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Perfect Prom Hairstyle Ideas For Long, Medium And Short Hair

The days of cookie-cutter prom styles are long gone. Today’s prom go-ers use this special event to express their style, their individuality and their point of view—from dress to accessories to choice of date

Little says more about someone than their hair, and prom hairstyles this season speak volumes about what you’re about, regardless of whether you have long, medium, or short hair. Here are nine prom hairstyles, for every length, that tell it like it is. Now pose for your proud parents, tuck the lip gloss and hairspray in your bag and go have the time of your life!


Loose & Glam Ballerina Bun

A casual yet glamorous bun with some loose tendrils and cool roots tells the world you’re ready to have fun…and who knows what else? A few pretty blossoms tucked in back add the right amount of sweetness.

Get the look:

  • Spray your hair with lots of texturizing hair spray or dry shampoo.
  • Tease the roots, and then lightly tease the lengths if your hair needs more body.
  • Pull everything up into a high ponytail and secure with an elastic.
  • Wind the ponytail into a bun (the messier the better) and loop the ends through the elastic.
  • Gently loosen the bun, as well as the hair in front and underneath. If a few pieces become undone, good job! If not, pull them out.
  • Attach the blossoms with pins.

Rapunzel Waves

If you’re anticipating the most romantic night of your life, start with this insanely beautiful hairstyle. A tumble of feminine waves, embellished with a sparkly, pearly headband, will steal the spotlight. All eyes on you!

Get the look:

  • Spray your hair with a heat protectant
  • Curl narrow vertical sections with a 3/4-inch curling iron.
  • After you release each section, pull the end to stretch out the curl, then release and don’t touch it again until all of your hair is completely cool.
  • Gently separate your curls with your fingers, and then continue to use your fingers to tease from the bottom up.
  • Top with a princess-worthy headband.

Half Up & Half Down Braid Bouquet

Irregular braids nestled in soft waves put a unique spin on a half-up half-down hairstyle. If your budget allows, see your stylist for some honey-colored balayage highlights to make the hairstyle even more special.

Get the look:

  • Curl all of your hair with a 1-inch curling iron.
  • Separate the top and bottom. Divide the top into 1-inch sections, pull each section forward and tease the roots. Hit each teased area with hairspray before moving on.
  • Divide the sides into two sections, pull them to the back and criss-cross each one. Pin one criss-cross on top of the other.
  • Take two large sections on the bottom and braid each one. Secure the ends and pull the braids apart. Some sections can be left tighter and some sections of the braid should be looser so they’re inconsistent.



Side-Swept Waves

Are you going to prom or a red carpet? Big glossy waves, swept to one side, give you all the glamour of a Hollywood A-lister!

Get the look:

  • Mist your hair with a shine spray and comb it through.
  • Curl horizontal sections on a 1 ½-inch curling iron.
  • Clip each curl against your head as you set all your hair.
  • When your hair is cool, release the clips and comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb.
  • Create a deep side part and sweep your waves to the opposite side.
  • Place a row of bobby pins that match your hair color behind your ear to keep the hair secure on the side.

Boho Braid

Do you love to rock a Bohemian look? Secure your medium-length hair in a loose braid – pin it over the side as to create a bohemian braid crown.

Get the look:

  • Create a section at your temple on one side.
  • Create a conventional three strand braid.
  • Begin braiding around the center of your head, continuing to braid downward as you go, collecting all your hair (alternate look – only do half and leave some wispy tendrils to pin up).
  • When you reach the end, bring the braid up and secure around the top of the head, creating a crown. Secure with bobby pins as needed. 

‘80s Curls

Desperately seeking a great time at your prom, Susan? Show up with a head-full of springy coils, accessorized with a colorful, oversized, floral ornament.

Get the look:

  • Work leave-in conditioner and curl cream through your hair.
  • Separate all of your hair into one-inch sections, then divide each section in half.
  • Twist all of the halves together tightly. Secure with small elastics if necessary.
  • When hair is completely dry, remove the elastics and carefully unwind each twist.
  • Use your fingers to loosen the hair in the scalp sections.



Polished Pixie

Who says short hair can’t be dressed up? Launch your pixie from sporty to special-occasion with lift at the root and a peek-a-boo fringe.

Get the look:

  • Apply a volumizing foam to clean, damp hair.
  • With a blow dryer and medium round brush, brush all of your hair forward to break up the product.
  • Brush and dry the sides into place.
  • Dry the top, lifting at the roots with your fingers to create volume.
  • Once hair is dry, lift the top sections with a flat iron and iron straight up.
  • Work a nickel-sized amount of styling paste through the top, lifting at the root and fine-tuning the shape with your hands.
  • Mist with firm-hold hairspray.
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    Fierce Buzz

    Yeah, you’re not really the dreamy, wispy tendril sort of girl. Your idea of dress up is taking your hair to a fiercer place, with a sick undercut or buzz cut – maybe even adding an accent of blue or purple hair color to up the intensity.

    Get the look:

    • Work styling crème through damp hair.
    • Depending on hair length and texture, use a styling brush and blow dry the top section of hair and fold hair over to one side if you have an undercut.
    • Lock in the look with firm-hold hairspray.

    Gatsby Gal

    Start with the idea of ‘20s finger waves, then set them slightly askew for this fun take on a classic hair style. This look is great for longer hair lengths as well as naturally curly hair! Add a few sparkly hair ornaments to seal the deal.

    Get the look:

    • Saturate damp hair with setting lotion.
    • Use a comb and your fingers to create deep waves.
    • Set the waves with long metal clips until your hair is completely dry.
    • Remove the metal clips and insert a few dressy hair clips.


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