The 34 Best Hairstyles for a One-Shoulder Dress

Asymmetry is in—here's how to style it.
Bride wearing one shoulder gown
Photo: robertjhill / Getty Images
Elle Cashin headshot
by
Elle Cashin
Elle Cashin headshot
Elle Cashin
The Knot Fashion Contributor
  • Elle writes for The Knot online with a focus on fashion, covering gown design trends and shoppable accessories.
  • Elle is a contributor to wedding publications across the country, including Brides, The New York Times Vows and Modern Luxury Weddings.
  • Prior to shifting to weddings, Elle covered lifestyle, culture and celebrity across Chicago as the editor of the Chicago Tribune’s SPLASH magazine, where she interviewed cele...
Updated Nov 28, 2023

It's safe to say that asymmetrical necklines are trending. This season, we saw them at Viktor & Rolf, Rivini, Rebecca Valance, Zoe Rowyn, and more. But, they beg the question: How should you style your hair with a single strap or sleeve? The best hairstyles for a one-shoulder dress help balance the look. Think: a pretty braid down the bare shoulder, or a chic chignon with a sleek side part. We scoured the web for the prettiest hairstyles worn with single-shoulder wedding gowns so scroll through and be inspired. Just remember: A hair trial with your stylist is key. We recommend wearing a one-shoulder top to your trial to make sure you like the look with your gown's silhouette.

Face Framing Ponytail

Face Framing Ponytail
Photo: Abbey Regnier Photography

A face-framing ponytail offers the best of both worlds: hair pulled away from your shoulders to showcase the gown's asymmetrical neckline, but a few pieces up front if you're not someone who typically likes her hair pulled back. Add a diamond drop earring to amp up the glam.

Curtain Bangs

Curtain bands one shoulder gown bride hairstyle
Photo: Annalise Bridal Boutique,
Bram Jay

Two words: Curtain. Bangs. No matter the silhouette, this 'do is trending, but it is indeed a great hairstyle for one-shoulder dresses. We love this take, with effortlessly tousled curls for the body to match the volume of the bangs. (Psst, this one-shoulder Madi Lane Bridal gown also comes in black, so the 'do—and the dress! It works great for bridesmaids as well.)

Classic-Meets-Modern Updo

Modern updo one shoulder dress bride hairstyle
Photo: REEM Photography

Caribbean pop star Rutshelle Guillaume rocked this look for her birthday, but we love it for bridesmaids. The updo is classic, but the center-parted face-framing sections are super modern; this bridesmaid hairstyle for one-shoulder dresses could work well at either type of wedding.

Sleek Blowout

Sleek Blowout one shoulder gown bride hairstyle
Photo: Ann Mark

Sleek, center-parted styles are ultra on-trend, and this look combines it with a bridal blowout. The trick? Slicking the front pieces with a pomade or wax stick (such as Bed Head's Tigi Hair Stick) and then pulling them back and connecting with a hair tie at the nape of your neck (underneath the rest of the hair) to keep the front extra taut. Up top, a voluminous blowout finishes the look.

Old Hollywood Waves

Old Hollywood Waves one shoulder bridal hairstyle
Photo: Ashley Sara Photography

This is one of those formal hairstyles for one-shoulder dresses that prove you can never be too overdressed: The look is all glamour, but was chosen for an intimate backyard wedding. To get the look, ask your stylist for Old Hollywood waves—they're soft yet structured, and play well with an embellished gown like this one.

Center-Parted Bun

Center-Parted Bun one shoulder gown bridal hairstyle
Photo: Sean Thomas Photography

A sleek bun with an on-trend center part? Say no more. This style is optimal for almost any silhouette or neckline, one-shoulder gowns included, and has black-tie vibes written all over it.

A Classic Veil

Classic veil one shoulder gown bridal hairstyle
Photo: Sarah Seven

The reception is the perfect time to combine playful with timeless in a fun second look. Swap your gown for a one-shoulder mini—like the Gia by Sarah Seven, seen here—and let down your hair. Usually, this is when brides lose the veil, but we love incorporating a shorter version to keep the second look bridal; a fluffed tulle fingertip veil is a great addition to effortless waves.

