22 Stunning Curly Prom Hairstyles for 2024 – Updos, Down Do’s & Braids!

Cindy Marcus
Cindy Marcus Hairstylist, Editor-in-Chief

Whether it’s showing up with natural curls or adding a few twirls with a curling iron, curls are sure to be one of the most-seen styles at prom this year. Curls on prom night are a sure way to turn heads when you walk into the room.

Many naturally curly girls see prom as a special night to smooth out those waves and go straight, but keep in mind there are many creative ideas to work with your naturally curly locks!

Check out all of these popular & stunning ideas for curly prom hairstyles!


#1: Face-Framing Middle Part with a Curly Updo

Achieve a one-of-a-kind style with a face-framing middle part and a curly updo. Start by prepping your hair with a product that adds moisture and shine. It should also define your curls. The next step is to create two middle parts, one at the top of your head and another slightly lower in the back. Then twist each side into tight curls before rolling them up onto the top of your head. Secure it with bobby pins strategically placed at angles. Finish off this hairstyle with a light mist of hairspray for a long-lasting style. Try Kérastase Laque Noire Hairspray. Be sure to keep some curls visible around your face for a flattering finish.

#2: Half Braided Headband with Loose Curls

Consider a half braided headband with loose curls for your next formal event. This pretty style is fairly easy to execute. First, dry your hair and curl each section with the appropriate iron size. I recommend using a 3/4-inch iron and spraying each section of your hair with hairspray to ensure the curls hold. Next, grab the section of hair in front of your ear, braid it towards the back, and then secure it with a hairpin. To make the braid look fuller, gently pull at each section. Lastly, add a pretty barrette to your hair as a final touch.

#3: Voluminous Formal Updo for Curls

Consider a voluminous formal updo for curls as your next dressy hairstyle. To achieve the regal updo, start by diffusing your curls with a volume-enhancing product. Secure the hair above the nape with bobby pins, doing this in sections around the head. Add volume by letting the hair on the sides of your face remain full. If needed, use an iron to soften the curls and enhance your look with soft tendrils around the face.

Medium Curly Prom Style with Pearl Accessories
Instagram @joda.styles

#4: Medium Curly Style with Pearl Accessories

A medium curly style with pearl accessories is a charming hairdo for dressy occasions. Try experimenting with this technique if your hair length is short to medium. You’ll want your hair curly, using a curling iron or just your natural spirals, and allow them to drape over your shoulder. Next, grab the hair around your temples, twist it backwards and secure with bobby-pins. Then, add some accessories above these twisted sections. This style can even be used for your everyday needs, just to switch things up.

Prom Romantic Half Updo with Soft Curls for Long Haircut
Instagram @hh.hair.by.stephanie

#5: Romantic Half Updo with Soft Curls

A romantic half updo with soft curls is a great way to dress up your hair, especially if you like a more natural style. If possible, try to use your curl pattern. You can do this by drying your hair gently and then using an iron that is 3/4-inch thick. Next, take a small section of hair at the temple, twist this section, and secure it at the back of your head. Continue this technique across the top of your head to the opposite side. Encourage the hair ends to tuck under and secure them with pins to get the look you want. Hairstyles that are good for formal occasions are not difficult to create.

#6: Twist Half-Upstyle for Bronde Ombre Hair

A twist half-up style is a great choice to highlight your bronde ombré hair color. The lighter strands of your hair will stand out beautifully at the back of your head. The style might seem complicated, but it’s fairly easy to do. Curl each small section with a 3/4 inch iron, spraying hairspray as you go. Twist a strand of hair backward from the temple area and secure it with a bobby pin in the center. Do the same for the other side. That completes your style.

Center-Parted Medium Curled Hairstyle for Prom Queens
Instagram @savi_textures

#7: Center-Parted Medium Curled Hairstyle

A center-parted medium-curled hairstyle is perfect for any formal occasion. Start by partitioning your hair in the middle and blow-drying it for a smooth finish. Next, use a 3/4-inch iron to add the curls. To ensure the curls last longer, apply a light-line hairspray before you iron each hair section. Don’t comb through them. Make a second application of hairspray to preserve the curls and enhance their springiness.

