Thin, thick, curly or straight, with enough time and effort, you can grow and style your hair into any look you want for your wedding day. However, top stylists agree, picking a style that suits your hair type makes it easier to achieve. It will also last longer and be easier for you to recreate yourself for the next day brunch or honeymoon. So how do you know whether a slicked backed do is working with Mother Nature or against her? Here’s our guide packed with tips from the experts.
Wavy and Curly Hair
Whether you have Beyonce or Nicole Kidman type curls, New Orleans hair stylist Biba Islah Neville has the same advice.
“Work with what you’ve got and embrace your curls and waves,” says Neville. “They can easily create a soft, romantic shape when loosely pinned up or worn down.” You can flat iron out the curls but too much humidity or dancing and those curls will creep back, disrupting your look.
Neville is also a fan of pin straight styles as seen on stars such as Mila Kunis and Olivia Wilde.
“Bone straight styles look stunning when hair is sleeked back in the front, with a sharp side or middle part,” says Neville. “But the hair shouldn’t be too tight on the scalp, especially at the front, as it can look like there’s no hair in the photographs. Framing with a few strands of hair or a loose, soft braid across the crown of the head will soften the look.
“Alternatively, adding a soft curl or wave at the ends will give a more romantic style but be careful as some types of straight hair will go limp after curling with a curling iron. It’s important therefore to pin curl the hair, let it cool, then spray with a light hair spray. After that, you can take it down and style it. For an up-do, it’s fine to use a curling iron as it will create the desired shape and hold.”
If your tresses are Jennifer Hudson or J-Lo thick, you have ample opportunities for glamorous up-dos, braids and twisted styles. To help tame thick tresses into shape, use a styling serum or pomade, to, create structure, texture and prevent flyways.
If the weight of the hair at the crown is causing flatness, a little ‘60s trick will help according to Kristen Bretz, a stylist at Hair Metal Salon in Brooklyn.
“Gently tease sections of the hair with a rat-tail comb, using a light hairspray if necessary, for extra lift,” says Bretz. “Keep aside one small section in the front, gently lay that section of hair over the shape you have created and spray in place.”
Thin and Fine Hair
Celebrities with thin hair, such as Cameron Diaz and Karlie Kloss, often sport luscious locks.
“If you want your hair to achieve maximum volume, and long lasting style, set it wet with curlers or pins then style,” says Neville. “If you choose an up-do, you will not have to worry about your hair going limp and a few clip-in hair extensions will create the effect you are looking for.
“Braided styles will make your hair appear too thin, so avoid them especially if you are blonde. If you wear your hair down, add soft curls or waves to create volume. Avoid a bang or too much hair out on the hairline, the hair will either fall flat or stick to forehead if it is too hot outside or you sweat from nerves.”
L’Oreal Paris Celebrity Stylist Mara Roszak, who styles Emma Stone’s and Kate Mara’s hair, suggests trying to reduce the oiliness before the Big Day by just rinsing hair instead of washing it with shampoo every time.
“Consider rotating a no-poo or cleansing conditioner into your routine,” says Roszak. Everyone’s hair is different, but I would say after about a couple of weeks to a month’s time, you should notice a difference.”
In terms of styles, a low maintenance up-do is the best option. It’s not as tempting to touch which increases oil production and any oiliness that develops over the day will be less noticeable in an off-the-face, structured look.
Colored or Chemically Treated Hair
If you hair is damaged from curling irons or dying, it can still look healthy and fabulous by choosing the right style and using good products. A French twist or side chignon will hide any split ends. If you want to wear it down, a serum or conditioning oil will smooth cuticles and cover up imperfections.
All Hair Types
With great stylists and high tech products to tap, there’s no need for brides to worry about a bad hair day. However, you’ve been styling your hair longer than anyone else and you know what it can do and what it struggles with. If you aren’t working with a hair stylist who knows your hair, tell them how your hair behaves and responds to different techniques and products.
Ask your stylist to try different shampoos, conditioners and styling products to see which ones work best. Schedule a few dry runs with different looks and take photos at the beginning and end of the evening so you can see which styles last best.
Once you and your stylist have worked out which look to go for and how to achieve it, resist any last minute changes. Stick to your plan and relax knowing that your hair will look perfect from the first photograph to the last.