15 Celebrity-Inspired Ways to Wear Your Hair for Prom
Now that you’ve landed the perfect prom dress, it's time to find the right hairstyle to go with it. Will you exude romance with whimsical braids or go retro-glam with Old Hollywood waves? We kept a close eye on some of our favorite young stars and came up with the best prom-worthy plaits, curls, updos, and more, to help you decide.
For a final touch of flair, why not incorporate a sparkling hair accessory? A sprinkle of gemstones, as demonstrated by Emma Watson (above), is an easy way to take on the trend—and will make an otherwise simple hairstyle stand out on the dance floor.
Want more prom hairstyles? From classic chignons to polished ponytails, find all the inspiration you'll need in our gallery!
Emma Watson’s Hair Gems
If a ballerina bun feels ubiquitous, give it a fresh spin with a dazzling hair accessory. One of our favorite looks to try? Scattered gemstones as worn by Emma Watson.
Imogen Poots’ Plaited Updo
It doesn't get more romantic than Imogen Poot's beautifully braided updo. Pull strands loose at the sides to achieve the same wispy, ethereal effect.
Emma Roberts’ Wavy Bob
Hopped on the bob bandwagon but not sure how to style it for the big night? Consider recreating Emma Roberts' vintage vibe with soft waves and a deep side-part.
Lea Michele's Retro Waves
Opt for Lea Michele's sleek, Old Hollywood waves for an for ultra-glam look that never goes out of style.
Shailene Woodley's Sleek Pixie
Getting your pixie prom-ready is easier than you'd think. Just look at our June cover girl's slick, side-swept strands for proof.
Bella Thorne's Curly Half Updo
More than a prom go-to, Bella Thorne's classic half-up, half-down hairstyle offers a chic solution to spring's rising temperatures.
Ashley Greene's Tousled Waves
For an edgy, rock ‘n roll vibe, search no further than Ashley Greene's tousled strands for inspiration. After misting dry hair with Herbal Essences Set Me Up Heat Protection Spray ($6; amazon.com), hairstylist Richard Collins twisted two-inch sections of hair around a 1.5” curling iron, leaving out the ends for added edge. While twisting and curling section by section, Collins suggests keeping some pieces straighter, “especially around the hairline, to create a more tousled look,” he says. To finish, he blasted Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo ($7; drugstore.com) at the root for an instant boost of body and applied hair spray to lock the style in place.
Selena Gomez’s Structured Updo
Selena Gomez’s low-slung look is ideal for displaying dripping jewels and a flirty open back. After curling 1” pieces around her head, hairstylist Marissa Marino split the star’s strands into three sections: ear-to-ear, temple-to-temple, and the crown. “Starting with the bottom section, create a ponytail at the nape of the neck, and then roll the entire ponytail upwards and pin horizontally for a tube effect,” Marino explains. Next, roll the mid section horizontally and pin underneath into the bottom roll. Lightly tease the top for extra volume, and then similar to a downward French twist, roll vertically and pin into the middle section. Finish with Moroccanoil’s Luminous Hairspray Strong ($23; moroccanoil.com) and Glimmer Shine ($28; moroccanoil.com) for long-lasting hold and polish.
Lucy Hale's Bombshell Waves
Not an updo kind of girl? Showcase long locks instead. We love Lucy Hale's signature shiny waves.
Taylor Swift’s Embellished Updo
A sparkling headband like Taylor Swift's will instantly dress up a simple updo.
Hilary Duff’s Voluminous Top Knot
A sky-high bun like Hilary Duff's will make a polished statement without outshining the evening’s main attraction-your dress!
Kate Upton's Pompadour Bun
Kate Upton flawlessly blended two popular hair trends in one sleek updo. After blowing out her hair, celebrity hairstylist Peter Butler applied a drop of Leonor Greyl’s eclat Naturel Styling Cream ($46; leonorgreyl-usa.com) to each section before curling with large-barrel wand. “This was really the key product to her look as it created that nice sleek, wet look we wanted,” he tells us. To create the front wave, he switched to a smaller wand, adding a bit more product to tame flyaways. Once curling her entire head, Butler pulled Upton’s hair into a ponytail, using an elastic band with hooks to secure in place. Then, he wrapped the length around the base and pinned. A mist of Lacque Souple Hair Spray ($36; leonorgreyl-usa.com) provided a final touch.
Anna Kendrick’s Braided Ponytail
Consider combining two warm-weather favorites like Anna Kendrick. If you’re working with clean strands, hairstylist Craig Gangi suggests prepping with strong-hold hairspray to add texture. Then, use a 1 3/4 inch curling iron to create loose waves. After sectioning her hair into a side part, Gangi twisted the trio of braids into place. “I made 3 small braids on one side of her head, then secured her hair into a low ponytail,” he tells us. “Then, I took a small section of the ponytail, braided it, and wrapped that braid around the base of the style.” Finally, Gangi pulled out a small section of curls at the front to frame the star’s face, and added a light veil of Oribe Texturizing Spray ($42; oribe.com) for a messy, undone finish.
Zendaya Coleman's Sleek Side Pony
Give the casual hair staple an evening-friendly makeover à la Zendaya Coleman. Wrap a section of hair around the base of the pony to score the star's polished finish.
Emma Stone's Loose Tendril
Prevent a tightly twisted updo from appearing stuffy by softening up the look with a face-framing tendril like Emma Stone.