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Best Prom Hairstyles for Short Hair

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    The Sleek, Sophisticated Bob

    A deep side part and a volumizing root boost can transform a short bob into Katie Holmes' polished 'do.

    How to do it: Create a deep side part—for an easy indicator of where to place it, draw an imaginary line back from the arch of one eyebrow. Then, work a styling foam through wet hair for texture and extra body. Blow-dry, then add a finishing gloss to make strands shine, says celebrity stylist Paul Labrecque of the Paul Labrecque Salon in New York City.

  • Formal Event Hair: Short Updo

    Look red-carpet (or prom) ready with this sophisticated updo that works beautifully for short hair.

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    Super-Short Strands

    A cropped cut like Carey Mulligan's can be made prom-worthy in minutes.

    How to do it: A dab of styling wax will add separation and texture to hair, really highlighting the cut. To dress it up, try multiple thin headbands or a big side bow, suggests Laurent Dufourg, celebrity stylist and founder of Prive Salons in Los Angeles and New York.

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    The Feathered Bob

    A sophisticated blow-out and lots—lots—of volumizing products can create a feathered bob like Nicole Richie's, says Nicholas Penna Jr., head stylist and owner of Salon Capri in Newton, Massachusetts.

    How to do it: Start with a great, layered cut a few weeks before prom (if your daughter likes this 'do, show the stylist the picture). The layers are necessary to create the "feathers," or floaty flips of hair. To get the look, blow-dry hair with a volumizing mousse and round brush, then work in a texturizing product with a bit of hold. Curl strands outward with a large-barrel curling iron. Spritz with hairspray so the wisps don't fall during the night.

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    The Razored Crop

    Add texture to a short, shaggy 'do like Keira Knightley's for a prom-ready pixie.

    How to do it: Just use a touch of pomade to add texture and show off the dimensions of the cut, says Labrecque. Try adding fun accessories like jeweled hairpins.

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    Polished to Perfection

    Forgo the brush if you're creating Selma Blair's sleek look. Too much styling can make hair look wig-like, says celebrity stylist Carrie Butterworth of the Patrick Melville Salon in New York.

    How to do it: Let your hair dry, occasionally running fingers through it to push hair into place. If hair is wavy, use a flat iron to smooth it out, and add a drop of serum for shine.

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    The Textured Pixie

    "Bold girls who like their hair short and sassy like Victoria Beckham should think of nothing but texture, texture, texture," says celebrity stylist Ron King of bô Salon in Austin, Texas.

    How to do it: Start with a piece-y pixie cut, then simply rough up hair. Emulsify a dime-sized amount of wax in hands and run it over the entire head, using fingers to shape.

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    The Flip

    Emma Watson's bouncy flip "is inspired by the '60s Jackie O craze—and still looks fabulous today," says Labrecque.

    How to do it: Blow hair dry using a volumizing spray and set in medium-sized Velcro rollers. Then brush out the style, accentuating the flip in the ends. Back-comb the crown for volume by running a fine-tooth comb through the inches of the hair nearest the scalp in short strokes, going from back to front. Keep the comb strokes uniform for a good result. Need more bounce and hold for those flipped out ends? Mist them with hairspray.

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    The New Bob

    The "new" bob isn't as severe as the classic—and looks great with lots of texture, like Camilla Belle's slightly tousled waves.

    How to do it: Apply a root amplifier to wet locks, then blow-dry hair upside down without using a brush, advises Dufourg. Use a large-barrel curling iron to add soft shape, and a sculpting pomade for definition. Jazz it up further by pinning one side back with a series of pretty barrettes.

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    The Classic Pixie

    Newcomer actress Mia Wasikowska's pixie "really plays off another Mia's cut—actress Mia Farrow," says Labrecque.

    How to do it: Use a volumizer to create height, and add sleekness to the edges and front with a few drops of a silicone shine-boosting product.

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    The Angular Bob

    Follow Christina Aguilera's lead and update a classic bob with a deep side part.

    How to do it: Blow-dry strands super-straight, then make an exaggerated side part by pushing bangs or long layers off to one side. A dab of pomade or styling wax will keep everything in place, says Dufourg.

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    French Braids, Doubled

    "If you or a friend is a pro french-braider, Nicole Richie's look is super-easy to re-create at home—so long as hair is no longer than shoulder-length," says King.

    How to do it: Blow out hair, creating a center part from the forehead to the nape of neck. Clip one side of hair back. On the other side, start a french braid at the top of the part, working back. At the back of neckline, tuck remaining hair under and secure with bobby pins. Repeat braiding process on other side. Spray any flyaways with a light-hold hairspray.

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    Boosted Bob

    If your teen already has a great geometric cut like Paris Hilton's chin-length bob, adding tons of volume is the key to prom-ready hair, says King.

    How to do it: Prep hair with a volumizing shampoo and conditioner. Apply mousse while hair is still wet, then blow-dry. Afterwards, spritz a light mist of shine spray to create a shimmery style.

    Copyright © 2010 Meredith Corporation.

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