Curly Hairstyles for Prom

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. Check out this mixture of curly ‘dos…some of which are for those who are blessed with natural movement and some for those who need a little extra help to create curly hairstyles for prom!

Peekoboo Fishtail Braid

Picture of a peekaboo fishtail braid curly hairstyle for promInstagram @katie__gonzales_glam

Give off a summery warm vibe with this stunning half up fishtail braid! Those pretty waves will make you feel like a princess just waiting to be crowned on prom!

Braid-Accented Curls

Q&A with style creator, Tasha
Stylist @ Eric Fisher Salon in Wichita, KS

How would you describe this look?

Simple and organic.

Any advice for someone considering it?

You should have medium to thick hair. The products I used were dry shampoo and a thermal protectant hairspray.

Easy going, simple, organically beautiful styles like this are my favorite because the clients that want this normally reflect all of those characteristics.

Modern Curls

Picture of modern curls for promInstagram @betsyreyeshair

Q&A with style creator, Betsy Reyes
Hairstylist / Co-Founder of @BetsyElisaBeauty in New York, NY


How would you describe this look?

I call this style, “curly chic!” I love that this is an updo specifically for natural curls. I often utilize Living Proof Prime Style Extender for a style like this, and it works amazingly well on all natural curls. Makeup is done by Elisa Tallerico (@elisatallerico).

Any advice for someone considering it?

If you don’t have these natural curls like Amy Miyako (@aymeyaks), you can use a very small curling iron to achieve the look. Try a 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch barrel for the best results. Hot tools are my favorite, and they can help you attain this look! I think these curls are a gorgeous choice for an event as big as prom or your wedding day & clients who want an elegant, yet chic style on their wedding day should consider this look.

Textured Messy Updo

Picture of a textured messy updoInstagram @heatherpsoras

Q&A with style creator, Heather Psoras
Professional Artist & Co-owner @ Meraki Studio in Richboro, PA


How would you describe this look?

This a textured updo. It happens to be 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 first creating a natural looking s-wave for texture with the use of a wand or curling iron. You really can’t go wrong with this style. It never looks overdone or underdone, so it’s always a win!

Any advice for someone considering it?

For curly hair clients considering this look, I recommend that you have your curl prepped for your stylist, meaning that it is clean, dry and you are wearing it down so your stylist can see your natural wave pattern.

Ponytails and buns disturb the natural flow of curls and waves and would work against this look.

Be sure to apply a curl product after cleansing and either air-dry or gently diffuse with a blow dryer. A favorite curl enhancing product of mine 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 styles will make it through an eventful night! Every curl has its own personality, so give it some love and let it lead the way!

Effortlessly Beautiful & Super Versatile

Effortlessly Beautiful & Super Versatile hairstyleInstagram @cheyhair

Q&A with style creator, Cheyenne Hairston
Curl Stylist @ Evan Joseph Salon in Columbus, OH


How would you describe this look?

This look is effortlessly beautiful and super versatile. My favorite thing about this look is how easy it is to do!

Any advice for someone considering it?

Less is more, don’t over complicate it. This look works on all hair types and textures. Just have fun with it!

Total Goddess

Total Goddess hairstyleInstagram @chrissyt.hair

Q&A with style creator, Chrissy Tsang
Owner / Stylist @ Charter Coffeehouse in Brooklyn, NY


How would you describe this look?

This look is very romantic and has a total goddess vibe. My favorite thing about this look is that it’s actually really simple to do!

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look is great for naturally curly hair. Work with what you’ve got and embrace it!

The only items you need are a few hairpins, hairspray, and a flower or cute head piece if you so desire!

Twisted Up Curls

Twisted Up Curls hairstyleInstagram @stacey_updoo

Q&A with style creator, Stacey Johnson
Hairstylist @ Updoo in Wootton, Bassett


How would you describe this look?

This look is perfect for naturally curly or wavy hair. It is textured, bouncy, and very on-trend for this season.

I love the twist detailing in the back. Not only does it look pretty, but it also shows you can create texture with curly hair.

Any advice for someone considering it?

The most important advice is centered around using the right products for your hair type. I created this style using serum sprays to tame the curls, and I also added a little heat from a curling tong to smooth over the ends of the curls.

Don’t feel like you have to have lots of length to the hair to create this look. Shoulder length is all you need! Even if your hair is only slightly wavy, you can create a smoother curl using hair tongs or a wand to tame the locks for more of a structured curl. Again, this look works beautifully with your own natural curls.

