6 Easy Formal Hairstyles + Tips to Prepare - AMR Hair & Beauty

6 Easy Formal Hairstyles + Tips to Prepare

Sep 28, 2017Samantha Bun

Your HSC is almost over. Gone are the stresses of studying for an exam or being bogged down by the pressure to do well. Time to worry about the important things - like your hair!

Your school formal is a time to celebrate all your hard work and commitment over 7 years and just have and party with your friends. Not only that, but it is an opportunity for you to put on your best dress and your best hair and makeup!

Formal Hair & Formal Preparation

So what hair will you wear to your school formal?

If you haven't decided yet, then don't worry. We have put together a wide range of easy formal hairstyles you can rock on this momentous occasion you will remember for a lifetime.

First things first, your hair needs to match your dress. If you are wearing a halter neck dress, you will want to wear your hair in an updo with elegant drop earrings so everyone can see the shape of your dress.

If you are wearing a dress with an open neckline, you may want to show off your beautiful shoulder blades by wearing an updo, or you can leave your hair cascading over your shoulders if you want to go for a more elegant and demure look.

Once you have decided on your desired look to go with your dress, everything else is a lot easier. Here are some easy formal hairstyles to help you decide:

1. Romantic Waves - Easy Formal Hairstyles

Young lady with stylish wavy hair

Instragram: @natalieannhair

The romantic wave is one of famous hairstylist Natalie Anne's signature looks and I think one of the safest options to go with.

These beautiful soft curls will just drop over your shoulders and add an air of elegance to your overall appearance. You can wear this hairstyle with any dress as it is simple, timeless and classic.

Because the look is currently trending, chances are other girls will have their hair in a similar fashion, but it won't really matter. Everyone rocks it differently and in the end, what's nice is being able to look back at your photos in a decade or even five decades from now and being happy with your style.

Curling wand

H2D x 5 Professional Curling Wand 

You can book with a stylist to achieve this look. However, if on a budget you can still DIY. Not only is the romantic wave stunning, but it is also quite easy to achieve if you are consistent with your curling technique.

First, you will need a curling wand and your curl size will depend on the size of your barrel. I find the best product to help achieve your desired look is the H2D Professional Curling Wand Set which has 5 interchangeable barrels.

2. Messy Bun - Easy Formal Hairstyles

Lady with messy bun hairstyle

Instagram: @elzivaholahair

Messy buns are the lazy girl's go-to on any normal day, but who's to say you can't rock one at your formal?

A messy bun will look less casual and more formal with all your added details like floral embellishments, jewellery and other headpieces alongside your makeup. It is easy, simple to do and no-fuss. If it starts to fall, it's supposed to look a bit messy and so what?

You can go to a stylist for this, but you can also save some mullah and DIY - I mean, how hard can it be?

Simply brush your hair and pop it into a ponytail. Tease the living hell out of it, divide the hair into two sections and wrap the hair around in opposite directions around the base of the ponytail.

You can pin extra pieces of your hair around inches away from the base to give a more frayed look. You can lock the look in with bobby pins and hairspray.

One of the stronger hold styling sprays is De Lorenzo Granite Hair Lacquer which is quick-drying, non-sticky and long-lasting.

De Lorenzo Granite Hair Lacquer 400g


You may have some loose hair dropping and you can decide if you want to keep it straight or curl it a bit for an added touch. Talk about an easy formal hairstyle!

3. French chignon - Easy Formal Hairstyles

French Chignon hairstyle


Instagram: @xingmaquillage

If you are looking for something a bit more classic and understated, the French Chignon is the most beautiful up-do hairstyle that can be adorned with wonderful jewels or flowers.

How can you go wrong with this kind of stunning simplicity? Heck, this style could even be perfect for a spring carnival hairstyle!

Again, you can book this in with a stylist or just attempt it yourself because it is so easy. Simply twist your hair on both sides into the centre for a low ponytail, roll the remaining hair in the ponytail up into a little loopy bun and pin the hair in.

You can lock this in with bobby pins as seen in the image below.

How to images for chignon hairstyle
4. Braids - Easy Formal Hairstyles
Lady with braided hairstyle

Instagram: @hairandmakeupido

Braids! These are my absolute favourites and if you have ever seen any of my previous braid posts you would understand how obsessed I am. My favourite braid for a formal look would have to be a fishtail braid because it is the most elegant of all braids.

It doesn't look lazy like a normal dutch braid as it has more layers and texture to it. It is most beautiful when it is a bit messed with some loose pieces and with baby's breath running down it like in this image above.

It may look difficult, but you can always get someone who knows how to braid to do this for you. There are so many tutorials you can find on how to do a fishtail

braid like the one below.

How to images for messy fishtail hairstyle
5. Side Bun - Easy Formal Hairstyles
Side bun hairstyle

Instagram: @hair_by_christina

So how can you go wrong with a glamorous side bun? You can't. It's one easy formal hairstyle that will just require a fair bit of bobby pins. Just watch this tutorial and you will be able to nail it in no time:

6. Half up - Easy Formal Hairstyles

Half up braid hairstyle

Instagram: @hairbykayti

And my final easy formal hairstyle is the half-up look. There are so many ways to achieve this - you can do it with your hair straight, wavy or curly.

