The Most Popular Hairstyles for Prom

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Dianna Agron Prom Hairstyles
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Pinned-back hairstyles are especially popular for prom because you can have both the drama of the updo in a headband or an exposed neckline, yet you still show off the length of your hair (and we all know guys like to see hair down). To get this look you can add extensions for extra length, curl hair around the barrel of a curling iron or with hot rollers and then clip the sides of hair in the back.

Variations on this look include:

  • Twisting the sides and clipping them in the back.
  • Pinning hair back with a jeweled hair clip (try taking a vintage or antique pin and attaching it to a hair clip so it stays in hair).
  • Clipping back only one side.
  • Pinning fresh flowers to one side of the pinned back section.
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Dress Up Your Prom Hairstyle With Color

Bella Thorne
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Add pink streaks as actress Bella Thorne did or consider dip-dye hair color or accessories such as headbands, ballerina bands or feathers to get this look.

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The Super Formal Updo Never Goes Out of Style

Jennifer Lawrence
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There's nothing quite as regal and classy for prom as a gorgeous formal updo and this look that Jennifer Lawrence wore to the 2013 Oscars is absolutely stunning. Just don't try these updos at home, unless your family member is a professional stylist. Classic updos require the technique of a professional. Do it yourself and you'll risk having a hair meltdown in the middle of dancing.

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The Side Ponytail

Cheryl Burke
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Long hair is so versatile, you can do anything with it. That's why this one-shoulder braid is to trendy. This is a great look for hair that has some wave to it.

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Most Popular Prom Hairstyles: Mussy Updos

Ellie Kemper
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Messy is trendy. These prom hairstyles are incredibly stylish, yet aren't shellacked in place. 

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Keep Hair Down and Long for Prom

Megan Fox
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Who says you have to put hair in an updo for prom? Sometimes an updo just won't do. Here are some non-updo prom hairstyle options for all hair lengths.

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Curls Pulled Into an Updo

Brooklyn Decker
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Curly hair pulled into a casual updo is lovely. 

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The Side Bun

Audrina Patridge
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Celebrity stylist Louis Licari explained on the "Today Show" how to recreate the side bun. Here's how to do it:

  1. Wash hair, then prep with a foam gel. Blow dry hair. "You don't have to blow it straight, just blow it," says Licari.
  2. Pull hair over to the side, securing it with elastic. Wrap the hair in a messy twist (you will want long-ish hair for this, of course).
  3. Pin hair with bobby pins. If you have thin hair, backcomb hair to add more texture. Also, consider not washing hair for a couple days and applying baby powder or a dry hair shampoo to make hair less glossy and more manageable.
  4. Because you don't want the hair to be perfect (according to Licari, imperfect is "perfect" for this look), pull out a few strands along the side of the face and don't brush hair before pulling it into that side twist.
  5. Pair this look with strong, smokey eyes. Go an extra step and add color (like purple or blue) to the lids. "Color is the trend this season on the eye," Licari says.
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Short, Funky Hairstyles

Ginnifer Goodwin
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Who says you have to go long at prom? Short hair is sassy and sophisticated. With the right dress and jewelry, even a pixie cut can look dressed up. Here are my favorite short hairstyles to inspire you for prom.

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The Sleek Ponytail Is Sexy With the Right Dress

The Sleek Ponytail Is Sexy With the Right Dress
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

If you have the right face shape for a ponytail (let's face it, some women look spectacular with hair pulled back), you might consider a sleek ponytail for prom. Done right and with the right dress, it's a great look.

This style is great with a dress that's not strapless. It's gorgeous with a halter dress.

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Big Bouncy Curls Are Great

Amber Heard
Valerie Macon/Getty Images

This is the year of the big, bouncy curl. Get this look with hot rollers and spray into place. Remember, guys love to see your hair down. Why not go all out with this bombshell look?

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The Fake Bob (Curly Hair)

Lauren Conrad fake bob
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Fake bobs will definitely set you apart from the crowd at this year's prom. Your stylist will need to curl hair and then pin them under.

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Braids Are Super Trends

models show off braided hairstyles
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Braids are very popular, and there are so many variations, including the fishtail, the braided bun and a slim braid hidden in a mass of curls.

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The Braided Updo

Emmy Rossum
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

This is a cool variation on the classic prom updo. See more prom hairstyles featuring braids for inspiration.

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Variations on the Classic Prom Updo: Feathers, Twists and More

Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt. Jason Merritt/Getty Images

A cool variation of the updo is the twisted updo. You simply twist the sides of the hair and then pin back in a neat (or messy) bun. Actress Emily Blunt has a feather headband on the other side of her head, shown here. The band is actually hidden in her twist. There are many variations on the classic prom updo, including headbands, twists, braids and more.

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The Ballerina Bun Remains a Popular Prom Hairstyle

Laura Linney
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The ballerina bun is lovely, especially for wavy or curly hair, like this look pictured here. 

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Funky Ponytail

Audrina Patridge
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

This is a beautiful hairstyle paired if you're not wearing a strapless dress.

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Teased Hair

Melissa George
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Teased hair is on trend.