A Photo Gallery of Pinned-Back Hairstyles for Prom

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Ashley Tisdale

Ashley Tisdale
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

One of the issues teen girls grapple with around prom is whether to wear their hair in a full updo or down, but that dilemma can be avoided with the pinned-back option. This allows you to have a bit of the drama of the upswept updo while showing off your healthy, gorgeous hair.

Wearing hair pinned back for prom remains a popular option this year. And there are a ton of options for half-up/half-down hair or simple pinned-back looks. In this photo gallery, check out a ton of great hairstyles directly from red carpets.

You can wear hair straight, wavy or curly for the pinned look. As for the pinning itself, you can use jeweled barrettes, feathers, a headband or a simple rubber band camouflaged by a flower.

This look works well on any hair that's long enough to be pinned back. If yours is shorter, try extensions.

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Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images and Jason Merritt/Getty Images

This gorgeous, pinned-back hairstyle on J.Lo would look great on anyone with thick, coarse hair. If you have fine hair, consider getting extensions for prom, for a longer, lusher mane. Also, note how Lopez wears a fresh-faced makeup look that would suit many girls for prom.

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Aimee Mullins

Aimee Mullins
Marc Stamas/Getty Images

You can always find a ton of 1920s and 30s hairstyles on the red carpet, including this style on Aimee Mullins. It's lovely that the hair is off the shoulder (very popular as well). Teens who wear their hair like this for prom can show off a gorgeous neckline if they have a strapless dress, while keeping the drama that long hair brings. 

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Emmy Rossum

Emmy Rossum
Jason Kempin/Getty Images and Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Actress Emmy Rossum's hair is swept to the side, courtesy of a bobby pin. This gives her a more polished look than if she wore her hair flowing.

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Rose McGowan

Rose McGowan
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

These side-swept curls show off a gorgeous shoulder and neckline. Notice also how her hair color really pops. Trust me, that's not her natural hair color.

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Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie
Left: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images and Right: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Extensions help Nicole Richie pull off this upswept ponytail. 

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Jeannie Mai

Jeannie Mai
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

 Jeannie Mai's blue-black curls are flattering.

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Shaun Robinson

Shaun Robinson
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

 Shaun Robinson's pinned, side-swept hairdo looks lovely.

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Hannah Simone

Hannah Simone in a pinned-back hairstyle
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

 "New Girl's" Hannah Simone's hair is pinned back in a cascade of waves.

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Alexandra Breckenridge

Alexandra Breckenridge
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

 This is a lovely half-up/half-down style.

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Genesis Rodriguez

Genesis Rodriguez in a pinned-back hairstyle
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

 This is another example of a side-swept hairdo.

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Dianna Agron

Dianna Agron Prom Hairstyles
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Waves are the key to making a pinned-back hairstyle work.

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Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon prom hairstyles
Marianna Massey/Getty Images

Reese Witherspoon has pinned-back hair with an edge.

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Teresa Palmer

Teresa Palmer prom hairstyles
David Livingston/Getty Images

This look may be a tad too casual for prom. 

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Rachel Bilson

Rachel Bilson prom hairstyles
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

 Bilson wears a messy pinned-back hairdo.

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Chloe Lambert

Pinned-Back Prom Hair: Chloe Lambert
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

 Chloe Lambert's curls are beautiful.

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Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz
Daniel George/ZUMA Press/Getty Images

To get this lift up top as seen here, you can tease hair at the roots. If you want to avoid the damage backcombing can do, consider a "Bumpit," an amazing insert that will give hair volume and lift all night.

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Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

 This is a great, big prom hair look.

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Caroline D'Amore

Caroline D'Amore
Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

 If your prom is more casual than formal, try this everyday look.

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Jenna Ushkowitz

Jenna Ushkowitz
Jordan Strauss/Getty Images

 This style really suits Ushkowitz.

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Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

If you have a beautiful face like Olivia Wilde does, pull all of the hair in the front of your face back for prom.

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Melissa George

Melissa George
Andrew H. Walke/Getty Images

 This side-swept look shows off George's gorgeous earrings.

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Eva La Rue

Eva La Rue
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

 Curls or waves would dress up this hairstyle.