Less is More: Simple Hairstyles for Prom

There’s so much to plan for prom from the dress to the accessories to the shoes and the make up. The good news is that we’re here to tell you to just relax about the hair. Help has come! Here are some gorgeously simple hairstyles for prom that you can easily do yourself.

Simple Twisted Braid

Picture of a simple twisted braidInstagram @rmbeautyglam

Simple Low Side Bun

Picture of a simple low side bunInstagram @hairbyalyssalauzon

Simple Down Waves

Picture of a simple down waves for promInstagram @vivian_no210

Q&A with style creator, Vivian
Hairdresser @ No210 Salon in Melbourne, Australia

How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as a natural and extra volume, beach wave style.

The thing that I like is the natural blending, where it starts from the dark root and ends with ash blond, with the beach waves.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This style can fit with any hair type. I especially recommend this look for people who have fine, thin hair and less volume.

I worked with my client’s natural parting with a 28mm curling iron and mixed wavy direction.

I used PLI (Loreal Tecnl ART) before the wave and finished with Air Fix, an extra-strong fixing spray.

Loose Chocolate Brown Waves

Picture of a short and simple loose chocolate brown wavesInstagram @hues_byhughes

Q&A with style creator, Shannon Hughes
Stylist @ Ello Pretty Salon & Beauty Loft in Providence, RI


How would you describe this look?

I am obsessed with this tousled wave look, and so are all of my clients! This effortless wave makes you feel put together, without being too overdone, so you can wear it with your formal dress and still feel like yourself!

Any advice for someone considering it?

To achieve this style you will need a working hairspray, texturing spray, curling iron, and clips. Start with smooth blown out hair and choose a curling iron a size smaller than the curls you’re looking to achieve. I use Oribe Free Styler working hairspray before curling each 1inch section. I curl the section and as I am removing it from the curling iron, I pull down on the strand to elongate the curl. When the whole head is curled, I spray Oribe Dry texturizing spray all over and run my fingers through the style to make it not so perfect. This look is great for shorter styles but longer as well!

Simple Side Swept Glamour Waves

Picture of a simple side swept glamorous wavesInstagram @sol_salon_

Q&A with style creator, Fatma Ganidagli
Hairstylist @ SOL Salon in Enfield, UK


How would you describe this look?

This look is called Finger Wave Curls and it is my favorite look because this hairstyle could be worn for many different occasions such as prom, weddings and a night out with friends. It is a very elegant and classy look.

Any advice for someone considering it?

You should be very gentle with the hair after it has been done. This is important in order to keep the curls looking nice and subtle. I would also suggest plenty of hairsprays and backcombing in order to make sure the hair stays in place. This hairstyle can work on all types of hair: short or long, thin or thick.

Elegant Down Do Curls

Q&A with style creator, Traci Massengale
Stylist @ Strands Salon and Day Spa in Jasper, TN


How would you describe this look?

This look is simple but elegant.

Any advice for someone considering it?

To achieve this look, this girl has med/coarse hair, so we had to use a Kenra Thermal Spray to lock in the curl. I then just barrel curled the back and then pinned the front to the back, and left a few pieces in the front to keep it soft around the face.

Modern Boho

Q&A with style creator, Ariel Parkes
Hairstylist in Mesa, AZ


How would you describe this look?

This is a fun and modern boho look that features a lot of fun texture created by the different braids and twists. My favorite thing about this look is that it can be dressed up or down for different occasions.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This hairstyle would look great on someone with medium to long hair. Any hair texture would look great with this look because it can accentuate the fullness of already coarse hair. Fullness can also be easily created with products such as a dry texture spray or a dry shampoo.

Structured Boho

Structured Boho hairstyleInstagram @hairbymayque

Q&A with style creator, Mayquelin Toscano Flores
Haus Assistant @ Kut Haus in Glendora, CA


How would you describe this look?

This look is very boho, but it has structure. It is very wearable, it elongates the face, and it is actually very easy to recreate.

My favorite thing about it is that there are so many ways to get this look and that you can wear it casually or formally. Hair looks are usually very pleasing to look at from behind, and from the front, you might lose balance. This topknot was created to be photo pleasing from all angles.

In the front, you see the fringe and the curls. On the sides, there are braids that are curled up into flat knots resembling flowers. From the back, the topknot is made out of a fishtail braid and the curls have a couple of mini braids running throughout.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look was created for an event and it lasted all day because as you progress, this look looks better with time. I would suggest this look for any hair type, but with the right tools. This client has extremely thin hair, but it is long so there was a lot to work with. I gave her the illusion of volume.

