Which type are you? You’ve got the great hair you want everyone to notice, but you also like it pulled back to get it out of your face. You like the way it looks when your hair is down, but you want to open up your face to look more approachable and fun loving. You just think it’s cute. So below, I’ve put together some of the photos of the prettiest half up half down prom hairstyles trending in Instagram right now. Enjoy the inspiration (and your prom)!
#1: Creative Half Updo for Long Hair
Go for hair that is twisted from both sides and tied in the center. This was repeated until a half up ponytail was achieved. Lost hair is loosely curled for more texture.
#2: Gorgeous ‘Do for Curly Hair
Don’t miss out on the beauty of hair accessories! Put a floral finishing touch to your super dreamy locks to get more attention to your hair.
#3: Cute Curled Half Up Half Down
It’s less messy than having all your hair down, as it’s mostly gathered at the back into a curled design. In that way, you can still be neat and well-styled, but it still looks more relaxed than an updo hairstyle. The loose strands of hair down the side help to frame your face and give it a soft and romantic feel.
Obviously, you will need to have longer hair for this prom half-up style – preferably waist length to begin with. The curls will look nicer with highlighted hair to achieve a 3-dimensional texture. It’s important to use hair spray with strong holding power so your curls can last longer. If you prefer something romantic and youthful looking, this style will be spot on!
#4: Sexy Blonde Bohemian Braid
Try a sexy blonde bohemian braid for your next formal event. The Bohemian and ethereal style is popular this season, and I’m sure you can see why. These soft styles are romantic and sexy and have a lived-in vibe for a messier, but put-together look. With my years of experience, I recommend having thicker hair that has some length to really pull it off. A dimensional color, such as blondes, brunettes, or coppers really helps add depth, interest, and texture to the braiding.
#5: Ash Blonde Beautiful Boho Style
Effortless is what comes to mind with this beautiful ash blonde boho style. If you are looking for something that is pulled off of your face while keeping it down, this is a great choice. And it’s perfect for a wedding or special occasion. If your hair is on the finer side, I would recommend clip-ins for fullness and length.
#6: Gorgeous Light Auburn Flowing Style
A braided texture is, in my personal opinion, one of the top styles that has been trending for quite a while. The key to a look like this is a great curl set that will last all night long. Don’t skimp on the product as that will help you texture in pulling apart the braid. Be sure to do a trial with your hairstylist for any big event to make sure all your expectations are on point.
#7: Neatly Pulled Back
This pulled back half down, half up hairstyle was shampooed, blow dried, styled with a large round brush, then finished with a 1 & 1/4 curling iron to complete the look. Wash and dry your hair using professional products. In this case, I used Unite product. Use a medium to large round brush to smooth your hair, apply dry shampoo teasing your crown section, and then curl it in three sections! Separate your curls with a finishing brush to soften your look!
#8: Classic Half Up with Braided Headband
I created a rope braid for this half-up half-down hairstyle with the help of NBR Hand Tied Extensions. I love a princess’ hair, and the prettiest thing about it is that her hair was able to do this without her extensions being detected. It’s versatile and looks great on Bohemian dresses and chiffon gowns.
#9: Glam Half Up Boho Braid
Boho half up half down prom hairstyles are totally trending this year. Bring glamour to your prom with this boho chic hair styled with messy braids and twists that give your hair volume from top to bottom. Looks stunning on vintage and long flowing dresses!
#10: Beautiful Half Up Crown Braid
A look that features a beautiful hair crown that looks even more charming with highlights. Autumn colors for your prom dress would look fantastic if you have this hair shade.
#11: Messy Blonde Half Up Bun
Try a half up half down style with minimal accessories (unless you want to add more!) that you can wear, long or short hair. What makes this style really stand out is the volume the curls give it. To create this look for prom night, wash your hair a day before and use some dry shampoo to take the oil or shine out of your hair, and also to give it some grip to enhance your curls. If your hair is long or if it doesn’t hold curls well, use White Sands Liquid Texture and dry it into your hair first so it can hold the style longer. Then use White Sands Infinity Hairspray to set your style as it gives strong hold without the appearance of sticky hairspray.
#12: Cute Braided Half Up Half Down
Go for a strong and carefree boho vibe with a pretty braid. If you don’t want to wear your hair down all day, try a gorgeous long ponytail made for prom. Definitely, a show stopper when you walk into the room!
#13: Romantic Half Up with Hairpiece
Curls and volume are all you need to look like a princess on your special night! Notice the twists around the head that keep the locks in place, accented beautifully with a crystal piece.
#14: Stunning Long Blonde Braids
Start with a simple elegant braid and end your golden hair with waves to achieve this hairstyle perfect for a prom queen!
#15: Vivid Rose Gold Ombre
Feel in love all night long when you wear your dreamy rose gold hair with a simple half-up bun. No need for a complicated style as this enchanting color will ensure you are remembered by everyone on your prom night.
