Choose the Right Style
“The first question I normally ask is what the dress looks like,” Baranowski says. If the dress has a higher neckline, brides might consider pulling the hair all the way up to the middle back or top of the head to show off the dress’ neckline or bodice detailing. If neckline is lower, consider framing your face with loose curls and soft texture. If the dress is Carrie Bradshaw’s first Big wedding-classic, sleek and vintage hairstyles pair well, Baranowski says. And for the boho bride, think braids (they ruled last year’s wedding season), flower crowns and texture.
“The next question is how do they want to feel on their big day?” she says.
Don’t Stress About Long Tresses
While many bridal Pinterest boards depict long, wavy tresses or romantic updos, unshorn locks aren’t necessarily a prerequisite for hair that turns heads. “Unless [the bride] wants to wear her hair completely down or make it significantly longer, extensions can always be utilized to add fullness, length and volume.” Baranowski recommends extensions made from human hair so it can be colored and heat-styled to match the bride’s natural hair.
If you do decide to grow out your hair, make sure to have it trimmed regularly. “It’s no help to us as hairdressers if there is length but the ends are split and untamable,” Baranowski says.
Bring a Photo and an Open Mind
“Some brides will use Pinterest until they find their perfect style,” she says, “others [come in with] no idea. I find pictures incredibly helpful in the process.” Just keep in mind the photo is inspiration, not an instruction manual. “It is very difficult to recreate a picture exactly,” Baranowski says. “Hair color, texture, length and density all play a role in how the style will look finished.”
Test Drive Your Style
Once you settle on a look you like, ask your stylist to do a trial run. “It’s not a must, but I highly recommend it,” Baranowski says. “One, to check to see that the style lasts all day for you and feels good. Two, to make sure it’s what you really want.” Take pictures, Baranowski says, so you can mull it all over before the big day. And don’t forget to bring any special clips, pins, headbands or your veil to get the full effect.
Be Prepared and Proactive
“A great style will last you all day and feel like it relaxes and settles into the perfect style as the day goes on,” Baranowski says. And you can help it get there. She suggests packing a bag with medium- to strong-hold hairspray and plenty of bobby pins that match your hair color. Keep a spray bottle filled with a facial toner and lightly mist your face thoughout the day to combat oil and keep your entire look fresh.