Formal Hairstyles for long hair

You’ve been painstakingly growing out your hair for a while now, lovingly giving it the care and attention one may give to a small pet. You’ve finally reached your target, but now you aren’t sure what to do with your extra long tresses.

With longer hair, bad hair days seem to be more frequent, all that extra brushing and preening proving to be quite a pain. Nonetheless you still love your long hair. You did obsess work hard for it after all.

If you’re like us; easily bored of hairstyles and eager for a dramatic change, you may be tempted to return to the salon chair and go for the big chop all over again.

Stop! You worked so hard for those inches. Some of us have made that mistake and 90% of the time you’ll only spend time reminiscing of the days your long luscious locks danced in the wind.


Don’t worry; we have the hair solutions that will entice you away from the scissors.

It’s the perfect time to explore some of the many styles suited for long hair. Though you may assume that longer hair means more time spent in the salon seat and a pricier bill, we can assure you that it doesn’t have to be this way.

A lot of the hairstyles we are going to talk about are sleek and timeless; but most importantly can be done easily in the comfort of your own home, as well as by a professional hair stylist.

In this post we’re going to focus on hairstyles perfect for all your formal and special occasion functions like weddings and other parties that require fabulous hair. These can easily be converted to simple and casual styles for a more demure look the next day, or even the next hour.

These are going to be blow dried, straight hair, slick ponytails, straightened hair, voluminous curls and finally retro styled hair.

General hair care and preparation for long hair


You could be a hair genius, but if your hair is damaged you’ll have a harder time achieving that glossy style your aiming for. Sometimes the success of a hair-do is pinned on the state of your natural hair.

Therefore it’s important to care for you’re own hair. This means regular trims to keep your head split end free.

If your hair is naturally curly or coarse, it may suffer from dryness or feel brittle to the touch. Frequently moisturise your hair to prevent this.

Oil treatments and conditioning masks, as well as drinking plenty of water are the most effective ways to do this.

Obviously when it comes to styling hair, you will likely be using a lot of heat. It is extremely important that you use a good heat protectant, to help save your hair from heat damage.

Things you will need if you decide to do this at home:

v  Brushes & combs (Barrel brush, rat tail comb, paddle brush)

v  Heat protectant

v  Hairspray

v  Volumising spray (optional)

v  Hair bands and pins

v  Straightener

v  Curling irons

v  Shine serum (optional)

Traditional blow-dry


A good blow dry can work wonders for your look.  We like to call it beauty queen hair; if you’ve ever watched a pageant contestant float across a glittering stage, she’s most likely rocking a blowout bestowed upon her by the hair gods.

If you want big bouncy hair, a blow out is the way to go. If done properly it can give the appearance of thick and healthy hair. It also often looks magical on longer hair lengths.

Whilst you may have previously gone to a salon to get the blow out of your dreams it’s extremely achievable at home with a few steps and some of the hairstyling tools we’ve listed.

Step one

It’s best to start on wet hair. Before blow-drying your hair, deep condition it with a hair mask. The harsh hot air of the blow dryer can cause split ends and frizziness.

Step two

Divide your hair into manageable sections, then spritz it with heat protectant.

When dividing the hair keep in mind that the bigger the section the more volume but also the more risk of frizz and fly away. If you’re looking for a sleeker finish skip down to the next hairstyle.

Step three

Using a barrel brush, wrap the hair around the brush and blow dry, curling the hair in. Work slowly down the hair and repeat till dry.

Step four

Once you’ve done this to the entire head, rub a small amount of serum to calm any frizz and you’re free to go – easy peasy!

This hairstyle is perfect for daytime functions; it has the perfect amount of glamour but is simple enough to walk around the high-street without scathing looks of judgment (envious looks likely though).

If you’re a hairstyling novice, we strongly recommend you learn to blow dry hair to your own preference. It’ll save you many trips to the salon.

Straight hair


With a few run throughs with your hair straightener, you can go from voluminous blow-dried hair to sleek and shiny.

If you need a confident boost, bone straight hair is the go-to look. There’s something about straight hair that makes you feel as if you have your life together- even if in reality everything around you is a burning chaos.

This versatile style is simple yet elegant. The silky shine produced by straight hair gives it an air of occasion, whilst at the same time being completely wearable in a casual atmosphere.


Step one

To straighten hair it’s important you start on product-free hair, otherwise you run the risk of burning the hair (particularly if your hair products are oil-based).  For this reason we prefer to work on freshly washed hair.

Step two

Unless your hair is naturally of a silky texture, you will need to blow dry your hair. This step is crucial for us girls with thicker or curly hair if we want that bone straight finish. Divide the hair in smaller than usual sections, the smaller the section the sleeker the hair will come out, meaning it will need less run throughs with the straightener.

Step three

Once the hair is blow-dried and heat protectant has been added, divide the hair into small sections. We prefer to start from the back and work our way forwards. Straighten your hair, being careful to focus on the roots.

With straight and blow-dried hair, its important to avoid water as it will return the hair to its natural state. If it’s humid outside, we wouldn’t bother with these styles as the humidity will reduce your hard work into a ball of frizz (unless you like that of course, in that case go forth and prosper!).

