We've all got that friend. The one who starts spitballing next year's Halloween costume ideas on November 1 and spends the next 364 days deciding on the perfect character, assembling costume pieces, and nailing down the styling details until the big day finally rolls around, and they can blow everybody else at the costume party out of the water.
We love the hardcore costume mavens; after all, when else can you be completely extra if not Halloween? But we also know what it's like to be too busy (or too lazy) to handcraft our own chainmail or apply body paint. So for those of us whose costume-planning leans more last-minute—and wallet-friendly—we present 18 Halloween costume ideas that are all about the hair.
Midsommar Flower Crown
Finally, a new use for that old Coachella accessory. Arguably the most iconic look in the film are the floral dress and headpieces worn by the women at the festival. Inspired by crowns typically worn during traditional Swedish —the celebration of the Summer Solstice—the look takes a dark turn thanks to the runaway horror hit.
Shop now: Free People Flower Crown, freepeople.com.
Midge Maisel's Curls
Nicole Rivelli Amazon Prime
In addition to a marvelous sense of humor, Mrs. Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) also has a marvelous head of hair. Her bouncy, 1950s pincurls are perfect for mid-length hair, but shorter and longer lengths can do variations too. And be sure to spray with as much hairspray as possible for both hold and historical accuracy.
Shop now: L'Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray, lorealparisusa.com.
Pen15 Early Aughts Hair
The nostalgia overload that is Hulu’s Pen15 provided many an early 2000s fashion flashback—hello, hot pink thong—and the hair was a crucial part of that. For shorter hair, there’s Maya’s bowl cut, which eventually transitioned into a flippy bob, and for longer hair there’s Anna’s straight, piece-y style. Whatever you choose, don’t forget the butterfly clips.
Shop now: Urban Outfitters Butterfly Hair Clip Set, urbanoutfitters.com.
The music, hair, and fashion icon is timeless—but thanks to The Cher Show, the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical based on her life, her life and sense of style are back in the spotlight. The straighter, the better for this style, and giant gold hoops don’t hurt. (And for the record, you do not need a Sunny to complete the costume.)
Shop now: Urban Outfitters Butterfly Hair Clip Set, urbanoutfitters.com.
Betty Cooper's Ponytail
There’s a lot of important hair on Riverdale, but perhaps none more vital to the show itself than Betty’s ponytail. For her signature style, it should be set high, every hair tucked into place, with a single, bouncy curl.
Shop now: Goody Outchless Elastics, target.com
Princess Leia's Space Buns
The one true original hairstyle-as-costume, Princess Leia's side buns are the ultimate low-commitment, high-reward Halloween costume. In fact, they make such a strong impression that the simple fact of them transforms any outfit, Barbie-esque, into Leia (plaid shirt and skinny jeans? You're hipster Leia. Business suit? You're corporate mogul Leia) but for the real A New Hope look, a flowy white dress is the way to go.
Property of Touchstone Pictures
Margot Tenenbaum may have been known for her extreme secrecy, but her ultra-sleek blunt bob is perfect for an artsy-yet-easy Halloween costume. Just center part your bob (or lob) and flatiron it pin-straight. Grab a red barrette to pull the left side back and you're one sweep of black eyeliner away from being the coolest girl at the Halloween party.
Shop now: L. Erikson barrette, amazon.com.
Diana's long bombshell waves might be her classic look, but before she became Wonder Woman this Themysciran was rocking a pretty wonderful infinity braid. If you want to go for maximum Amazonian realness, clip-in extensions (and possibly a friend to take over when your arms get tired) are the way to go, but it will look just as cool even with a shorter braid. Cut one strap off of a nude tank top (or just throw a sheet over one shoulder, toga-style—hey, it's all Greek!) and you're good to go.
The Holly Golightly
If you walk into a costume party with this iconic updo, you won't have to explain your costume to anybody. You really don't even have to manage an identical copy of the elaborate (and notoriously difficult) French twist that Audrey Hepburn showed off in the film to make sure everybody gets the gist. A little fluff at the front and some artful draping (plus a tiny tiara, naturally) are all you need to pull-off Holly Golightly.
Shop now: FUMUD tiara hair comb, amazon.com.
We love a big, bouncy natural hair look any time of year, but if you're looking for an excuse to really turn the volume up to 11, who better to emulate than the queen of disco herself? To achieve curls of planetary proportions, throw out your frizz-prevention rulebook and embrace the fluff. Grab a teasing comb, a teeny curling iron (if needed), and some hairspray and you're good to go.
Time Life Pictures
Madonna just might be the queen of dramatic, iconic looks, but for our money, nothing outdoes this over the top braid-wrapped high ponytail from her Blonde Ambition tour. Best of all, it's simple to pull off. Just slick your hair back into a high pony at the crown, then wrap the base in a wrapped length of extensions to match your hair color, pin in place, and be prepared to karaoke "Express Yourself."
Shop now: Hair2wear Christie Brinkley Braid Headband, hsn.com.
Tinkerbell Top Knot
Property of Disney
You don't have to be blonde to make this pixie pouf work; heck, you don't even have to have bangs. Faking your way to these long side-swept bangs is as easy as pulling your hair up into a topknot: just leave one section of the ends laying forward over your forehead and finish with a green ribbon or hair tie. Since so much of the look comes down to volume, make sure to use a texturizer or work with second-day-dirty hair. Did we just give you an excuse not to wash your hair for Halloween? You're welcome.
Shop now: Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, nordstrom.com.
If braiding is your go-to hairstyle, then consider a last-minute Medusa costume. A few plastic snakes—the kind you get at a dollar store—are all you need to evoke the most stone-cold villainess in Greek mythology. The best part? You don’t need to fuss with making sleek perfect braids or pinning them up just so; wild, messy, untamed hair are what this costume is all about.
Shop now: Fun Express vinyl mini snakes, $9.99, amazon.com.
Leeloo's Orange Coiff
Have a bob with bangs? You're one coat of temporary hair paint away from emulating this technicolor sci-fi icon. Don't worry about getting everything combed just so or perfectly blown out; this elemental alien's look is all about the disheveled cool. Just throw on your most out there outer space look (bonus points for orange suspenders) and don't leave home without your multipass.
Shop now: Jerome Russell hair color spray, amazon.com.
Rosie The Riveter
J. Howard Miller For Westinghouse Electric Corporation
How about channeling the original can-do gal, Rosie the Riveter? Not only is this look super-simple to achieve (you know you have a bandana stashed somewhere) it also works no matter how long—or short—your hair is. Add a red lip and go smash the patriarchy.
Creepy And Kooky
There's nothing like wearing your hair over your face for the ultimate in low-effort Halloween costumes. Toss on a hat and a pair of sunnies and you'll be the spitting image of everybody's favorite Addams extended-family member, Cousin Itt. Will you be able to see that spitting image? Probably not. But at least you won't have to worry about fixing your makeup.
Shop now: H&M sunglasses, hm.com.
Minnie To The Max
Why buy mouse ears when you can make them? These perfect little buns are guaranteed not to fall off mid-party or get left behind in a cab, and as added bonus, you can use the same technique to make ears for other animal costumes, so you and the squad can go full-menagerie.
Shop now: Motique Accessories hair bow clip, amazon.com.
Grab a black dress and some pearls and you're almost a flapper–but it's the hair that will really upgrade your last-minute costume. A finger-waved faux bob (or just finger-waves if your hair is short enough) paired with a sparkling headband or bobby-pinned necklace will have everyone oo-ing an ah-ing like you planned ahead for weeks.
From Harper's Bazaar U.S.