For starters, curl all of the hair with a 1 1/4-inch iron, but alternate the curls so the hair can fluff up. Then, braid a normal braid on each side of the head and a create a fishtail braid in the middle. Keep in mind that you are only working with the top half. Put all the braids into topknots and let the look fall into place.

Run your fingers through the curls and add a couple of mini braids to the back curls. Before adding any hair accessories, I sprayed texture spray going up on the curls to keep them fluffy. I also added a medium hold hairspray.

To finish the look, I added ring hoops into the braids. This client loves messy looks and she dressed in a flowy shirt to complement this style. Make-up also played up this look.

Basic Bun Upstyle

Basic Bun Upstyle hairstyleInstagram @heathercsr

Q&A with style creator, Heather Cosier
Hairstylist @ RedBloom Salon Downtown in Calgary, AB


How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as a basic bun upstyle. My favorite thing about it is the simplicity. It’s constructed with one elastic and two bobby pins, that’s it!

Any advice for someone considering it?

This is a great look for any event because it is simple and easy to recreate. My advice is to curl the hair before pulling it into a bun. It will make the hair easier to control and add more texture.

Soft But Elegant

Soft But Elegant hairstyleInstagram @stylistjesss

Q&A with style creator, Jess Jenkins
Stylist @ The Head Shoppe in Halifax, NS


How would you describe this look?

I would describe this as a soft but elegant look. My favorite thing about this look is that anyone can wear it and you don’t have to have long or full hair to pull it off.

Any advice for someone considering it?

My advice to clients getting this look would be to wash the hair and dry it the night before. I recommend using a heat protectant and something that gives volumes, depending on how coarse your hair is already.

Honestly, I think anyone is able to pull off this soft upstyle, but I would definitely consider consulting with your hairstylist before making any decisions. We like to learn the style of your dress and your personality before creating a style.

Sleek Sophistication

Q&A with style creator, Raimonda Gjekaj
Hairstylist @ Fiaz Salon & Spa in West Bloomfield, MI


How would you describe this look?

My client wanted something very sleek and clean. I gave her this look because it’s a sexy, yet very sophisticated and classy style.

Any advice for someone considering it?

I usually recommend this look for a client who is going to prom or a wedding. It is an especially great style to wear if the client has an off-the-shoulder dress or a high-neck dress. All products used to create this look are by Kerastase.

Simple & Effortless

Q&A with style creator, Jessica Chirico
Stylist @ Miracles Hair Studio in Fayetteville, NY


How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as a quick, simple, and effortless updo.

Many clients look for an upstyle that doesn’t look like they are trying too hard to achieve it. In this case, I asked the client to come in with day-old hair so I could work with what she was given naturally. She had past shoulder-length hair with a slight wave.

Any advice for someone considering it?

I started with a prep spray called Puff.Me and a shine spray. I then beach waved her hair by curling each section in the opposite direction as the last. I backcombed the top of her head to give a little volume, then took small to medium-sized sections and pinned them without a plan.

In these type of styles, I like to pin the hair where it wants to go. I finished the style with an anti-static hairspray!

Dutch Headband Braid Into Elegant Bun

Dutch Headband Braid Into Elegant Bun hairstyleInstagram @sarah_ciara23

Q&A with style creator, Ciara
Hairstylist @ Spark Salon in Maple Grove, MN


How would you describe this look?

This is a thick headband Dutch braid into a low elegant bun. I love the statement a thick, bold braid can bring to an updo. Combine that with some loose curls sweeping off the face and you’ve got yourself effortless-looking updo magic!

Any advice for someone considering it?

Ladies, rule number one when getting an updo is to be realistic and have a consult. Getting a consult is the best way to cast away fears on your special night. Ask your stylist if the look will work for you.

If you don’t have medium to thick hair, this look isn’t for you. Does it bother you to have hair in your face? If so, opt for a braid without the face-framing curls. This updo is great to get your hair off your back and keep you cool as you dance the night away. It pairs great with elegant dresses that have fun back detailing. Don’t be afraid to take this updo a step further with some gems or jewels accenting the braid or bun.

I am a huge Kerastase lady! I opt to work with VIP while I work with the hair because it gives great texture and hold so the updo can last all night. I finish and seal my magic with Laque Noire.

Edgy Half Up Style

Q&A with style creator, Kate Engelman
Hairstylist @ Stranded Beauty and Barber in Chicago, IL


How would you describe this look?

