14 Formal Hairstyles For Really Long Hair

Braids, buns, waves, bouffants, and more – look chic and elegant at your next formal event.

Reviewed by Jessica Shults, Licensed Hairstylist Jessica Shults Jessica ShultsLicensed Hairstylist facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BE Jyotsana Rao BE linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Asmita De MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , BA (English Hons) Pahul Nanra BA (English Hons) linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
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It does not take a lot to spice up your hairdos for work, as all you need to do is a little research on refined and formal hairstyles for long hair.

You are always expected to look your best in neatness, well-trimmed, and fresh, even through a computer screen. However, you can make the best of work-from-home by serving formal hairstyles and feel your best for any special formal event.

Licensed Hairstylist, Jessica Shults advises, “Really long hair can easily look damaged, dry, or dull. The best way to enhance its beauty so it looks gorgeous with these formal styles is to do a Keratin treatment. This will eliminate frizz, add shine, and help keep the hair smooth for any formal styling.”

Additionally, ensure your hair gets its regular dose of nourishment so that it can carry the styles you desire. Scroll down for some unique ideas.

protip_icon Before You Get Started
  • To keep your hair long, shiny, and healthy, follow a dedicated hair care routine. Sleep on satin or silk pillows. Braid your hair at night to avoid breakage.
  • Make sure to use accessories like hair ties, clutches, section clips, or hair bands that don’t damage the hair. Additionally, use a natural-bristle brush to detangle hair without causing too much friction and damage.
  • If you have a hairstyle with hair flowing down, be mindful of the humidity; it shouldn’t make your hair sticky, as it tends to give a shabby look.
  • Invest in a good hair gel, mousse, foam, or spray to keep your hair neat. Apply the gel, mousse, or foam to your hair before setting your hair. Spritz on the hairspray after setting your hair.

Formal Hairstyles for Long Hair

1. Chic Layered Braid

Chic Layered Braid
Image: Shutterstock

Give the regular fishtail braid a stylish update with this lush, layered look. It’s easy to recreate. You just need to weave a fishtail braid and loosen the braid by gently pulling out thin hair sections. You may prep your hair with a volumizing mousse to make the braid appear thick and finish off the look with hairspray. Teasing can also help achieve fullness.

2. Wavy Ponytail

Wavy Ponytail
Image: Shutterstock

A messy, wavy ponytail is an understated but excellent choice for any formal occasion. Finger combing is the cue here. Spritz some texturizing spray and tie your hair into a ponytail. You may curl the ponytail for some volume and set the look with hairspray.

3. Bouffant

Bouffant formal hairstyle for long hair
Image: Shutterstock

Comb out your hair till they are free of tangles and straight. Now take the front part of the hair, raising it a little to create a puffed-up and voluminous look, take it towards the back and pin tight. Let the remaining hair be loose.

protip_icon Quick Tip
The bouffant hairstyle was invented by British celebrity hairdresser Raymond Bessone in the 1950s.

4. Cinnamon Bun

Cinnamon bun formal hairstyle for long hair
Image: Shutterstock

The cinnamon bun will go best with gowns, off-shoulders and backless dresses, as well as with the LBD. Comb hair neatly to remove all tangles. Bring it tightly back at the nape and start twisting the entire length, rolling it towards a bun as you do it. Once you’ve rolled up all the hair, secure it tightly with a bun fastener.

5. Classic Waves

Classic waves formal hairstyle for long hair
Image: Shutterstock

Waves are making a comeback after spells of simple straight hair. So if you have naturally wavy hair, great! But if you don’t you can always get some at home using your styling rods. Part hair on one side, leaving the top portion straight and natural. Style hair from middle to bottom in waves. Let some fall on one shoulder and pull the remaining to the back and see them cascading down your back beautifully.

6. Wavy Braid

wavy braid formal hairstyle for long hair
Image: Shutterstock

Another great style for wavy hair: Comb hair with a side parting. Leaving the front hair loose, take some strands from just above the top of your ears or behind your ears and braid tightly. Now take this braid from one side of the head to the other and pin it in at the back. Let the remaining hair stay loose.

7. Half Updo

Half updo formal hairstyle for long hair
Image: Shutterstock

The half-up hairdo is a great favorite and very simple to achieve. Comb hair neatly, preferably straight or in loose waves and part in the middle. Starting from the middle top, pull back hair in a slightly raised look, like a puff and pin at the back. Now take hair from the sides and bring it back to where you pinned up the puffed hair. Leave the remaining hair open in a half up half down hairstyle!

8. Braid Bun

Braid fun formal hairstyle for long hair
Image: Shutterstock

This formal hairstyle works best with straight hair. Part hair in the middle and on both sides, take the front strands and braid hair tightly. Bring both the braids at the back and pin their middle part together. Take the remaining parts of the braids and open the hair. Twist it in a bun that leaves the neck and shoulders bare.

9. Wavy Side Pony

Style your hair in extreme waves and create a side parting. Now take some hair from the front and twist it tightly, bringing it back towards one side. Leave a few strands loose in the front to give a messy and relaxed look. Bring the remaining hair to the same side and tie it lightly around the ear. Bring the tied hair towards the front and let the waves show.

