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Believe it or not, your homecoming hairstyle can be off-the-charts elegant without spending a fortune in the salon. Like an over-frosted cake, formal ‘dos can sometimes look a little overdone. Just look at red carpet events— some of the most beautiful ‘dos are elegant in their simplicity. If you’re armed with a blowdryer, a brush, and plenty of bobby pins, you can recreate most of these hairstyles in the comfort of your own home.

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French twist

When it comes to homecoming hairstyles, you don’t have to tie yourself into knots. Adding a little je ne sais quois is a lot simpler than it looks. Simply sweep all your hair off to one side, and secure with a vertical row of bobby pins at the back of your head. Then, gathering your hair in one hand, roll it back so it meets the bobby pins. Secure the roll with more bobby pins, and finish with a spritz of hairspray. C’est tout simple!

French twist frantic00 / Getty Images
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Greek goddess

This homecoming hairstyle is a real head-turner. Styling this 'do is so easy it will make your head spin. Starting at the center of your forehead, make a loose braid, and weave it so it runs along the side of your head. Secure the braid at the back of your head with bobby pins. Then, twist and pin the rest of your hair back into a textured chignon. Instant drama!

Greek goddess olgaecat / Getty Images
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Romantic messy chignon

The ever-versatile chignon, which gets its name from a French phrase meaning “nape of the neck,” is a no-fail formal look. There are countless variations, but the premise is always the same—a knot of hair tied at the neckline. This slightly undone version of the low bun is dreamy enough to sweep you off your feet. Add a gentle wave to your hair and sweep it back into a knot, leaving a few loose strands to frame your face. Secure with bobby pins and a medium hold hairspray.

Romantic messy chignon panic_attack / Getty Images
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Sleek and low

It’s hard to think of a more polished look than the straight poker ponytail. This ultra-smooth ‘do works perfectly with simple, form-fitting outfits and bold lip colors. If your hair isn’t naturally straight, use a flat iron to smooth out any texture and add a shine spray. Part your hair at the center, then tie your hair back at the nape of your neck with a hair tie. Take a half-inch section of hair from your ponytail and wrap it around the hair tie, and fasten with bobby pins. If your hair is on the thin side, the good news is you can fake a wrapped ponytail with an imitation hair ponytail holder that matches your hair color.

Sleek and low CoffeeAndMilk / Getty Images
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Ballerina bun

If your locks are long enough, you can add instant poise with the ever-graceful ballerina bun. Simply dampen your hair and brush it up into a ponytail high on the crown of your head. Twist the ponytail, wrap it around like a cinnamon bun, and secure with U-shaped pins. For that perfectly round donut shape, mesh “bun makers” are available in the hairstyling section of almost any drugstore. No matter how you achieve your ballet bun, one thing’s for sure—this homecoming hairstyle is “tutu” adorable.

Ballerina stands back and has hair bun with spring flowers.
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Gibson tuck

For a hairstyle that originates from the Edwardian era, the Gibson tuck looks unbelievably fresh. Believe it or not, this red carpet favorite takes just minutes to create. For this modern take on the Gibson tuck, all you need is a pretty elastic headband, bobby pins, and some hairspray. Slide the headband over your head. Starting just before your ears, start rolling your hair up into the headband. Secure with bobby pins and hairspray.

greek hairstyle tutorial Alter_photo / Getty Images
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Angel curls

Heaven must be missing an angel, and with this hairstyle, that angel is you. Cheesy pick-up lines aside, you can take your medium-length hair to new heights with a crown of wispy, face-framing corkscrew curls. All you need is a hot roller and a strong hold hairspray. As long as you keep the look tousled and undone enough that you don’t veer into Shirley Temple territory, you’re golden.

Beautiful woman with curly hairstyle CoffeeAndMilk / Getty Images
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Retro waves

If you want to make waves at homecoming, go with the Marcel wave, a staple of silver screen sirens. All you need is a small or medium barrel hot curling iron and some hairspray, and you too can rock this glamorously glossy ‘do. Though the iconic coiffure was invented for the bobbed hairstyles of the 1920s and 1930s, long-haired ladies can recreate it by pinning their hair up at the nape of the neck. Add an antique hair accessory for a flapper-licious finish.

Studio shot of young beautiful woman CoffeeAndMilk / Getty Images
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Twisted half-updo

If looking and feeling like a princess is more of what you’re after, a flowing half-up-half-down ‘do is perfect for you. Give the classic half-updo the royal treatment with a texture spray and plenty of twisting and tucking under to add bountiful bounciness. Secure with bobby pins and a spritz of flexible-hold hairspray. The result? Hair that looks like it’s straight out of a fairytale. Play up the princess vibe even more by adding accessories, like pearls, gems, or dainty flowers.

Twisted half-updo

heckmannoleg / Getty Images

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Curly pony

While the go-to formal ponytail is sleek and straight, a curly ponytail can be just as elegant. This look is all about texture and body, so use a volumizing spray if needed. Keep hair loose at the front and tie it back. Then, separate the hair to make a gap just above the tie, and twist your ponytail to make it small enough to fit through the hole. Lift your ponytail up and over, and pull through. If your hair isn’t naturally wavy or curly, coax a few coils into your hairstyle with a curling iron. Finish with hairspray.

Curly ponytail

heckmannoleg / Getty Images


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