Braided Bun

Briaded bun one shoulder gown bridal hairstyle
Photo: REEM Photography

For Black hair, there are countless ways to rock braid hairstyles for one-shoulder dresses; we especially love this oh-so-elegant take. Here, cornrow braids are twisted into a bun to better showcase the feathery details at the neckline of the dress.

Perfect Ponytail

Sleek ponytail one shoulder gown bride hairstyle
Photo: Brooke Allison

A pretty ponytail is among the best hairstyles for a one-shoulder dress and can easily be dressed up or down, depending on the event and gown (here, the bride-to-be donned a pony for her rehearsal dinner, and paired it with bold floral earrings). Have your stylist conceal the ponytail band with a swath of hair for a clean finish.

Loose Curls

Loose curls one shoulder gown bridal hairstyle
Photo: Swidrak & Co.

Bridesmaid hairstyles for one-shoulder dresses can be a little bit more low-key: hair down with long loose curls is a style that can work for various hair lengths and textures, so it's a great choice for a large yet cohesive wedding party. Blondies: double down on the golden aesthetic with a Champagne-hued dress.

Beachy Waves

Beachy waves one shoulder gown bridal hairstyle
Photo: Emma Hopp

Beachy, boho brides rejoice: Casual loose waves are among the best hairstyles for dresses with one shoulder, especially for shoulder-length or shorter hair. The look is effortless and only gets better the more tousled it gets throughout a day of dancing and partying. Keep your accessories simple to lean into the boho vibe, and let the dress' unique elements—such as a single puff shoulder—grab the attention.

A Glittering Accessory

One shoulder gown bridal hairstyle accessory
Photo: Erika Geier Photography

Glamorous brides often like to switch up their look for the reception, and here's a perfect example. Change into a one-shoulder mini dress and let your hair down, then add an on-theme accessory like a bedazzled cowboy hat. The look draws the eye upward to highlight the dress' unique neckline.

Sleek Bun

Sleek bun one shoulder gown bridal hairstyle
Photo: Hana Gonzalez

While this sleek 'do is a great hairstyle for a one-shoulder dress, it can be rocked before and after the big day, too. "Our team refers to it as the 'cool girl' bun, because it's just so effortlessly chic and goes with everything," shares Caitlyn Meyer Pro Beauty Team founder Caitlyn Meyer, whose stylist Stacie created this bridal look. "You could be in a leather jacket and Chuck Taylors, or a stunning wedding gown—this hairstyle works with it all." She notes that waxes and smoothing products are key to achieving the look. "We're big fans of Moroccanoil smoothing lotion, Kenra working wax, and Kenra non-aerosol Volume 25 holding spray. For curly or textured hair or anyone who needs a little extra security on rainy days, our stylists prep the hair with Color Wow Dream Coat."

A Side-Swept Bang

Side swept bang one shoulder gown bridal hairstyle
Photo: Liz Andolina Photography

Even an edgy haircut like this side-shaved style can look classic on your wedding day. One of our favorite short hairstyles for a one-shoulder dress—or pantsuit!—is a side-swept bang. Give the curtain swath a little wave with a curling iron; and part hair so that the bang is on the opposite side of your shoulder strap to achieve balance.

Modern Bob

Modern bob one shoulder gown bridal hairstyle
Photo: Hayleigh Keohi

Short hairstyles like this one are ideal for showing off unique dress necklines like a one-shoulder, especially when there's an embellishment involved—think an oversized bow, unique lace treatment, or even a rosette like the one seen here. A sleek center part brings the bob into the modern day.

A Headband Moment

Headband bridal hairstyle
Photo: Hayleigh Keohi

For a fun and feminine look, add a headband to your hair for a one-shoulder dress. The look is playful and pretty; try it for an intimate wedding with a funky color palette or a courthouse ceremony. Check out styles from Jennifer Behr and Lele Sadoughi; the accessories designers offer everything from padded white satin headbands to heavily embellished versions and even some with attached birdcage veils.