10. High Bun

High bun formal hairstyle for long hair
Image: Shutterstock

Iron out your hair to make them straight. Comb back tightly, pulling all the hair to the top of the head and secure this tightly. Now take the remaining hair and roll it in a tight high bun. Secure tightly.

protip_icon Quick Tip
The tucked up high bun hairstyle is suitable for formal events and can be styled using different braiding techniques.

11. Wavy Hair

Wavy formal hairstyle for long hair
Image: IStock

Create strong waves using your styling rod. Take a few strands from the sides and twist them back, pinning them behind your ears. Let the remaining hair loose.

12. Sleek Ponytail

Sleek ponytail formal hairstyle for long hair
Image: Shutterstock

The sleek ponytail still continues to be on the high-fashion list internationally for its clean and polished look. Straighten hair with a straightening rod. Comb back tightly and pull it up high. Tie it up tightly. This is one of the easy formal hairstyles for long hair.

Long hair also needs utmost care. Unless you have healthy hair, no hairstyle can enhance your look. Licensed Hairstylist, Jessica Shults says, “Really long hair can easily look damaged, dry, or dull. The best way to enhance its beauty and make it look gorgeous with formal styles is to do a keratin treatment. This will eliminate frizz, add shine, and help keep the hair smooth for any formal styling.”

Allana Davison, a YouTuber, shared how she mastered the sleek ponytail by using a boar hair brush and hairspray. She said, “I usually like my pony to have a little bit more life to it. These are the products that I have been using as of late to achieve this slickness harmony (i).”

13. French Twist

A woman showcasing a French twist
Image: Shutterstock

The French twist hairstyle for long hair embodies timeless elegance. Gather the strands at the back of the head and twist them upward, creating a graceful French twist. Secure it with hairpins for a lasting hold. Allow a few strands to delicately frame the face for a soft touch. Add a hint of glamour with a decorative pin or accessory. This iconic hairstyle is perfect for special occasions, providing a French sophistication that is both timeless and captivating for long hair.

14. Knotted Bun

Knotted bun hairstyle
Image: Shutterstock

Create a stylish knotted bun in a few easy steps. Gather your hair into a high ponytail and tie it with an elastic band. Form a tight knot around the base by twisting the ponytail into a tightly. Tuck the loose strands with pins. Effortless elegance in under a minute!

Infographic: Top 5 Classy Hairstyles For Formal Occasions

Having long hair is a dream for many, but managing and styling it for different occasions seems like a big task. Thankfully, the article above lists many hairstyles you can experiment with. But, with so many gorgeous hairstyles, choosing just one can be tough. So, here is an infographic with a list of a few classy hairstyles that will add elegance and style to your formal occasions. Check it out!

top 5 classy hairstyles for formal occasions (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

If you have long hair and need to rush off to an event, you know the struggle to style and maintain your flowy tresses. This is why we have compiled the above list for your benefit. Now, you do not need to scour the internet looking for styles at the last minute frantically. Instead, just bookmark these formal twisted up, elegant hairstyles for long hair, and keep them handy for when you need them. Most of these hairstyles are easy to achieve, timeless, sophisticated, and not time consuming. Also, they look glamorous whether you pair them with an elegant gown or a sharp pant-suit!

formal hairstyles for long hair_illustration

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Frequently Asked Questions

Do layers help long hair?

Yes, layers add volume, style, and dimension to long hair. If your hair tends to look triangular, thin at the top but heavy at the bottom, layers can help lighten your hair and give it shape.

Does hair length affect attractiveness?

It depends on your face shape. Certain types of hair lengths suit particular face shapes better. An extremely short pixie cut might not suit a round face as it makes it look wider. Any hair length suits an oval face. So, pick a hair length that displays your face shape in a good way.

Which haircut is best for long hair?

From layered locks, subtle layers, u-cut, wavy ends, there are many haircuts to style your long locks in. However, you should pick the best style for your hair depending on your face shape. Discuss with your hairstylist which cut would bring out your facial features and display your face shape attractively.

Key Takeaways

  • Formal hairstyles not only need neat styling but also a healthy appearance that comes with a regular, elaborate hair care regime.
  • If your long hair is frizzy and tends to look dull, consider getting a Keratin treatment to restore its health and give it a smooth appearance.
  • Make sure your accessories are in neutral colors, appear functional rather than decorative, and do not attract much attention.
  • Use a setting spray to ensure your hairstyle remains in place all day, making you look sharp and professional.


Attention all brides-to-be and prom-goers! Time to unlock the secrets to achieving a breathtaking updo for your big day with the following video tutorial. Elevate your elegance with A mesmerizing hairstyle specially designed for long locks.

Personal Experience: Source

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Jessica Shults

Jessica ShultsLicensed Hairstylist

Jessica is an expert hairstylist with over 20 years of experience. She specializes in all areas of hair color and is exceptionally skilled at balayage and best-in-class gray blending techniques. After two decades of hairstyling, she launched Twisted Scissors Salon, a full-service hair salon. Jessica loves creating elegant, beautiful hairstyles, and she cherishes the friendships she has made with her...read full bio

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