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27 Prettiest Half Up Half Down Prom Hairstyles

Romantic Half Up with Hairpiece


Curls and volume are all you need to look like a princess on your special night! Notice the twists around the head that keep the locks in place, accented beautifully with a crystal piece.

Braided Half Up Half Down


This one’s giving us a strong and carefree boho-vibe with all the pretty fishtails going on the crown, the bun, and that gorgeous long ponytail. Definitely a show stopper when you walk into the room!

Half Up Crown Braid


A look that features a beautiful hair crown which looks even more charming with those blonde highlights. Autumn colors for your prom dress would look fantastic if you have this hair shade.

Long Blonde Braids


Start with a simple elegant braid and end your golden hair with waves to achieve this hairstyle perfect for a prom queen!

Rose Gold Ombre


Feel in love all night long when you wear your dreamy rose gold hair with a simple half-up bun. No need for a complicated style as this enchanting color can make you remembered by everyone on prom night.

Half Up Boho Braid


Boho half up half down prom hairstyles are totally trending this year. Bring glamour to your prom with this boho chic hair styled with messy braids and twists that give your hair volume from top to bottom. Looks stunning on vintage and long flowing dresses! @hair_art_by_kyleigh

Silver Bow


This half-up half-down hairstyle for prom is matched with a dazzling silver hue looks very simple and relaxed yet definitely perfect for a glam dress. Try it with blue and jewel colors that best complement silver.

Cute Curled Half Up Half Down


Q&A with style creator, Charlane Yu
Principal Makeup Artist & Hairstylist @ Charlane Yu Makeup in Singapore

How would you describe this look?

It is less messy than having all the hair down, as it’s mostly gathered at the back into a braided design. In that way, you can still be neat and well-styled, but it still looks more relaxed than an updo hairstyle. The loose strands of hair down the side helps to frame the face and give it a soft and romantic feel.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Obviously, you will need to have a longer hair for this prom half up style – preferably waist length to begin with. The braids and curls will look nicer with highlighted hair to achieve the 3-dimensional texture. It is important to use hair spray with strong holding power so the curls can last longer. If you prefer something romantic and youthful looking, this style will be spot on!

Half Up Half Down French Braid


Q&A with style creator, Kiera Mc Cusker
Stylist @ Claire’s Hair Studio in Omagh, UK

How would you describe this look?

This is an elegant half-up and half-down style with a boho vibe. The loveliest part is the dutch braid which adds texture and detail without taking over the look.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look is so wearable for anyone with a little to a lot of hair – someone with a relaxed style with a bit of edge to it.

Style on clean hair with a little volume mousse blowdried in. Use a curling iron or straightening iron depending on desired curls and finish with hairspray and shine spray.

Classic Half Up with Braided Headband


Q&A with style creator, Jacki Spellman
Stylist / Owner @ Lifted Salon Studio in Roseville, CA

How would you describe this look?

I created a rope braid for this half-up half-down hairstyle with the help of NBR Hand Tied Extensions. I love a princess’ hair, and the prettiest thing about it is that her hair was able to do this without her extensions being detected. It’s versatile and looks great on Bohemian dresses and chiffon gowns.

Any advice for someone considering it?

I prepped her hair blow drying with Eufora Illuminate Sine Mist and Sculpture Styling Gel. Then I used Eufora’s Retain Heat Protection and a 1-inch XL Barrell Iron to create these curls. I created the rope twisting the hair back and using Eufora Full Effect Dry Texture Spray to add volume and fullness.

Rooted Curls


Q&A with style creator, Cortney Lee Gay
Hairstylist @ All About You Hair, Skin, & Nails in Alexandria, AL

How would you describe this look?

This half-up, half-do prom hair is one of my favorites, as it gives you height and length! It’s romantic and dramatic at the same time. I wanted my client to feel like a beautiful princess for her prom, and this style would last all night!

Any advice for someone considering it?

If you are going for this look, a shoulder-length hair or a long one will do.

Auburn Rose Bun


Q&A with style creator, Jen Collier
Freelance Hairstylist @ in Melbourne, VIC

How would you describe this look?

This is a half up half down style with minimal accessories (unless you want to add more!) that anyone can wear, long or short hair. What makes this style really stand out is the volume the curls give it. I used a curling wand (or hot tongs) to create these curls right from the base of the hair to give them as much volume as possible. Then I deconstructed them by combing my fingers through to give it a more undone or messy look. The rose bun was created by twisting some of the curled pieces into a half-up bun and pinned into the shape I wanted.

