35 Cutest Prom Updos for 2023 – Easy Updo Hairstyles

Prom Updos
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Cindy Marcus
Cindy Marcus Hairstylist, Editor-in-Chief

Are you ready to get your groove on the dance floor yet? You’ll be ready to go having your hair all up and off of your shoulders. These glamorous updos will really make your prom night a memorable one. And don’t forget – updos are hot; always have been, always will be. There’s something so polished and fabulous about sweeping your hair up into a sophisticated style, then showing it off to the world. There are so many different options that there’s no excuse for NOT having an updo.

Prom can be one of the most memorable moments of your high school life. Make the most of it with one of these creative a creative prom updos below. Find a style that enhances your natural beauty and expresses your awesome personality. Here’s a list of fantastic prom updos that range from simple and classy to funky and cool. Enjoy and have a fabulous prom!

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#1: Soft Dimensional Updo with a Side Braid

A soft dimensional updo with a braid to the side is both elegant and glamorous. A side braid brings a different pattern and movement to the updo. A soft dimensional updo is a brilliant choice for shorter hair updos to make hair look full and long. Be sure to use a workable spray and try to avoid heavy or wet products.

Perfect Curly Bun for Curly Hair
Instagram @chelseaouimet_

#2: Perfect Curly Bun for Curly Hair

Embrace your natural beauty by showing off your super gorgeous textured locks loosely tied up in a big knot! It’s a perfectly undone look that’s made more perfect with a sparkling accessory!

Reverse French Braid
Instagram @braidsnfashion

#3: Reverse French Braid

Love is totally in the air with this messy pink hair! Set a few strands loose in front then start with an adorable twisted plait that transforms into a small bun.

Gorgeous Braid Updo
Instagram @hairbylexc

#4: Gorgeous Braid Updo

A classic style, this chic do starts with simple, loosely braided pieces that turns into a cute messy low bun. Bonus styling tip – leave some long wavy strands in front for a flirty face-framing effect.

#5: Modern Dark Blonde Updo

Prom is the time to clean yourself up and what better way to do it than with a classic yet modern bun. Style it with a bit messy look for a modern gorgeous style.

#6: Easy Twisted Updo

A timeless do that is very popular in formal scenes nowadays – the French twist is the number one look to go for if you’re looking for a polished and flirty hairstyle.

Q&A with style creator, Natalie Kamal
Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist in London, UK

How would you describe this look?

It’s an exquisitely beautiful and elegant hairstyle suitable for all occasions and loved by brides.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This hairstyle if great if you want a classic look. It’s best suitable for medium to long hair and works on all hair types. In some cases, it might need some hair padding to create a bigger bun. This look is all about sleek and smooth hair.

Use the Philip Kingsley Maximizer on the roots and blowdry the hair upwards for maximum root lift that lasts. To instantly defrizz the hair, use some of the Osis+ Tame Wild Smoothing anti-frizz cream. For best results make sure to warm it on the palm of your hands before using.

If the hair is fine, blow dry your hair with Fudge Urban Sea Salt to create texture with a smooth finish. This product smells incredible too!

#7: Lovely Top Knot

Q&A with style creator, Sarah Josephs
Hairstylist @ Styling By Sarah in West Sussex, England

How would you describe this look?

Effortless, timeless and uncomplicated, the high bun lengthens the neck providing an elegant, feminine look. The versatility is what makes it such a favourable style- from day to night or even bridal with the added delicate pearls dressing the hair, as shown in the picture with the dramatic contrast against the models red hair.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This style works best on mid to long length hair in order to achieve the desired look for those with finer hair the option or adding a clip in extension is a great way to add depth and volume. My ‘go to’ product would be a sea salt spray it’s great for giving a firmer grip when styling. My model had naturally curly hair, so we began styling by blow drying the hair to enhance the shine and tame the frizz. The style is also easily adaptable for varying face shapes, such as for clients with a heart or square shaped face, the option of a parting to soften the look around the hairline.

#8: Cute Updo for Long Hair

Q&A with style creator, Chloe Taylor
Hairstylist & Makeup Artist @ Hair by Chloe Taylor in Shrewsbury, Shropshire

How would you describe this look?

This look is a modern elegant chignon with a dutch braid accent. The cutest thing about this look is the chunky Dutch braid, which seamlessly blends into the chignon at the back of the head. The tousled soft hair sweeping back underneath the braid and also blending into the chignon adds a romantic feel to the style.

Any advice for someone considering it?

