How to Wear Hair at a Luau

Luau3.jpg
Long hair is a great luau look.

A luau is a fun summer party, but knowing how to wear hair at a luau can be a challenge when the goal is to look both fabulous and carefree.

Understanding the Luau

Long hair with lei wreath

Knowing what to expect at a luau party is the key to knowing how to wear hair at a luau. Questions to ask include:

  • Will the event be indoors or outdoors? Most luaus are outdoors near a pool, beach, or picnic area, but some events may be held indoors in a themed hall ballroom, hotel, or rec room.
  • What is the formality of the event? Typically, luaus are casual, informal affairs, but some people choose a luau theme as a fun twist to a more formal occasion such as a wedding reception. How formal the event will be should be an indication of what type of hair style to choose.
  • When is the event scheduled? Morning and afternoon luaus are more likely to be casual affairs, whereas an evening party may be more formal. The time of day can also affect the climate - sunlight, heat, humidity, etc. - that can affect hair styles.
  • What activities will there be at the party? Barbeques, limbo contests, hula lessons, and water fights are all popular options for luaus, and they can each drastically affect a hair style. The smoke from a barbeque may dry out hair, whereas a style should be able to withstand dancing and limbo backbends if necessary. Water fights or other aquatic activities, of course, can cause a number of hair disasters if the style isn't planned with those activities in mind.

Luau-Friendly Hair Styles

Simple updo

Once you know what type of luau to expect, you can plan a gorgeous hair style that accentuates the fun, tropical theme and the exotic nature of the islands. Great luau-friendly styles include:

  • Long, flowing hair with gentle waves that mimic the movement of ocean.
  • Sun-kissed hair highlights that show a love of the warm, outdoor climate.
  • Casual ponytail styles that may be firm or messy depending on the party atmosphere.
  • Updo styles for a sleek, elegant look.
  • Half updos that leave luscious tendrils framing the face.
  • Casually "wet" hair styles that show a love of the beach or pool.
  • Accessorized hair styles with tropical touches to accentuate any look.

How to Wear Hair at a Luau: Accessorize!

Plumeria flowers

Hair accessories are a great way to spice up a simple, casual style for a perfect luau look. While tropical flowers - orchids, frangipani blooms, plumeria blossoms, etc. - are luau favorites, there are many ways to wear them for a great look. Floral and other accessory options include:

  • Single flowers tucked into the hair style or behind the ear with colors chosen to coordinate with clothing or jewelry.
  • Floral hair clips or pins.
  • Floral wreaths or head bands that resemble leis or tropical garlands.
  • Sunglasses or sarong scarves that can double as a casual headband or hair wrap.
  • Natural style accessories, such as wooden hair sticks, suede or leather clips, seashell clips, or woven bands.
  • Beaded accessories with tropical colors or themes such as waves, dolphins, seashells, palm trees, sand castles, or tropical fruit.

Luau Style Warnings

Casual messy style

The key to how to wear hair at a luau but look as casual and carefree as the fun event is intended is to not overdo the hair style. While a simple French twist is elegant and stylish for a luau, an elaborately braided, twisted, and sculpted coif may seem outrageously out of place. At the same time, however, hair spray or hair gel may be needed to hold the style in place, particularly if the luau is outdoors, but the products should not hold so firmly that the hair will not move in the breeze. A simple style may be easier to manage and can be quickly repaired during the event if necessary.


A luau is a casual, fun event and guests should not need to stress out about their hair styles in order to look fabulously tropical. A casual look accessorized with bright flowers or themed clips can make a dramatic and stylish statement for any luau, beach party, or outdoor event.

How to Wear Hair at a Luau