Very Long Curly Down-Do for Prom
Instagram @braidedjane

#8: Very Long Curly Down-Do

A striking style for special occasions is a very long, curly half-up style. Create your style with a few face-framing sections of hair. These pieces should help give your look a cohesive feel. Here’s a tip to make your curls look longer: divide your ponytail into two sections. Leave the bottom half as it is to give the ponytail a longer appearance.

#9: Medium-Length Defined Curls with Double French Braids

Defined curls can be a great choice for showing off your natural texture. Plus, it’s the perfect prom hairstyle for curly hair. To create this style, start with freshly washed and conditioned hair. Then add a product like a curl-defining cream to damp hair. Braid each side of your hair into double french braids. To finish your look, you can use a hairspray or texturizing spray. I advise using a light-hold hairspray so the curls can still move naturally.

#10: Curly Copper Low Bun with Pearls

For your prom look, try a curly copper low bun with pearls. It’s a sophisticated style that is perfect for any special occasion. Start by curling your hair into tight ringlets or using your natural waves to get the look. Then, gather your hair into a low ponytail with a hair tie. Twist your hair with the ends tucked into the bun, and secure it with bobby pins. Add pearl ornamentation in a crown shape for beautiful and royal inspiration.

#11: Short Bob with Natural Curls and Mini Braids

A short layered bob with natural curls and mini braids is a great way to show off your thick hair. To style, you should use a curl-defining product to bring out your unique natural waves. Or use an iron to create curls. Once you have done that, you can use a few mini-braiding techniques to create the desired look for your mane. Be sure to choose a product that will provide a long-lasting hold for a voluminous and dressy feeling. Try a mousse and a good dose of hairspray.

#12: Kinky Bun Updo with Face-Framing Curls

A kinky bun updo with face-framing curls and a hair wrap is a unique and feminine look that’s perfect for prom. Start by using your natural wave or curling your hair with a small iron and gathering it into a high bun. Wrap a pretty hairpiece around the bun to keep it in place and add some princess vibes. Leave out some face-framing curls, and you’ll have a style that compliments you. To ensure your hair stays in place all night, use a light-hold hairspray to finish the look.

Inversed Curly Half Updo for long curly for the prom
Instagram @ttrex32

#13: Inversed Curly Half Updo

The perfect prom look is a curly half updo style. Not only is this half updo stylish, but it will also help keep the curls out of your face while dancing. Start with a volumizing product, like a mousse, to add some texture. Then, use a wide-toothed comb to separate your curls. Pull the top half of your hair back and secure it with an elastic band. Finally, lightly pull apart the curls and use some hairspray to keep your look in place.

#14: Curly Half-Updo with a Wrapped Braid

A curly half-updo with a wrapped braid is a great and unique way to style mid-length hair. You’ll look feminine and delicate in this pretty style. First, diffuse your natural wave or use an iron to produce curls. Once your curls are in place, braid each side, leaving the top section out. Wrap the braids around your head to form a crown. And tuck the top section under for a beautiful hairstyle that will make a boho statement. Use bobby pins and hairspray to secure your gorgeous shape.

#15: Faux Hawk Curly Updo with Tiny Braids

This gorgeous faux hawk curly updo is a unique yet elegant style for prom. It’s perfect for medium to long hair length. It features tight curls and subtle braid accents to create softness. When doing this style, be sure to take small sections of hair when braiding the hair. This will help to keep the braids tight and close to the scalp. Use lots of TRESemmé Thermal Creations Leave-In Heat Tamer to keep your curls through the night. This offers protection from heat-styling tools while providing long-lasting hold.