I would consider this look a soft and edgy, half up textured style. The heavy texture isn’t overwhelming, but it creates so much movement.

My favorite part of the style is how much dimension the waves bring out in her color. I also love how this look is so versatile in that you can wear it with a simple dress or something that has more edge.

Any advice for someone considering it?

My advice for anyone wearing this look is to make sure your hair is somewhat lived-in. Give your hair a day to build its own texture so it’s not too clean and soft. I used Kevin Murphy Doo.Over and Fresh.Hair to prep the style. A setting spray like Anti.Gravity spray is imperative when creating a style that has the textured waves. Lastly, make sure you have a strong hold spray to finish the style. This will keep the hair from falling throughout the night!

This look requires some density, so if you have thin or fine hair you’ll want to add some extensions to keep the style looking full. This style can be worn by anyone for a night out with the girls, a school dance, a wedding, or in my model’s case, her New Year’s Eve engagement!

Make sure you’re ready to make a statement when wearing this look. I pulled the sides back to give the illusion of more height on the top like a very subtle mohawk. It’s very modern, but not too overwhelming. With everything going on in this style, you’re guaranteed to turn heads! Lastly, have fun doing whatever you choose to do while rocking this look.

Waterfall Braid

Waterfall Braid hairstyleInstagram @kentbridalhair

Q&A with style creator, Terri Gilham
Hair Specialist @ Kent Bridal Hair in Kent, UK


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

This look is described as a waterfall braid due to way the hair cascades from each section of the braid down into beautiful curls.

I love this look because it looks stunning yet it is quite simple to create. It is a great version of the increasingly popular half updo and the braid is very impressive.

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

Before curling the hair, I blow dried some volumizing mousse into the hair and sprayed each section with a curl hold spray to help give the curls more hold and longevity.

Curl the hair using a wand and pin each curl to allow it to cool. This will help them last all day.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look can be dressed up or down. For bridesmaids, it looks beautiful with some added fresh flowers and for proms, it looks lovely with some sparkly clips.

The great thing about this style is that it suits anyone. The braids don’t look as big on fine hair, so make sure you pancake them out to look bigger. You can leave some loose tendrils out around the face if you want to soften the look and, depending what suits your face shape, you can take as much or as little hair off the face as you want into the braid.

Fresh Glamorous Curls

Q&A with style creator, Caitlin Schaeffer
Hairstylist @ Salon Sauvage in Laguna Niguel, CA


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

This look is a fresh spin on a classic, glamorous curl. My favorite thing about this look is the timeless profile it creates and its simple elegance.

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

You can create this look by wrapping one-inch sections of hair around a 1-inch curling iron. The trick to that wave-to-curl transition is twisting the section of hair while wrapping it around the barrel and leaving the last two inches of the section out until the last few seconds of heat.

I love to set this type of curl with Unite Texturiza Spray to give a soft, touchable hold that can truly last.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

What’s great about this style is that it’s flattering on almost every face shape and it works for both short and long hair lengths. What I love most about this type of curl is that on the second day of wear, it easily transitions into a bohemian beach wave just by simply shaking it out and running your fingers through it.

Glamorous by night and bohemian by day, this look is perfect for anyone with a full social calendar!

Over The Shoulder

Wearing hair over the shoulder looks really feminine and pretty and is perfect with a strapless gown. 

Long Over the Shoulder Hairstyle for Prom

How To Style:

  1. Apply a styling product to wet hair.
  2. Blow dry the hair with a large round brush.
  3. Curl sections of hair with a curling iron.
  4. Wear hair to the side and over the shoulder.
  5. Set with a finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Extra-Body Sculpting Foam adds volume to hair and gives great blow drying results.

Face Shape & Hair Type:

All face shapes with any hair type can wear this asymmetrical style.

Tease and Curls

Gorgeous curls and some height on top combine for the perfect prom hairstyle.

Long Hairstyle with Curls Simple Hairstyles for Prom

How To Style:

  1. Apply a styling product to wet hair.
  2. Blow dry the hair with a large round brush.
  3. Curl sections of hair with a curling iron.
  4. Tease the hair on the crown area and set it with hairspray.
  5. Wear hair to the side and over the shoulder.
  6. Set with a finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Extra-Body Finishing Spray is great at holding up teasing.

Face Shape & Hair Type:

Wider face shapes with any hair type can wear this curled look.

Sleek Bob

A sleek bob paired with a statement fringe that highlights the eyes will really turn heads at the biggest event of the school year.