A Mid-Wedding Chop

Mid-wedding haircut
Photo: Jennifer Boris

There's a viral TikTok trend in which brides are chopping their hair between the ceremony and reception. If you're a brave enough bride, a blunt bob is among the best hairstyles for a one-shoulder dress that's party-ready. (BTW, the bride pictured here put her own spin on the trend: She wore long hair to her rehearsal dinner and cut it off the morning of the wedding—surprising all her guests, and even her groom!)

High Bun

High bun one shoulder bridal hairstyle
Photo: Liz Andolina Photography

For a stunningly statuesque silhouette, pile the hair high on top of the head to show off your shoulders, neck, and—in this case—cool one-shoulder neckline. The classic look is also great for showing off a wow-worthy pair of earrings.

Long Loose Waves

Long loose waves one shoulder gown bridal hairstyle
Photo: Kendall LaCombe Photography

You simply can't go wrong with long loose waves; the style can be dressed up or down depending on your wedding aesthetic. Have your hairstylist add extensions to enhance the length if you're going for mermaid vibes. With down hair for a one-shoulder dress, you'll want to keep accessories simple, since there's a lot going on around the neckline already.

A Center Braid

Center braid one shoulder bridal hairstyle
Photo: Liz Quairiere

Hairstyles for one-shoulder bridesmaid dresses can be hard to dictate, so we suggest letting each bridesmaid lean into her own personal aesthetic (especially if you're mixing and matching gowns, there's no harm in mixing and matching hairstyles). For an elegant look with a hint of edginess, dual braids down the center part are a unique take.

Classic Updo

Classic updo one shoulder gown bridal hairstyle
Photo: Laura Wills Photography

This look is one of hairstylist Rainee Thomas go-to's for a classic look. She breaks it down: "I use dry texture spray to create volume, then I do two ponytails on top of one another and I curl each ponytail into smaller sections. With a pomade, I then roll each section up and pin it. Once all the hair is pinned, I pull apart the pinned-up curls to make them fuller and hide any sparse sections." She added a few decorative pins into the updo and parted the hair on the same side as the bride's one-shoulder strap for a cohesive look in photos.

Shoulder-Length Blowout

Shoulder length blowout bridal hairstyle
Photo: Liz Andolina Photography

Short hairstyles for one-shoulder dresses can be tougher to determine, but one that always works well—whether you're the bride, bridesmaid, or wedding guest—is a great blowout. This length is ideal for showing off the shoulders and especially the intentional asymmetry of a neckline. For guests, keep accessories simple and go bold with patterns instead.

Twisted Updo

Twisted updo one shoulder gown bridal hairstyle
Photo: Liz Andolina Photography

When your gown has dramatic detailing—such as the illusion lace appliqués creating one shoulder in this Ines Di Santo stunner—pulling hair back off the shoulders will showcase it beautifully. But, that doesn't mean the style has to be simple. Ask your stylist for a twisted chignon or updo with lots of visual interest, and pull a few strands out to frame the face.

Low Bun

Low bun one shoulder bridal hairstyle
Photo: Sophie Kaye

Especially when your one-shoulder style has a lot of fabric or embellishment like this tiered tulle version, pulling hair off the neck allows the gown the attention it deserves. A straight and simple low bun will do just that; we recommend keeping accessories simple as well to let the dress do the talking.

Nostalgic Updo

Bridal hairstyle updo for one shoulder gown
Photo: Olivia Grace Bridal

A sweetheart neckline calls for a sweetheart hairdo, and this one is giving nostalgic prom vibes in the best way, with curled face framers and just a little bit of lift at the crown. To finish the look, ask your makeup artist for dramatic natural glamour: strong brows, bronze glow and a pretty natural lip. (By the way, this Enzoani gown can be worn two ways—strapless or with one shoulder; consider changing up your hair when you transition your gown.)

A Unique Tiara

Tiara bridal hairstyle
Photo: REEM Photography

Fairy tale wedding, anyone? Add dramatic interest to a simple and chic low bun by topping the style with a tiara or crown. Consider your dress when selecting the headpiece to make sure the embellishments don't clash. Here, the pearls and heavy gemstones provide contrast to the soft asymmetrical tulle strap, and we love the coordinating earrings.

