium to thick hair.

Tip:

Add a sparkly barrette or headband to accent your look.

#2 Milk-Maiden Waves

Written by Tanya Ramirez

A face-framing accent braid adds just the right touch of softness. This is a perfect way to style your fringe during that “growing out” phase.

Milk Maiden Waves Elegant Hairstyle with a Front Braid for PromStyle by Amanda Magyar, The Brown Aveda Institute, Mentor, OH

How to Style:

  1. Prep clean, dry hair with a light hold working hairspray.
  2. Create a soft side parting and backcomb base of hair all over.
  3. Starting on the left side, take 1″ vertical partings and wind hair around a large barrel curling iron to create soft, spiral waves. Wrap hair in a clockwise manner for forward-facing curls. Continue this process until you reach the center back area.
  4. Move over to the right side, take 1″ vertical partings and wind hair around a large barrel curling iron to create soft, spiral waves. Wrap hair in a clockwise manner for forward-facing curls or alternate for a fuller effect.
  5. Move to the fringe area and relax any curls by raking your fingers through the hair to prep for the braid.
  6. Begin a three-strand braid then start French braiding – by adding small sections of hair – as you work your way down along the face. Secure the end  with a small rubber band. Tuck behind the ear and secure with a bobby pin.
  7. Finish with a hard hold hairspray.

Recommended Hair Products:

Try Sebastian Whipped Creme for delicious curls and perfect waves.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This look is suitable for most face shapes. This style works best on medium to thick hair.

Tip:

Transform this look by gathering hair into a low ponytail or textured bun.

#3 Ruched Rendevous

Written by Tanya Ramirez

An elegant upstyle worthy of your special day.

Beautiful Side Braided Hairstyle for PromStyle by Ashley Kayler, Carmen Carmen Salon & Spa, Charlotte, NC

How to Style:

  1. Prep clean, dry hair with a light hold working hairspray.
  2. Create a soft side parting and section off fringe area. Backcomb base of hair all over and leave loose.
  3. Using a wide-tooth comb or your fingers, gather hair over to one side. Next, take the face-framing layers from the sides and begin braiding around the loose hair using a three-strand braid. Continue this ‘braid overlay’ until you reach the nape area.
  4. Now, begin incorporating the loose hair using a “fishtail” or herringbone technique. Continue until all hair has been braided. Secure end with a small rubber band. For a soft finish, fold the end and tuck underneath. Secure with a bobby pin.
  5. Loosen the fringe section and allow to fall softly.  Accent the face frame with a few loose strands.
  6. Set this style with a medium hold hairspray.

Recommended Hair Products:

Try Kevin Murphy HAIR.RESORT Spray for added texture with great hold.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This look is suitable for most face shapes. This style works best on medium hair.

Tip:

Enhance this look with a few pearl-accented hair pins.

#4 Princess Upsweep

Written by Tanya Ramirez

A smoothly gathered upstyle that’s soft and delicate.

Princess Upsweep Delicate Braided Hairstyle for Prom with BraidsStyle by Kady Navong, Aveda Institute Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
Princess Upsweep Delicate Braided Hairstyle for Prom with Braids - Back ViewStyle by Kady Navong, Aveda Institute Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

How to Style:

  1. Prep clean, dry hair with a light hold working hairspray.
  2. Brush hair with a paddle brush and slightly back comb top crown area. Create a soft parting in the fringe area.
  3. Section off the top crown area and both right and left sides.
  4. Gather remaining hair and create a  ponytail in the center back. Fold the ponytail up and secure with bobby pins. Take loose hair from the top crown section and the ponytail. Create large loops, then twist and pin as desired.
  5. Smooth hair on the left side and twist up to tuck under one of the loops in the center back area. Secure with bobby pins as needed.
  6. Next, gather hair on the right side and begin a French braid moving into a simple three-strand braid. Secure the end with a small rubber band. Style as desired and secure with bobby pins.
  7. Finish with a medium hold hairspray.

Recommended Hair Products:

Try Kevin Murphy SESSION.SPRAY for flexible hold with anti-humidity protection.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This look is suitable for square, round or heart-shaped faces. This style works best on medium to thick hair.

Tip:

Add more detail by separating large loops into smaller curls and pin as needed.

#5 Ringlet Romance

Written by Tanya Ramirez

Soft, spiral curls provide extra fullness and volume to finely textured hair.