My client here had quite thick hair which was just below her shoulders. I prepped my client’s hair with dry shampoo to create volume and texture. I backcombed the crown area and sprayed with hairspray to create volume and height. This style would suit people with hair which is shoulder length and below, and of a medium to thick hair type.

If your hair is quite thin this is still possible with the use of hair padding to create more volume for the chignon at the back of the head. This style is very elegant and romantic, with the dutch braid giving this look a modern boho feel, perfect for prom or a special occasion.

Quick Big Bun
Instagram @shelbycolehair

#9: Quick Big Bun

Q&A with style creator, Shelby Cole
Hairstylist / Blonde Specialist @ Ando Salon in Troy, NY

How would you describe this look?

The loveliest thing about this look is that it lasts all day long. You don’t have to worry about curls falling out or the weather affecting the style. It’s also really elegant and a timeless style. I would also describe this look as a high princess bun!

Any advice for someone considering it?

Make sure that you have thick hair or have extensions to use or else you won’t get the desired fullness for this look!

#10: Lovely Loose Braid

Q&A with style creator, Magdalena Maniak
Hair & Makeup Specialist @ Magma Hair Designs in Melbourne, Victoria

How would you describe this look?

This look is a soft side updo with braid on the side. I love it because it is great for hot and humid climate as well as for cooler one, and it will look perfect all day and night. A big and soft side braid – it is a perfect addition to this boho style updo.

Any advice for someone considering it?

To ensure your hair looks perfect on the day I always recommend to wash the hair the day before and blow wave it, especially if the hair is frizzy or curly. Preparation is the key.

Always consider your hair length and thickness when choosing the hairstyle. Lastly, pick a hairstyle that you’re gonna feel comfortable with, and be true to the real you.

#11: Simple Bun Updo

Q&A with style creator, Leah Bailey
Stylist @ Dharma Day Spa & Salon in Springfield, MO

How would you describe this look?

This look is a modern version of a timeless updo. “Timelessly chic” if you will. The best part would be how to put together its looks. It’s simple but will absolutely stand out in a crowd.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Consider first of all the hair length. This style is best considered for a client with long hair. It should also be considered for a client with medium hair thickness. It was constructed with only root lifting powder, bobby pins, and hair spray, so it’s great for a client who wants to let her hair down at the end of the night. This updo is perfect for any dress style, all personalities, and for a night full of timeless moments.

modern messy updo for long hair
Instagram @moskvichkainfo

#12: Modern Messy Updo for Long Hair

This look is organic and boho. Those are some of my favorite words to describe looks like this. It is not perfectly put or sprayed stiff. It is made to move and fall and curl where it wants to curl. It’s perfectly done in an “undone” way. It gives my clients room to move freely through the night, and even if a few pieces fall or move you are still rocking a beautiful prom upstyle for long hair.

Start with hair that is not freshly washed. I always tell my girls to wash the day before and I never leave my salon without my Matrix Style Link texture builder! It is my holy grail for special occasion looks. It gives the hair just enough grit to work with and I always finish my looks with my Matrix Biolage sugar shine spray! It adds so much shine and finish to the hair so you don’t miss out on that “wow” look.

Also, snag a pair of extensions if your hair is above the shoulder blades or is super thin! More hair to work with is never a burden, especially during updos. Coming from a southern stylist, big hair is always better!

#13: Sleek Romantic Updo

Q&A with style creator, Mikaela Rose
Stylist @ Haircuttery in Winter Garden Village, FL

How would you describe this look?

This look is a last all night kind of look, as with all the hair being pinned up and back, it’s not going anywhere! I love the way it all flows together, from the twist in the front to the statement pin curl on the side.

Any advice for someone considering it?

I would definitely recommend this to a client with long hair who likes a lot of volume and body with a classic elegant taste. This look required a lot of pins, curling of the hair, and round foam donut to create the bun, then hair spray and shine spray to finish off and make her glow!

#14: Adorable Flower Rope Braid

Q&A with style creator, Lilly Wright
Cosmetologist @ Paul Mitchell The School Ogden in Ogden, UT

How would you describe this look?

This is called a waterfall braid because of how the pieces fall down just as a waterfall would flow. It is a unique and very simple look achieved by creating a french braid by dropping every bottom piece and picking up a new one each time.

I love that it is simple and easy to wear for special occasions or even for everyday wear.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Doing it on a 2nd or 3rd-day hair will hold it together better than a freshly washed one.