Braided Side Upstyle

Q&A with style creator, Amy Loope
Hairstylist @ First Look Artistry in Charlottesville, VA


How would you describe this look?

This is a soft and romantic braided side upstyle for naturally curly hair. My favorite thing is how it looks so effortless and intricate at the same time.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This style is great for the laid-back, naturally curly girl who wants an easy, comfortable and long-lasting look.

Prep wet hair with a curl-enhancing product and let the curls air dry. Go back and enhance the dry curls with a 1-inch wand, especially around the face-framing pieces. This is a quick and easy style with minimal prep required!

Effortless Textured Chignon

Q&A with style creator, Taylor Roose
Junior Stylist @ Bombshell in Richmond, VA


How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as an effortless textured chignon.

My favorite thing about it is how it shows her classic curls in a conservative style, yet also accentuates editorial flair with the messier texture on top. It is almost a deconstructed twist on an elegant style.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This style was done on very fine curls, and this look would be ideal to build that light, fluffy texture. My model really didn’t have much hair! So if your curls aren’t as dense and you’re looking for an upstyle, this would be a wonderful look for you.

If you end up booking for a style like this, make sure to go through your normal curly routine to ensure your stylist is able to use your peak curl texture. We want to show that off and build from your natural base!

Effortless Feel

Q&A with style creator, Shae Howlett
Freelance Hair and Makeup Artist @ Tropical Beauty in Port Douglas, QLD


How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as soft and romantic with an effortless feel. By adding flower clips or fresh flowers, the look is given a whole new dimension.

Any advice for someone considering it?

You need to have a bit of length in your hair to achieve this look, or use clip-in extensions to give it the fullness and length required. I have also used some padding underneath to give the illusion of thicker hair. This also makes it easier to anchor your bobby pins in.

Straight hair would need to be tonged to achieve this look. Naturally curly hair could also work well!

Waterfall Curls

Waterfall Curls hairstyleInstagram @nancystylistmt

Q&A with style creator, Nancy Bernal
Stylist @ Mario Tricoci in Chicago, IL


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

I would describe this look as a waterfall curl. It is in between a curl and a wave and looks clean and romantic. My favorite thing about this look that it is very diverse. It can be worn casually or as a formal night out style.

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

Start with a nice foundation. I recommend shampooing the guest, followed with a round brush blow dry. Before the blow dry, add a product for volume and for fizz. For this look, I used Rene Furterer Volumea to amplify the hair. From mid strands to ends, I used Rene Furterer Lissea to smooth the hair and tame the frizz. Always apply products on towel dried hair and always comb them through the hair before the blow dry for even distribution.

Once you’re ready to wave the hair, section the hair for control and spray each section you are about to wave with a thermal protector and a bit of hairspray. Take small enough partings to wrap around a 1-inch iron, hold for five seconds, and release. When that wave cools, pull it apart just a bit and move on to the next one. Always wave hair away from the face and in the same direction for this look.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I recommend this look for clients with hair that is at least to the collarbone or longer. Like I said before, it’s a very diverse style and fits all face shapes. If your client has fine hair, this would be a great look because it adds texture and fullness. For those like my model with curly/frizzy hair, this gave her a clean, classic and tamed texture.

The Pin Curled Princess

This curled look would complement any prom dress, and would make elaborate makeup stand out. This style is a timeless classic that will never get old!

Pin Princess Curly Hairstyles For Prom

How to Style:

1. Start with dry hair parted to the desired side.

2. Secure hair back, leaving one section out to begin curling. Spray each section with a light holding spray before curling it.

3. Curl each section with a 1 inch curling iron. When you release your hair from around the curling iron, try to avoid letting the curl drop, but rather remove the curling iron, and keep the hair curled up in a pin curl, or, if the curl falls out a bit, simply re-wind it around your finger to create a pin curl .

4. Clip the pin curl to your head so it can “set”. This can be done with a bobby pin or a pin curl clip.

5. After you have curled all of your hair, and each section is pinned up in a pin curl, allow it to stay like that for the desired amount of time. Anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours is ideal.

6. Remove each pin curl and gently twist it around your finger to re shape the curl.

7. Spray everything with a medium holding spray.

Recommended Products:

A good finishing spray is crucial to your style holding and looking great all night. I like Kenra Hairspray.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This style will soften strong jaw lines and will flatter square face shapes. This style is also great for people with finer to medium hair, that doesn’t hold curl well. Creating pin curls and allowing them to set will help your hair to hold a curl better than usual.

The Tousled Topsider

This instant classic is a breeze for those gals with naturally curly hair. Another plus is that it’s up and out of your way, which doesn’t allow for any frizz to happen right around your face.

