The DOs And DON'Ts Of Bridal Hair

It's been many years now since I left the world of hairdressing. Back then I specialized in wedding hair, so I thought I would share my thoughts on hair for your "big day".

Pin away ladies!

Do

Be Yourself

You want your groom to recognize you as you walk down the aisle, don't you?

If you're a low-maintenance, always-wearing-a-pony-tail type of girl, make sure your

wedding hair

reflects that. Something simple and tasteful that still represents

you

. Unless of course, your dress and the theme are over the top,

go for it

! If you're used to spending more time on your hair on a daily basis, then by all means choose a more detailed style or an eye-catching accessory. Are soft curls or

braids

your signature? Kick them up a knotch.

20, 30, 40 years from now, you don't want to look back at your pictures and ask, "What was I thinking?" Stick to your comfort zone. Chances are your dress will follow your usual sort of taste, so your hair should too.

Don't

Be Afraid

Not

To Use Your Regular Stylist

Whether you've been going to the same stylist since you were in pig tails or just for the last few cuts, don't feel pressured to book them for your wedding. They should be honest with you if up-dos or special occasion styles are not their strong suit and maybe they'll even recommend someone better-qualified at their salon.

Ask your friends for suggestions. Look online. If your wedding venue is out of town, do research, or be prepared to pay extra for your trusted stylist to travel. A lot of stylists will consider coming to your home, hotel or wedding venue and there are many mobile companies that specialize specifically in weddings with killer portfolios available to back up their work.

Another option is a session-stylist, someone who typically styles for photo shoots and film, they know how to make a style last

and

look fabulous from all angles.

Do

Bring Pictures

Bring pictures! More than one, but not a billion. It wouldn't hurt to bring a shot of your dress as well.

Photos will help you explain what it is that you would like, especially when it's hard for some of us to put visual cues in to words. A good stylist will be able to pick up on a reoccurring theme in your photos and blend them all in to something that works for you, whether it's sleek and elegant or soft and romantic. There's loads to choose from on my

Wedding Hair & Beauty

pin board.

Don't

Be Too Drastic

If you usually wear in-your-face colour or Crayola-brights, consider toning it down just a bit for your wedding. Although you

love

your pink chunks or dramatic red right now, you might grow out of it in a few years but your wedding photos will not.

As an example, blogger

Elycia

has had her hair every colour of the rainbow, but for her

big day

she decided an awesome white-blond was the way to go. Natural looking or solid vibrant colour is best and timeless, in my opinion. (Don't forget, rule #1 is

be yourself

!)

images via

Love Elycia

Do

Have A Trial

A trial run is a

must

, in my opinion. Your stylist will be able to tell you if the look you've picked is unrealistic due to your hair texture, length, etc. Make sure you also bring any hair pieces, accessories, or a veil to your trial.

This is when you'll get to see all those thoughts, ideas, and magazine-pulls put in to action. Maybe you'll realize it's "just not right" or the stylist will have a better suggestion or some tweaks. Either way, a practice run is a sound idea.

While skipping a trial can seem like an opportunity to save money, imagine how upsetting and stressful it will be if you're trying your dream bridal hair for the first time on the day of your wedding. There's a lot less time to change your mind if it turns out that the look you wanted just doesn't suit you. 

Don't

Be Cheap

You get what you pay for. I say this

all the time

.

This doesn't mean you have to shell out a week's pay for your stylist. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. Do you really need the ritzy salon? Is that what you want? Better yet, is that what you can afford? If you're trying hard to save, think about trying some up and coming talent. Perhaps a junior stylist or call a beauty school and ask if they have promising students that might be interested. Usually they'll be more than willing to come to the location of your choosing and price their services fairly. (Don't forget to offer them photos from your photographer for their portfolio.)

Furthermore, if you would prefer or insist that all of your bridesmaids (and family members) look their best and have their hair done professionally, consider chipping in. Costs can really add up quick for the wedding party and this often causes friction and stress. Be honest when booking appointments about what sort of style they're each looking for, or if they have very long or short hair. Salons will probably be willing to charge accordingly, instead of booking the mother-of-the-groom for an $80 up do when all she would really like is a sleek blow-out.

Do

Leave Yourself Time

The last thing you want is to be stressing, eyes glued to the clock rather than your beautiful self in the mirror. Leave lots of time for complicated 'dos or style emergencies.

Don't

Leave Colour To The Last Minute

Especially if you do your own colour, make sure you leave plenty of time to correct any mishaps. You never know what might happen, even if you've done it the same way "a million times". The night before is

not

the time to freshen things up with a dash for drugstore dye.

Considering it's such an important day, it's the best possible time to leave things to the professionals. Think of it as an

investment

in yourself. Get pampered. Make sure your roots are touched up, highlights fresh, ends trimmed. I suggest a week to a week and a half before the big day.

Do

-It-Your-Selfers

Practice makes perfect, as they say. Doing your own hair is not out of the question. Just make sure not to attempt too ambitious a style and practice often before the big day so you won't have any last minute frustrations or panic.

Invest (there's that word again!) in some quality styling products and tools. Don't forget hairspray and shine products, to look your best. There are lots of hair tutorials on the web.

This one

is my all time favourite for soft curls. You can find loads of inspiration online.

Don't

Wash Your Hair

Most stylists will ask that you not wash your hair the day of your wedding. A day old blow dry is usually the best texture to work with for wedding styles. Confirm this with your stylist though, and make sure you pass along the news to your wedding party as well. Flat-ironing your hair before it is styled will cause curls to fall out as well.

Consider going to your stylist the day before for a good round brush blow dry, your hair will be coiffed for the rehearsal and prepped properly for styling the day of the wedding.

Do

Bring Your Accessories Or Veil

Have your stylist put these in for you. They have the know-how and experience to make sure accessories stay in securely and comfortably from vows through pictures to the last dance. Don't wait until two minutes before you walk down the aisle. You'll find yourself scrambling for pins and everyone around you will be too nervous already to help.

By the way, a lot of these "rules" can be applied to your wedding makeup as well!

Where did you find your bridal hair inspiration?