Perfect Hairstyles for Your Graduation Cap

by Brinton Parker

Graduation season is upon us! This period of change is filled with tons of new experiences that can, frankly, be a little bit scary. And somehow, on top of all the job-hunting, moving, and sad goodbyes, the pressure falls on you to look awesome in your graduation photos. If you have seen what traditional commencement attire looks like, you know that pulling off the look is no easy feat.

I will be graduating in a mere three weeks, and am experiencing the typical anxieties of a college senior. Where am I going to live once my college-town lease ends? What can I do to make my resume stand out from thousands of others? Do I have to stop eating ramen for breakfast and Pop Tarts for dinner? While these are very perplexing questions that I have no clear answer to, one pressing concern that I have put to rest is how I'll look during the graduation ceremony. Once you get past the fact that everybody looks a little potato-like in the shapeless gown, the only remaining issue is deciding on a hairstyle to fit under the square monstrosity that is a graduation cap.

Graduation hairstyles might be a bit daunting for those who tend to rock ponytails and top-knots on a daily basis, since those heinous caps aren't very accommodating to sky high strands. However, have no fear! As a service to my fellow 2014 graduates, I have compiled a list of awesome hairstyles for every length that will look amazing under your cap.

For Short Hair

Prim and Polished Pixie

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A pixie hairstyle like Ginnifer Goodwin's might seem limiting, but there are plenty of ways to style extremely short hair. This cute cut is perfect for a graduation cap because it is really simple, allowing you to play up your makeup without seeming overdone. For extra dazzle, you could add some sparkly bobby pins to secure your cap in place.

Shiny, Side-Swept Bangs

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You're sure to stand out at graduation ceremony with this chic style; your hair need not be intricate if you pump up the shine! Simply sweep your bangs to the side, spray them into place, and spritz your locks with a shine serum.

Natural Curls

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Tamara Mowry rocks her natural hair, and looks amazing doing it! For her look, use your favorite curl-defining creme and spritz with a shine spray before pinning your cap into place.

For Mid-Length Hair

Half-Pinned Curls

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Alexa Chung is a major hair inspiration, always looking effortlessly beautiful with her mid-length locks. This particular style would be perfect for your commencement ceremony! Simply wrap strands of hair around a one-inch curling wand (towards your face), pin a few behind your ear, and spray for good hold throughout the excitement of graduation.

Striking Color

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If you're the edgy type, you might want to follow in Kylie Jenner's footsteps and try out a funky color for your graduation. With a fun look like this, let your hair color speak for itself and simply straighten random pieces of hair. Have a big job interview the next day? Use spray in chalk for temporary tie-dye.

Tight Waves

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For this gorgeous hairstyle, sleep in loose braids the night before your graduation. When you wake up, spritz your hair with a texturizing salt-spray and comb through with your fingers.

Single Braid

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If you're not one for wearing your hair down, a good solution is to mimic Emma Stone's pretty side-braid. Simply curl a few pieces of hair for volume, then braid your hair so that it falls on your "good side." For extra fun, weave a ribbon into the braid to rock your school colors.

For Long Hair

Loose Pigtails

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If you're the bohemian type, this look would be perfect under your graduation cap. Curl odd strands of hair with a curling wand, then braid very loosely on each side of your head. Use a styling putty or clear elastic to secure the ends of the braids, and then add your cap!

Tight Side-braid

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This hairstyle is simple, but absolutely stunning. Braid your hair on one side using a fun technique, like fishtail braiding, and spray from root to ends with a shine serum.

Long, Beachy Waves

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Nothing looks cooler than a girl who knows how to rock basic waves. Ellie Goulding's long-haired look can be achieved by letting your hair dry in two side-buns, spraying with salt-spray, and combing through with your fingers. Just add the cap!

Congratulations to everybody who is graduating in the next few weeks. You'll rock it, class of 2014!