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Top 10 Best Pageant Hairstyles

There is a reason photographers and stylists scream across the set, “GET HER TO HAIR AND MAKEUP!” Pageant hair and makeup go hand in hand and complete your entire look. In my opinion, you cannot have one without the other. Below I will highlight my top 10 favorite pageant hairstyles:

Top 10 Best Pageant Hairstyles

#10 The BUN:

Miss USA 2008 Crystle Stewart,bun,pageant hairstyles,miss usa
Miss USA 2008 Crystle Stewart.

The bun is a classic pageant hairstyle and when worn appropriately, can make you truly look like a queen. A slicked back bun is a quick hairstyle if there is something catastrophic that happens backstage right before you go on. Keep an emergency Hot Bun, or sock bun (emergency hair roller that sets the bun atop the head) in your pageant bag.

(Read: How to Create Miss Universe Pageant Bun)

#9 The Up-do

Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo,pageant hairstyle,updo
Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo

The Up-Do has been a staple in pageantry for years, but at the turn of the millennium has not been actively present in pageants on the national level. When an up-do is executed perfectly is can give you the ultra feminine and sophisticated look that draws the attention from your hair to your face. Once the judges get a good look at your side profile, they can see the subtle curls and fall in love with your grace.

(Read: Low Up-Do Tutorial for Pageant Girls)

#8 The Side Bang

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Miss Rhode Island Teen USA 2013 Elaine Collado

You can never go wrong with a side bang! The side bang is so versatile that during competition, you could pin one side back and have all your curls cascading to one side (great if you are wearing a one shoulder dress). Whether your curls are tight or wavy, a side part is a safe hairstyle that many will not doubt. When walking down the catwalk, try and catch a little wind under your bangs and watch the audience stare at you in awe!

#7 The Tight Curls

pageant hairsytles,miss usa,miss america,pageant hair
Miss Colorado USA 2013 Amanda Wiley

If you are a Queen that adores a bundle of curls, or if you naturally have super tight curls, EMBRACE THEM! I love seeing an abundance of tight curls billowing down the catwalk. Flexi rods and ¾ curling irons can achieve this look for you. If you naturally have curly hair, I recommend defining your natural curls with a curling iron. When the curls fall, they blend with the natural curl pattern of your hair.

#6 The All Back or Part-Less

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Miss Texas USA 2012 Brittany Booker

This look makes you appear to have constant wind going through your hair! With there truly being no visible part in the hair, it makes your hair appear fuller. This look keeps the hair out of your face and centers the attention on it. Take notice that you want the judges to see your face. Your hairstyle should not overpower your face.

#5 The Half Up, Half Down

national american miss,pageant hairstyles,pageant curls
2012-2013 National American Miss Teen Megan Webb

From the tiniest of tots to the most sophisticated women, the half up, half down look is always a winner. Whether you have slight curls, or an abundance of them, this look is always beautiful. Again, this is another look that keeps the hair out of your face, but can give you versatile options. You can bring the half down section of the hair forward, or push the hair behind your shoulders. Depending on your dress, this option can save you time and effort. This also allows you to quickly switch looks during the competition. For example, you can keep all your hair down during swimsuit and pin half of it up for evening gown.

#4 The Side Part

miss universe,pageant hairstyles
Miss Tennessee Teen USA 2013 Emily Suttle

The most traditional of pageant looks, but still flawless none the less. The side part differs from the side bang due to length. Girls with long layers, or long hair in general, can execute this look with ease. Waterfall curls look phenomenal on long hair and can add to this look in tremendous ways.

#3 The Slick Back

pageant hairstyles,miss universe,pageant hair
Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes

When you want to give the most “face” possible, this is the way to go. The slick back look is amazing when you have dramatic eye makeup. With having dramatic eyes, having a basket of hair on your head can make you appear to be overdone. Scale down your look and simply slick your hair back with gel. I recommend this look to be worn during evening gown portion of the competition only.

#2 The Bone Straight

pageant hairstyle,miss usa,pageant hair
Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella

What is a queen to do without her pageant curls?! She is to transform into a daring, sleek, and elegant wonder. The bone straight look is something that most pageant girls steer away from because it is not a traditional stage look. If you plan on attempting this look, make sure all of your hair is sleek and going in one direction. This look can easily be destroyed if you sweat and have naturally curly hair. Take caution when attempting this look and make sure you have a licensed stylist frame this look to your face. My queens with high cheek bones, this look is phenomenal when the hair is framed just right against your face.

#1 The Middle Part

miss america,pageant hairstyle
Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan

This look is always a winner, which is why it takes the number one spot! The middle part allows you to give face, yet have the hair sweeping equally on both sides of the face. With a middle part your face is balanced on both sides and it makes you appear streamlined from head to toe. I personally have worn this look in all my competitions. If you have bangs with this look, feather them into the curls on both sides with your flat iron.

Which dress do you like better?

7 thoughts on “Top 10 Best Pageant Hairstyles

  1. These are all very elegant and timeless pageant looks! I better go get my curling iron warmed up so I can try some of these!

  2. Could you do a tutorial for #6? I'd love to try it but have no idea how!

    1. Yes! I will set this up as a video tutorial this week.

  3. Anything for those of us with shorter hair?

    1. Here is a previously written article for short hair girls: http://thepageantplanet.com/can-you-win-a-pageant-with-short-hair/

  4. Which one of these hairstyles look best on a round face with long natural curly hair?

  5. I want to have my hair cut in a ‘pageant style’ to where it is easier to put up in rollers and have the curls stay in place. I have thick hair down to my butt. What do I tell my hair stylist?

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