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Choosing The Perfect Hairstyle for your Prom Dress

It’s nearly prom time!

You’ve chosen your dress, the alterations have been made, you’ve started walking around your house in your shoes to break them in (or at least, we hope you have!) and you know which jewellery you’ll be wearing on prom night. You’ve even booked in your nail appointment and you’re planning how you’ll get to the venue.

That just leaves the final details of hair and makeup to finalise. But how do you choose which style is best for your prom? And how do you find a style that works with the rest of your outfit?

Thankfully Lily’s Boutique has supplied prom dresses for years, so we know a thing or two about putting together the perfect look. Here’s what we think – but remember that you should go with your own heart when it comes to showing off your beauty and being yourself.

Try an app

There are a number of apps that will let you upload a picture to try on different hair styles. This is a fun way to experiment with different lengths, styles, and even colours to see what you like. When you're taking a picture to upload to one of these apps, pull your hair away from your face and look straight into the camera. This will help to make sure the sample hairstyles are aligned properly with your face. Bear in mind that your face shape will lend itself to certain styles more than others, so you’ll want to go for something that suits you as well as something you like.

Use your dress!

A handy tip we’ve picked up is to choose a hairstyle that complements your gown. That way you can narrow down the hairstyle searches and hopefully one will stand out as being very ‘you’.

If you’ve gone for a simple and elegant dress, you could add some sparkle into your hairstyle using accessories like clips or embellished hairbands/headbands.

If you’ve decided on an embellished prom dress you may not need any hair jewellery although some of our customers think that it’s the perfect opportunity to wear a tiara as they work with any hairstyle.

If your look is more relaxed or bohemian, or you’ve bought a strapless dress, you could look at wearing your hair in long relaxed curls or waves. Depending on your commitment to the look, you could even add flowers.

Up dos

Having your hair worn up looks lovely with lower or detailed backs. If you have an unusual strap or fabric, or you’re showing off your back, have a look at some up dos for inspiration.

Down dos

If you have a high-neck dress, one-shoulder dress, open-back dress, or a dress with unique details on the shoulders or back that you want to showcase, you might want to wear your hair up with a smooth twist, a low or high bun/chignon, a cluster of curls, or even a side-sweeping style with cascading curls.

Side dos

If you prefer your hair pulled back but still down, a side do can look very elegant. This sort of look is perfect with any dress, and offers the best of both worlds. This video shows you how to do a braided side swept prom hairstyle yourself.

Curly dos

If you’re already blessed with curly hair then you already have a headstart. We really like the half up do in this article as a lovely compromise between up and down that shows off the natural curls. If curling your hair has to be done with heat, we love the Hollywood glam curls look which is perfect for the red carpet.

Wavy dos

You can’t go wrong with classic loose waves. We really love boho waves with a touch of glam, like this example. This is acheiveable at home if you know how to use your GHDs and is timeless, meaning when you look back at the photos in twenty years’ time you won’t cringe!


Although easier if your hair is long, short haired ladies can also look fabulous with plaits. We particularly like the crown fishtail braid as an alternative to the standard one. Get inspiration here.

Wet look

This one is for the daring or more rebellious ones, and we’re here for it. We love the simplicity of a parting and short style with enough product to look purposeful not greasy.

Short hair

If your hair is short, you may want to refresh your cut and even colour a few days before your event. You have options in terms of changing the texture, going for curls if your hair is usually straight, or trying some asymmetric cornrow plaits which are eye-catching but beautiful.

Planning ahead

Whether you have a hair salon appointment booked, or you’re doing it yourself at home (or roping in a friend to help) we advise you to plan ahead. If you’re having a hair appointment you’ll need to book early because they’ll be busy around prom time. Take images from magazines and online, and schedule in a practice session to make sure your stylist can get what you’d like. Listen to their advice, because your hair type may not be suitable for the style you want, and they’re the experts. If you’re using hair accessories, don’t forget to take them to the practise session so you get a good idea of the final look.

If you’re styling your hair at home, the same thing is true. Practise well in advance until you’re completely confident that you can do it on the evening. Make sure you’ve got plenty of supplies and styling products such as gel, spray, and wax. If you haven’t got hair grips buy plenty before you need them!

We hope this has given you some inspiration and helped you narrow down your prom hairstyle choices.

It’s all about you

Remember: this is about you and what you like. Curly hair can be straightened, and straight hair can be curled. Plait your hair, wear it straight, change your side parting, slick your hair back, or try a Rihanna style top knot. Accessorize or not, the choice is yours.

Changing your hairstyle for a special event like prom gives you an opportunity to step outside of your everyday fashion box. Even the smallest change can make a big difference, and the hairstyles for prom are endless. The secret to looking gorgeous is your attitude, so make your choices, have fun getting ready, and have a fantastic night.

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