Dance or music recitals are often formal occasions, requiring hair to be both elegant and functional. Several hairstyles are appropriate for this, depending on your hair length. You can choose from the French braid, the ballet bun, a ponytail with curls, or headbands and other adornments for short hair.

French Braid

The French braid is a tight, neat hairstyle for those with medium-length to long hair. This braid starts near the top of the scalp, a few inches behind the hairline, and provides a more secure style than a traditional braid, which starts at the base of the neck. The braid is completed by braiding over a middle section of hair, slowly incorporating that section into the braiding strands as you go. You can accessorize a French braid using hair clips; bobby pins will tame any stray hairs that aren’t long enough to be incorporated into the braid.


A ballet bun is a tight, sleek updo that will stay in place through the most vigorous dance recitals. Pull your hair into a ponytail, ensuring the hair around the scalp is as smooth as possible. You can use a bun foundation to hold the bun in place. A bun foundation can be purchased at a beauty supply store; they match the color of your hair, and come with holes that allow you to insert bobby pins to secure the bun. Once you place the ponytail through the bun foundation, spread the hair out around the mold and use a clear elastic band to hold it in place at the base. Secure any remaining hairs with bobby pins.


Create bouncy curls with a ponytail and a curling iron. Once you pull the hair into a ponytail, use a curling iron to create curls. Remember, very thick curls will be more difficult to keep. Keep this hairstyle in place with the help of hairspray and bobby pins. You can add hair clips, ribbons or other embellishments.

Short Hair

For girls with short hair, a bob or pixie cut, a simple headband can be enough to enhance the style and bring it into a more formal realm. Choose hair clips with flower attachments to add a soft touch, but be careful of these for a more intense dance recital, as they may slide loose with movement. Pixie haircuts can also be spiked a little in the front of the bangs using gel, creating an edgier style that is still appropriate for a formal event.