Tousled Topsider Curly Hairstyles For Prom Tousled Topsider Loose Curly Look for Naturally Curly Hair Back View

How to Style:

1. Begin with dry hair that has been prepped with curl defining cream. The curlier your natural hair is, the better!

2. If you like the look that is featured in the photos shown above, begin by french braiding the front section of your hair.

3. Secure the rest of your hair up into a French twist. Or, for a simpler approach, secure your hair back in a high ponytail. Be sure to leave out some curly pieces around your ears and hairline if you wish.

4. Using bobby pins, place the curly tendrils that are left out of the ponytail or French twist wherever desired on top of your head.

5. Spray everything with a finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

I love Curl Defining Crème by Bumble and Bumble for getting bouncy, soft curls.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This style is perfect for ladies with naturally curly hair. As I mentioned before, the curlier, the better! It will complement someone with a rounder face shape.

Tips:

I love using a diffuser on clients who have naturally curly hair. It will dry your curls without creating too much extra frizz. Try putting the curl crème in when your hair is wet and get it mostly to completely dry with the diffuser!

The Big Sexy Blowout

There’s few things I love more than a big, sexy head full of hair with tons of volume and movement. It’s sure to be the finishing touch to a gorgeous dress and stunning makeup!

Big Sexy Blowout Curly Hairstyle with Side Flips and Fun Wild Bangs

How to Style:

1. Begin with dry hair that has been smoothed with a round brush.

2. Secure hair back, leaving out one section to begin putting hot rollers in.

3. Begin by wrapping a larger section of hair (approx. 2 inches) around a medium to large size hot roller. Clip the roller and let sit. Continue until all hair is in hot rollers.

4. When the rollers have cooled, remove them from your hair. Run your fingers through your hair to create more body and bounce.

Recommended Products:

A good thickening spray right after you wash your hair is crucial to getting a big sexy volumized look. I love Bumble and Bumble’s Thickening Spray.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This style is great for people with medium to thick hair that doesn’t have too much natural wave or curl. Because it creates volume and makes the hair look thicker, it will work well for anyone who has a narrow or elongated face.

The Seductive Soft Waves

This style is incredibly easy and will have you turning heads when you walk in the room. It’s on the more casual side, so it would be a great addition to some super fancy accessories that dress up your look!

Seductive Soft Waves Curly Hairstyle For Prom

How to Style:

1. Begin with dry hair parted to the desired side.

2. Secure hair back leaving out one section to begin curling.

3. Spray each section with a light holding spray before curling.

4. Curl each section with a 1 and 1/2 inch curling iron.

5. When all the hair is curled, run your fingers through your hair to soften the curls.

Recommended Products:

I like Alterna Caviar Working Spray for prepping hair before curling.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

For those of you with thicker locks; this style is for you! It also works well for people who have smaller, rounder faces.

Tips:

Love this style but don’t have a ton of hair to get a full look? Try clip-in extensions! They are very affordable and add plenty of va-va-voom to any look. They also hold curls excellently. Be sure to get human hair and not synthetic hair…synthetic hair doesn’t curl!

The Messy Curl Maven

This style is ideal for girls who have lots of natural body and want to define their curls a bit more. This ‘do will certainly make a statement and as if it could be any better, it’s easy as pie!

Messy Curl Maven Sweet Full Curly Prom Hairstyle Messy Curl Maven Sweet Full Style with Curls and Long Bangs Side View

How to Style:

1. Begin with dry hair that has been prepped with curl crème. I recommend drying hair with a diffuser. Style bangs as desired.

2. Using a 1 inch curling iron, curl sections of hair, focusing specifically on the pieces of hair that show from the front. Your goal here is simply to improve upon the curls you already have, and make the look a bit more polished.

3. Backcomb hair at the root if desired to achieve more volume on the top of the head.

4. Finish with a strong hold hairspray.

Recommended Products:

When finishing this style, you want a hairspray that has a strong hold but wont leave the hair feeling crispy. I love Classic Hairspray by Bumble and Bumble.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This style is excellent on those with naturally curly hair. If your hair is short, that’s an extra bonus! This style will be easiest to manage on short hair. This style is perfect for those with a narrow face.

The Vintage Vixen

This new twist on an old classic is an absolute stunner. It’s sure to make you standout from the crowd, and it will certainly be the cherry on top of a strapless or spaghetti strap gown!