This hairstyle works for either straight or wavy hair, so you can curl it.

For prom hairstyles for curly hair, straighten it first, curl, then style. Also, make sure to apply a good holding hairspray to keep everything secure.

#15: Enchanting Espresso Brown With a French Twist

Q&A with style creator, Jayme Volway
Hairstylist @ Cooper & Co Salon in Midland, MI

How would you describe this look?

I love the versatility of this style! It can be fun and flirty or sleek and sophisticated depending on the wardrobe, jewelry, and makeup choices matched with it! Anywhere from a fun date night to a special event or gala, this quick style is my go-to!

Any advice for someone considering it?

The model has collarbone-length hair with a natural wave and is fine but also quite thick. She had minimal layering which helped secure the look.

When I began styling, she had her hair previously smoothed and curled with Surface products. I secured the look with minimal bobby pins using a cross internal lock technique, which made the style extremely comfortable to wear. We left a few pieces out around her face to soften the look and give more of a relaxed, fun and flirty look!

#16: Beautiful Floral Hair Pin

Q&A with style creator, Elle Bliss
Hairstylist @ Salon Cheveux in White Bear Lake, MN

How would you describe this look?

This is a simple but elegant look. I love how timeless it looks and that you can wear this for any occasion and dress it up as much or as little as you’d like! You can’t go wrong with this stunning hairstyle.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Make sure you have at least shoulder length hair or longer, otherwise it will be hard to accomplish. This look is great for any hair type! All you need is a curling iron, hairspray, and a hair binder to achieve this look.

You can wear this updo to any event, such as a prom, a wedding, or something simple like a night out with your special someone.

#17: Flawless Low Bun Side Braid

Q&A with style creator, Mely Garcia
Hair Designer @ Lark Salon in Omaha, NE

How would you describe this look?

This is a soft and messy look! I did a low messy bun and enhanced it with a dutch side braid. I love this updo because it looks effortless yet put together.

I definitely love the side braid as she had a lot of hair to work with. This always helps when doing a braid so that it looks fuller.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look is great for any occasion and almost anyone. Remember that the thicker the hair is the bigger the braid will be.

I always start with dry shampoo. Updos always work better when the hair is a little dirty. The dry shampoo gives the hair grip and texture, and that makes braiding and styling easier.

Detailing creme and flexible hold hairspray will be your best friends as they help with flyaways and still make the hair soft enough to move as you need it.

I always make sure I go through the braid after it’s been pulled out and secure it with lots of bobby pins to make sure it stays in all night!

#18: Braided Updo with Glasses

Q&A with style creator, Valerie
Stylist @ Studio 6 Hair Salon in Springfield, IL

How would you describe this look?

This is an elegant, messy braid. I love that it looks like there is a lot to it, but in reality, it is fairly easy to do. It is simple yet classy!

Any advice for someone considering it?

You have to consider the hair length. I recommend this for someone with medium to long hair.

This is more of a formal style, so it is perfect for occasions like homecoming, prom, weddings, etc.

This style would be more for a client who is okay with a messier, “piecey” look.

Picture of a dark hair with golden highlights
Instagram @glammedup619

#19: Dark Hair with Golden Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Hedvika Racine
Licensed Cosmetologist / Hairstylist @ GlammedUp in San Diego, CA

How would you describe this look?

This is a classic braided updo, perfect for prom or weddings. It is a simple style to achieve, so it is a great choice when you’re short on time!

Any advice for someone considering it?

This will look gorgeous on long, thick hair, because the braid can be wrapped around several times, creating a very intricate bun.

It is also perfect if you want minimal heat used on your hair. Heat is only used on dainty strands around the hairline.

It does require a bit of hairspray and texturizing spray so that it will appear as close to flawless as possible.

A braided updo for prom
Instagram @beauty.by.zoey

#20: Braided Updo

Q&A with style creator, Zoey Boyd
Hairstylist / Cosmetologist @ proDo in South Jordan & Draper, UT

How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as an elegant formal updo. My favorite thing about it would be how simple it was and how much my client loved it! I also love that this style can be done with medium-long hair. My client’s hair length was a little past her collarbone and this look gives the illusion that she has hair to the middle of her back!

Any advice for someone considering it?

Use lots and lots of texture spray! It’ll be your best friend when piecing together the updo. Don’t over think this look! It is very easy to acheive with just a little backcombing and minimal hair pins. Finish the look with a little bit of hair spray and you’re ready to dance the night away!