Any advice for someone considering it?

To create this look for prom night, wash your hair a day before and use some dry shampoo to take the oil or shine out of your hair and also to give it some grip to enhance the curls. If your hair is long or if it doesn’t hold curls well, use White Sands Liquid Texture and dry it into the hair first so it can hold the style longer. I then used White Sands Infinity Hairspray to set the style as it gives a strong hold without the appearance of sticky hairspray. This is great for prom, weddings, formal events, or any special occasion, although this was for a graduation ceremony. You can do this style on any hair type or length. If you have shorter or thinner hair, make the curls a little thinner to give an overall thicker appearance. Using a curling wand rather than a straightener, in this case, will create more body in the curls, which is what really makes this style so beautiful.

Neatly Pulled Back


Q&A with style creator, Kelli Kuperus
Stylist @ Seagrass Salon & Day Spa in Wilmington, NC

How would you describe this look?

This pulled back half down, half up hairstyle was shampooed, blow dried, styled with a large round brush, then finished with a 1 & 1/4 curling iron to complete the look. I like that it was done with excitement for her graduation & headshots!

Any advice for someone considering it?

Wash and dry the hair using professional products. In this case, I used Unite product. Use a medium to large round brush to smoothen the hair, apply dry shampoo teasing the crown section, and then curl it in three sections! Separate the curls with a finishing brush to soften the look!

Braids + Flower Bun


Q&A with style creator, Kristie Hansen
Hairstylist / Bridal Specialist @ Blondies & Co. in Bountiful, UT

How would you describe this look?

I would describe this prom hairstyle as braids and a flower bun. My favorite thing about this hairstyle is that it can be casual or fancy.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This hairstyle is great for any type of hair. I like to prep the hair with Kenra Texture Powder at the root and Kenra Dry Texture Spray through the ends. This gives the hair a little bit of grit so your bobby pins stay in place and your curls look voluminous.

Once I spray the texture spray in, I curl the hair with a 1-inch curling iron from Hot Tools. Now that the hair is curled, I start with the three side braid. I created three Dutch braids, but three French braids would work as well. I take the three braids and hair from the other side (like you’re doing a half up ponytail) and connect them with an elastic. Nex.t I braid the half up ponytail and twist it into a bun. I like to finish this style with Kenra Volume 25 Hairspray.

Braided Half Up Pony


Q&A with style creator, Whitney Kyllo
Hairstylist / Braid Specialist @ The Brow Babe Studio in Saskatoon, SK

How would you describe this look?

This braided half up pony gives me major 90s vibes. Extension hair is used to add fullness to the braids and help create the voluminous fountain pony.

One of my favorite things about this hairstyle is its versatility. You can either curl or straighten the hair that’s not braided, or pull it up into a high ponytail.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This braided style is perfect for any hair type because the texture of the extension hair added can easily be matched to the client’s natural hair texture.

I recommend this hairstyle for prom to someone who loves low maintenance hair because the braids can be kept in for up to one week. The versatility of this style is also a major plus.

Party in the Back


Q&A with style creator, Ness Vasquez
Founder and Owner @ Tinged Beauty in Glendora, CA

How would you describe this look?

This look has a “business in the front and party in the back” vibe. It offers volume and contrast. My client has a two-toned hair color which really enhances the double Dutch braid at the bottom of the crown.

I love her loose waves for added texture. This look is simple and flirty for any occasion.

Any advice for someone considering it?

I used a 1-inch ceramic curling iron. This iron does have a clamp, but I used it as we would normally use a wand. Kenra Working Spray helps keep the hair in tact while waving, and Tigi Curl Spray keeps the waves lasting for hours. Both products won’t leave any residue on the hair so there can be a clean brush out to finish the look.

This look will best benefit people with medium to long hair and minimal layers. When it comes to half up half down prom hairstyles, the fuller the hair, the better!

Polished and Whimsical


Q&A with style creator, Lesli Hope Jones
Freelance Hair and Makeup Artist in San Diego, CA

How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

This hairstyle is a twist on a classic half up half down style that is both polished and whimsical. The braid is my favorite thing about this look. Adding a braid to any hairstyle keeps it playful, trendy and chic.