Ringlet Romance Elegant Braided Style for PromStyle by Sheer Professionals, Wooster, OH
Ringlet Romance Elegant Braided Style for Prom - Front BraidStyle by Sheer Professionals, Wooster, OH

How to Style:

  1. Prep clean, dry hair with a light hold working hairspray.
  2. Section off the fringe area and leave remaining hair loose.
  3. Start on the left side, gather 1″ sections of hair and twist upwards then pin into place allowing curls to fall naturally. Continue until reaching the center back area.
  4. Next, move on to the fringe area. Begin a three-strand ‘inverted’ braid using French braiding techniques to keep the braid flat against the head. Secure end with a small rubber band then pin as desired.
  5. Finish with light hold hairspray.

Recommended Hair Products:

Try TIGI Bedhead HEADRUSH Shine Spray for a high-gloss shine.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This look is suitable for oval, heart or round-shaped faces. This style works best on fine to medium hair.

Tip:

Add a headband or a bow for a sweet look.

#6 Rockabilly Hawk

Written by Tanya Ramirez

Rock-n-roll meets runway with this fashion forward take on a girlie mohawk.

Rockabilly Fun Style with Lots of Braids Pulled Away from the FaceStyle by The Brown Aveda Institute, Mentor, OH
Rockabilly Fun Style with Lots of Braids Pulled Away from the Face - Side ViewStyle by The Brown Aveda Institute, Mentor, OH

How to Style:

  1. Prep clean, dry hair with a light hold working hairspray.
  2. Brush hair with a paddle brush and section off the fringe area.
  3. Working on the side areas, part the hair horizontally to create two sections.
  4. Begin on the left side, start with the top section and create an inverted French braid. Continue braiding until you reach the center back and secure with a small rubber band. Repeat this process in the next section below, located between the temple and the ear. Create an inverted French braid. Continue braiding until you reach the center back and secure with a small rubber band.
  5. Move over to the right side and repeat steps three and four.
  6. To style, gather the loose hair and curl using a extra large barrel iron to create one big curl.
  7. Next, move on to the fringe area. Backcomb lightly and pin to create a slight pomp.
  8. Finish with a medium hold hairspray.

Recommended Hair Products:

Try Kevin Murphy FRESH.HAIR for perfect next-day hair.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This look is suitable for most face shapes. This style works best on medium hair.

Tip:

Add a silk scarf for a touch of vintage glamour.

#7 Hearts Aflutter

Written by Tanya Ramirez

A softly twisted braid adds softness to this updo.

Hearts Aflutter Red Braided Prom UpdoStyle by Salon Diva, White Plains, NY
Hearts Aflutter Red Braided Prom Updo - Back ViewStyle by Salon Diva, White Plains, NY

How to Style:

  1. Prep clean, dry hair with a light hold working hairspray.
  2. Create a deep side part. Begin in the fringe area by French braiding and twisting hair. Continue working along the face and perimeter until you reach the nape area. Secure with a small rubber band.
  3. Move over to the right side and begin French braiding and twisting hair. Continue working along the face and perimeter until you reach the nape area. Secure with a small rubber band.
  4. Gather remaining loose hair and twist upward to form a figure 8 shape. Pin and secure into place with bobby pins.
  5. Accent the look by puling a few strands out so they gently fall.
  6. Set this look with a light hold hairspray.

Recommended Hair Products:

Try TIGI Bed Head HARD HEAD Hairspray for superior hold and high shine.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This look is suitable for most face shapes. This style works best on medium to thick hair.

Tip:

Add a beautiful red rose for a decadent touch.

#8 Daisy ‘Do

Written by Tanya Ramirez

A soft, floral hairdo perfect for springtime romance.

Daisy Decorated Braided Hairstyles for PromStyle by Jessica Nicholas, Casal Aveda Institute, Youngstown, OH
Daisy Decorated Long Braid Blonde hair - Back ViewStyle by Jessica Nicholas, Casal Aveda Institute, Youngstown, OH

How to Style:

  1. Prep clean, dry hair with a light hold working hairspray.
  2. Use a wide-tooth comb to remove any tangles. Take the fringe and backcomb slightly. Gather and pin to create a slight pompadour and secure with a bobby pin or small rubber band. Then, braid the remaining length and secure with a small rubber band. Twist and pin into place as desired.
  3. Next, take both sides and sweep them upward toward the center crown area and secure with bobby pins. Create a soft accent braid and incorporate into remaining length.
  4. Gather hair at the nape and begin a loose three-strand braid. Work your way until you reach the end and secure with a rubber band.
  5. Set this look with a light hold hairspray. Accent with daisies or other accessories as desired.

Recommended Hair Products:

Try Kevin Murphy YOUNG.AGAIN treatment oil for smooth, shiny hair.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This look is suitable for most face shapes. This style works best on medium hair to thick hair.

Tip:

Gather hair and create a low bun for a classic look.

