As a wedding hairstylist, the phrase I hear most often from brides about their hair is "I've been growing out my hair for my wedding day." A great updo is not always dependent on long hair, but how do you know what your hair can do? Here is your cheat sheet to understand how your hair needs to be to get the style you want.
Wedding Day Hair Cheat Sheet
The Low, Curly Bun
Most any hair type works for this, and as long as your hair is almost shoulder length, you can achieve this look. The variable is how big you want the bun to be. If you want it BIG, then ask your stylist to add some fake hair at the base or a sponge donut to create volume.
The Classic Chignon
You definitely need some length for this style to look great. Thicker hair is also helpful. If your heart is set on this style and your hair is short, start growing out your hair now. It needs to be past your shoulders, and not too fine. The other option is to add in extensions.
The Side 'Do
This works well if your hair is past your shoulders. You need enough to wrap around from one side to reach the other. If you want a cleaner, more polished look-the longer the better. If you want a more messy, undone style than it doesn't have to be quite as long.
There are some beautiful pictures on pinterest with this style, and it is hard to achieve with most people's natural hair. Your hair needs to be long and hold a curl well. Extensions are your best option if you need to add length, and if your hair struggles to hold a curl then a great blow dry and an hour long curl set will be your best bet.
The Big Side Braid
I'm going to give it to you straight: very few people have thick enough hair to do this. The option to recreate it is to add fake hair into the braid, or to be okay with a smaller looking braid.
The Textured Low-Do
This works great for most hair types-naturally curly, thick, thin, or somewhere in between. Any length past the nape of your neck will usually work just fine.
The High, Curly Updo
You need some length for this style, and if you want it BIG then extensions are very helpful. You don't even have to invest in fancy extensions that clip, tape or glue in. You can get a hair weft, or bundle, and add it to your ponytail base to create fullness.
The Romantic Swept Back Low-Do
Medium length or longer, and medium thickness will work best for this look. It is also helpful if you have a good blow dry beforehand to get volume in the front and a smooth finish.
The French Twist
Most lengths work for this! I can get a great french twist with waist length hair and chin length hair. It is very versatile.
Get your hair Updo Ready:
Crazy curly hair: Get a Brazilian Blow Out or go to a blow dry bar before you wedding. If you are going the blow dry route, I recommend getting the blow dry and then trying out the updo to see how it holds up.
Super fine, limp hair: Get a soft perm a few months before your wedding or highlight it. Damaging your hair a bit will help give it texture and hold an updo better.
Really long, heavy hair: Get a good haircut so your ends are healthy, and if you want it to hold curl better get a few layers put in.
Short hair: Consider extensions to get the look you want, or play up your cute cut with a headband, birdcage veil, or barrette.
I recommend getting a trim the month before your wedding, that way you won't have ends that are frizzy in your updo.
If you color your hair, do the color 2 weeks before your wedding so that if it's not quite right you have time to adjust it.
Talk to your wedding hair stylist about if you should wash your hair the morning of your wedding or not. They will know what's best based on the style that you want.
Questions? Comments? Leave a message! I'd love to help you with your wedding day hair!