Formal Hairstyles & Formal Updos

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Many females panic when the topic of formal hair is brought up. What exactly is considered formal? Contrary to what you may think, formal does not have to mean boring! There are a multitude of different hairstyles for formal events that you can do yourself. That’s right; you don’t have to pay someone else to achieve these fabulous looks either!

But creating a formal updo hairstyle to suit you isn’t always easy – how do you choose which is the right one for your face shape, skin tone, hair length, personality and style?

The most common formal hairstyles – the timeless ones that always look fabulous – include the bun, the curved straight style, and the barrel curl.

Read on to find out how to create these stunning styles in the comfort of your own home.

Choosing the Right Look

Choosing the perfect formal hairstyle can be overwhelming, especially for someone who typically wears their hair down or in a ponytail every day. There are a lot of hairstyles for formal occasions on the internet and in magazines to use for inspiration.

The best way to decide which look is right for you (along with your dress and makeup) is to try out a few formal hairstyles before the big day. Providing this is an event that you know about ahead of time, you can begin preparing as far in advance as you want.

Begin by gathering pictures and instructions (when available) for hairstyles for formal events, and practice a different one everyday or whenever you have spare time. When you do find one you really like, it’s not a bad idea to try your dress on with it, do a trial run with your makeup, and even take a picture.

Believe it or not, some formal hairstyles will not always mesh well with every dress. You also need to take accessories and any hair pieces or jewelry you intend on wearing into consideration. Sometimes a super fancy, detailed ensemble can lose its appeal if the hair is equally as glamorous. In this case, a simple formal hairstyle would be recommended. On the other hand, a very simple dress paired up with minimal jewelry could be complemented quite nicely by an over-the-top updo.

Long Formal Hairstyles

Right now, curls are IN! You can enjoy wearing your hair down, enhance curly hair and add products to give it extra hold.

Of course, if you prefer the straightened hair look, get yourself a Karmin and you can create a classic look that will be great in any photos and compliments any dress. Dress your look up with some great accessories, a necklace and earrings can work wonders in completing your “look”.

Wondering if it’s possible to combine curls and a more formal hairstyle look? Check out Catherine Zeta Jones on the red carpet or Liz Hurley and go for big curls, plenty of shine and volume, great make-up and a big smile!

You can create these great curls very easily at home with some straighteners, tongs or rollers. Yes the first couple of times will require practice, but after that you will be good to go!

Fitting Your Face Shape

Finding a hairstyle to suit your face shape can be really challenging so here are a few tips:

Heart – the length from temple to temple is larger than the distance of your jawline.

Your best formal hairstyle is one with a side parting, with a small side fringe. To gently curl your hair, and blow dry it so that it has some volume would be great to soften the lines of your face, and show off its romantic side. See pictures of Reese Witherspoon or Christina Ricci for more ideas.

Round – your face is as wide as it is long, however it may vary slightly.

Your hair will look great taken away from your face, in a gentle updo, or perhaps pulled back with some grips. Your face shape can greatly accentuated with longer formal hairstyles. You could try to match the color of your dress in a cute hair band that will look simple, cute and yet formal. Look to Kate Winslet and Kirsten Dunst to inspire you.

Oval – Similar length across each area of your face, with a rounded hairline on your forehead.

Most hairstyles look good on an oval face shape, and pulling your hair back from your face looks great. Try to avoid a heavy fringe as this will effectively ‘hide’ your face, instead try a soft side fringe. For style ideas look to Mariah Carey, Cindy Crawford and Julia Roberts.

Square – Your face is as wide as it is long, with your jawline and temple line of similar width

Curls will look great on your face, adding a softer edge. Try to avoid styles that are too straight, so add some curl into your hair by using some curling tongs or rollers. Or try out a curved straight look, by gently turning your straighteners inwards by a very small amount, this creates a very Jennifer Aniston look. Celeb styles to copy are Demi Moore, Mandy Moore and Sandra Bullock.

Consider the Weather

Mother Nature often plays a key role in which hairstyle you should be considering. Even if you are going to be inside, walking from the house to the car and then into the building can have an adverse effect on your updo if you’re dealing with brutal winds, torrential downpours or humidity. Even if weather is predicted to be nice the day of the event, have a backup plan ready.

If your hair frizzes in humidity and that’s the type of weather you are going to be dealing with, you want to avoid having wisps of hair round your face unless you are confident that the styling product you use will fight the moisture in the air.

It’s not a good idea to choose loose formal hairstyles when there is a wind advisory. The last thing you want to do is layer an updo that is meant to be natural with hairspray so it’s stiff as a board; choose a different look!

Lastly, all hairstyles for formal events risk being compromised. You could bump it getting out of the limo, get it caught in something, etc. Therefore, always be prepared by carrying a travel bottle of hairspray, small comb and bobby pins at all times!