One Prom Hairstyle, Two Ways

Try an updo for day, then — in only five minutes — change your look to long, loose curls for night

Prom is only a few months away and, for many gals, the preparation starts early. How often do you get to splurge on a dress, shoes, hair, makeup — the works? Not often. That’s why it’s important to make the most of your day with a flattering hairstyle that can go from afternoon photos to dinner and dance to late-night after party. Sultra artistic director Omar Lopez created two looks for us on intern Chynna Wilson. The first  — a romantic braided updo with rosettes — was inspired by Jennifer Lawrence’s Golden Globes hairstyle. In under five minutes, he removed the pins, curled a few strands, and revealed a gorgeous second look: a casual cascade of waves.

Use these updo pics and directions to inspire your hairstylist or help you create the look at home, and pack a curling iron to help convert your style in only a couple minutes in the restroom of your venue!

Your Tool Kit:


Volumizer (Lopez used Sultra Volumize Amplifying Lotion, $24, 1.5″ curling iron (Lopez used Sultra The Bombshell 1.5″ Rod Curling Iron, $150, Heat protector for curls (such as Carol’s Daughter Macadamia Heat Styling Hairspray, $21, 1″ curling iron (such as Rowenta Curl Active, $179,


The Romantic Updo

1. Start with a volumizing product. “It helps to give the style a foundation, which is important, especially if you’re going to be taking it down and turning it into something else,” says Lopez. Run it through the lower half of strands, whether your hair is wet or dry. We started with dry hair that Chynna had washed that morning.

2. Lopez added movement to the hair with Sultra’s 1.5″ Bombshell curling iron, curling away from the face and pointing the barrel down. Once you reach the back of the head, alternate the direction of the curls. Hold the iron on each small section for about five to 10 seconds, touching the iron with a gloved hand. Once the heat comes through, you’ll know the hair is set.


3. Next, create a braid that loops from the temple, around the back of the head, to just past the opposite ear. Start the plait, then begin to  integrate additional hair so that you have a half-French (where hair is integrated from the top half of the head, but none is added from the bottom, along the neck).


4. Once the plait is complete, pin it to the head with crisscrossing bobby pins. Leave a section of hair free, then pull it back over the bobby bins to disguise them. Pin with a single bobby pin.


5. You should still have a good portion of hair loose. Spritz it with a heat protection spray specific to curls, then use a 1″ curling iron to create relatively tight ringlets. Once you release each curl, hold it in place until it has cooled to set the shape.


6. Create pretty rosettes along the nape of your neck by holding the end of each curl —just a few strands at the very tip — and push the curl toward your neck. Pin each rosette into the braid with a bobby pin or two. When you remove the pins later, each curl will be perfectly in tact, which means you will have to do very little touch up to create a wavy bombshell ‘do. Don’t try to make the style too perfect. It should be a little mussed, a little loose — like you exist in a black-and-white movie and fix your hair yourself each morning.


7. If you have any strands hanging loose around your ears, curl them away from your face.


The Bombshell Waves


1. To transition your hair for evening, remove all the pins and gently bounce the curls in your hands to release them without destroying their shape.

2. If you choose, take a 1.5″ curling iron and add a few random curls around your head for extra texture. Lopez says to avoid applying more product or hairspray because you want to keep an “effortless” appearance.