So Long, Updos! Modern Prom Hairstyles to Try Now
Prom hair has come a long way from the stiff, overly gelled hair of the ‘90s. Top knots are some of the easiest updos to accomplish, and their texture (such as Hyland’s messy braid-topped style) can add an edge to an otherwise delicate look.
Hudgens may be notorious for her boho style (and equally boho hair), yet her bun at a charity gala is evidence that she can easily transition to subdued glam for the night.
Shay Mitchell’s mastered California-girl cool with cascading ombre waves at a celebration for Pretty Little Liars’ 100th episode.
For a low maintenance, yet effortlessly chic look, take a break from prom's traditional updos and opt for a ponytail.
For those looking to add a fairytale touch to the night, take a cue from Elle Fanning’s updo from a Maleficent event. Wrap buds around the base of the bun (baby’s breath, roses, and orchids have strong staying power outside of water) and secure with bobby pins.
For a retro look, go for a sleek center part finished off with a single curl at the ends of hair. Add a pump of hair oil to wet hair (ends only) for added shine.
Vanessa Hudgens's Side Ponytail
WHY WE LOVE IT Whoever said ponytails were just for the gym? This low, tousled version is sultry and universally flattering. The point is making sure it feels lived-in, not slicked back-covering both ears gives it the perfect weathered vibe.
Selena Gomez's Side Braid
WHY WE LOVE IT The season's trendiest style just happens to be the easiest, too. Absolutely anyone can braid their hair, and this slightly off-center version is as soft as it is impactful. Plus, tying it off with an elastic that matches your hair color will keep it from looking too grade-school.
Emma Roberts's Half Updo
WHY WE LOVE IT This dimensional style is a study in contrasts. Keep the top neat and tidy and the back teased and voluminous for a striking look. Bonus: The style accentuates your bone structure-and shows off statement earrings.
Dianna Agron's Half Updo
WHY WE LOVE IT The girl next door gets all dressed up! Pulled back, bumped-up hair in front is both sweet and sexy; cascading curls are festive and feminine. Finish with a generous blast of hairspray to be sure the style doesn't fall throughout the night.
Taylor Swift's Sideswept Curls
WHY WE LOVE IT If you have tight tendrils, this sleek look is an easy way to dress up your style without breaking out the flat iron. Instead, embrace your natural texture with a smoothed part and lively ringlets.
Blake Lively's Sideswept Curls
WHY WE LOVE IT This decadent pile of curls pulls long hair up and off your back-which reveals more of your dress. (And isn't that what prom is all about, anyway?) Plus, the loosened spirals are springy and touchable, not stiff and straight from the salon. Brushing through tendrils will help break them up.
Anna Kendrick's Down Updo
WHY WE LOVE IT The beauty of this tumbling do lies in what it isn't: formal, over hair-sprayed, over-styled. Another bonus? If a few extra pieces fall throughout the night, you'll look better-not worse.
Amanda Seyfried's Down Updo
WHY WE LOVE IT This glossy look flirts with glamorous, '40s-style waves without looking outdated. It's also the perfect solution for face-framing pieces that won't stay put in a ponytail. Instead of fighting too-short strands, let them fall, then dress them up with a subtle wave.