Vintage Vixen Curly Hairstyle For Prom

How to Style:

1. Begin with dry hair, parted to the desired side.

2. Secure hair back, leaving out a section to begin curling.

3. With a 1 and 1/4 inch curling iron, begin curling each section of your hair. The trick here is that each curl in a section is going the same way, and in this case, you want every curl to be going toward your face.

4. After you have curled each section, brush through your curls with a paddle brush.

5. Use your hands to define the curl pattern even more.

6. Polish the look off with a light shine spray, and then a light to medium hold hairspray.

Recommended Products:

I love Unite Shina-Mist spray for adding a little extra something to this look after you have finished styling it. A little goes a long way here, and be careful not to overdo it!

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This style is great for those with hair longer than the shoulders/collarbone. It will work perfectly on someone with hair that is medium-thick.

Tips:

This ultra popular style may require a little practice before you get it just right. Be sure to try a run through before the big night!

The Contemporary Cutie

This up-to-date swept-back style is sure to make you the belle of the ball. If you have slightly curly or naturally wavy hair then this look is surely something you will want to consider. It adds plenty of interest around your face while keeping your hair out of your face!

Contemporary Cutie Wavy Loose Curly Prom Hairstyle Contemporary Cutie Curly Prom Hairstyle Side View

How to Style:

1. After washing it, prep your hair with some kind of curl crème to achieve softer, more natural looking waves. Dry with a diffuser.

2. Begin by securing your hair to the desired side with either a ponytail holder, or bobby pins. If you use a ponytail holder, be sure to cover the band with a section of hair! Avoid making this side pony-esq look too tight. The idea is to keep it very loose and natural looking, so be sure to loosen up the pieces on top to create some volume.

3. If desired, curl a few pieces of hair that are coming out of your side ponytail, using a curling iron. This will define the pieces a bit more. However, if you want a bit more of a messy look, your natural curls will be just fine!

Recommended Products:

Moroccan Oil Intense Curl Crème is perfect for getting soft, bouncy curls without them being super crunchy.  I love to do a little product cocktail for my curly girls. Combine a curl cream with an anti-frizz serum and you’re sure to make magic!

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This style is perfect for girls with hair that is a little less than ringlets, but a little more than extra loose waves in their hair. It will soften any sharp features.

Tips:

Be careful to not overdo it with curl cream. As I mentioned above, you may want to add another smoothing product to your curl cream to soften things even more, but you don’t want to add heaps and heaps of curl cream, as it may just weigh your hair down.

The Simple Stunner

This unique style is sure to set you apart from any of the other girls at prom. It’s a modern twist on a vintage style with lots of personality and pizzaz. It’s great for those who have straighter hair and want to add a bit of oomph to their look!

Simple Stunner Long Blonde Look with Long Bangs and Curls Simple Stunner Long Blonde Look with Long Bangs and Curls Side View

How to Style:

1. Begin with dry hair, parted to the desired side.

2. Bring hair to either side of the face. Secure the hair back, leaving out one section to begin curling.

3. Using a 1 and 1/4 inch curling iron, begin curling only the hair in the section that is below your ears. The curling iron should not touch any of the hair the lays above your ears.

4. Once each section is curled, use your hands to create one large looking curl. Simply grab all of your hair which should already be on either side of your face, and wrap the entire thing around your finger to create the look of one big curl instead of multiple curls.

5. Finish with a smoothing serum to tie everything together!

Recommended Products:

Shine spray by Bumble and Bumble is the perfect finishing touch to this style. Be sure to spray it on your hands first, and then smooth your hands over your hair.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This style is perfect for those ladies with hair that is collarbone length. It will work well for any hair thickness, and will soften a square jaw line.

The Super Soft Curled Sweetheart

This style is one of the easiest looks to create. It will have the boys flocking while making all the girls jealous of your luscious mane. Be sure to add in some clip-in hair extensions for some extra va-va-voom in this style if you haven’t been blessed with extra thick hair!

Long Brunette Curly Hairstyle For Prom With Bangs

How to Style:

1. Start with dry hair, parted where desired.

2. Secure hair back, leaving out one section to begin curling. Spray each section with a light working spray before curling.

3. Curl each section with a 1 and 1/2 inch curling iron. The sections should be on the larger side (approx 2 inches) to give the looser, softer look.

4. After all the hair has been curled, run your fingers through your hair to soften the curls. You aren’t going for perfection here, in fact a messier look is stunning.

5. Spray everything with a light hold hairspray.

Recommended Products:

A good curling iron is key. I love any iron by Hot Tools.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This style is great for those with long, thick hair. A natural wave will also work well with this style. This style will elongate a rounder face shape.

