11 Non-Lame Prom Updo Hairstyles You Should Definitely Copy On The Night Of The Dance

When it comes to prom, it's easy to stand out from the crowd with a totally amazing dress or Kardashian-inspired beauty look, but I sometimes feel like every prom updo hairstyle is the same. The curls, the bobby pins, the tiaras... it all just feels a little stagnant. However, there are plenty of updos that don't require barrel curls or clip in flowers! And these are the styles you should be trying to copy come prom night.

I have super fine, thin hair that I always had trouble styling myself. So before each school formal, I would take a picture of a celebrity hairstyle I adored to my very trusted hair stylist who would always pull off a version of the look that worked with my strands. Then one year, my junior prom year, she was booked before I scheduled my appointment. Panicking, I went to a recommended stylist with a picture of Taylor Swift on the red carpet... and ended up with a style that looked like I had just gotten a bob. I'm ashamed to admit that I cried, despite the compliments I received on the updo.

After that debacle, I finally learned my senior year to come in with hairstyles that were similar to my naturally thin hair. As long as you pick a look that works with your texture, you'll have no problem stepping out of the salon with a 'do that's completely perfect for you — not a carbon copy of the all the other curly styles at prom. Here, nine pieces of hair-spiration to get you started.

1. Feathers

Styling short hair may be the hardest part of prom, but Shailene Woodley seems to do it so effortlessly on every red carpet she steps onto. I had to do a double-take when I saw her with feathers in her hair at the world premier of Insurgent. Totally unexpected and totally amazing.

2. Messy Bun

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Underwood literally can do no wrong when it comes to her hair. Whether it's down and curled or in a low messy bun, like this, she always looks elegant.

3. Low Elegant Bun

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

LC is the queen of effortless, elegant updos. This style is a throwback to the '50s and looks very easy to pull off.

4. Top Knot


Is this even an updo list without including Sarah Hyland's highlighted top knot? She rocked a sophisticated bun at the 2015 Emmy Awards, proving that a top knot is appropriate literally everywhere.

5. Rolled Headpiece

Sean Gallup/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

This picture doesn't do the hairstyle justice, but while she was promoting Star Trek Into Darkness, actress Zoe Saldana stepped out on the red carpet in a rolled updo that was clipped together with a sparkly headpiece.

6. Violet Hair

Larry Busacca/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Surprise everyone at your prom by showing up with Kylie Jenner/Nicole Richie inspired hair color. Then, style your new locks best with this twisted undo.

7. Braided Pompadour

Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Nyong'o looked amazing at the 2014 MTV Music Awards in her eclectic dress, completed with a twisted pompadour.

8. Slicked Back Chignon

Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Slicked back hairstyles can be tougher to pull off, but they're perfect for pairing with a dramatic, backless dress. Selena Gomez looks amazing in this slicked back chignon with just a few loose tendrils.

9. Naturally Curly Hair


If you have naturally curly hair, use it! Let a few ringlets fall down and don't pull the curls back to tightly to disguise them.

10. Cornrows

Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Pull long, thick hair off your neck with a couple big braids. So much cooler than your average mermaid curls!

11. Textured Ponytail

Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Ponytails are definitely prom-appropriate, especially if you blast your strands with a volumizing texture spray to get some beachy waves before you pull it all back.

Images: Getty (11)