#16: Dazzling Silver Bow
This half-up half-down hairstyle for prom is matched with a dazzling silver hue and looks very simple and relaxed yet definitely perfect for a glam dress. Try it with blue and jewel colors that best complement silver.
#17: Half Up Half Down French Braid
This is an elegant half-up and half-down style with a boho vibe. The loveliest part is the dutch braid which adds texture and detail without taking over the look. This look is so wearable whether you have little to a lot of hair. Style on clean hair with a little volume mousse blow-dried in. Use a curling iron or straightening iron depending on your desired curls and finish with hairspray and shine spray.
#18: Romantic Rooted Curls
This half-up, half-do prom hair is one of my favorites, as it gives you height and length! It’s romantic and dramatic at the same time. If you want to feel like a beautiful princess for your prom, just remember that this style will last all night! If you are going for this look, shoulder-length hair or long hair will do.
#19: Braids + Flower Bun
I would describe this prom hairstyle as braids and a flower bun. My favorite thing about this hairstyle is that it can be casual or fancy and it’s great for any type of hair. I like to prep hair with Kenra Texture Powder at the root and Kenra Dry Texture Spray through the ends. This gives your hair a little bit of grit so your bobby pins stay in place and your curls look voluminous.
#20: 90s-Inspired Braided Half Up Pony
This braided half up pony gives off major 90s vibes. Extension hair is used to add fullness to the braids and help create the voluminous fountain pony. One of my favorite things about this hairstyle is its versatility. You can either curl or straighten your hair that’s not braided, or pull it up into a high ponytail.
This braided style is perfect for any hair type because the texture of the extension hair added can easily be matched to your natural hair texture. I recommend this hairstyle for prom if you love low-maintenance hair because the braids can be kept in for up to one week. The versatility of this style is also a major plus.
#21: Party in the Back
This look has a “business in the front and party in the back” vibe. It offers volume and contrast, and the loose waves give added texture. This look is simple and flirty for any occasion. This look will best benefit you if you have medium to long hair and minimal layers. When it comes to half up half down prom hairstyles, the fuller your hair, the better!
I used a 1-inch ceramic curling iron. This iron does have a clamp, but I used it as we would normally use a wand. Kenra Working Spray helps keep your hair intact while waving, and Tigi Curl Spray keeps your waves lasting for hours. Both products won’t leave any residue on your hair, so there can be a clean brush out to finish your look.
#22: Polished and Whimsical
This hairstyle is a twist on a classic half up half down style that is both polished and whimsical. The braid is my favorite thing about this look. Adding a braid to any hairstyle keeps it playful, trendy, and chic. Use a 1-inch curling iron to curl, then comb through your curls to make looser waves. I have three must-have products for any formal style. First I coat the entire head with Sexy Hair Push Up spray to give volume and flexible hold. I also use Sexy Hair Powder Play Lite throughout the crown and the braid for extra texture. I finish all looks with Unite Session-Max Hairspray for a hold that will last all night.
#23: Soft & Sleek for Short Hair
This half-up, half-down for short hair is soft and sleek. Ask your stylist to give you a soft curl with some volume. I created this look with a 1-inch Babybliss curling iron and vertical sections. I twisted back two small sections from the front and secured them with two bobby pins. I finished with ColorProof Fiber Blast and MoroccanOil Lightweight Finishing Spray.
#24 Triple Headband Braid Half Updo
The title says it all. Long luscious curls, a decent-sized bump, three cool braids across the top… So cute!
How To Style:
- When hair is almost completely dry, separate the top and sides from the hair in back.
- Create your braided headbands by separating the hair in front into three sections. Start in the front with the hair just above your left ear. Follow your hairline across the front, all the way over to just past the opposite ear. Complete 2nd and 3rd braids the same way making sure to line them up. Secure the three braids behind your ear.
- Add backcombing to the top/crown area, then pin with bobby pins to hold it in place.
- Use a medium to large-sized barrel curling iron to create your spiral curls. Make sure you’re using a good working hairspray so you won’t need as much at the end with your final look.
- After they’re cooled, break apart curls if you need to. Spritz the finished style with a firm hold hairspray.
Recommended products: Nexxus Comb Thru Natural Hold Design and Finishing Mist is a perfect option for this style.
Best face shape and hair type: Oval, subtle square, or round. At least a medium density with some natural texture.
#25: Simple Twists for Medium-Length Hair
It’s time to get inspired with this sweet, natural look that’s soft like a whisper decorated with a floral hair comb.
#26 Smooth Classic Half Updo with Headband
This simple but elegant style is so easy, it’s a no-brainer if you are no fuss, no stress. It’s clean and fresh. Honey blonde is a great color, but the color isn’t as important as the condition of your hair. Take good care of it in the months before prom to really get the most fabulous-looking locks.
How To Style:
- Apply heat protection and smoothing product while hair is damp, then blow hair dry completely finishing the process with a large round brush.
- Use your flat iron on the lowest setting necessary to smooth any unruly hair.
- Tuck hair behind your ears then add your headband.
