For most young women, the prom is a major event in their lives, one they’ve looked forward
to for years. And most young women get one prom in their lives. It’s a time for the young men and women to dress-up and enjoy what
is, for many, a magical and unique experience in their lives.
The name “Prom” is an abbreviation of the term “promenade” which means “to walk about”.
Promenade also refers to a particular step in some dances where a couple moves about while facing in the same direction. In the
U.S., the term also has some relation to the tradition of talking leisurely walks in your best clothing, usually on Sundays. The
“Prom” has its parallels in similar events in other countries, such as the Debutante Ball in Ireland, Formals in England,
Studniówka in Poland, and the Vanhojen tanssit in Finland, although many of these events feature much more tradition than their
However, for every ‘wonderful recollection’ of prom I’ve heard, there
have been at least five ‘prom horror stories’. Most of the disasters were the result of bad planning or lack of planning on the
part of the attendees. And of the rest - which were caused by events beyond the attendees’ control – could have been minimized if
the young people involved only showed a little grace under pressure. That’s what we’re here to help with: getting ready for prom
and helping to be prepared in case things go awry.
The only thing that’s more important on prom night than your dress is your hair. It has to
look good. Start thinking now about how you want your hair to look for prom. Do you want to wear it up? Or maybe half-up with a
cascade of curls down your back? Start saving clippings of photos from awards shows and celebrity functions of people who have hair
similar in length and texture to yours, and whose styles you like. These can give you some great ideas for prom, and let you show
a stylist what you want to have done.
It’s also not too soon to go ahead and talk to your stylist about prom and set up an
appointment for the big day. If you wait until the last minute to schedule a hair appointment, you could find yourself unable to
get one at a convenient time, or worse, relegated to the “we’ll try to work you in” category. That is only going to make you anxious
and stressed if the stylist is swamped on the day, and will likely mean that your hair is going to be a rush job.
Maybe you don’t have the budget for a professional stylist to do your prom hairstyle. In
that case, talk to a friend who has a similar limitation and see if you can agree to do each other’s hair. By planning early, you
and she can practice doing each other’s hair and work out styles that you like and that aren’t beyond one another’s abilities to
acheive. There are hair magazines available with step-by-step instructions on creating some lovely styles for prom. Use these as a source
for inspiration, and who knows, you may find that ‘dream style’ you love.
By practicing the hairstyles in advance, you’ll know how long it will take to do them on
the day of the prom, and can plan your schedules accordingly. Just remember that freshly-washed hair is harder to style in an
up-style. Wash your hair the day before prom, and simply brush it well before styling for the big day.
Don’t forget hair accessories. You can find some beautiful accessories to add some sparkle
and pizzazz to even a simple style that will dress it up nicely. Accessories like barrettes, combs, clips and jeweled hairpins can
add just the right touch of glamour to your hair, without having to spend hours on a complicated style. Just don’t overdo it. Other
ideas for hair accessories include:
• Flowers – fresh or silk. Go with small clusters of blooms, or a single larger blossom, but remember to keep the size of the flowers in your hair in proportion to your head.
• Headbands – these can be jeweled, colorful, or covered in a matching fabric, and could even be metallic in gold or silver.
• Beads – Strands of costume jewelry pearls can be used as headbands (doubled over and pinned in place) or wound into an upstyle for a beautiful
accent to a simple nest of curls. This look is especially stunning on darker hair colors.
• Ribbon – Simple satin ribbon in a coordinated color can be used to tie back masses of curls, or can be woven with the hair into braids that can be coiled
on the head to make beautiful hair designs.
When all else fails, and you can’t seem to find a style that you like, try a simple
classic look. Smooth your hair back from your face and gather it at the nape of your neck. Twist the hair into a simple bun and pin
securely. Some shine-enhancing hair product applied before smoothing the hair back and a sparkling accessory like a jeweled comb or
a few jeweled pins and you’ve got a sleek, elegant look that will be sure to turn heads.
Looking Your Best:
With the hair question settled, or at least being worked on, let’s talk about the
second-most important aspect of the prom look: your dress. It’s probably the first thing a young woman thinks about with regard to
prom, and is the one thing that most young women do wrong.