Tips:

As I mentioned before, you aren’t aiming for perfection here. This look is meant to be ultra soft and feminine, so avoid getting too obsessed with each hair being in a specific place.

The Glammed Up Goddess

This look is sure to bring the glam for those with short hair. Every other short, curly style will pale in comparison to this ultra sassy style. And, it’s incredibly easy to achieve this look. Added bonus!

Glammed Up Goddess Short Blonde Style with Short Sassy Layers Glammed Up Goddess Layers and Loose Curls

How to Style:

1. Start with dry hair, preferably that has been round brushed.

2. Take small sections and using a 1 and 1/4 inch curling iron, curl only the ends of your hair to create a slight bevel. You shouldn’t need to twist the curling iron around a full turn, simply do half of a turn on the end of each section.

3. When each section has been curled, spray everything with a light hold finishing spray, or a shine spray.

Recommended Products:

If more volume is desired, be sure to backcomb your roots after treating them with a dry shampoo or volumizing powder. I love Expanda Dust by Unite.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

My short haired ladies will rock this style perfectly. It will work well on people with a small, compact face.

The Rockin’ Ringlets

Here’s another one for those of you with naturally curly hair. This style would be great for someone with an awesome new hair color they are looking to show off. This look will turn heads for sure!

Rockin Ringlets Wild Deep Auburn Curly Hairstyle with Long Sideswept Bangs

How to Style:

1. After washing your hair, apply curl cream, and blow dry with a diffuser. Style bangs as desired.

2. When hair is dry, add additional curls to you hair by using a 1 inch curling iron, focusing only on those sections that you feel need a more defined curl. If you have near perfect ringlets naturally, feel free to skip this step!

3. To achieve more body, backcomb your hair at the roots. Don’t overdo it though…you don’t want your big, curly hair to turn into a messy rat’s nest!

4. Finish with a light hold hairspray.

Recommended Products:

I like Paul Mitchell’s Super Clean Hairspray. It will give you plenty of hold without feeling super sticky and crunchy.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This style is great for those with short, naturally curly hair. It will work well for any face shape.

The Over the Top Tresses

This style for my long haired curly girls is sure to make everyone stare. If you have naturally long, curly hair then consider yourself lucky because not much is required to achieve this stunning look!

Over The Top Tresses Long Auburn Style with Curls and Long Bangs Over The Top Tresses Curly Hairstyles For Prom

How to Style:

1. If you have naturally curly hair, simply wash, apply a curling crème mixed with a smoothing or anti-frizz serum. If not, begin with dry hair.

2. If you have to create curls, secure hair back leaving out a section to start curling. Using a 1 inch curling iron, curl each section until each section is curled.

3. Take a section of hair that begins just above your ears and loosely pull it back to create a half up, half down look. Secure this hair back with bobby pins.

4. Spray everything with a strong hold finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

I love Moroccan Oil Medium Hold Hairspray for the finishing touch on any curly style.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This style is perfect and incredibly easy for those gals with natural ringlets. If you have longer hair, this style will elongate a round face shape.

The Luxurious Loose Waves

This simple stunner is a breeze to create and would look absoultely fabulous on those wearing a strapless or a one strap dress. The soft tendrils framing your face will give you that oh-so-glam look that all girls dream of on prom night!

Luxurious Loose Waves Stunning Curly Style with Long Waves and Bangs Luxurious Loose Waves Stunning Style with Long Waves and Bangs Side View

How to Style:

1. Begin with dry hair parted to the desired side.

2. Secure hair back, leaving out a section to begin curling.

3. Wrap each section around a 1 and 1/4 inch curling wand.

4. After all the hair is curled, take sections of hair from one side of your head and loosely pin them in the back of your head just below the crown area. This doesn’t need to be perfect and the curls around the pins should soften any imperfections.

5. Spray everything with a light hold hairspray.

Recommended Products:

I mention a curling wand here instead of a traditional curling iron. I love a wand at times because it’s very easy to work with and can often times offer more control to the user. Unlike a typical curling iron, it doesn’t have a clip, making it extra easy. Enzo Milano makes excellent curling wands. I love the 31 mm clipless wand.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This style is perfect for those with little to no natural wave. It will soften sharp features and flatter most face shapes.

Tips:

As I mentioned before, you aren’t striving for perfection with this style. It can be very random with no rhyme or reason.

Curls on prom night are a sure way to turn heads when you walk in the room. Many naturally curly girls see prom as a special night to smooth out those waves and go straight. Hopefully this article has shown you that natural curls are a blessing and should be appreciated and rocked whenever necessary!