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Prom Hair: The O.C.'s Prom Hairstyles


Pictured clockwise from left: Charles S. Kim, Autumn Reeser, Justin Chon, Rachel Bilson, Adam Brody, and Samaire Armstrong April 27, 2006

I was thrilled to discover that The O.C. on Fox celebrated the Harbor School's Prom with a full blown episode which aired on April 27th.

I was intrigued to see how the show's costume designer (Robin West), hair and make-up teams would dress and coif the stars Mischa Barton (Marissa) and Rachel Bilson (Summer) for the big Prom event.

Staying true to current hair, make-up, fashion and accessory trends, the O.C. stars wowed in their various Prom outfits.

While it is not practical for most prom-goers to exactly copy the designer gowns or hairstyles that O.C regulars Mischa (Chanel), Rachel (Vera Wang) and Autumn Reeser (Dina Bar-El) wore, it is definitely possible to get lots of great ideas and inspiration.

It was also fun to have return visits from The O.C.'s first season. Anna (Samaire Armstrong" who was Seth's (Adam Brody) love interest and Theresa (Navi Rawat) who was tied to Ryan, (Benjamin McKenzie) both returned from their college campus to attend the prom.

It was fun to see Samaire and Navi return. Not only did they stir up the plot but they offered additional Prom hair styles to review.

Long, Loose Prom Hair Styles

Rachel Bilson as Summer - The O.C. At The Prom April 27, 2006

The primary prom going females at the O.C. Prom were Mischa Barton, Rachel Bilson, Autumn Reeser and guest stars Samaire Armstrong and Navi Rawat.

Keeping in mind that California hairstyle trends, especially in Southern California where the O.C. (Orange County) is based, are softer, more relaxer, looser and less finished, it was not surprising that three of the five females wore their hair long, loose and softly textured.

This trend for soft, naturally textured hair is actually very popular around the country for 2006. This offers prom going girls the option to do their hair themselves rather than focus on big updos or completed twists.

Samaire was the only prom goer with a different hairstyle than the rest of the cast. The beautiful blonde stunner who is famous for her super short hair had a clip-on ponytail that was mostly hidden from view.

For all practical purposes her hair appeared to be short and sleek. Mischa wore her perfectly blonde highlighted strands in a loose faux French Twist that was pinned into place and extended from the crown to the top of the nape of her neck.

Summer, Tayler & Theresa's Hairstyles

Autumn Reeser as Taylor - The O.C. At The Prom April 27, 2006

Summer (Rachel Bilson shown above to the side) wore a stunning Vera Wang Lavender Label evening gown that was very feminine and elegant, befitting Summer's general image on the show. The gown was form fitting without being skin tight and ended in a series of tiered ruffles near the bottom of the dress.

Rachel wore her chocolate brown softly layered tresses long and sleek with just a tiny hint of texture around the edges. The sides of her hair beautifully framed her stunning face and added shape and definition. Her beautiful shiny tresses accessorized perfectly with the dark chocolate brown satin ribbon belt of her gown.

Taylor (Autumn Reeser) went with a more sizzling Prom look. While Summer and Marisha wore softer more feminine designs, she cranked up the heat in a scarlet red Dina Bar-El gown. Her prom dress perfectly showcased her luscious long blonde hair which she wore down with carefully positioned waves that cascaded down along one cheek onto her chest in the front.

Navi Rawat as Theresa - The O.C. At The Prom April 27, 2006

One side of her carefully finished hairdo was tucked behind one ear with the side hair coaxed forward.

The front of the gorgeous gown had a scooped neckline which worked perfectly with Taylor's hairstyle. With her luscious red dress Taylor could have just as easily worn her hair in a soft French Twist or messy twist. As a general rule, California fashions and hairstyles tend to be softer and more casual, which is clearly shown with Taylor's hairdo.

Theresa (Navi Rawat shown to the side) wore a slinky plunging Tadashi gown in a gorgeous shade of deep sky blue with gold accent trim.

Honoring her natural hair texture, her dark black tresses were worn down in soft cascading waves that extended below her shoulders. To show off her gorgeous eyes Navi's hair was parted down the middle with soft waves framing her face on either side.

Note: Go to Navi Rawat Hairstyles to check out how to copy Navi's luscious long waves.

Short White Blonde Prom Style

Samaire Armstrong & Adam Brody on The O.C. At The Prom April 27, 2006

Demonstrating that Prom hair can be worn short or with an add-on sleek pony, the visiting Anna (Samaire Armstrong) wore her California white-white blonde hair in a super short sophisticated style (see image at the top of the page) with a hidden long add-on pony that was worn slicked back and basically hidden from view.

The only female in the group with short hair, Samaire looks smashing in this style. Not only does it work well with her elfin face and features, she has the perfect bone structure to carry it off with class.

A shaggy but finished fringe softly curtained her forehead making her beautiful eyes pop.

Samaire wore a gorgeous black vintage gown that was from the 60s. The gown was very simple and elegant but looked smashing on Anna's figure. Her only accessories were long slinky teardrop earrings, open toe strappy black sandals and a white gardenia flower corsage.

Mischa Barton as Marissa on The O.C. At The Prom April 27, 2006

The always fashion savvy Marissa (Mischa Barton) wore a soft peachy pink lacy Chanel couture creation that was embellished with a frilly front and hemline bows. The top was strapless and definitely California chic.

To show off her beautiful neckline that was adorned with the soft bow Mischa's hair was pulled back in a loose, messy bun/twist that rested at the nape of her neck.

In keeping with the feminine and soft nature of her Prom gown which was reported to have cost upwards of $15,000, Mischa's only accessories consisted of her gold sandals and a pink stargazer lily wrist corsage.

She skipped earrings, necklace or other jewelry. She did carry a Chanel quilted style clutch handbag that perfectly complimented her stunning gown.


The theme of The O.C.'s Habor School was Pirates of the Caribbean which all of the girls honored to some extent with their various gowns. In every case their hair styles worked perfectly with the style and color of their gowns.

Accessories were mostly at a minimum although every single girl worse a gorgeous flower corsage that perfectly accented their gowns. There was no question that the costume designer, hair and makeup people created smashing looks for all the O.C. girls to wear to their special prom.

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- Revised Date: 05/24/10

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