Hairstyles for a Formal Dance

Be simply elegant with a chignon.

No matter the length, there are plenty of inspirations for hairstyles for a formal dance.

Get the Look

Formal dances are the perfect opportunity to show off your playful, romantic, or sultry side. Depending on the design and cut of your dress, a hairstyle can add the finishing polish that pulls your whole look together beautifully. Once you've chosen your formal gown or attire, it's time to start thinking about how you'll wear your hair and makeup. While many formal hairstyles can be created at home with a variety of styling tools and accessories, some ladies feel more comfortable booking a salon appointment for the ultimate pre-dance pamper package.

Popular Hairstyles for a Formal Dance

While there are many different types of looks appropriate for special events, these popular hairstyles for a formal dance are timeless and foolproof.

Bun or Chignon

Buns and chignons are the ultimate in sophisticated hairstyles. These smooth, upswept styles highlight facial features, help show off the collarbone, and add emphasis to ornate and detailed evening jewelry. While not every gal has the right hair type for a slick chignon or bun, a talented stylist can add colored hairpieces to the base of the crown which will help add volume and lift to fine, limp locks. Buns look best with tailored gowns and sheaths. While buns and chignons require little fluff, a simple hair accessory or silk flower can add an extra touch of glamour to this timeless design.


There's something incredibly feminine about ringlets when paired with a princess gown. If you're seeking an incurably romantic hairstyle, soft cascading ringlets are hard to beat. While naturally curly hair is the best hair type for this style, heated styling tools such as curling irons and hot rollers can help create the look of full bodied curl. If you're ready to go permanent, book a salon consultation and find out whether or not a spiral body perm will work with your hair type and condition.


Although braids have a youthful and playful aura about them, they can look stunning when paired with the right dress and accessories. Grecian and one shoulder gowns are the perfect silhouettes to pair with braids. It's easy to capture the look of a goddess or bohemian beauty with a pair of braids tied back, wrapping around the mid-section of the head. Braids or plaits are an easy do-it-yourself hairstyle that require little more than clean sectioning and a tight grip. For extra sparkle, bejewel your braids with crystal or sequined headbands.

Half Up

For the gal that loves the look of a loose yet tamed style, a half-up, half-down style offers the best of both worlds. Half up styles are a great solution for in-between hair lengths and can help conceal the challenges that accompany not quite grown out bangs. To create a romantic half updo, set hair in rollers first and then pull the top section of the hair taut. Backcomb the base of the hairstyle and affix a ponytail elastic or a hair comb to hold the upper section. While this style can be worn sleek and straight, it tends to look best with some volume and wave.

Chic and Classy

While many of the above hairstyles for formal dances focus on wave, body, curl, and accessories, some dresses and events require little more than a simple and chic style. If you want to keep your look clean and unfussy, a sleek style is the best option. While sleek hair can work on anyone, mid-length, short, and bobbed styles offer the most striking appeal.

Rather than just blow dry hair with a round or paddle brush, flatten out locks with a professional quality straightening iron for added shine and pin-straight results. Resist the urge to add décor to this style, and instead focus on color! Solid hair colors such as bright platinum, ravishing red, or jet black hues look best with chic straight styles.

Explore Styles

While there are many options for formal hair styling, you'll want to set aside some time for experimentation to make sure your style feels like the perfect match for your dress and personality. Once you've tried out several hairstyles for a formal dance, you'll be sure to find the perfect look for your special evening.

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Hairstyles for a Formal Dance