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Are Classic Updo's Dead For Special Hair Events Like Proms, Weddings, Etc?

For the past week I was in Los Angeles having business meetings and visiting with several of my celebrity hairdressing friends to discuss current hair trends, new product lines and related tips.

Yes, I love LA, so I did take a little time to hang out on the beach in Malibu, with appropriate skin and hair suncreens applied, and enjoy the incredible people watching in Beverly Hills.  Afterall, if you come to LA you have to play just a little bit.  Right?

When I visit LA, which I usually do 2-4 times a year, I like to stay in a range of neighborhoods.

Sometimes I stay in Beverly Hills, sometimes Hollywood and the last two trips I've taken I've plopped my bags down in downtown LA.

Before you wrinkle your nose, I have to tell you that downtown LA is in a period of resurgence and the hotels are keeping pace.  I have to say I am impressed with how beautiful downtown Los Angeles has recently become.

For my most recent jaunt I stayed at the Omni Hotel on Olive (and 4th) and it is absolutely the best hotel I've stayed in for a long time (The Carlyle Hotel in New York was also fabulous).  I can't say enough great things about the service, the beautiful appointed room, the views, the courtesy of the staff, the fabulous bathroom and on and on.

Since this is such a gorgeous hotel I wasn't surprised when last night I arrived at my hotel to see a long line of young teens in gorgeous gowns escorted by guys in tuxedos.  Ahhhh.  Was there a prom on the premises?  Yes, I was told, there was.  And not the first time.  Apparently this stunning hotel is a much sought after formal party location (formals, weddings, Proms, homecoming formals...etc)

As I watched the beautiful young women ascend the long sweeping staircase from the lobby to their Prom upstairs, I was surprised to discover none of the young ladies had their hair coiffed in updos.  No, not one.'s Edan and I stood and watched the procession of Prom goers sweeping up the stairs.  As they did, we made a point of checking the hair.  Of course that's what we would want to see.

We saw lots of side ponytails (a majority hairstyle) embellished with soft curls and ringlets.  We saw lots of low ponies (ponies were big) ranging from sleek to wavy and even a few nape level soft knots.

Not a classic updo in the bunch.  Although there were a few half-up and half-down hairstyles, the half up section consisted of a sleek off-the-face panels of hair with the hair pulled into a back of the head pony with long curls or waves cascading down around the shoulders.

Several of the Prom goers were wearing their hair down in either soft waves or loose curls.  While there was lots of hair texture, the curls and waves were all incorporated into a bigger hair look and not the key focus of the hairstyle.

I promise you I kept looking for the traditional updo with all the hair swept up on top of the head in an array of swirls, curls or loops.  Edan and I just didn't see one.

There were lots of sparkly thin headbands, gorgeous silk and real hair flowers and clips, but they appeared to be small accent pieces and not large focal points to the total hair look.

I was impressed with how gorgeous the various hairstyles were and a little surprised not to see any hard core updos.  Although I did see one or two twists, they were not of the traditional French variety and were more messy and deconstructed.

Although Edan and I weren't able to actually attend the prom, I did get to see the majority of the arrivals and was mesmerized by the sight.

All that great hair to gawk at in one hotel lobby.  It also made me remember my own prom so many eons ago.  I actually wore a traditional updo with curls carefully sculpted along the top of my head.  But then so did most of my female classmates.

Are traditional updo's dead for the Prom?  What about weddings or other party hair events?  A good question for sure.

My friend, celebrity hairdresser Robert Hallowell, who did Mary Louise Parker's hair for last year's Emmy awards reported the absence of traditional updos for celebrity events.  He said you might see a random updo on a Red Carpet event from time to time, but for the most part, women are going with long, loose, lush and down hairstyles for Proms, weddings and major hair events.

He also said the current Brazilian Keratin Treatment (BKT) craze is creating a big trend for long, loose waves with just a touch of curls throughout the perimeter.  Several of his celebrity hair clients have requested Brazilian Keratin for their hair and are transitioning towards softer, sleeker looks which are not synonymous with updos.

Ahhh.  Good to know.

Farewell to the big, bold, bodacious updo.  I for one am going to miss you.  But one thing is for sure.  They will return someday.  In the hair world what goes around always comes around.

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