23 Easy Halloween Hairstyles That Can Replace a Full-Blown Costume

mia thermopolis halloween costume

@kristinaroduflo / Design by Cristina Cianci

We all know that feeling—it's the week of Halloween and your friend texts you with a last minute invite to a costume party. With no time to shop, it's up to you and your existing wardrobe to make Halloween magic. Luckily, all that you need to put a costume together is an iconic hairstyle that people will immediately recognize. Whether it's your own or a wig, the following costumes are all about the hair, meaning the addition of makeup or apparel will only take them to the next level. Ahead, 23 Halloween hairstyles that can stand on their own as a costume.

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Rosie The Riveter

One of the most universally recognized figures in America, Rosie the Riveter is an easy Halloween hairstyle. All you need for this hairstyle is a red bandana or scarf to tie around your head. Make sure to cinch it in a classic knot right at the center. Many choose to pull their hair up into a messy bun for this look, leaving a few strands loose at the front of the head. The final touch for this costume is Rosie’s signature bicep curl pose for photos.

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Cruella de Vil

Cruella de Vil’s unmistakable two-tone hair is an easy Halloween style for anyone with dark hair. Using white hair spray or chalk, this look can be achieved with just a single strip of white in the front of your hair or by committing to the full half head of white hair. There are also plenty of Cruella wigs out there for those who may not have Cruella’s dark roots. You can commit the full de Vil look with a teddy coat and red lipstick. Bonus points for anyone who completes the look with a stuffed Dalmatian.

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Alien Galaxy Buns

A quick Halloween hairstyle that’s out of this world? Look no further. Galaxy or space buns make for a fast alien costume. Some choose to just put the crown of their hair into these two high buns, while others use all of their hair, parted down the middle. Liberally apply any glitter you have on hand to your hair, focusing on your part for an added astral effect.

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Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe was known for her short blonde bombshell haircut and red lipstick. You can capture this look even if you have longer hair by securing your hair in a bun at the back of your head and curling the front pieces of your hair to emulate Marilyn. Make sure to flash a big movie star smile all night long and don’t be afraid to pencil on Marilyn’s signature beauty mark.

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Carrie Bradshaw

This one is all about the hair. The oversized tutu is optional; just pair any glam outfit with voluminous curls to emulate Sarah Jessica Parker's iconic Sex in the City character.

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Pebbles from The Flintstones

A Pebbles Flintstone costume is all about the hair. Her high ponytail with a bone accessory can be replicated on any hair length or texture. You can easily create the bone accessory by cutting the shape out of white paper and attaching that to a hair clip. You can take this costume a step further by adopting Pebbles’ signature red hair.

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Britney Spears

Britney’s schoolgirl moment in the "Hit Me Baby One More Time" video is a Halloween hairstyle classic. You can achieve this look by parting your hair down the middle into pigtails and simply braiding both sides. Incorporate any pink ribbons or clips you may have at the tops and bottoms of each braid. This hairstyle can upgrade the classic schoolgirl white button down shirt and skirt costume into a worthy throwback.

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Blair Waldorf

An oversized headband was the crown Blair Waldorf wore to rule the Upper East Side and it's all you’ll need to be Queen B for Halloween. In addition to your headband, you’ll want to wear some loose waves, which can be achieved by curling your hair with a wand and then brushing the curls out with your fingers. Make sure to use a smoothing cream to get the glossy salon-worthy locks Blair is known for.

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Wednesday Addams

A Wednesday Addams costume can be finished in a snap, or should I say a *snap snap*. For this goth look, you’ll need to center part your hair and create a tight braid on either side. You may want to use a styling cream when parting and braiding the hair to capture Wednesday’s iconic style.

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Mia Thermopolis

This one's easy peasy—pull your hair into a top knot, then add headphones, sunglasses, and a tiara and you'll look like you just landed from Genovia.

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A Who from Whoville

No matter which Who from How the Grinch Stole Christmas you try to emulate, you’re going to need hairspray. You may also want to consider braiding pipe cleaners into your hair for some of the more gravity-defying looks that graced Whoville.

