Graduation Hairstyles

Graduation day is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and you want to look your absolute best. I get it. I’ve been there, stressing over finding the perfect dress, shoes, and of course, graduation hairstyle. You want a look that’s special, memorable, and will slay in all those cap and gown photos. Girl, I gotchu

I’ve rounded up 10 of the most stunning graduation hairstyles that are trending this year. Whether you’re into sleek updos, bold braids, or fun pops of color, there’s a grad-worthy ‘do on this list for you. So grab your flat iron and let’s get to it!

Table Of Contents:

10 Stunning Graduation Hairstyles to Try This Year

Graduation day is a major milestone. You’ve worked hard to get here and you deserve to look and feel your absolute best as you cross that stage to get your diploma. While the cap and gown are non-negotiable, your graduation hairstyle is the perfect opportunity to express your personality and style. From sleek and polished to fun and trendy, there are so many gorgeous options to choose from. As someone who’s attended my fair share of graduations (and had a few of my own.), I know firsthand how tricky it can be to find a ‘do that looks great with that square cap. But don’t stress, I’ve rounded up 10 stunning graduation hairstyles that are sure to steal the show on your big day. Trust me, these looks will have you tossing your cap in the air with total confidence.

Pretty Bubble Ponytail à la Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson’s pretty bubble ponytail is a chic and stylish graduation hairstyle that will look great with your cap and gown. To recreate the look, gather your hair into a high ponytail and secure with an elastic. Then, add additional elastics down the length of the ponytail, gently pulling each section to create a bubble effect. The key to nailing this style is to make sure your pony is sleek and smooth. I like to run a drop of Bread Beauty Supply Hair Oil Everyday Gloss through my strands before pulling it up to tame any frizz or flyaways. This pony is perfect for showing off your face and keeping your hair out of the way as you pose for all those post-ceremony pics. Pair it with a bold lip or statement earrings for a look that’s equal parts glamorous and grad-appropriate.

Cop Charli D’Amelio’s Face-Framing Neon Streaks

While anyone can show up to graduation with a blunt haircut and middle part, take a cue from Charli D’Amelio and add some face-framing neon streaks for a bold, trendy look. Vibrant purple highlights are an easy way to recreate her style. I love this look because it’s a fun way to add a pop of color without committing to a full-on dye job. Manic Panic Amplified Semi-Permanent Hair Color is the perfect product to get the job done – it comes in tons of vivid shades and washes out after a few weeks so you can go back to your natural hue post-graduation. If you’re not into purple, opt for face-framing highlights in a color that complements your skin tone. Pinks and peaches look amazing on fair skin, while blue and green suit darker complexions. Have your stylist customize the shade for you for a look that’s totally one-of-a-kind.

Vibrant Purple Highlights

Speaking of purple highlights, this universally-flattering hue is one of my favorite ways to elevate a graduation hairstyle. Whether you opt for a few face-framing pieces or go for an all-over color, vibrant purple is sure to make a statement. To get the look, pick up a box of Manic Panic Amplified Semi-Permanent Hair Color in your desired shade of purple. The semi-permanent formula allows you to experiment with bold color without long-term commitment. I recommend doing a strand test first to see how the color will look with your natural hair. Once you’ve found your perfect purple, apply it to clean, dry hair and let it process according to the instructions on the box. Rinse, style, and get ready to rock your vibrant new ‘do on graduation day.

Fishtail Braid

For a more bohemian vibe, try a pretty fishtail braid. This intricate-looking style is actually surprisingly easy to create and looks amazing peeking out from under a graduation cap. To get the look, brush your hair to one side and divide it into two equal sections. Take a small piece of hair from the outside of one section and cross it over to the inside of the opposite section. Repeat on the other side, taking a small piece from the outside and crossing it over to the inside. Continue this crisscross pattern until you reach the ends, then secure with a clear elastic. Gently tug on the edges of the braid to loosen it up and create a more undone, effortless look. Mist with a light-hold hairspray to keep your braid in place all day long, from the ceremony to the after-party. Trust me, once you master this technique, you’ll want to wear a fishtail braid for every occasion – not just graduation. It’s the perfect combo of pretty and practical.

