Long gone are the days when a bride would only have to decide whether to wear her hair up or down, straight or curly.
Like skin care, today’s hair care benefits from many scientific advances and offers brides more ways to achieve the most gorgeous tresses imaginable. We spoke to some local experts to get the lowdown on some of the latest hair innovations.

Monique Munoz, owner and stylist at 3 Phases Salon (3600 St. Charles Ave., Suite 203, 899-8100, 3phasessalon.com), explained the benefits of a new anti-frizz treatment called KeraSmooth.

“We are getting great results from KeraSmooth,” Munoz says. “It contains no formaldehyde and instead of breaking the hair down, it actually contains formulas which strengthen the hair, add shine and improve elasticity.”

The one-step treatment takes approximately 45 minutes. “You are still able to get a little wave or curl in the hair afterwards and the hair has body,” Munoz says. “It is much easier to grow out and it avoids the sharp contrast between the straight treated hair and the new curly hair, which can be so hard to manage.”

Munoz adds that KeraSmooth cuts out the frizz and makes curly hair much easier to blow dry straight and dramatically cuts drying time. The product is also very versatile. “For brides with curly hair or those with weddings in the summertime worried about frizz, it’s almost a no-brainer,” Munoz says. “KeraSmooth will make it so much easier and quicker for brides to do their hair and keep it looking gorgeous.”

If it’s your first time getting a KeraSmooth treatment, a stylist will blow dry the hair and then flat iron it. You can’t shampoo for 72 hours and you have to wear it straight, with no sunglasses or ponytails.

“After that you treat it just like you would normally and it lasts between three and five months,” Munoz says. “If a bride goes on vacation and is in and out of the water and in the sun, it will be fine and it will really help to keep the hair looking good.”

Munoz adds, “We have used it on many destination brides and have had wonderful results.”

How to Get Perfect Wedding HairFor the scoop on coloring your hair before your wedding we spoke to Rebecca Callaghan, owner of Salon Callidora (3264 Severn Ave., 456-1099, saloncallidora.com). “The first advice I give brides is choose your colorist six to eight months before the wedding,” she says. “You need to get to know and trust them and they need to get to know your hair. You don’t want any color going wrong at the last minute.”

Callaghan recommends using a colorist, someone “who only does color, all day, day in, day out.” It is the colorist’s job to work with the hair stylist to create the desired effect.

“Once you’ve found your team, have your color put on seven to 10 days before your wedding events start,” Callaghan says. “This allows your color time to settle in and look really natural.”

If you’ve never colored your hair before and you’re not sure if you want to for your wedding day, another option is a gloss, which makes hair shiny and great for pictures.

“[A gloss] doesn’t use any peroxide and is applied to the top of the hair, sealing in the cuticle and adding shine,” Callaghan says. “You can have just the gloss and your same hair tone or you can add some tones like red for brunettes. It begins to fade at six to eight weeks but with or without color, it really takes your hair to the next level.”

Whatever you choose, remember that color adds dimension to hair. “For a romantic blonde updo, we might add some pearl and champagne shades to the hair so that it sparkles for the camera,” Callaghan explains. “For brunettes, we might do some cocoa pieces to a solid block of color. Red heads, particularly the lighter strawberry blondes, often like pieces in a fiery ginger color to pop and add a glow.”

To make sure your color lasts, use a sulphate-free shampoo; salt in other shampoos can loosen the color pigment.
“If clients are going to be going on a honeymoon and in the water, we tell them to take a clarifying shampoo to remove any salt or chemicals and we recommend a hydrating treatment once a week,” Callaghan says. “This puts moisture back in the hair and keeps it shiny and the color even. It helps the hair retain the color, root to end so the color looks consistent.”

Even a blowout or updo, deserves more thought, according to Jessie Gallardo, Chief Style Boss at Blo Blow Dry Bar (5530 Magazine St., 570-6101, blomedry.com/locations/blo-magazine). She says the salon recently created a blowout for a bride that gave her four different looks to take her from rehearsal dinner to honeymoon.

“First we blew the hair out to create a lot of volume and we really boosted the crown area with our volumizing products,” Gallardo says. “We set the curls that would last for a few days by rolling them and pinning them. The bride had these gorgeous natural, Victoria’s Secret style curls for her rehearsal dinner.

“For the wedding the next day, we had the perfect, not-too-clean hair for the updo. We retouched a few curls, re-teased areas and then created a very romantic, side chignon. Even though we were creating an updo, we were preserving the curl at the same time.

“For the reception, all the bridesmaids had to do, was pull out the bobby pins, where I had shown them. All the bride had to do was shake her head out.”

Even after all of the wedding festivities, the bride’s hair still worked for the honeymoon. “The next day, the curl had settled into more of a beach wave and the bride had the option to go for a pretty, relaxed look or to use a sock bun,” Gallardo continues. “It’s a really easy way to throw the hair up and make it look like a gorgeous high bun, very sleek and modern. In fact they are so good, we recommend all our brides take them on holiday.”

Gallardo says a blowout is great because it can be versatile and can work with different looks, even with minimal help from a hairdresser.

“Brides should also invest in great products,” Gallardo says. “They make such a difference. Kim Kardashian uses our Expanda Volume Root Energizer but the volumizing powder, spray and dry shampoo will really help brides achieve the looks they want.”

How to Get Perfect Wedding HairIn life, few people have perfect hair, but in magazines and on TV, everyone has beautiful tresses. The difference, according to Chris Guidry, Design Educational Director at Aveda Paris Parker Salon (4900 Prytania St., 891-8874, parisparker.com), might be extensions.

“So many people show me photos of celebrity hairstyles they love,” Guidry says. “The problem is, most of these women are getting help by using extensions.”

He says extensions are a great way to achieve the look you want, and today’s technology has made it so people can’t tell the difference between real hair and extensions, which makes for fuller, beautiful hair.

Guidry says the latest way to apply them uses a surgical adhesive. “We have tested this for about three years and it doesn’t damage the hair,” he says.

Once you get extensions, shampoo and blow dry the hair like usual and let them grow out naturally. “The wide range of colors enables us to match the natural hair color or to add some depth with complimentary tones,” he says.
Extensions take about two hours to apply and usually last around 10 to 12 weeks. After that, return to the salon so a stylist can take them out, shampoo and blow them, and then put them back in. They can be used three to four times if properly taken care of.

Guidry adds, “Whether you are wearing your hair down or up, they definitely will visually enhance you.”