If your hair is thinner, avoid using heavy products, as it will make your hair look greasy.

Straight hair is perfect for interviews and friendly gatherings all the way to a glamorous night out.

Slick ponytails for long hair


Amongst the joys of longer hair is the ability of having high ponytails that measure more than a few inches.

Now you can tie up your hair with ease without it looking as if your hair consists of not much more then a few strands of hay.

Slick ponytails are a hairstyle that can best be described as business chic.

You may have heard about power poses. Slick back ponies are to us power hairstyles.

Like straight hair, slick back ponytails fill you with buckets of confidence; with your hair pulled away from your face, you’ll struggle to hide behind your long tresses. It makes you feel and look confident.

For us it really helps on anxiety-filled days like big events and presentations. It prevents you from hiding behind a mass of hair or fiddling with strands.

With this hairstyle the saying ‘less is more’ definitely comes to mind.

The simplicity of this style accentuates your natural beauty, and is an obvious go-to style for relaxed casual days. Slick ponytails are simple enough to wear casually. It’s particularly best to wear your hair this way if you’re wearing dramatic makeup or heavy jewelry as it allows those features to make their statement whilst this simple hairstyle still prevents the overcrowding of your face.

This style is extremely easy to recreate, simply brush the hair back and up then, using a bristle brush to smooth the edges of your hair tie it up as high or low as you would like.

If you wanted to dress up this style slightly, you can introduce a deep middle or side parting.

This has been a popular trend last year and looks set to continue.  You may have seen various celebrities, in particular Kim Kardashian sporting this look.

Alternatively, you could twist or braid the ponytail; this has been a trend increasingly popular in runway shows.

Voluminous curls for long hair


This style is perfect for weddings and other similar evening occasions. It’s a romantic style that adds a touch of glamour to your look.

If your hair is thinner, this style will give the appearance of thicker hair.

This style is best done on blow-dried hair, as not only is it more voluminous than straight hair but it is also more amiable, meaning it will curl up and hold much better then flat-ironed hair.

If your hair dries fairly straight then it’s best to skip this step altogether and begin to curl, perhaps using some volumising products to give your roots that extra boost.

To prevent the curls from clumping together, curl in alternating directions.

If you have a curler that does not have an interchangeable barrel, you can create the look of chunkier curls by curling in larger sections than usual. By doing this you create more bounce and limit the need of dividing the curls later.

If you’re concerned your curls wont last the evening (despite using a good quality hairspray), especially if you have a silkier texture hair, or you generally prefer the look of tighter curls, you can curl in smaller sections, pinning each curl up until it’s cooled into shape.

However keep in mind smaller curls may reduce the look of thickness as the hair is more tightly condensed.

The next day the hair can be gently finger combed into waves; you could even add a few small braids to manage the areas that seem notably less curly. This will add a bohemian elegance perfect for casual daytime hairstyles.

To ease any frizz that may have occurred over night you may use a pea sized amount of hair serum of your choosing.

Retro hairstyles for long hair


Like fashion, you can almost time travel with hairstyles.

The screen vixens of the 40s heavily influence the hair of modern day stars. We see this on red carpets year in and year out.

In particular the uniform wavy peek-a-boo hairstyle popularised by the actress Veronica Lake is a popular hairdo on the red carpets of major awards ceremonies.

Step one

To achieve this look blow dry your hair but make sure to straighten your roots about the quarter of the way down. To ensure this part remains sleek, create a deep side parting.

Step two

Proceed to curl your hair in medium chunks ensuring to do it all in the same direction. Pin up whilst you curl the rest of your hair and hairspray liberally.

Step three

Once you have done the whole head, comb the hair gently from the tips up. Because you curled the hair in the same direction it should create those famous uniform waves. Use liberal amounts of hairspray to hold, and pin back the hair behind the ear.

Similarly, the songstress Adele has brought renewed appreciation of the very retro beehive, a direct inspiration of the big teased hair of the 50s and 60s.

Hairstyles for Long Hair Retro beehive Adele

Step one

To recreate this style, start on blow-dried hair. From your ears divide up the hair in an upper and lower portion, with the lower portion being the bulk of the hair.

Step two

Backcomb the roots of the top layer slowly until the area becomes dense. Stop before you end up with a bird’s nest. Lay the hair down, as it should peak slightly on its own.

Step three

Using discreet hair pins, pin the bouffant hair into place. You know can go about styling the rest of the hair. Adele often ties the rest of her hair into a low curled ponytail but if this isn’t your style, you may leave it loose around your neck, adding a few loose curls for that flirty touch.

These styles are a combination of classy and sultry decadence; they require a lot more hairspray and a little extra time. However, it’s definitely worth it because the result will leave you feeling like a bond girl.

And there you have it! An array of hairstyles to add to your stock that are perfect for weddings, parties, dates and nights out.

These styles make particularly good use of longer hair and are almost universally flattering, yet easy to master with a little patience.

Or if you have the expendable cash why not request that your stylist recreate the looks for you.

What are your go-to special occasion hairstyles? Do you have any unique hair tips?