Winter formals aren’t for ice queens, they’re for celebrating your classmates and school. It is a time to welcome the end of winter and embrace the spring season, prom, and the rest of your lives. Unlike prom where you’re with your classmates, this is your time to set examples for future classes, and show upper class members why you’re ready to follow in their footsteps to keep the school thriving.
The attendees aren’t the only difference between prom and winter formal, hair and dresses change too. Prom hair can be sleek and wavy, but winter formal hairstyles call for texture. That means braids, crowns, cascading locks, and adornments that pop or sparkle. These styles work with the long sleeves and opera gloves that are quintessential pieces of fashion with your winter formal gown.
And having the perfect look whether you’re elected royalty by your peers, or supporting a friend that is voted in can build your confidence and create a “sparkling” memory you’ll cherish for life. Some memories melt away, but winter formal can live forever, and here’s five texture-filled winter formal hairstyles to create the perfect look.
French Braided Crown
There’s nothing more stunning for winter formal than a crowned French braid. Unlike the Dutch braid which braids under and creates a rough and tough look, French braids are soft and full of texture as the locks twist over top of each other.
And when you have a braided crown that starts from the front of your face and leads to the back, you carry a flow and pattern creating movement. It’s the perfect way to complete your look from crown to gown.
- Start with damp or dry hair that's been brushed to remove any tangles.
- Part your hair from the center of your forehead to the nape of your neck.
- Begin braiding at the nape of one side of the neck, incorporating more hair as you go and braid around the head.
- When you've braided around the entire head and reach the starting point, continue braiding the remaining hair down in a regular braid.
- Wrap this braid around the crown to complete the circle and tuck the end underneath the start of the braid, then secure the crown with bobby pins or a hair tie.
If you have long hair you can always combine the crown and have it flow into a ponytail, or create a high ponytail that sits over it for a flowing look. Wavy hair laying low is a stunning complement to this style for winter formal too.
Half-up Half-down Ponytail (fishtail or other braid)
There’s no wrong occasion for a half-up half-down ponytail, and winter formal is no exception. For winter formal it’s all about the patterns of the weaves and texture they provide, so a fishtail braid is a great way to go. It’s unique looking, clean, and full of texture.
- Brush your hair thoroughly to ensure it's smooth and free of tangles.
- Separate the top half of your hair from ear to ear.
- Secure this top section into a high ponytail at the back of your head with a hair tie.
- Divide the ponytail into two even sections to begin your fishtail braid.
- For the fishtail braid, take a small section from the outer edge of the right half and cross it to the inside of the left half. Then, take a section from the outer edge of the left half and cross it to the inside of the right half.
- Repeat this process, alternating sides, until you reach the end of the ponytail.
- Secure the end of the fishtail braid with another hair tie.
A Loose High Bun
Chignons are always stunning, but save this look for prom. Winter formal is classy, but also comfy. A nice loose high bun lets you look sleek and stylish without taking the extra time and effort a texturized chignon bun does.
They’re perfect to style with a snowflake or rhinestone adorned hair pin. And if you do a sleek top bun, you can add rhinestones to your hair to complete the snowy, sparkly, winter look.
Because this is formal, you may want to leave one or two long bangs out front, and curl them for an elegant and face framing accent.
- Brush your hair to smooth out any knots or tangles.
- Gather all your hair into a high ponytail at the crown of your head.
- Secure this ponytail with a hair tie.
- Twist the ponytail loosely, wrapping it around its base to form a bun.
- Secure the bun in place using another hair tie or some bobby pins.
- Gently tug on sections of the bun to make it appear fuller and more relaxed.
Side Elsa Braid
It is a winter formal after all, and who is better at “letting it go”, looking fab, and making an entrance but Elsa? This side French braid hairstyle is stunning and easy to do! Even better, it looks great complementing a sequin, rhinestone, or matte gown. There’s texture, length, and long, luxurious weave.
Bonus-tip: Elsa’s hair is thick and the braid is too, tease it out after styling for that thick and luxurious look.
- Start by brushing your hair to eliminate any knots or tangles.
- Sweep all your hair over to one side, preferably the side you're most comfortable braiding towards.
- Begin the French braid at the top of your head on the opposite side you're braiding towards.
- As you braid, incorporate large sections of hair, ensuring you're pulling in strands from both the top and bottom to keep the braid tight against your head.
- Continue the French braid, working diagonally across the back of your head, until you reach the nape of your neck on your preferred side.
- Once you've incorporated all the hair into the braid, continue with a regular three-strand braid down the length of the remaining hair.
- Secure the end of the braid with a hair tie.
This winter formal style is a bit more difficult to do, but the effect is a show stopper. Waterfall braids flow from front to back, and you can style them asymmetrical, diagonal, and make them as unique as you want.
If your gown only covers one shoulder, have your braids match the effect, or pull them back sleek. And curling the hair underneath into waves adds extra texture to this style.
- With a hair brush or your fingers, smooth out any tangles or knots from your hair.
- Choose the side from where you'd like to start the braid.
- Take a section of hair from the front and divide it into three equal parts.
- Start braiding as if you're doing a French braid, crossing the top section over the middle, then the bottom section over the middle.
- When crossing the top section over the middle again, drop the bottom section, allowing it to cascade down. This creates the "waterfall" effect.
- Pick up a new section of hair from directly below the dropped section to replace the one you just let fall. This becomes your new bottom section.
- Continue this pattern: cross the top section over the middle, drop the bottom section, and pick up a new section to replace it.
- Work your way around your head until you reach your desired ending point. Depending on your preference, you can take this braid around the back of your head or keep it to one side.
- Once done, you can either secure the end of the braid with a clear elastic or discreetly pin it back using bobby pins.
Winter formal is about celebrating your school spirit with your classmates, whether they’re in the same grade or another. And these five looks are sure to help you walk in confident and looking incredible. For more style ideas like these, subscribe to our blog.