You can do this with a little bun up top or as a waterfall braid to be super fancy. There are so many amazing ways to style your hair half up and it is super easy to do. You can even get gorgeous curls without using heat!

There you have it - 6 easy formal hairstyles. Most importantly, remember to have fun with whatever hair you're in.

Formal Preparation - The Ultimate Beauty Guide

Winter is gone and spring is here. And so is the formal season!

The time to shine for our little daughters, sisters, nieces and cousins blossoming from young girls into young women. We all know that formal is about "the dress" but what's the dress without your hair, face and body complete?

We have you covered to get your face, body and hair ready.

Hair Preparation

If you are going for a DIY hairstyle then we hope the above ideas helped. If you will be getting help from a professional then the following advice is for you.

If you have imagined and planned how your hair is going to be styled please ensure you book your hair appointment ASAP. Book your hairdresser two months in advance as our in-house hair stylists critically recommend it.

You may scoff, but booking two months prior is crucial so that you can request the right hairstylist to style her hair and you get the time that you want. That's important as it will allow your hair to be fresh enough for the formal event to leave you with enough time to get your makeup done and to dress up.

Have Your Hair Looking Good When it Counts

There is nothing worse than booking a last-minute appointment and having the only available time slot in the morning, but your formal won't start until 5 pm.

On the contrary, you are definitely getting your money's worth getting your hair done early but the staying power may lack the lustre. The hairstyle may drop due to it being warmer in the year.

Booking in advance will also ensure there is an ample amount of time for your baby girl to discuss any changes with her hairstylist, too.

Get Ideas from Your Hairstylist

If you are the few that have found the perfect dress but are unsure of your hairstyle, you can take a screenshot of the dress that you are planning to wear and go to your hairstylist to get their expert advice and see what they can advise making you be the belle of the ball on your big hurrah before high school ends.

Tip for the Night Before

The night before your hair appointment, wash your hair and blow dry it. Put no products in whatsoever as your hairstylist needs to work their magic on clean fresh hair.

Clean hair makes your hairstyle manageable and the updo or curl will last longer on clean hair through the night.

If you wanted to attempt to curl your own hair, we'd recommend using a curler over a straightener just for simplicity.

Both do an amazing job with curling - Use a thin plate if you decide to use a straightener) but overall the curler was built with one purpose.

Curling wands styling tools

To achieve straight hair on a budget, try using a steam brush. The gentle ceramic bristles do not damage hair and it effortlessly glides through with each brush without pulling the hair. It will leave your hair feeling smooth and looking healthy due to its high-pressure steam.

When you have your perfect hair-do, Super Firm Hairspray is your go-to to set your masterpiece into place. It has amazing staying power, but if you have made a little boo boo you can brush it out and start that area all over again. Simple!

Goldwell hairspray 

Goldwell Hair Lacquer Super Firm

Backup Tip 

For a safety net, take some bobby pins in case a stray hair has come undone in the middle of the night or if your up-do has gone askew. Pack a few fringe pins in a little ziplock bag to get you selfie-ready in no time and add some band-aids and safety pins in there too while you're at it in case of any foot blisters or dress-ripping emergencies.


The same goes for a makeup artist - if you want the best of the best, you have to get in on it early and book in advance.

Once you get the date of your formal, jump in there like white on rice. Not only do you get to pick the date, but you get first-come-first-serve in that time slot basis too. This applies to your hairdresser as well so you can discuss different looks to match your dress and hairstyle to your makeup look.

Prepping for Your Makeup Appointment

What you need to do to prep your face is to exfoliate the night before so that your makeup artist has a great base to work on. When you are at your appointment, be there 10 minutes early. This is courteous to your makeup artist as it values their time and skills.

If it cannot be helped and you are late to your appointment, ensure that you advise the makeup artist via phone call or text that you will be late. However, this will cut into your appointed time.

For girls and boys with acne-prone skin, apply a clay mask the night before as the clay activates its absorbing powers by sucking up the excessive sebum leaving your skin softer to work with.

During Your Makeup Appointment

Try not to look at your phone while you are getting your makeup done. Yeah, you see models do this backstage on VS shoots and they get away with it because they are famous. Being on your phone the whole time of your makeup session is rude and unprofessional. Be present in their makeup chair so that you can offer them any feedback or if they want you to see how the makeup look is going.

If you need to check an important message then just excuse yourself and your makeup artist will be more than happy to oblige with your request. The worst moment of a teenager's life is to look up and see that you do not look like the image you requested. You will have to go home and do it all over again, wasting your time, the makeup artist's time and your own money.

Speak Up if You Need to

Mothers have said, "If you have nothing nice to say then don't say it at all". That is true, but in this instance, if you do not like anything that your makeup artist has done, then just politely ask them to adjust here or there to your liking. Speaking up during your makeup session will have both parties on the same page to achieve an outstanding look.

