Top 15 Graduation Hairstyles Ranked for 2021

Graduations are a stressful but exciting time! The world is at your fingertips. Whether it’s a high school graduation, college, or even a PhD,  there are life changing decisions to make and people to congratulate your success. The last thing anyone wants is to struggle with bad hair on the big day. 

Don’t stress just yet. I have been there. Finding the look that still works with the cap and gown can be a challenge, but not impossible. Here are my personal top 15 graduation hairstyles that will work perfectly on your big day. One less you have to worry about because post grad life stress is very real. You’ll need all the help you can get!

1. Keep it Simple

While there is a stigma about the struggle finding a fit for a cap and gown hairstyle, there is nothing wrong with sticking to the basics. Rocking the hair down, natural look is never a bad game plan, especially on a day to celebrate. Plus, one less thing to worry about the morning of your walk across the stage, the better. This is something you do not want to be late for. 

2. Curls for Days

Another look that pairs well with a cap is bouncy curls. Just because the cap might weigh down the top of your head, does not mean you can serve luscious girls! Be sure to let your curls set, using bobby pins or rollers to truly lock in the curl before adding the cap. If your hair does not hold curl well, adding some hairspray might help as well, but not too much. We want some movement in our hair. 

3. Add Some Detail

Adding some detail in the back of your hair is a fun way to stand out in the sea of cap and gowns. There is a crowd behind you at all times, so give them something unique to look at! This could be a simple braid, a fun hair piece, or some bobby pin design. Regardless, be sure it doesn’t over power the cap but can be noticed as well. Balance is key. 

4. Loose Pigtails

You are moving into adulthood. Why not pay homage to your youth one last time with some trendy loose pigtails? Not only is this a fun and fresh look, but this works great with hats aka caps. Pull time some pieces in the front to add some face framing and the look is set. Plus, this is a look that if it gets messy as the day goes on, it seems intentional! Don’t we love those looks? Makes life so much easier.

5. Low Ponytail

Low ponies are a go to for any occasion, and graduation is no different. Like I’ve said before, pull down some pieces to create some depth and face framing. Add some volume to your ponytail to counteract the tight cap. Just be sure to leave that cap on if this is the style you choose because hat hair is real, honey. 

6. Bold Baby

Graduation is a bold move! Why not pair it with a bold haircut? Spice things up and debut a blunt and edgy cut on your big day. Make sure if this is your style of choice to keep your hair straight and sleek to truly accentuate the blunt cut. This is also a great haircut to move into the workforce. After all, we all have to get jobs at some point, sadly. 

7. Bobs? Yes, Queen

Who doesn’t love a cheek bob? No one. The answer is no one. Channel your inner Dora, Edna Mode or Taylor Swift from her Orange and Pink award show look. These iconics bobs had their moment to shine and now it’s your turn. 

8. Rough it Up

Who doesn’t love a tousled look? For the ladies with short to medium hair, consider going for a less polished look and adding some hairspray or dry shampoo to create a messy look. This not only is on trend right now, but works out well for those with a long day ahead. Take the cap off, do a quick hair flip, and you are as good as new. 

9. Buns Out 

Buns are always a good idea. Whether you decide on two low buns or one, you can’t go wrong. Buns can be messy and quick or classy and polished, so choose your direction wisely. For the big day, I would suggest putting in a little more effort and trying something new. You’d be surprised how easy it is to accomplish a classy bun look. 

10. Bangs, Bangs, Bangs

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. Face framing is the ultimate best friend. Whether you like curtain bangs, straight across bangs, or just a few shorter pieces to blend into your longer hair, let your bangs be the star of the show for graduation day. 

11. All Natural 

For my natural hair babes, it IS possible to work your beautiful natural locks with your graduation attire. The key to this is only using the top part of the cap and bobby pinning it on top of your hair rather than trying to tame the locks in the cap. We don’t need taming! Rock your natural hair all day long. 

12. Wavy Baby

Classic 50’s waves? What better way to start your life of adulthood. Or just life in general, really. This look is timeless and unique. Two things that are flashing green lights for graduation hair ideas. If this is your first time tackling 50’s waves, check out some videos beforehand to perfect the look. 

13. Half Up with Some Spice

I know what you’re thinking. Won’t that be hidden by the cap? Not necessarily. While most half up looks are higher up on your head, there are loads of lower half up looks that will still be shown below a cap. There is a lot to play with here, but no matter what direction it goes, commit. Have fun with the look.

14. Extensions

Who doesn’t love long hair? For those of us not blessed with the patience to grow out long locs, add some extensions on your graduation day to create a fun hair canvas. Whether you want to keep it down or do a fun ponytail, hair extensions will elevate a look with not only length but volume: our two favorite things. 

15. Braids Babes

No matter the hair type, braids are a fun look, whether it is a fun dutch braid or a head full of braids, this is a great option for stealing the show at graduation. Depending on the type of braids you decide, this might take some preparation, so if you are reading this frantic for graduation tomorrow, maybe go with another choice. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this relieved some worry over what cute hairstyles for graduation are the best choice. You can’t go wrong with any of these options. However, be sure to pick something that makes you feel confident and won’t be a distraction. This is your big day afterall. The last thing you want is to have a mini breakdown over hair struggles the day of. 

If you are worried, have a practice round in the days beforehand. Test the looks out and see which works best for you. Most of all, congrats! You did it. Your hard work paid off.  Now go and change the world!

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