5 prom hairstyles for natural hair, braids, bun, pixie haircut, bubble braids, and bantu knots

Prom nights are meant to be a night for showing off your individual sense of style, and what better way to demonstrate individuality than to show off your unique texture? Save these prom hairstyles for natural hair if you’re ready to celebrate your natural hair instead of wearing the same straightened updo (no offense to straightened updos–we love a good blow-out now and again!). Thankfully, the high school seniors and juniors of this generation no longer have to settle for straightening their curly hair to oblivion in an effort to look more “formal” and “presentable.”

Ahead you’ll find a bunch of prom hairstyle ideas for natural textured and curly hair that you just might want to save for your upcoming prom (and all the after parties). 

Fluffy Low-Pony Hairstyle

If your hair happens to be particularly frizzy in the hours before you leave for prom, our advice is: just go with it. This low pony is intentionally fluffy and frizzy, and you can always style your edges to your liking. You’ll have your classmates convinced you just stepped off the runway straight into the school gym.

Bubble Braids 

bubble braid prom hairstyle for natural hair

We love the incredible shapes natural hair can make. If you’re into the bubble pony, try out this bubble braids style–you can see the tutorial here.

Pixie Curls


Contrary to what you might think, pixies can do a lot! You can mold your hair into different swirls and shapes with your favorite mousse or gel and immediately look prom-ready. 

Faux Bob for Locs


We couldn’t leave locs out of this roundup. You can easily create a bob effect without cutting a single loc. Wrap the ends up to your desired length for an elegant and face-framing “cut.” You can even get creative and make it slightly asymmetrical.

Half-Up Half-Down With Palm Tree Pony

Curlies with more hair to work with can pull off this “Coming to America” inspired style. Use hair ties to create as much height as you like on the ponytail (more hair ties = more height) and fluff out the hair to get as much volume as possible. Frizz is your friend for this look.

Elegant Claw-Clip 

When we look back at our favorite styles of 2023 next year, there’s no way the claw-clip styles aren’t making the top of that list. These styles are usually considered casual, but the height this claw-clip gives here is gorgeous–and totally formal-appropriate. Include decorative clips and pins to bring the look full circle.

Braids Galore

If you’re looking to incorporate braids into your final look, but you don’t quite have time for box braids and cornrows, take a look at this braided ponytail. Section your hair off with rubber bands as shown here, braid the front of your hair to frame the face, and add a faux braided ponytail to finish it off. 

Half-Bun on Gentle Waves


For all the wavy girls out there, or anyone looking for subtle texture–we see you too. Try this slightly wavy half-bun style.

Stacked Bun

top knot bun prom hairstyle for natural hair

This updo looks regal and takes minimal effort. It can work beautifully with all hair textures, but especially for type 4. Take a peek at the tutorial for this here.

Minimalist Middle Part

Hair stylist Amanda Guido says that when styling curly hair, the curls are the style. And we couldn’t agree more. For the girls who like to just keep things simple and let their natural curls do the work, try this simple style to frame the face.

Twisted Double Puffs 

This style is a bit more fun and playful–but still super eye-catching. And if you’d prefer not to braid, flat twists like these may be a better option. Another benefit of this style is that it can be done on short curls, as shown here. 

Bantu Knot Crown


If you already have braids installed, half the styling battle is already over. You can try styles like this bantu knot crown for formal occasions like prom–and can we also take time to just appreciate this vibrant blond color?

Twisted Stitch Bun

stitch braids prom hairstyle for natural hair

You’ve seen stitch braids, but what about stitch flat twists? Gather the twists at the nape of the neck for the classic low bun effect, with a bit more flavor.