Unexpected Edge hairstyle
Instagram @val.hintay.hair

#21: Unexpected Edge

Q&A with style creator, Val Hintay
Senior Stylist @ On The Fringe Hair Design in Vancouver, BC

How would you describe this look?

This is such a fun look! It is perfect for the woman who is going to any fun event, whether it’s a wedding or a concert, that wants to add some fun and flair to her hair. It also stays in place all night long!

I love the intricate detailing in the back, and that braid gives it an unexpected edge.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This style is great for all hair types and is perfect for someone who doesn’t want their hair falling onto their face.

Start with curled hair, then tie it into little buns going down the back of the head. You can use bobby pins to secure and mess up the buns a little bit. The braids are optional and hairspray is a must! You can smooth down the flyaways with a little bit of pomade or hairspray as well.

Boho Bun hairstyle
Instagram @kate_olsonhair

#22: Boho Bun

Q&A with style creator, Kate Olson
Hairstylist @ Ochoa Salon and Spa in East Longmeadow and South Hadley, MA

How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as boho chic. It’s simple yet tousled to give off a beautiful, youthful appearance. I wanted to create a style that was put together and appropriate, but still had a feeling of texture. This look is sophisticated with a fun, lived-in vibe.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Make sure you’re comfortable putting all your hair up. This is a great style to show off certain features like your neckline. If your dress has an elaborate design on the back, this hairstyle would be a great way to keep the dress revealed. Not to mention if you plan to dance the night away, you’ll definitely stay confident and cool with this boho bun!

In terms of hair type, this updo is great for anyone with wavy to straight, fine hair. I wanted to keep it simple and more natural, so I didn’t use any heat tools to create this look. Instead, I mostly used Shu Uemura’s Texture Wave mineral spray to help add fullness and grip to the hair. This made it easier to maneuver sections of the hair and give it that slightly untamed look.

My final bit of advice is to have fun with your creation. Everyone’s hair is different, so it’s very easy to modify this updo to your own unique style.

Elegant Update to a Classic hairstyle
Instagram @mybighairday

#23: Elegant Update to a Classic

Q&A with style creator, Sarah Naslund
Stylist / Bridal Stylist / Updo Educator @ Escape Salon in Boston, MA

How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as an elegant and updated version of a classic style. Starting with a clean bun, you can add any embellishments to personalize the look. My favorite part of this updo is the swirl across the back.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This style can be worn by anyone with any hair type. If you have thick or coarse hair, prep it with smoothing products like creams or serums. If you have thin or fine hair, prep it with texture products like dry shampoo or hairspray.

This style is also great if you like your hair to be away from your face. It pairs well with fun jewelry or playful makeup.

#24: Effortless With an Edgy Twist

Q&A with style creator, Karla Hernandez
Student Styles @ Toni & Guy Academy in Scottsdale, AZ

How would you describe this look?

This is an effortless and elegant look with an edgy twist. My favorite thing about it is that it’s not your everyday updo.

Any advice for someone considering it?

For someone looking to mix it up for an event or a night out on the town, this look is something that can be achieved with little time to spare. All you really need are some curls, hairspray, and small hair ties to achieve this chic hairstyle.

Redefined With Texture hairstyle
Instagram @michelleleep

#25: Redefined With Texture

Q&A with style creator, Michelle Patton
National Educator / Stylist @ Pureology / Michael Joseph Hair Studio in Shrewsbury, NJ

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

I would describe this look as a classic look that is redefined with texture. My favorite thing about it is how even in its simplicity, it looks incredibly intricate.

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

I recommend Pureology Serious Color Care. For this look, I used Root Lift from the roots through the ends and blew dry it in. I then layered Clean Volume Levitation Mist and continued until I felt that the hair had just enough grip to it for the twists to have the right amount of texture. We finished it off with Strengthening Control Hairspray.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look works best on hair that is a medium to coarser hair texture. To really accentuate the detail, hair with depth and dimension to it is ideal.

This look was done for a special event, but the techniques can also be a done a bit looser for a more laid back end result.

#26: Timeless Low Textured Bun

Q&A with style creator, Michelle Boicheski
Hairdresser @ Making Faces Makeup Studio in South Coast, NSW

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

This low textured bun is a soft, classic look that will nover go out of style.

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

To recreate this look, you first need to prep the hair with a texture spray so the hair has hold. I like to use the White Sands Liquid Texture Spray and blow dry it into the hair. I then section the hair from ear to ear and tease the crown to get the height and softness. I also like to use a texture dust like Puff Me from Design.Me. It is easy to use in the pump bottle for hold.

