So what's your take on 'wedding hair'? Is the very phrase a little off-putting; conjuring images of stiff hair and face-framing ringlets? Relax. Panic not. Bridal hair styling has come a long way, and takes inspiration from fashion and the red carpet while keeping you, and your personal style, firmly centre stage. The best bridal hair stylists can create relaxed and elegant styles which never look too 'done', and maintain softness and texture while ensuring all the necessary preparation is in place to keep style looking amazing from morning till night. Here are my 5 top tips to getting your bridal hair right.
1. Identify your personal style and preference when it comes to hair
Do you like polished and precise styles, or are your drawn to more natural textures and undone styles. What styles do you keep returning to?
Award-winning bridal hair stylist, Sharon Roberts, advises clients to view styles on brides or models with the same hair colour as you, as the overall appearance of a hair style is greatly affected by the tones of the hair. The varied tones found in blonde hair, for instance, tend to showcase texture much more obviously than brunette hair. Try to deconstruct exactly what it is that you like about the hair style - maybe its the curl pattern, or the twists or braids; maybe its the volume or height; the sleekness or the softness of the style that appeals. It's details like this that you need to communicate to your stylist since, even if that particular style is impractical, there might be key elements that can be taken from it.
Try not to let the opinions of friends and family guide your hairstyle—wearing it up, down, in a twist, or in a ponytail is up to you alone, with the guidance and expertise of your wedding day hairstylist. Choose a few styles and go over it with your hairstylist and come up with a plan together and then reveal it to everyone. It's your opinion that counts.
2. Research hair stylists as well as hair styles
Pinterest has made it easy to find a wealth of bridal hair inspiration and you will, no doubt, have a board-full of beautiful hair ideas. But it's equally, if not more, important to find a hair stylist with a strong portfolio that you like the look of. Look through their Instagram feed and stories and make sure that the images they post are of their own work. You should soon be able to get a sense of their style, their approach and, importantly, their skill. You want to be sure that the person you book has the right abilities and, indeed, approach to style your hair in the way you want. Once you have a few stylists on your radar, get in contact to see if their rates and availability.
3. Keep a bit of perspective and don't lose sight of practicality
You've identified your dream hair style, and a stylist you have confidence in, and perhaps have booked a hair trial. Make sure you attend the trial, or consult your stylist, with an open mind and an eye to practicality. Stylist Sharon Roberts reminds her clients to be realistic about what your hair will do: 'if its fine and heavily layered, then a waterfall braid with beachy waves may not be achievable or, more importantly, look how you imagined it would.' Think too about your comfort zone; do you normally wear your hair up because you don't like it getting in the way? Perhaps a soft updo might be more comfortable than a half up, half down style? The aim is to look your best, but to also feel confident and at ease.
Whatever, style you want to try, communication is key. Tell your stylist exactly what is it that you like about the styles that inspire you and they will be able to advise and, if necessary, suggest variations to suit your hair type and face shape.
4. Hair accessories - should you choose before or after your wedding hair consultation?
This a question I get asked a lot! I've spoken to many hair stylists about this, and the most common answer I receive is that it doesn't really matter. However, there are some important points that you should consider when you are looking for bridal accessories to adorn your wedding hair. Most importantly, think about how they are designed. Hair accessories that are wired and malleable can be manipulated to sit in your hair in a way that works with your style and therefore offer more versatility and scope for you and your hairstylist. Headpieces with a rigid form - such as a tiara or headband or some designs of hair comb - have a fixed shape and, therefore, have to be worn in a certain way or with a particular orientation which may nor may not be right for your preferred style. If you are looking at hair accessories like this, it is a good idea to send a picture of the headpiece to your hairstylist to get their advice or, conversely, show the accessories designer a picture of the hair style you have chosen. Either way, it is important to establish that your preferred hair style will work with the shape and the weight of your headpiece.
5. Have a 'wild card' style or two up your sleeve.
Sharon Roberts suggests saving a 'wild card' board on Pinterest with the styles and accessories that appeal to you but maybe seem a little out of your comfort zone, or look as if they might be unsuitable for your hair length or type. If you're considering wearing your hair half up, half down or loose, maybe include a couple of updos alongside your favourite styles. Then, if you have time at your hair trial, you can ask the stylist to experiment with one of these alternative styles, just to give you a full sense of the possibilities and options.