In 2022, I wrote about my bridal beauty secrets, discussing all things bridal beauty from skincare to makeup to lashes to eyebrows to spray tans to nails and more. I even included a little bit about haircare and how I chose real hair clip-in hair extensions to help make my hair look fuller for my bridal look. Besides, the dress and the makeup, the bridal hairstyle is one of the things guests will notice. My fake hair held its curl on my wedding day but my real hair did not. In hindsight, instead of the half-up-half-down hairstyle I chose, I think I’d have been better off with a sleek up-do. But there are so many styles to choose from when it comes to bridal hair. With wedding season in full swing, here’s a mini guide to bridal hair.
Factors to consider
When choosing a bridal hairstyle you’ll want to consider the following.
- The length and style of your own hair: if you have curly, coarse textured hair, as an example, your bridal style will be different from someone who has a bob with fine textured hair. You may choose, however, to have hair extensions, clip-in hair, or hair padding to create the desired look.
- The neckline of your wedding dress: a strapless dress may look best with long and loose hair whilst a more Hollywood glam dress might need 40s waves. An updo might suit an asymmetrical dress or a high-neck dress whereas a whimsical dress might suit a braided hair look over a chignon. Your wedding dress style and hair need to be in-keeping – just as your jewellery and hair accessories also need to be factored in.
- The overall theme of your wedding: a romantic-themed wedding might mean whimsical and flowing hair whereas an art deco theme might suit a 20s-style up-do.
- The anticipated weather conditions of the day: no matter the other considerations, weather can impact your hairstyle too. For example, if it’s going to be a scorcher and you’re prone to sweating, you don’t want limp, lifeless curls plastered to your face with makeup dripping down your decolletage. In this case, an up-do might serve you best to keep you cool and to keep your locks in place all day.
- The hairstyle you feel comfortable and confident in: for me, I have broad shoulders. That fact impacted the style I chose on the day (hence the half-up-half-down hairstyle). Some people might want to hide their ears. Others might want to showcase a show-stopping backless dress. But overall, you want to feel comfortable. Wedding days can be stressful as the focus of the guests is often on the bride and you want to look your best and feel beautiful.
- The veil: when wearing a veil, even only for the main ceremony, you’ll want to consider the hairstyle that matches the veil as well.
If you’re doing your own hair or working with a professional, make sure you know how to maintain your hair throughout the day or that the style will last – that might mean an abnormal amount of mousse, gippy pins, and/or hairspray. With all things bridal, decision fatigue is real and it can feel like there are a million and one details to consider. Choosing a hairstyle that you love is important but even if your hair is simply flat ironed and neatly combed instead of full-on curled and styled, the decision to go simple or elaborate is up to you.
Popular bridal hairstyles
Here are some popular bridal hairstyles.
1. Classic up-do: A classic up-do is a timeless and elegant choice, which involves gathering the hair at the nape of the neck or the crown of the head and styling it in a bun or a chignon. It’s a versatile option that can be customised with twists, braids, or accessories. There are thousands of tutorials online to achieve this classic style. It’s perfect for most wedding dress types and it provides a cooler option for hot days. It also gives a perfect base for a veil and/or tiara, flowers, or other hair accessories, showcases statement earrings, and shows off low-backed dresses.
2. Half-up, half-down: This style offers a balance between a classic up-do and leaving your hair down and loose. You can add some style interest with the part of your hair that’s pinned up but also for those who want face framing or coverage, you have some of your hair down. If, like me, your hair is finer, you can add volume with clip-in hair extensions or more permanent hair extensions woven into your hair. This style typically involves pulling back the front sections of the hair and securing them at the crown of the head or adding a decorative clip or hairpiece, while leaving the remaining hair flowing loosely. You can keep the loose hair in tight ringlets, beachy waves, or even flat ironed straight. This style is one of the easier styles to achieve.
3. Romantic waves: Soft, loose waves are a popular choice for a romantic and feminine bridal look. Think Old Hollywood glam. This style can be achieved with a curling iron or hot rollers and works well with all hair lengths: long, medium, or short hair. It takes time to get the hang of this hairstyle and you’ll need practice, pins, and hairspray – but the results are beautiful. Just do a timer test before the big day, making sure the waves will last through eating, dancing, drinking, and several hours of moving around.
4. Braided or plaited hairstyles: Plaits can be incorporated into various bridal hairstyles to add texture and visual interest. Options are endless and include a braided crown, a fishtail braid, cute cornrows, or a braided bun. Generally, plaits aren’t an easy style to do yourself so you might want to wrangle a bridesmaid or a professional to help you with any plaited hairstyles.
5. Side-swept hair: This style involves sweeping the hair to one side and securing it with pins or a decorative accessory. It works well with both up-dos and loose hairstyles, adding a touch of glamour and sophistication. For those who want a little more hair around the face, this alternative to a classic up-do can work well. But it’s also great if the hair is kept long and loose.
6. Low bun: A low bun is a sophisticated bridal hairstyle option. It sits at the nape of the neck and can be styled in various ways, such as a sleek and polished bun or a more relaxed, tousled bun. This hairstyle is one that can stand the test of time as it will generally stay in place all day. This style accommodates veils and accessories well, too. On my wedding day, I found a beautiful rose gold floral pin with blue petals as my “something blue” and a low bun would go well with such a hairpin.
7. Vintage-inspired: Like the romantic waves hairdo, retro hairstyles from different eras, such as finger waves, victory rolls, or pin-up styles, have made a comeback in recent years. These vintage-inspired looks can add a unique and glamorous touch to a bridal ensemble. Some of these styles can be prepared the night before and slept on so they make getting ready a little easier as well.
8. Boho and beachy hair: For boho or beach-themed weddings, creating loose waves with a curling wand and sea salt spray and topping it off with a flower crown can add beautiful flair. Throw in a braided crown for a princess look or create a messy updo with loose strands to frame your face.
You can create the beautiful hairstyle you want with the help of a professional, a bridesmaid, or some YouTube tutorials. There are hundreds of styles and options to choose from so you feel the best on your day.
Let us know on Tria Beauty UK’s Facebook or Instagram which bridal hairstyle you’re choosing for your upcoming wedding (or prom) or share a photo with the style you chose (if you already got married).
One of the best things I did before my wedding was to ditch the razor and go hair-free with my Tria 4X hair removal device. I had no shaving to do, no visible black dots under the surface of my skin, no hair poking through, and no worries about unsightly and embarrassing hair. You can drastically reduce and remove unwanted underarm and facial hair in time for your special day. Take a look at my Tria 4X diary journey from hairy to hair-free.