Prom & Graduation

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Prom hair how-to

Prom and graduation season has arrived, and students everywhere are on the lookout for formal attire to wear to these special occasions.

Once promgoers have chosen their beaded gowns and sleek tuxedos, prom-worthy hair is next on their priority lists. A fresh haircut or an intricate updo can perfectly complement a well-planned wardrobe. Some promgoers will dabble in styling techniques and products at home, but many will be visiting salons to perfect their prom looks.

For girls, prom presents an opportunity to indulge in a complete grooming package that will include hair, makeup, nails, and faux tanning.

Salons are bound to fill appointments quickly, so teens should start planning their prom looks early on. The following tips can help you look your best come prom night.

• Select your dress and jewelry first. Choosing your dress and jewelry first allows you to customize your prom hairstyle to complement the rest of your look. Many girls want to follow a theme, such as romantic or sleek, come prom night, and hairstyle is an important element of such themes.

• Book a trial appointment at the salon. When booking your hairstyle appointment, which should be done at least a month in advance of prom night, book a trial appointment as well. Bring photos of your gown to your trial appointment and ask the stylist to make suggestions on which looks will complement the gown.

• Keep your hair texture and cut in mind when choosing a hairstyle. Although great stylists often can work magic with your hair, they can't do the impossible. If you have short hair and want a long, cascading style, you will need to invest in extensions. Ladies with naturally curly hair may have to spend more time in the chair having their hair straightened if they want a sleek bob. Sometimes it's in your best interest to work with your hair's natural texture.

• Get a grasp of your role in crafting your hairstyle. Speak with your stylist about how long before prom you should undergo any chemical processes, including perms, coloring, straightening, or relaxing treatments. Do not make drastic changes right before the prom. Any modifications should be made a few months before the big night so you can get acclimated to your new hair and make any necessary adjustments.

• Take care of your hair so that it is healthy on prom night. Stick to a regular hair maintenance schedule, including trims every four to six weeks, so your locks look healthy on prom night. Depending on your hair texture, a stylist may recommend deep-conditioning treatments. Always be gentle with your hair, avoiding tugging or harsh brushing while it is wet, as such treatment can lead to breakage.

• Practice, practice, practice if you are going it alone. Make several trial runs if you plan to do your own hair, asking a friend or family member for help if you have difficulty working on your own hair.

• Don't go crazy cleaning your hair. Oftentimes, complicated styles are more easily achieved with slightly "dirty" hair. Do not wash your hair the day of the prom; do so the day before so your hair has more grip and will be less likely to slip out of pins or other hair accessories on the big day. Adding a little texturizer or pomade to hair can thicken it up and give it more hold as well.

• Have a backup plan at the ready. A backup plan covers you if your hair simply isn't cooperating or if the weather is not conducive to the style you selected. A sleek chignon or a messy French twist can reign in problem hair.

• Call the salon before you leave the house to ensure the stylist is running on time. Call ahead so you aren't left twiddling your thumbs as you wait for a tardy stylist at the salon. In addition, wear a shirt that can be removed easily without disrupting your newly styled hair as you change into your dress.

• Don't forget hair accessories. Ask your stylist to recommend any accessories you may need to keep your hair looking great through the night and don't forget them at home.

• Keep your makeup artist in the loop. If a makeup artist will be doing your makeup, be sure he or she is brought up to speed on your prom night hairstyle and the type of dress you will be wearing.

Prom night is a chance for teens to add some glamour to their lives. Hairstyles are a big part of the finished look, so consideration should be given to styles and the work necessary to keep hair looking great through the night.