#9 Preppy Pouf

Written by Tanya Ramirez

A touch of vintage style adds charm to this school girl ‘do.

Preppy Poof Long Braided Updo for PromStyle by Merritt Starr, Carmen Carmen Salon & Spa, Charlotte, NC
Preppy Poof Long Braided Updo for Prom - Side BraidsStyle by Merritt Starr, Carmen Carmen Salon & Spa, Charlotte, NC

How to Style:

  1. Prep clean, dry hair with a light hold working hairspray.
  2. Section off the fringe area. Begin your braid on the top right side.
  3. Braid your way down along the side of the head. Keep your braid softly deconstructed by tugging at the strands for a fuller effect. Repeat the same process on the left side. Then, gather remaining hair at the nape and create a simple braid. Pin it flat against the head.
  4. Move to the fringe area and back comb slightly. Create a vintage-inspired roll and secure with bobby pins as needed.
  5. Set this look with a light hold hairspray.

Recommended Hair Products:

Try Moroccan Oil Gold Glimmer Shine Spray for long lasting, unparalleled shine while protecting hair from the effects of UV light and free radicals.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This look is suitable for most face shapes. This style works best on medium to thick hair.

Tip:

Gather braids into a top knot for a fresh, new look.

#10 Goddess Bun

Written by Tanya Ramirez

A Grecian-inspired hairstyle perfect for your next formal event.

Goddess Bun Grecian Style Braided Updo for PromStyle by The Brown Aveda Institute, Rocky River, OH
Goddess Bun Grecian Style Braided Updo for Prom - Back ViewStyle by The Brown Aveda Institute, Rocky River, OH

How to Style:

  1. Prep clean, dry hair with a light hold working hairspray.
  2. Begin in the fringe area by French braiding hair down along the face until you reach the nape area. Secure with a rubber band and tuck into place.
  3. Gather remaining hair and twist to create a ‘messy’ bun. Pin as needed.
  4. Set this look with a hard hold hairspray.

Recommended Hair Products:

Try Kevin Murphy TEXTURE.MASTER for massively big hair!

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This look is suitable for most face shapes. This style works best on thick hair.

Tip:

Use a hairpiece or padding for extra volume.

#11 Baby Beehive

Written by Tanya Ramirez

Accent this 60’s inspired ‘do with a baby braid.

Braided Beehive Long Front PiecesStyle by The Brown Aveda Institute, Mentor, OH
Braided For Prom Beehive Long Front Pieces - Side ViewStyle by The Brown Aveda Institute, Mentor, OH

How to Style:

  1. Prep clean, dry hair with a light hold working hairspray.
  2. Brush hair smooth and create an off-center parting. Backcomb the crown area for maximum volume.
  3. Section off a small area and create a small three-strand braid. Secure the end with a small rubber band.
  4. Gather remaining hair and style into place, securing in the center back with bobby pins. Pin the braid into place as desired.
  5. Allow fringe to fall softly with a few face-framing layers.
  6. Set this look with a light hold hairspray.

Recommended Hair Products:

Try Kevin Murphy STAYING ALIVE Leave-in Conditioner for added protection and flexibility.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This look is suitable for most face shapes. This style works best on fine to medium hair.

Tip:

Gather ends into a chignon for an upswept style.

#12 Frenchy Fringe

Written by Tanya Ramirez

A soft, French-braided fringe adds a lovely accent to these gorgeous waves.

Frenchy Fringe Long Blonde Style with Side Waves and Front BraidStyle by Landon Gallagher, Elon Salon, Marietta, GA
Frenchy Fringe Long Blonde Style with Side Waves and Front Braid - Side ViewStyle by Landon Gallagher, Elon Salon, Marietta, GA

How to Style:

  1. Prep clean, dry hair with a light hold working hairspray.
  2. Create a side part. Brush hair smooth and lightly curl large, 2″ wide strands towards the face using a large barrel iron. Continue until all hair is curled.
  3. Allow curls to cool then rake fingers through to slightly break up curls.
  4. Take the fringe area and begin a French braid, working along the side toward the back. Secure with a small rubber band and pin behind the ear.
  5. Set this look with a medium hold hairspray.

Recommended Hair Products:

Try Oribe Apres Beach for touchable waves with beautiful shine.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This look is suitable for oval, heart or square-shaped faces. This style works best on medium to thick hair.

Tip:

For extra volume, backcomb the base and interior of hair leaving the surface smooth.

There are many neat ways to introduce accent braids into your everyday hairstyles. For special occasions, it’s best to work them into an upstyle. Make your evening special and try a combination of braiding techniques to create elaborate looks.