Sleek Bob Simple Hairstyle with Fringe

How To Style:

  1. Apply a styling product to wet hair.
  2. Blow dry the hair smooth with a styling brush.
  3. Apply thermal protection to hair.
  4. Smooth the hair even more with a flat iron.
  5. Apply a shine serum.
  6. Set with a finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Super Skinny Serum conditions, smooths and adds shine to hair. It can be applied on wet or dry hair.

Face Shape & Hair Type:

Longer face shapes with any hair type can rock a sleek bob like this one.

Curls, Bands and Ribbons

A curly half updo accessorized with a ribbon-secured headband creates an incredibly beautiful hair look.

Curly Half Updo with Headband

How To Style:

  1. Apply thermal protetion to hair.
  2. Curl sections of hair with a curling iron.
  3. Leaving out two inches of hair from the hairline, pull hair back into a half ponytail.
  4. Secure with an elastic band.
  5. Carefully put a headband on, preferably one with ribbons to be tied.
  6. Pull hair that was sectioned out back and over the sides of the headband.
  7. Secure with bobby pins.
  8. Set with finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Hot Off The Press is a thermal protection spray with hold which helps the style last longer

Face Shape & Hair Type:

All face shapes with hair that has high to medium density and medium to coarse texture can achieve this style. 

Pomp and Curls

This look has on the sides tightly swept away from the face into a cascading ponytail of curls. That, combined with the height created on top of the head, gives the face a really slimming effect.

Curly Ponytail with Height

How To Style:

  1. Apply thermal protection to hair.
  2. Curl sections of hair with a curling iron.
  3. Leaving the hair on top sectioned out, pull hair back into a half ponytail.
  4. Secure with an elastic band.
  5. Tease the hair on top and secure it with bobby pins, blending it into the half ponytail.
  6. Set with a finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Hold Me Tight gives hair long-lasting flexible hold without the crunch.

Face Shape & Hair Type:

Wider face shapes with hair that is medium to coarse in texture and medium to high in density can easily achieve this curled style.

The Twist

This look is timeless, clean, sophisticated and REALLY easy to do!

Clean Sophisticated SImple Updo for Prom

How To Style:

  1. Create a deep side part.
  2. Gather hair into a low ponytail.
  3. Twist and roll the hair up.
  4. Tuck the ends and secure the twist with bobby pins.
  5. Set the look with finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Shine Spray adds shine without disrupting the style.

Face Shape and Hair Type:

Oval face shapes with any hair type can rock this sleek look.

Side Braid Updo

This updo features a side braid that leads into cascading curls laying over one shoulder, with teasing in the crown area.

Side Braid Updo with Curls

How To Style:

  1. Section out hair three inches from the hairline.
  2. Tease the hair in the crown area.
  3. Gather the hair into a low side ponytail and secure with an elastic.
  4. Braid the hair sectioned out three inches from the hairline until it reaches the ponytail.
  5. Secure with an elastic band.
  6. Curl all the hair left out.
  7. Set with finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Extra-Body Sculpting Foam is perfect at holding up teasing.

Face Shape & Hair Type:

Wider face shapes with hair that is medium to high in density and medium to coarse in texture can easily achieve this prom-perfect look.

Braid Band

Add detail to your curls with a pretty side braid like this one.

Hairstyle with Curls and Side Braid

How To Style:

  1. Create a deep side part.
  2. Braid hair three inches from the hairline from the heavier side of the part to the side.
  3. Secure with an elastic band.
  4. Apply thermal protection to hair.
  5. Curl sections of hair.
  6. Set with a finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Soft Spray is a great spray to work with when braiding. It is wet so it helps to hold all the strands of hair together and prevents a braid from looking frayed.

Face Shape & Hair Type:

All face shapes with hair that is medium to high in density and medium to coarse in texture can easily achieve this pretty braided look.

Long and Straight

Gorgeous long, shiny, straight hair can definitely make a serious statement at prom.

Long Straight Hairstyle with Side Part

How To Style:

  1. Apply a styling product to wet hair.
  2. Blow dry the hair with a large round brush.
  3. Apply thermal protection to the hair.
  4. Smooth only the midshaft to the ends of the hair.
  5. Apply a shine serum.
  6. Set with finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Extra-Body Sculpting Foam gives hair a beautiful voluminous blowout

Face Shape and Hair Type:

All face shapes with any hair type wear this sleek style well.