- Spritz with a little light finishing hairspray that adds shine and you’re done!
Recommended products: Use Paul Mitchell’s Super Clean Light Hairspray for soft body and shine.
Tip: When shampooing your hair, create suds in the roots and pull those suds through the ends without picking them up and rubbing them around your scalp. After rinsing, apply conditioner starting with your ends. Brush it as little as possible when your hair is wet to avoid unnecessary breakage.
#27 Curly Half Updo Without Bangs
Fabulous honey blonde hair looks tiara-worthy with random spiral curls with the front and top pinned halfway back. It’s not too fussy and keeps your face open and sunny. Cute!
How To Style:
- Use hot rollers or a medium-sized barrel curling iron to create spiral curls throughout the back of your hair.
- Insert backcombing into the top back area for pins to lock into for more support.
- Pull front and sides back and pin beneath the fall of hair that comes from your crown.
- Apply a light spritz of finishing spray and you’re done!
Prep your hair in the months before prom with a fabulous shampoo and conditioner like Agadir Argan Oil Daily Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner. Use hot rollers set vertically in the back if you can. It will free up your hands to apply your makeup or take care of other last-minute details while your curls cool.
#28 Spiral Curled Long Layered Half Updo
Fun highlights add a lot of dimension to this quick but fun style. It’s formal enough without being too serious. The curls are a little looser and starting to break apart so you don’t have to stress about looking “perfect.” Adding the side swept bangs that almost cover one eye gives you a little extra dose of mystery.
How To Style:
- After you’ve thoroughly pumped up your hair with the blow dryer and volumizing products, use a curling iron to create loose spiral curls all around your head. Skip bangs since you’ll end up straightening them out anyway.
- Give yourself a bump right behind your bangs with some backcombing then smooth over the top. Bobby pin the smoothed back section by overlapping the pins in an X shape to lock them in place.
- Sweep a flat iron through your bangs to smooth them out.
- Spray the finished style with a light to medium hold hairspray.
Recommended products: Lacking shine? Try out Redken Glass 01 Smoothing Serum for shine without extra weight. It’s fabulous!
Best face shape and hair type: Oval, heart, some long, square, round. Fine to thick density with at least a little natural texture or the products to really hold that curl in!
#29 Ribbon Curled Half Updo
Gorgeous healthy smooth spiral curls are ribbon curled, but not flat and lifeless. It’s classy and chic.
How To Style:
- Blow out hair to smooth it using a large round brush.
- Add backcombing to the top and crown areas for the volume you want and smooth over the top so your finished style doesn’t look messy.
- Using a 1” barrel curling iron, clip all hair up except for a section at the bottom about 2” wide. Take a square section of that row and smooth it out with a comb, then slide the curling iron to the end and roll vertically to create your spiral curl. Don’t let hair stay in the exact same spot on the curling iron or you’ll end up with a line from the clamp. If you start a little ways away from the end, you have room to shimmy that hair out a little bit while the iron is working.
- Repeat this step through the first row, then let down another row and repeat until all hair in the back has been curled. For hair that comes from the top and sides, only curl up about half way. Don’t brush or comb through the curls! Leave them exactly as they are for that perfect ribbon look.
- Smooth top and sides back and pin individual curls at the back of the head, keeping the look soft and sweet.
- Flat iron or curl bangs then spray the finished style with a firm hold hairspray.
Recommended products: Paul Mitchell’s Freeze and Shine Super Spray is a fantastic hairspray for this process. I like to spray the hair a few seconds before curling that strand because the hold is awesome and the shine is amazing!
Tip: How you use a curling iron affects the outcome of your curl. Starting at the top and smoothing to the ends versus applying the curling iron at the ends and rolling up, or using the clamp to hold your hair in place versus wrapping your hair around the outside of the barrel. The size of each section of hair you curl makes a huge difference too. Practice different techniques to get the style of curl you like best.
#30 Long Smooth Classic Pulled Back Half Updo
This style is so clean and simple that it’s never out of style! It’s an easy alternative if you’re a no-nonsense kind of girl, if you run out of time, or just like to keep things simple.
How To Style:
- Blow dry hair with a large round brush after applying a smoothing heat protection spray or serum.
- Insert backcombing into the top and crown areas then smooth over the top.
- Bring front and sides back softly and pin with bobby pins right at the back of the top.
- Light hold hairspray is all you should really need for this one. Keep it touchable!
Recommended products: Super Skinny Serum from Paul Mitchell is so fabulous, you’ll wonder why you never used it before. It leaves your hair feeling so silky and smooth, adds shine, and gives you more time between having to brush long locks since it tangles a lot less.
Tip: The best thing you can do for a style like this is really take care of your hair. Try a hair masque once a week for a couple of weeks before prom, then make sure you have a fresh trim to keep it looking flawless.
To make the decision process easy for finding half up half down prom hairstyles, give yourself a “mood board” or other collage where you can put all the prom elements together to get a better idea of how it will all look together. That should help you figure out what design or style will look best and make your night perfect!