Tie the hair in a low pony, twist the hair up, then pin. I like to use fringe pins with bobby pins for hold. I then finish this look with a center part and a smooth front, twisting the ends over the bun.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look works for most hair types. This was created on a girl with hair of medium thickness that fell just below her shoulder blades. If the hair is not as thick, padding can be used to thicken up the bun.

This look can be worn by those young and older. It is a classic look that can be altered to suit any occasion. For a prom, it can be left textured, or for a wedding can be smoothed over.

Elegant and Classy Updo hairstyle
Instagram @herhairbyj

#27: Elegant and Classy Updo

Q&A with style creator, Jasmin
Freelance Hair Stylist @ Her Hair by J in Toronto, ON

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

I would describe this look as a classy updo with a touch of elegance that is perfect for any formal occasion.

I love the volume at the top. It makes all the difference in differentiating this look from a casual look to a formal one. It’s smooth, shiny and chic!

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

I have three tips to creating this look. Backcombing to get the volume is key, hairspray to keep the volume in tact is vital, and a quality curling iron or rod to create beautiful curls is necessary. I personally use Schwarzkopf Osis+ Strong Hold hairspray and a good hair primer before I start styling. I use Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil Primer to protect hair from heat tools.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I recommend this look for any formal occasion such as a wedding, prom or engagement. This look works with most face shapes. If you don’t like it all pulled back, then leave a few strands out at the front to take some attention away from the face. You will need medium length or longer hair for this style to work.

#28: Whimsical Updo

Q&A with style creator, Angelina Navarro
Stylist @ Shear Joy Salon in Clearwater, FL

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

I would describe this look as soft, elegant and whimsical. I love the gentle flow and how the contrasting colors add to the overall aesthetic.

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

To create this style, I curl-set her hair with a 1-inch curling iron, curling away from her face. To set the curls (and when pulling them down) I used Kenra #25 Hairspray to ensure hold and smoothness. After that, I gently backcombed in her crown section before pulling it all back to pin the curls into the desired shape.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This style can be worn on almost anyone as long as the hair is long enough to be pinned back. The bun size would vary, but it’s pretty universal otherwise.

This is a current take on a classic look that is suitable for formal events and holds up in any weather.

Fishtail Braided Updo
Instagram @willow.hair

#29: Fishtail Braided Updo

This is one of those hairstyles that will give you an effortless beauty! Make your bronde hair appear tousled but refined by pulling off a fishtail braided updo. Embellish it with tiny flowers and face-framing pieces for a natural-looking style. Now, this will be the prom night you’ll always remember!

Sweet Updo with Side Swept Bangs
Instagram @jessicaroopatx

#30: Sweet Updo with Side Swept Bangs

Giving you an undone and messy vibe of style is this sweet updo with side-swept bangs! This is perfect for your fine, blonde hair for a graceful glow that doesn’t fade. Texture in the bun part will seal the whole look together.

Braided Bouffant
Instagram @arynadamshair

#31: Braided Bouffant

This is how you give your favorite vintage updo a modern twist! Flaunt this lovely braided bouffant to uplift the fullness of your black hair. The braid is across the hairline to serve as an extra accessory. This is sure to complete your glamorous look for your prom night.

Double Braided Updo
Instagram @sabrinadijkman

#32: Double Braided Updo

A prom hairdo that deserves a crown! Looking soft and romantic, here’s the double braided updo you must go for. The style is sure to give prominence to the dimension of your blonde hair. With this look, there’s no way you can’t be the prom queen!

Loose Bun
Instagram @updosbykarina

#33: Loose Bun

Witness how the texture adds volume and stylishness in this loose bun. The details are intricate and will give you a sophisticated feel about this utter look. This is the classic hairstyle to amp up your blonde tresses.

#34: Messy Braided Updo

Start by doing a small braid placed on one side of your dark, shoulder-length hair. Finish it off by incorporating texture and some wavy face-framing pieces. The next thing you know, you’ve achieved a gorgeous-looking messy braided updo!

#35: Simple Side Bun with Long Side Bangs

This simple side bun with long side bangs makes a gorgeous updo perfect for your prom. It’ll even emphasize your natural glam—guaranteed! The blonde highlights add brightness and flair to your dark hair. Spritz a shine spray on your locks if you want a weightless, instant glossiness on your look.

Easy Breezy Twisted Updo

Prom Hair