Braided Side Ponytail

Add more detail to a simple side ponytail by adding a braid, curls, and some pretty face framing tendrils.

Braided Side Ponytail with Curls Braided Side Ponytail with Curls Back View

How To Style:

  1. Apply thermal protection to dry hair.
  2. Curl sections of hair with a curling iron.
  3. Leaving the fringe and a few tendrils out, do a reverse French braid. This means that instead of braiding over, you braid under.
  4. Secure with bobby pins.
  5. Set with a finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Soft Spray is a great spray for braiding!

Face Shape & Hair Type:

All face shapes with hair that is medium to coarse in texture and medium to high in density can achieve this creative style.

Teased and Straight

Shiny, straight hair swept into a half updo with a teased crown is ever so elegant. This look screams prom queen!

Straight Simple Hairstyles For Prom with Teased Crown

How To Style:

  1. Tease hair in the crown area.
  2. Set with finishing spray.
  3. Pull hair back into a half ponytail around the teasing.
  4. Set with finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Extra-Body Finishing Spray is perfect for holding up teasing.

Face Shape & Hair Type:

Wider face shapes with hair that is medium to coarse in texture and medium to high in density can wear this regal hairstyle well.

Old Hollywood Glam

This prom-worthy hairstyle exudes classic glamour. You can never go wrong with this look!

Classic Glam Hairstyle for Prom

How To Style:

  1. Create a deep side part.
  2. Apply thermal protection to hair.
  3. Curl sections of hair uniformly to one direction.
  4. Brush through the curls until they form into a wave with a dressing brush
  5. Set with a finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Soft Spray is a wet spray that gives the hair time to be sculpted before drying. It’s wet nature also smooths flyaways and gives a clean finish.

Face Shape and Hair Type:

All face shapes with any hair type can easily achieve this touchable look.

Bump and Curls

This look features all of the hair on top of the head teased super high, leaving the fringe out. The teasing is secured, making it a half updo. The rest of the hair is curled and lays forward over both shoulders creating a statement hairstyle for your special night.

Teased Half Updo with Fringe

How To Style:

  1. Tease all the hair on top of the head, leaving the fringe out.
  2. Secure with bobby pins.
  3. Apply thermal protection to the hair.
  4. Curl sections of hair with a curling iron.
  5. Set with a finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Hot Off The Press is a spray that helps a style last long while protecting it from heat.

Face Shapes and Hair Types:

Wider face shapes with hair that is medium to coarse in texture and medium to high density can achieve this high volume hair.

The Ponytail Bump

Make an everyday ponytail prom-worthy by wearing it straight, teased, and accented with a fringe.

Straight Teased Ponytail with Fringe

How To Style:

  1. Tease hair on top of the head, leaving the fringe area out.
  2. Secure with bobby pins.
  3. Pull hair back into a high ponytail.
  4. Set with a finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Extra-Body Finishing Spray is great at holding up teasing and updos!

Face Shapes and Hair Types:

Wide face shapes with any hair type can rock this pumped up pony.

Victorian Princess

Feel like the belle of the ball with this modern day take on Victorian hair.

Simple Modern Victorian Updo For Prom

How To Style:

  1. Tease all the hair on top of the head up to above the occipital bone.
  2. Secure the teasing with hairspray and bobby pins.
  3. Curl the hair left out with a curling iron.
  4. Set with finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Extra-Body Firm Finishing Spray is a finishing spray with a firm hold that is perfect for holding up a tease as big as this.

Face Shapes and Hair Types:

Wider face shapes with hair that is medium to coarse in texture and medium to high in density can achieve this regal look.

Softly Swept Away

This look is loose, unstructured and messy, yet really soft and feminine at the same time.

Soft Feminine Half Updo with Curls

How To Style:

  1. Apply thermal protection to hair.
  2. Curl sections of hair with a curling iron.
  3. Lightly tease the hair on the crown area.
  4. Loosely pull the hair back into a half ponytail.
  5. Secure with bobby pins
  6. Pull the rest of the hair in a high ponytail.
  7. Set with finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Hot Off The Press is a thermal protection spray with hold and is the perfect styling aid for looks like this one.

Face Shapes and Hair Types:

Wider face shapes with hair that is medium to coarse in texture and medium to high in density can easily achieve this prom-perfect hairstyle.

Prom is fun, so getting ready for it should be fun too! You don’t have to commit to just one look. Have fun mixing and matching elements from each look that you like and create your own. These simple hairstyles for prom should give you plenty to choose from!