Classic Prom Updos: 30 Inspirational Hairstyles

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Classic Prom Updo Favorites

Emily Blunt. Photos: Alberto E. Rodriguez (l) & Jason Merritt (r) for Getty Images

When it comes to choosing the perfect hairstyle for prom, a wedding or any formal occasion, you can't go wrong with a classic updo. The gorgeous updos in this slideshow aren't tacky or over-the-top. Instead, they're classy and perfect for prom, homecoming or a wedding.

Classic updos can be simple or complicated, so it's recommended that you take a photo into a stylist and have your updo professionally done. You can watch YouTube videos on how to do your own updo (with the help of someone, of course), but for a special event, a professional's touch is worth the extra money. Going to a salon to get your hair done for prom will also make you feel pampered.

On the other hand, if you're that fortunate individual who has a friend or family member who can style hair on par with professionals, by all means, let them do your hair if you're familiar with their work and you trust them. Buying a prom dress, shoes and accessories is expensive enough, so if you can save money by skipping the salon, go for it.

If you're dead set on an updo for prom, you should keep some things in mind. Firstly, you should choose your dress first, then your hairstyle. Some dresses may not look appropriate with an updo. This is especially the case if you choose a less formal gown.

Also, consider the neckline of your dress when picking the hairstyle. Long hair kept down won't work with every dress, whereas a classic updo will. But remember that your hair needs to be a certain length to be pinned into an updo. You might consider letting your short or medium-length hair grow out a few months before your big event. You can also use hair extensions or a weave to achieve an updo if your hair just isn't long enough by your prom date.

Get your hair colored at least a few days before prom or the wedding. This way if the color is off, you have time to fix it.

As gross as it sounds, hair that hasn't just been washed works best for updos. Silky, soft hair won't stay put, but if you have coarse, dry hair, you are good to go. You can create texture with dry shampoo or even baby powder to keep hair from falling out of place.

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Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba
Steve Granitz for Getty Images

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Examples of Formal Updos That Aren't Your Typical Classic Updos

Unusual updos
Images via Pinterest: Right, copyright Studio B Photography
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A Gorgeous Classic Updo

Classic updo
Pinterest/Sphotos.xx.fbcdn
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Emma Stone

Emma Stone
Frazer Harrison // Getty Images
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Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge

Kate Middleton
Getty Images
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Two Shots of a Formal Twisted Updo

Formal updos on a model and on Lily Colllins
Left: Pinterest, right: Getty Images
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Add an Accessory to Dress Up Your Updo

Updo with an accessory
Getty Images
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Classic Prom Updo, Perfect for a Traditional Girl

Classic updo
Hairdo by TEAM Hair & Makeup of Santa Barbara. Photography by mwfoto.com
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Kate Upton

Kate Upton: 2 different prom updos
Getty Images
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Emmy Rossum

Emmy Rossum
Alberto E. Rodriguez and Jason Kempin for Getty
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Stunning Traditional Formal Updo

Traditional updo
StyleMePretty.com
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Emmy Rossum

Emmy Rossum
David Livingston // Getty Images
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A Braided Updo

Braided updo
Credit: Slaven Vlasic for Getty
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Rachel Weisz

Rachel Weisz
Photo by Lisa O'Connor/ZUMA Press
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Whitney Port

Whitney Port
Stephen Lovekin
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Emmy Rossum

Emmy Rossum
Taylor Hill for Getty
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Jennifer Lawrence's Side Updo

Jennifer Lawrence
From left: For Getty Images, Frazer Harrison & Jason Merritt
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Victoria Justice

Victoria Justice
Kevin Winter // Getty Images
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Dayanara Torres Goes Classic

Dayanara Torres
Photo by Glenn Weiner/ZUMA Press
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Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain
Dave Hogan // Getty
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Lindsay Price

Lindsay Price
Andrew H. Walker/Getty
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Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley
(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
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A Gorgeous Updo From Behind

Updo
Boy Maurice's Instagram
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A Look at an Updo from Behind

Updo from behind
Getty Images
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Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl
Pascal Le Segretain // Getty Image
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A Gorgeous Side Do

Side do
weddingbee.com
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Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood
Jason Merritt // Getty
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Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba
Getty Images