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

I used a 1-inch curling iron to curl, then combed through the curls to make looser waves. I have three must-have products for any formal style. First I coat the entire head with Sexy Hair Push Up spray to give volume and flexible hold. I also use Sexy Hair Powder Play Lite throughout the crown and the braid for extra texture. I finish all looks with Unite Session-Max Hairspray for a hold that will last all night.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This style can work for any client, however it works best on someone with medium to thick hair. The thicker the hair, the fuller the braid will be. It’s great for clients that like to have their hair down, but also out of their face.

Soft & Sleek for Short Hair


Q&A with style creator, Shannon Walker
Master Stylist @ Salon 463 in Horsham, PA

How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

This half-up, half-down for short hair is soft and sleek. I wanted to give her a soft curl with some volume.

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

I created this look with a 1-inch Babybliss curling iron and vertical sections. I twisted back two small sections from the front and secured them with two bobby pins. I finished with ColorProof Fiber Blast and MoroccanOil Lightweight Finishing Spray.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look is universal and can be recreated on all hair types and lengths. It is flattering for all face shapes. I would recommend this look for a formal or casual event.

Triple Headband Braid Half Updo

The title says it all.  Long luscious curls, a decent sized bump, three cool braids across the top… So cute!

How To Style:

  1. When hair is almost completely dry, separate the top and sides from the hair in back.
  2. Create your braided headbands by separating the hair in front into three sections.  Start in the front with the hair just above your left ear.  Follow hairline across the front, all the way over to just past the opposite ear.  Complete 2nd and 3rd braids the same way making sure to line them up.  Secure the three braids behind your ear.
  3. Add backcombing to the top/crown area, then pin with bobby pins to hold it in place.
  4. Use a medium to large sized barrel curling iron to create your spiral curls.  Make sure you’re using a good working hairspray so you won’t need as much at the end with your final look.
  5. After they’re cooled, break apart curls if you need to.  Spritz the finished style with a firm hold hairspray.

Recommended products:  Nexxus Comb Thru Natural Hold Design and Finishing Mist is a perfect option for this style.

Best face shape and hair type:  Oval, subtle square or round.  At least a medium density with some natural texture.

Tip:  Have a friend help with the braids or practice doing them if you’re inexperienced at all.  Getting the lines between them just right can be challenging as well as keeping the tension consistent if you aren’t sure of your skills or you’re in a rush.

Creative Half Updo for Long Hair


Hair is twisted from both sides and tied in the center. This was repeated until a low ponytail was achieved. Loss hair is loosely curled for more texture.

Gorgeous ‘Do for Curly Hair


Don’t miss out on the beauty of hair accessories! Put a floral finishing touch to your super dreamy locks to get more attention to your hair.

Simple Twists for Medium Length Hair


It’s time to get inspired with this sweet, natural look that’s soft like a whisper decorated with a floral hair comb.

Smooth Classic Half Updo with Headband

This simple but elegant style is so easy, it’s a no brainer for those who are no fuss, no stress.  It’s clean and fresh.  Honey blonde is a great color, but the color isn’t as important as the condition of your hair.  Take good care of it in the months before prom to really get the most fabulous looking locks.

How To Style:

  1. Apply heat protection and smoothing product while hair is damp, then blow hair dry completely finishing the process with a large round brush.
  2. Use your flat iron on the lowest setting necessary to smooth any unruly hair.
  3. Tuck hair behind your ears then add your headband.
  4. Spritz with a little light finishing hairspray that adds shine and you’re done!

Recommended products:  Use Paul Mitchell’s Super Clean Light Hairspray for soft body and shine.

Best face shape and hair type:  Oval, heart, some square, subtle round.  Fine to thick density with little to no natural texture will work best.

Tip:  When shampooing your hair, create suds in the roots and pull those suds through the ends without picking them up and rubbing them around your scalp.  After rinsing, apply conditioner starting with the ends.  Brush it as little as possible when hair is wet to avoid unnecessary breakage.

Curly Half Updo Without Bangs

Fabulous honey blonde hair looks tiara-worthy with random spiral curls with the front and top pinned halfway back.  It’s not too fussy and keeps your face open and sunny.  Cute!

How To Style:

  1. Use hot rollers or a medium sized barrel curling iron to create spiral curls throughout the back of your hair.
  2. Insert backcombing into the top back area for pins to lock into for more support.
  3. Pull front and sides back and pin beneath the fall of hair that comes from your crown.
  4. Apply a light spritz of finishing spray and you’re done!

Recommended products:  Prep hair in the months before prom with a fabulous shampoo and conditioner like Agadir Argan Oil Daily Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner.