How to Achieve the Perfect Graduation Hairstyle

Choosing your graduation hairstyle is only half the battle – you also need to know how to achieve it. As a veteran of many a graduation ceremony (and the countless hours of prep that go into them), I’ve learned a thing or two about nailing the perfect ‘do. Creating a flawless look for graduation isn’t just about the style you choose. It’s also about using the right products and techniques to make sure your hair looks amazing from the first photo to the last. Don’t let graduation day hair stress put a damper on your big moment. I’m breaking down my tried-and-true tips for prepping, styling, and securing your locks so you can focus on savoring every second of this major milestone. From taming frizz to keeping your style in place, I’ve got you covered with my step-by-step guide to achieving the perfect graduation hairstyle. You’ve earned this moment – now let’s make sure your hair is ready for it too.

Prep Your Hair

Before you even think about reaching for a curling iron or bobby pin, you need to start with the right foundation. Prepping your hair is key to achieving a graduation hairstyle that looks amazing and lasts all day. I like to start by washing my hair the night before with a smoothing shampoo and conditioner. This helps tame frizz and flyaways so your style looks sleek and polished. Bonus points if you use a deep conditioning mask for extra hydration and shine. Once your hair is clean and dry, apply a heat protectant spray from roots to ends. This will shield your strands from damage caused by hot tools and keep your style looking fresh. I’m a big fan of Redken Quick Tease 15 Medium Hold Matte Finishing Hairspray for its lightweight formula and frizz-fighting powers. Next, work a dollop of smoothing cream or hair oil through your strands to add moisture and tame any unruly texture. Focus on your ends, which tend to be the driest and most prone to frizz. Now that your hair is prepped and primed, you’re ready to start styling. Remember, taking the time to create a smooth, hydrated base is the secret to a graduation hairstyle that looks amazing in person and in photos. Don’t skip this step.

Create Your Style

You’ve prepped your hair to perfection, now it’s time for the fun part – creating your graduation hairstyle. Whether you’re going for classic curls or a trendy updo, the key is to work with your natural texture and use the right tools and products. If you’re wearing your hair down, start by applying a volumizing mousse or root lifting spray to damp strands. Rough dry your hair until it’s about 80% dry, then use a round brush to smooth and shape your strands as you blow dry. For extra oomph, set each section with velcro rollers as you dry. Once your hair is fully dry, it’s time to create your desired style. Use a curling iron or flat iron to add waves or create sleek, straight strands. I like to alternate the direction of my curls for a more natural, effortless look. If you’re rocking an updo, start by applying a styling gel or cream to help tame frizz and flyaways. Create a deep side part, then gather your hair into a low ponytail at the nape of your neck. Secure with an elastic, then twist and pin the tail into a chic chignon or textured bun. No matter what style you choose, be sure to finish with a generous mist of hairspray to lock your look in place. And don’t forget to pack a few extra bobby pins and a travel-size hairspray in your bag for touch-ups throughout the day. The most important thing is to choose a graduation hairstyle that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with your look – after all, this is your big day.

Secure Your Look

You’ve spent hours creating the perfect graduation hairstyle – now it’s time to make sure it lasts through the ceremony and beyond. Securing your look is key to avoiding any cap-induced frizz or flyaways. To keep your style in place all day, finish with a generous mist of strong-hold hairspray. Redken Quick Tease 15 Medium Hold Matte Finishing Hairspray is my go-to for its lightweight formula and frizz-fighting powers. Mist it all over your hair, focusing on the areas around your hairline and part. If you’re rocking an updo, be sure to use plenty of bobby pins to secure any loose pieces or flyaways. I like to criss-cross mine for extra hold and staying power. For added insurance, try this genius hack from Chizi Duru: adhere a simple headband to the center of your graduation cap for extra hold. This will help keep your hair in place and prevent your cap from slipping or shifting throughout the day. And don’t forget to pack a few essentials in your bag for touch-ups on the go. A travel-size hairspray, extra bobby pins, and a small comb or brush will be your best friends for quick fixes between photos and celebrations. With these tips and tricks, you can rest assured that your graduation hairstyle will look just as amazing at the end of the day as it did when you left your house. Now go forth and conquer – you’ve got this.