Bold Ponytail

Long ponytail bridal hairstyle
Photo: Lindley Battle

Extensions, please! For a bold and super modern look, add extra hair to enhance both the volume and the length of a bridal ponytail. The look is pretty with a one-shoulder dress with a draped detail or long bow trails; the ponytail mimics the draping. Let the hair have its moment by accessorizing with simple pearl studs.

Bombshell Blowout

Bombshell Blowout one shoulder gown bridal hairstyle
Photo: Tracy Jade Photography

You can never go wrong with a bombshell blowout. Have your stylist use a wide round brush to lock in the volume and a curling iron to finish the look. Keep curls clipped near the top until you're ready to step out for your first look or walk down the aisle—then let it loose, tousle and go. A pair of glittery chandelier earrings and fresh highlights make the look epically bridal.

Embellished Updo

Embellished Updo bridal hairstyle
Photo: REEM Photography

When it comes to Black hairstyles for one-shoulder dresses, a face-framing low updo with gentle waves is a great option. Enhance the look with embellishments: Look for pearl bobby pins to place sporadically throughout or, if pearls aren't the vibe, try clips with gemstones, miniature bows or even butterflies.

Sleek and Straight

Straight bridal hairstyle
Photo: Sarah Seven

In a sea of waves—pun intended—there's something refreshing and ultra-modern about a sleek straight hairstyle for a one-shoulder dress. Part it in the center and sweep it all over to one side—the opposite side of your sleeve or strap—for photos.

The Right Accessory

Bridal hair accessory
Photo: Sydney Darwin Photography

If you want to wear your hair down but still want to showcase your one-shoulder silhouette, you're in luck: decorative bobby pins are super on trend and will do the work of keeping your hair away from the focal point of your gown. Choose one with pearls, rhinestones, a bow, or floral fabric—something to play against your gown and other accessories. Make sure to brush your hair back behind your shoulders for photos.

Natural Afro

Natural afro bridal hairstyle
Photo: Sophie Kaye Photography

"This look was all about emphasizing our [bride's] natural hair texture—her gorgeous 'fro was the star of the show," says hairstylist Madeline Eleanor. "With these natural curls, a mist of water to tame frizz and utilizing a pick to shape was the best method for styling. I always finish everything off with Kevin Murphy's shine spray, and lay edges with Murray's edgewax and a boar bristle comb." Similar to a slicked-back bun updo, a natural style like this one keeps hair away from the one-shoulder neckline. (It's also an argument to book your hairstylist to stay with you day of, rather than just in the morning. "Here, we were battling the Santorini wind, so consistently jumping in to ensure everything was perfect was key," Madeline says.)

Chic Chignon with Veil

Chic Chignon with Veil one shoulder gown bridal hairstyle
Photo: Lindley Battle

This bride's one-shoulder dress is ultra classic in smooth ivory crepe with a mermaid flare at the bottom; if you're going for something similarly timeless, a low chignon is the best wedding hairstyle for a one-shoulder dress. Hook a fingertip veil into the updo to complete the look, and keep accessories classic with pearls or diamonds.

Tousled Bun

Tousled Bun one shoulder gown bridal hairstyle
Photo: Rachel Maloney Photography

Silhouette on Site stylist Tracie Mawius calls this look a high-tousled bun with curtain bangs. "Curtain bangs have been trending this year and they are the perfect addition for updos," she says. "The tousled curls help give a romantic look so it doesn't look so structured." Mawius used mostly IGK products to create the look, adding Powder Play by Sexy Hair for added volume and grit.

Updo with a Crystal Headpiece

Updo with a Crystal Headpiece one shoulder gown bridal hairstyle
Photo: Jennifer Boris

An easy way to upgrade updo hairstyles for one-shoulder dresses? Add a clip or headpiece—and the sparklier, the better. If the headpiece is small or only used on one side, have your stylist affix it to the opposite side than the sleeve of your dress—as seen here—to balance your look. For black-tie weddings, this look is pure elegance.

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