Imagine that it’s your big prom night. You have no doubt bought a fabulous dress, matching shoes and other accessories to look your best. But your hair is acting up, and the styling isn’t going to work with you — you’re just going to have to settle for it.
But why settle for anything less than equally stunning when it comes to your hair? Of course, long hair isn’t as easy to manage as short hair, but that shouldn’t automatically mean that nothing can be done with long hair. That said, it does require a lot more preparation both to keep it shiny and healthy and manipulate it into a style that turns heads. Preparation before the event is critical to a successful look:
Stop the Damage
Girls and women with long hair tend to damage their locks all of the time in a variety of ways. For example, some women try to tug apart a nasty knot and accidentally pull too hard with a brush until strands of hair literally snap off. At other times, they just put their hair through a real beating with normal daily usage.
Give your hair a lot of love approximately one week before prom night. If it’s prone to knotting up while you sleep, then gently wrap or braid it before going to bed. Wear it hanging loose during the day or pulled back with a soft, fabric-covered band instead of tying it into a ponytail with a wrapped elastic or rubber band that can cause breakage.
Instead of using a hair dryer to dry it out rapidly after a shower or bath, soak up most of the moisture with a towel and then lightly blow it dry on the cool setting. Lastly, don’t use any hairspray or expose your hair to chlorine, straighteners or other harsh chemicals that can dry it out too much. Chemicals and heat are a nasty combination that is incredibly damaging, especially if you’re someone with long hair. Keep your hair under control with a moisturizing pomade or even hand lotion.
Prep Your Hair
Since your hair likely already has damage, apply a deep conditioning treatment known as a hair mask to it once or twice during the week before prom. A hair mask nourishes the hair with moisture and vitamins and helps improve its shine, manageability, strength, and fullness. Deep conditioning treatments can’t repair split ends, but they can smooth the strands so they don’t continue to split more and calm down frizzy hair.
Talk to your stylist about the type of hair mask you should use based on your hair type. Most masks contain a variety of ingredients that include properties that help improve the look, feel and health of hair. Most stylists recommend a protein, high-nutrient mask for people with straight and thinner hair. A high-moisturizing, oil-based mask works great for people with a lot of natural or permed waves and curls. To use a deep conditioner, wash your hair with warm water, apply the mask cream from roots to tips and cover your hair with a warm towel. For a short deep-conditioning treatment, leave it on for about 10 to 20 minutes. If your hair has a lot of damage, you might need to wrap your head and leave it on overnight. You should also schedule an appointment with your stylist 10 to 14 days before prom to have as many split ends trimmed off as possible without making your hair too short. During this appointment, discuss hairstyle possibilities and schedule your appointment for the day of the prom.
Pick Your Style
Long hair offers women so many more style options than short hair that you might feel overwhelmed and unable to pick just one. The good news is that you don’t have to choose one style to start. Create a list of at least 10 to 20 hairstyles that match your dress, skin tone, makeup, and personal preferences. Prom hairstyles for long hair also range from traditional single styles to the use of several style combinations to create a signature look. Braided styles of all varieties, including those often seen in weddings, have become a trend for long hair as well. If you want a simple, elegant floor-length dress hairstyle, consider classic, center-parted glossy waves or a smooth, sweeping side part and straight or wavy locks pulled over one shoulder with loose curls hanging from the ends.
Styles that usually work well with short dresses include small braids interspersed among hanging or pulled back waves, baby buns with wavy spikes, updos, and twists that wrap around the back of the head and pinned curls along the side or back of the head with sleek crown locks. For any dress length, consider messy top locks, sweeping bangs or side and top crown twists and a long, over-the-shoulder or down the back braid or a ponytail that starts at the crown and ends in curls. To complete any look, consider accents like flowers, ribbons and rhinestone barrettes and bobby pins.
Add Some Color
If you have thin hair, talk to your stylist about using color-matched extensions to add fullness. Another option: Use different color extensions to make a part of your hairstyle pop or stand out, such as crown braids or the hair tips. If you want to touch up a new or natural color, it’s okay to do it the morning of the prom as long you have already tried the product before and know what you’re doing. Otherwise, ask your stylist to perform touch-ups during your style appointment. If you want to change your color, talk with your stylist about the best time based on how well your hair usually handles color changes. You should also give yourself enough time before prom to change your mind and pick another color if the first one doesn’t look right.
If you want a standout colored hairstyle, consider pastels and colors associated with nature like rainbow, galaxy, and mermaid color combinations that a stylist can position to transition from one color to another shade or completely different color down the lengths of your locks.
It’s important to keep in mind that preparing your hair goes beyond making it looks its best. You should eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep so that your hair and overall body are in their best shape. You should also take a combo hair pick and comb, bobby pins, and a travel-size hairspray to prom to do touch-ups as the night progresses. If you prepare correctly, and plan for anything that could go wrong, you’ll feel ready to have a good time the night of.