Thirteen Effortless Prom Up-Do Hair Ideas

Published on 21 January 2018

Choosing to style your hair in an updo for prom is a sensible choice – it keeps your hair away from your face, allows your prom makeup to really shine and will let you show off your dress without your hair covering up important details.

If you’re not long-locked, we’ve got the best prom hairstyles for short hair too so there’s something for everyone!

Braided Updo

An updo is a super stylish choice for prom, but you don’t want it to look too finished and restrictive. We love this artfully messy braided updo, which has pretty tendrils escaping and makes the wearer look casually cool. Also – can we just say how much we adore her white nails? Such a cool prom nail art idea.

braided updo hair for prom

Dramatic Quiff

This bold style works on both short and long hair – you just need to do a lot of backcombing! Brush your hair into a scene-stealing quiff on the top of your head and hold in place with lots of hairspray. The higher you go the better, we say! If you have long hair, be inspired by the picture below and secure any hair that can’t go in the quiff into an elegant braid. This look is ideal for edgy girls who want an unusual look – we love the braided sections at the side of the head too.

dramatic quiff hair updo

Double Buns

Go for a cute and quirky prom updo by styling your hair into adorable double buns. This popular, 90s inspired hairstyle will look super pretty so you can toughen it up with an edgy makeup look and rock star accessories such as a cuff bracelet or a leather jacket.

double bun prom updo

If you love the look below, you can steal her prom makeup idea here!

Bunched Braids

This is a lifesaver if you have fine hair and can’t get a thick, glossy braid but still love the plaited look. Simply pull your hair to one side and form a long ponytail, which you can break up with hair ties. We love how the hair is styled at the top of the head too – it’s a really cool, contemporary look that will ensure all eyes are on you.

bunched hair braids

French Plait Chignon

If you hate having your hair around your face, consider this elegant and sporty-chic hairstyle that will totally transform your prom look and keep your hair off your face. This updo involves two French braids styled into a chignon – just tuck the ends under to keep them away from your face and to keep the hairstyle looking sleek. Flawless.

french braid chignon

Ballerina Bun

Everyone loves a simple ballerina bun! They’re so easy to put together and always look effortlessly cool. Why not add a twist to the ballerina bun to make it a prom-worthy updo? We love the idea below of dying the underneath of your hair a statement colour, but if that doesn’t work for you then you could always braid a section of the underside or add some sparkly hair slides for extra detail.

ballerina bun

Transformed Topknot

If you have lots of hair to style, this take on the topknot is perfect for you. You can style your hair along the top of your head and secure in place with clever hairgrip placement and plenty of hairspray. Why not add a bold accessory to really take the look to the next level? We have lots of gorgeous prom accessories to inspire you.

transformed top knot

Glam Beehive

Go for the ultimate vintage-cool look with a retro beehive hairstyle! Be prepared to do plenty of backcombing to achieve this look and watch some prom makeup tutorials to make sure you can master the vintage vixen makeup look an updo like this requires.

glam beehive

Sleek Low Bun

Keep it sleek and stylish with a low bun – simply pull all your hair back and style it so the bun falls at the nape of your neck. To dress up this low-key look, just add a floral hair accessory or a glittery hair slide and it will be transformed to party-ready perfection.

sleek low bun

Simple Ponytail

The humble ponytail can be perfect for prom – you can dress it up or down as much as you want. Go for a high pony for a touch of glamour and curl the ends of your hair so they fall perfectly within the hair tie. If you have a fringe, allow it to frame your face to complete the look, or scrape it back into a quiff for a fabulous finishing look. Low ponytails are more casual so if you want a more low key look go for that.

simple ponytail

Polished Updo

If you want a traditional prom look, style your hair into a classic updo. The chignon is probably the easiest to master as you just need to sweep your hair up and fold it into a pleat at the back, before securing with hairgrips and a spritz of spray. We love the look below – the loose, curled tendrils really soften the style and make it extra pretty.

polished updo prom hair

Stylish Side Plait

A soft and stylish side plait is a great way to have your hair away from your face at prom but still look feminine and girly. We love the idea of a fishtail braid – why not attempt to master this for the perfect stylish prom updo?

stylish side plait prom hair

Slicked-Back Ponytail

A twist on the simple ponytail we looked at before – this is for someone with a seriously statement prom dress who doesn’t want anything to distract from it. Tie your hair back tightly and smooth over any flyaways by applying hairspray to your fingers and gently smoothing them down. An embellished hairband is a dream finishing look idea.

slicked back ponytail prom hair

Want even more hair-spiration? We’ve got the most glam prom hairstyles for long hair, too!