Best face shape and hair type:  Oval, heart, subtle round or square.  Fine to thick density with any natural texture.

Tip:  Use hot rollers set vertically in the back if you can.  It will free up your hands to apply your makeup or take care of other last minute details while they cool.

Spiral Curled Long Layered Half Updo

Fun highlights add a lot of dimension to this quick but fun style.  It’s formal enough without being too serious.  The curls are a little looser and starting to break apart so you don’t have to stress about looking “perfect.”  Adding the side swept bangs that almost cover one eye gives you a little extra dose of mystery.

How To Style:

  1. After you’ve thoroughly pumped up your hair with the blow dryer and volumizing products, use a curling iron to create loose spiral curls all around your head.  Skip bangs since you’ll end up straightening them out anyway.
  2. Give yourself a bump right behind your bangs with some backcombing then smooth over the top.  Bobby pin the smoothed back section by overlapping the pins in an X shape to lock them in place.
  3. Sweep a flat iron through your bangs to smooth them out.
  4. Spray the finished style with a light to medium hold hairspray.

Recommended products:  Lacking shine?  Try out Redken Glass 01 Smoothing Serum for shine without extra weight.  It’s fabulous!

Best face shape and hair type:  Oval, heart, some long, square, round.  Fine to thick density with at least a little natural texture or the products to really hold that curl in!

Tip:  For those who want even more punk in this style, add a hair accessory like colored feathers or metallic strands.

Ribbon Curled Half Updo

Gorgeous healthy smooth spiral curls are ribbon curled, but not flat and lifeless.  It’s classy and chic.

How To Style:

  1. Blow out hair to smooth it using a large round brush.
  2. Add backcombing to the top and crown areas for the volume you want and smooth over the top so your finished style doesn’t look messy.
  3. Using a 1” barrel curling iron, clip all hair up except for a section at the bottom about 2” wide.  Take a square section of that row and smooth it out with a comb, then slide the curling iron to the end and roll vertically to create your spiral curl.  Don’t let hair stay in the exact same spot on the curling iron or you’ll end up with a line from the clamp.  If you start a little ways away from the end, you have room to shimmy that hair out a little bit while the iron is working.
  4. Repeat this step through the first row, then let down another row and repeat until all hair in the back has been curled.  For hair that comes from the top and sides, only curl up about half way.  Don’t brush or comb through the curls!  Leave them exactly as they are for that perfect ribbon look.
  5. Smooth top and sides back and pin individual curls at the back of the head, keeping the look soft and sweet.
  6. Flat iron or curl bangs then spray the finished style with a firm hold hairspray.

Recommended products:  Paul Mitchell’s Freeze and Shine Super Spray is a fantastic hairspray for this process.  I like to spray the hair a few seconds before curling that strand because the hold is awesome and the shine is amazing!

Best face shape and hair type:  Oval, heart, round, square, long.  Fine to thick density, little natural texture.

Tip:  How you use a curling iron affects the outcome of the curl.  Starting at the top and smoothing to the ends versus applying the curling iron at the ends and rolling up, or using the clamp to hold hair in place versus wrapping hair around the outside of the barrel.  The size of each section of hair you curl makes a huge difference too.  Practice different techniques to get the style of curl you like best.

Long Smooth Classic Pulled Back Half Updo

This style is so clean and simple that it’s never out of style!  It’s an easy alternative if you’re a no-nonsense kind of girl, if you run out of time or just like to keep things simple.

How To Style:

  1. Blow dry hair with a large round brush after applying a smoothing heat protection spray or serum.
  2. Insert backcombing into the top and crown areas then smooth over the top.
  3. Bring front and sides back softly and pin with bobby pins right at the back of the top.
  4. Light hold hairspray is all you should really need for this one.  Keep it touchable!

Recommended products:  Super Skinny Serum from Paul Mitchell is so fabulous, you’ll wonder why you never used it before.  It leaves hair feeling so silky and smooth, adds shine and gives you more time between having to brush long locks since it tangles a lot less.

Best face shape and hair type:  Oval, subtle heart, round, square.  Fine to thick density, any natural texture.

Tip:  The best thing you can do for a style like this is really take care of your hair.  Try a hair masque once a week for a couple of weeks before prom then make sure you have a fresh trim to keep it looking flawless.

To make the decision process easy for finding half up half down prom hairstyles, give yourself a “mood board” or other collage where you can put all the prom elements together to get a better idea of how it will all look together.  That should help you figure out what design or style will look best and make your night perfect!