Add Final Touches

You’ve prepped, styled, and secured your graduation hairstyle – now it’s time to add the finishing touches. These small details can take your look from great to jaw-dropping. First, go over any flyaways or frizz around your hairline or part with a toothbrush spritzed with hairspray. This will help tame any unruly strands and give you a sleek, polished look. If your graduation hairstyle includes face-framing pieces or bangs, give them a once-over with a flat iron to ensure they lay just right. A quick pass with a straightener can make all the difference in how your overall style looks. For a final dose of shine and polish, mist your hair with a lightweight oil or serum. I love NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Shine Oil Mist for its non-greasy formula and ability to tame frizz and flyaways. Focus on your ends and any areas that look dull or dry. If you really want to take your graduation hairstyle to the next level, add a pretty hair accessory like a jeweled barrette or floral pin. Just be sure to choose something that complements your overall look and won’t compete with your cap and gown.

Key Takeaway: 

Graduation day is your time to shine, so pick a hairstyle that makes you feel amazing. From the chic bubble ponytail to bold neon streaks and classic fishtail braids, there’s a perfect ‘do for everyone. Remember, it’s all about prepping your hair right, using the best products and techniques to keep your style in place from cap toss to final photo. Add those finishing touches for an extra wow factor. Now go rock that stage with confidence.

Must-Have Products for Flawless Graduation Hair

Graduation day is all about celebrating your achievements and looking your absolute best. Trust me, I’ve been there. I remember my own graduation, spending hours getting ready and making sure every detail was perfect – especially my hair. Over the years, I’ve learned that the key to flawless graduation hair is having the right products in your arsenal. Here are a few of my tried-and-true favorites that I swear by for creating a stunning graduation hairstyle that will last all day long. First up, a good semi-permanent hair color is a must if you want to add some fun, vibrant hues to your look. Manic Panic Amplified Semi-Permanent Hair Color is my go-to for achieving bold, eye-catching shades that really make a statement. The best part? It’s deposit-only, so it won’t damage your strands, and it fades gradually over time. Next, you’ll want a quality hair oil to keep your locks looking shiny and healthy. I’m obsessed with Bread Beauty Supply Hair Oil Everyday Gloss. Just a few drops of this lightweight oil adds incredible shine without weighing hair down. It’s like a glossy topcoat for your strands. I use it every single day to keep my hair looking its best. Of course, heat styling is often a necessary evil when it comes to creating a polished graduation hairstyle. To protect your hair from damage, a good heat protectant spray is essential. One of my favorites is Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray. It not only shields strands from heat up to 450°F, but also speeds up drying time and imparts a silky, frizz-free finish. Finally, no graduation hairstyle is complete without the perfect finishing touches. Bobby pins are a must-have for securing any updos or pinning back pesky flyaways. I always keep a pack on hand for last-minute touch-ups. The key to graduation hair success is being prepared with the right products. With these must-haves, you’ll be well on your way to a flawless graduation hairstyle that will look amazing in photos and last through all the hugs from proud family and friends. Trust me, a little preparation goes a long way in making sure you look and feel your best on this special day.

Key Takeaway: 

Rock your graduation with these must-have hair products: vibrant semi-permanent color, glossy hair oil, heat protectant spray, and trusty bobby pins. They’re the secret to stunning, long-lasting hairstyles that shine in every photo.


Graduation hairstyles don’t have to be boring or basic. With a little creativity and the right products, you can achieve a look that’s totally you and totally memorable.

From pretty bubble ponytails to vibrant purple highlights, these graduation hairstyle ideas prove that you can have fun with your hair while still looking polished and put-together. The key is to plan ahead, practice your style, and rock it with confidence on the big day.

So go ahead, try out one of these stunning graduation hairstyles and get ready to shine. You’ve earned it, grad!

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