Trend Alert: The Braided Updo

Posted on Posted in Prom

One of the hottest trends in formal hairstyling this season is the braided look. Now, this isn’t your mother’s French braid of the past. From messy buns to crowns of curls, there are several varieties of updos that incorporate a braided section of hair (or often more than one) in the final product. The results are intricate-looking, somewhat sturdy and of course, totally gorgeous prom hair styles that you too can pair with your perfect prom dress.

Why Braided Updos?

Wearing hair longer on a day-to-day basis has become more popular in general, so it’s no wonder that formal hairstyles have been adapted, too. Where many updos in the past started with a simple pony tail or two, the addition of the braid offers more texture, and the opportunity to perfect a “messier” overall style.

How Do You Create the Look?

If you watch the YouTube instruction videos, you’ll see most of these styles start with sectioning off your hair, then making one or more “plaits” (braids). The braids often lift the hair off of the back of your neck, starting the updo, and then are twisted in one direction or another to give the initial shape to your style. Hair is then pinned, gathered, looped, curled or twisted the direction that the updo will eventually trend, and set around the initial braid.

Braided Variations

In other variations, of course, the braid may play a more front-and-center role. In several styles they are used to finish off the front of the look to increase visual interest and secure the shorter, wispier hairs associated with the area around the face into a neater look.

Sometimes braids are used so subtly, you can’t see them at all. They end up tucked into the interior structure of the updo and give you something to pin all the rest of your hair to securely.

When to Wear a Braided Style.

Updos, braided or not, are the perfect complement to so many different styles of prom dress. According to, updos, especially popular chignons, are ideal for creating a feminine looks when your dress is strapless or has very delicate, thin straps. In case you love braids, but want something a little different, Stylecaster recommends a long fishtail braid with a halter-style dress as a great pairing as well.

Of course, you can also incorporate a braid with a cascade of curls, straight hair worn down or a variety of more free-flowing styles as well. Braids are versatile, pretty and eye-catching. You can accent them with all kinds of hairpins and baubles, or even a fresh flower or two if it’s your style. The possibilities are endless, and the trend is hot. It doesn’t look like braids are going anywhere soon.

So what about you? Will you wear one of the many trending braided formal hairstyles to prom?

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