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Ariana Grande

There is no mistaking the Ariana Grande high ponytail. If you don’t have long hair, extensions can help replicate the glamorous long pony that Grande is so well known for. Make sure to use plenty of humidity blocking hair spray when pulling your hair back to maintain the sleek appearance. The best part about an Ariana Grande Halloween costume? All you need is an oversized hoodie to achieve the full look. The best costume is a comfy costume.

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Princess Leia

Princess Leia’s side buns are beloved by Star Wars fans across the galaxy. Whether you choose to wear an all-white outfit to complement your Leia buns or not, this costume will be easily identified by your friends. Depending on the length of your hair, you can choose between the cinnamon bun-esque swirl mastered by Leia or simple side buns. Just make sure to position the buns right at your ears.

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Khaleesi

The Daenerys Targaryen look requires icy blonde hair, so you may want to consider investing in a wig for this look. All you’ll need to do then is loosely curl the hair and pull back some sections into little braids. You’ll want to leave some curls loose right at the front of your hair. There is no right or wrong way to do this as the hair color alone lets party goers know you’re the Mother of Dragons.

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Maleficent

If you don’t have a pair of devil horns available, you can still evoke Maleficent vibes with just your hair. There are two ways to fashion your hair into horns: First, you can use flexible rod rollers to form the foundation of the horn and simply wrap your hair around them. The second option is to coil two little tiny buns on your head using the crown of your hair, making sure to pin them in place to preserve the peak of the horn.

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Betty Boop

Betty’s tightly curled raven hair is a great option for anyone with short hair. You’ll need a center part and curls courtesy of either a curling iron or foam rollers. Red lipstick and a red dress are great additions and many choose to draw on Betty’s exaggerated eyebrows.

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1920s Flapper

Prepare to party like it's the Prohibition with this easy Halloween hairstyle. A flapper hairstyle is all about the headband. After loose curling your hair or pulling it back in a low, messy bun, style a jeweled headband across your forehead. This style can even be replicated with a necklace if you don’t have a headband.

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"Material Girl" Madonna

The key to Madonna’s "Material Girl" era look is volume. Those who do not have naturally curly hair may want to curl or tease their hair before pinning it to one side. You may want to use a silk scarf tied as a headband to hold this hairstyle in place. Extra large earrings will complete this '80s look.

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Medusa

This look is best accomplished by creating a crown braid or braiding multiple sections of your hair and then pinning the braids up. The strands of the braids will allow you to incorporate rubber snakes into your hair and will hold them in place. You may need to secure the snakes with bobby pins and using metallic snakes will give you a more glamorous final product.

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s

A high bun and a tiny tiara will transform you into undeniably recognizable Holly Golightly of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. If you don’t have enough hair for a sizable bun, consider picking up a hair donut to increase the volume. If you have a little black dress hanging in your closet, this could be a full Halloween costume in minutes.

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Elsa

If you don’t have naturally icy blonde hair, a quick wig purchase can easily transform you into the Queen of Arendelle. All you’ll need to do is create a side- swept braid and then gently tug at the width of the braid to create more volume. If possible, leave some strands of hair loose to frame your face.

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Billie Eilish

If you have dark hair, transforming into Billie Eilish for the evening will just take picking up a can of green hairspray. Billie’s famous lime green center part will take seconds to complete and will get you compliments all night. If you can’t temporarily color your hair, there are plenty of Billie wigs out there to help you capture the look.

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Harley Quinn

Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn look has been a Halloween favorite for years now, and for good reason; it's so easy to replicate. You’ll need to center part your hair and form two high pigtails, leaving some strands loose at the front to frame your face. You can then add temporary hair coloring to either side to achieve the two-tone pigtails Harley Quinn is known for, or like this creative take, just add some colored clip-in extensions to each side. The clip in extension option is great for someone who has work the next day and doesn’t want to risk showing up as a character.

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