What to Wear to Your Makeup Appointment 

Wear a button-up top or spaghetti strap singlet to your hair and makeup appointments as this is something that can be taken off easily and would not have to go over your head, risking the destruction of your beautiful hair and makeup.

Waxing and Shaving

If Mum and Dad have allowed you to get your eyebrows waxed for the first time, make sure that you do your research and ask your friends and family who they go to and trust.


Eyebrows have been trending for the past couple of years and you don't want to wreck those babies. So if you are waxing your eyebrows at a salon for the first time, request for a natural shape of the eyebrows and a nice clean tidy up as over-waxing and plucking on a young face will distort the hair growth.

Or if you prefer a home job instead you can do your own eyebrow plucking with a bit of practice. 

Waxing Preparation

Waxing should be done 48 hours prior to the event as this will reduce redness and sensitivity, but if you are fake tanning this is a whole different ball game altogether.

You must wax two days before your fake tan session as your fake tan session should be two days before the event, too. For example, the year 12 formal is on Friday night, you must wax on Monday to ensure that your skin is ready to be fake-tanned for Wednesday.

This is vital before fake tanning as once you remove hair by waxing, this opens up the pore and if you fake tan straight away this will leave your pores open to absorb the tan solution leaving your tan looking spotty.

You may also have wax residue still left over, so be sure to remove all the waxing as this will obstruct your finished tan look.

Shaving should be done 24 hours before a spray tan as shaving strips away dead skin. If you are shaving straight after a tan, you may be left with stripy legs due to the lines of your razor.

Fake Tans

Fake it til you make it. The best way to tan is by faking it of course. A healthy sun-kissed glow without being exposed to the sun's harmful rays is the safest way to get the bronze goddess shine. But which one to opt for - Cream? Mousse? Spray?Decisions, decisions.

Well, here is the lowdown on all three types.

Fake Tan with Cream

Cream is great for beginners. It takes longer to absorb into the skin compared to a mousse as you have to work the cream in. The consistency is thicker compared to a mousse, too. Creams may be best for beginner boys and girls that tend to have drier skin because of the thick lotion providing moisture to the skin.

Fake Tan with Mousse

Mousse is a foamier, lighter consistency compared to a tanning cream. It is soft and smooth and easy to apply using either your hands or a mitt. You must work with it as fast as you can though as it dries quickly. This may be best for people who perspire and tend to get sticky easily.

Fake Tan with Spray Tan

Spray tans feel lighter on the skin and are long-lasting. They give you an even distribution and a build-up of colour with every coat that is applied but can be quite streaky if not done right.

Spray tanning gun


To prep for your skin, you must ensure that your tan lasts until the day of the event and after. In the shower, make sure you gently exfoliate from head to toe, really focusing on the problem areas of your elbows, knees and feet as those areas are a haven for dry skin. Make sure that you focus on these areas as the tan will cling onto them making your skin look darker and patchy.

The Night Before Your Tan

If your skin is really dry, add a moisturiser the night before tanning in these areas so that the dry skin can soak up these areas for a smooth application as the moisturiser will prepare the skin for tanning. If you have eczema or psoriasis, apply moisturiser in these areas too.

Cleaning Up Tan

If you get fake tans in unwanted areas like your hands, and soap is simply not working, try using a washing detergent to remove the fake tan (test a small path on your skin first in case).


Nail salons are a dime a dozen these days and they accept walk-ins.

However, if you have splurged on your dress and shoes and mum and dad have told you to do a DIY job for a manicure and pedicure, here is how to prep for them.

10 Steps for a DIY Manicure/Pedicure

  1. Remove any of your old nail polish with a nail polish remover.
  2. Soak your nails in a manicure dish with warm water for two to three minutes and for feet for five minutes.
  3. Apply a cuticle remover over all your cuticles. (Tending to your cuticles makes for a nicer long-lasting application of nail polish).
  4. Once you have applied that on, go to the first finger that you applied the cuticle remover on and push your cuticle back using an orange stick. Do this for the rest of your nails.
  5. Cut away any excess cuticles by using a cuticle nipper.
  6. Wash your hands to remove any excess cuticle product.
  7. If your nails are too long, cut your nails. For a square look use a straight nail clipper, for an oval look use a rounded clipper. If the original shape is okay, but it just needs to be cleaned up just use an emery board (filer) and shape them to your desired shape.
  8. The next step is buffing. Buffing helps to smooth out any ridges as this will make your nail polish application much smoother.
  9. Wipe them with an alcohol wipe or nail polish remover.
  10. Now go ahead with a base coat, two layers of your colour of choice and then a top coat to make it shine. Ensuring that each layer is dry in between applications.
Nail kit by Natural Look

Natural Look Professional Manicure Kit

Choosing Nail Colour

Choose a colour that will compliment your dress and corsage for all those insta and hashtagging opportunities.

Share Your Thoughts

So there you have it. I hope that this blog helps your formal schedule to go ahead swimmingly. Please comment below if these tips work for you or if you have any other suggestions to help out others on their big day.

The whole point of your formal is to have a blast celebrating the end of your school days and all your accomplishments thus far. Enjoy!

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