These are *the* prom hairstyles for 2023—from Sofia Richie's wedding-inspired updo to long beachy waves

These are the chicest prom hairstyles for 2023, according to a hairstylist...

Prom hairstyles: Maya Jama pictured with a curly updo, alongside a picture of Zendaya with a curly bob and finally, a picture of Gigi Hadid with long waves/ in a pink and cream template
(Image credit: Getty Images: (L) David M. Benett/Dave Benett/ (M) Amy Sussman/WireImage/ (R)Daniele Venturelli/WireImage)

If you've already got your prom dress sussed but have no idea how to style your hair to compliment it, these are the best prom hairstyles for 2023, handpicked by the experts.

While bob hairstyles and brunette balayage (like Kendall Jenner's new blonde hair) continue to dominate our Insta feeds, occasion-ready hair, or more specifically prom hair, is a whole different ball game. Your chosen hair look needs to work with both your dress and prom makeup, making it one hell of a big decision.

Do you go for a classy up-do or a Hollywood-esque blowout? The choices are truly endless but thankfully, the experts have supplied us with all the intel on the trendiest look for prom 2023...

What are the best prom hairstyles 2023?

From a wispy fringe hairstyle to a slicked back, Clean-Girl-esque bun, we've rounded up all the chicest (and celebrity-approved!) hair looks that are guaranteed to make you the belle of the ball. 

1. Sofia Richie's wedding-inspired hair

According to Miffy G, senior stylist at HARI's salon, Sofia Richie's wedding hair will be one of the hottest prom hairstyles this year. 

Sofia wore her hair in a soft, low bun, with a middle parting and not one hair out of place. It was giving major old-money vibes, so for anyone wanting to channel a similar 'Quiet Luxury' aesthetic with their prom look, this could be the hairstyle to opt for! 

Luckily for any fans of this classic look, it's actually quite easy to recreate and yes, Miffy has indeed shared some pointers!

To start, Miffy says to: "Begin by prepping the hair with Chiffon mousse by R+Co (available at Amazon) on dry hair and smoothing with a dryer and brush. This is the first step in helping you control the movement of the hair when slicking it back."

She then says to section your hair into two, "from behind one ear diagonally upwards towards the crown, before coming diagonally downwards behind the other ear," Miffy explains that separating your hair in two sections allows for more control—especially if you have thicker hair—you should then secure the hair at the nape of your neck with an elastic.

Be sure to keep your center parting clean before securing your hair into the ponytail, Miffy notes: "If the hairline is prone to frizz, wrap neck tape around the hairline to help lay the edges down."

Then get your curling one out and curl the hair in some directions, this will make it easier to twist and wrap into your low bun. Miffy then instructs to: "split ponytail in two. Twist hair, pinch the ends and back team using your fingers, creating volume in the twist. Wrap hair around the base of the ponytail. Repeat the same with the remaining hair."

Lastly for that photo-ready shine, Miffy says to use R+Co Two Way Mirror Smoothing Oil (available at Amazon) and then finish off with a few spritzes of hair spray. Here's a step-by-step breakdown of the look, for you to screenshot...

  1. Prep Hair: use a mousse on dry hair and smooth with a hairdryer and brush 
  2. Section hair: split your hair into two sections, "from behind one ear diagonally upwards towards the crown, before coming diagonally downwards behind the other ear."
  3. Secure hair: tie your two sections of hair at the nape with a bungee or elastic.
  4. Curl: Tong your hair in some direction making it easier to twist, wrap and pin hair into the bun.
  5. Volume: split the ponytail into two sections, then: "Twist hair, pinch the ends and back team using your fingers, creating volume in the twist."
  6. Create the bun: "Wrap hair around the base of the ponytail."
  7. Finish: complete the look with a shine-boosting product and hair stray

Miffy also notes that this look should be adapted depending on your face shape, "A center part low bun may look quite severe on longer face shapes. Changing the parting to the side to give the illusion of width." She suggests also perhaps "leaving some hair out around the face to soften the look."

You can also opt for some more volume or texture at the crown, but not too much, as "relaxed and undone is the general vibe of formal hair requests—a modern hair up."

2. Hollywood waves

Celebrity hair stylist and R+Co Creative Ambassador, Steven Beaver, says that if you have hair past the collarbone, the celebrity-approved textured wave is the perfect look for prom.

He says: "Deep side parts with natural texture recreating the iconic Jerry Hall look is very in for 2023 when it comes to occasion hair." 

For this look, simply curl your hair loosely either with a wand or the Dyson Airwrap and use a texturizing spray, to create that beachy, mermaid-esque wave.

3. The tousled bob

If you've been influenced by Hailey Bieber's recent hair chop and now find yourself with an Italian-esque bob, a tousled look would be perfect for prom.

This look will work with any length of hair on or above the shoulder. Plus, if you have naturally straight hair, this is a fun way to change up the look of your new bob! 

If you are planning to rock this look, we'd recommend keeping your makeup more on the natural side, as the waves and short crop will around bring the focus to your face.

4. The curly updo

If you've got a curly hair type, a look similar to Maya Jama's curly updo would be perfect, we especially love the face-framing tendrils! 

Her look is very effortless glam and would look incredible when paired with a maxi dress.

5. The slick bun

Alternatively, if you were wanting a more sleek look, a slicked-back bun is so on-trend right now. This hair-up moment from Lori Harvey would make a truly timeless prom hairstyle, especially with the two face-framing sections.

We'd recommend using a hair wax stick like the TikTok-popular Tigi Bed Head stick available at Amazon—it's also small enough to fit in your prom bag for any emergency flyaway-touch-ups!

6. The voluminous bob

Zendaya's blown-out, bouncy bob definitely fulfills the prom hairstyle assignment. This look is chic and sophisticated and ideal if your hair is at that in-between bob and shoulder-length stage. 

As Zendaya's outfit proves, this look was made for a formal occasion!

7. The sleek, behind the ears look

If you have long hair, this 'behind the ears' hairstyle is perfectly elegant and so low-maintained! Simply straighten your hair, before tucking the front sections behind your ears and securing with some pins. Then let the rest of your hair fall behind your shoulders, covering the pinned back sections—to make it look as though you've literally just tucked your hair behind your ears.

Alternatively, you can also tie the two front sections together, behind the nape of your neck, instead of pining them. This will also help to create some volume for the rest of your hair.

8.The 90s updo

Reminiscent of Pamela Anderson's iconic curly updo, this look from Sydney Sweeney is also another option for prom, especially if you have curtain bangs!

If you don't have a fringe however (and have no intention of getting one before prom), this curly 90s look also works with a sleek middle parting, as we see here on Hailee Steinfeld...

9. Half up, half down

A half up, half down prom hairstyle will never go amiss! This wavy, hair twist moment from Madelyn Cline is would compliment any prom dress and will not cause you too much hassle! 

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.