Curly Faux Bob with a Headband for prom
Instagram @curlsbybebonia

#16: Curly Faux Bob with a Headband

A curly faux bob with a beaded headband is a chic and simple party look. You can choose to do coiled ringlets or relaxed waves to add volume to your faux bob. Be sure to use a strong holding hairspray. Try Kevin Murphy Session Strong Hold Finishing Hairspray to keep your prom style in place while you dance away the night. You can also add some colorful, glittery clips for extra sparkle.

High Chignon with Defined Curls and tendrils for prom night
Instagram @athina_oik

#17: High Chignon with Defined Curls

Consider doing a high chignon with defined curls for a glamorous look. Having visible bouncy curls will help to create volume. At the same time, the delicate face-framing tendrils will add softness to your face. The secret to making this hairdo come alive is to use strong-holding products. Beadhead Masterpiece Shiny Hairspray With Extra Strong Hold is one of the best to keep the curls locked in place. This style will be a sure hit at the prom!

#18: Half-Up Prom Style with Long Voluminous Curly Twists

Try a half-up style with long, voluminous curly twists to rock your prom. Spritz some Redken Guts Volume Spray Foam on wet hair, then scrunch the curls while drying the hair. Section some hair from the sides and twist the hair. Once you have the twists in place, secure the twists with bobby pins. Continue to do this technique on both sides of the head while maintaining the volume on top. Finish with some hairspray, and you’ll be ready to hit the dance floor!

Soft Blonde Curly Updo with a chin-length Face Frame for the Prom
Instagram @hairbyreema

#19: Soft Blonde Updo with a Face Frame

Try a soft blonde updo with face-framing curls. Achieving this glamorous style is easy and perfect for curly hair. To style, you need a texture spray, like Bumble and Bumble’s Texture Hair (Un) Dressing Creme, and bobby pins. Use the product throughout damp hair before blow drying with a diffuser attachment. Twist small sections of hair into place as desired and secure with bobby pins. Finish with hairspray for an extra helping of hold!

#20: Textured Messy Updo

This is a textured updo. It is one of my favorite formal styles! What I love about this look is that it is meant to enhance the natural beauty of curly hair, working with the texture rather than against it. It can also be achieved on straight hair by creating a natural-looking s-wave for texture using a wand or curling iron. You really can’t go wrong with this style. It always looks balanced and well done, so it’s always a win! Ponytails and buns disturb the natural flow of curls and waves and would work against this look.

Apply a curl product after cleansing and either air-dry or gently diffuse with a blow dryer. My favorite curl-enhancing product is Bouncy & Tender by L’Oreal Professionnel. It’s part cream and part gel, giving textured hair a perfect combo for frizz-free definition. My go-to hairspray for any updo is Extreme Lacquer, also by L’Oreal Professionnel. It allows me to freely shape the hair by hand and then use pins to lock it into place. The hold never lets me down, and I feel confident that my style will make it through an eventful night! Every curl has its personality, so give it some love and let it lead the way!

Braid-Accented Curls for Prom
Instagram @blushbeauty505

#21: Braid-Accented Curls

This hairstyle is simple and organic. It would be best if you had medium to thick hair to wear this hair. The products I used were dry shampoo and a thermal protectant hairspray. Easy-going, simple, organically beautiful, formal curly hairstyles like this are my favorite because the clients that want this typically reflect all of those characteristics.

Curly updo with curtain bangs for prom
Instagram @_royalvisions_

#22: Curly Updo with Curtain Bangs

A curly updo with curtain bangs is a great way for women with naturally curly hair to show off their texture without being taken over by it. Often, women with natural curls have lots of volume, so a sleek updo allows for facial features to be the main focus. Using natural texture and styling curtain bangs, a soft face-framing effect is still achieved while opening up the face and giving it the spotlight. Using natural curls for volume rather than working against them allows for less heat damage and a longer-lasting hairstyle. Use moisturizing hair products to avoid frizz when working on formal hairstyles for curly hair.