There’s plenty to stress about on your wedding day—who has RSVP’d, who wants to sit where, how you want to look. And while there are a lot of things that can be delegated to other people (please do!), one thing that’s entirely in your hands is your wedding day hair.
When it comes to your wedding day hairstyle, here’s a lot to think about. Wedding day hair not only has to look good through any major obstacle or issue, but it’s a hairstyle that should be classic enough to last in your photos forever. Not to mention, it’s vastly important to find a wedding hairstylist who knows how to work with whatever hair type and texture hair you have.
To help you find the right person for the job, we reached out to Annagjid "Kee" Taylor, celebrity hairstylist and natural hair YouTuber, for her best tips for finding an experienced hairstylist.
The answer, here, is fairly simple. In most cases, wedding hair is just like your usual hair, only grander. Your wedding day is a special occasion, so much people want a hairstyle to match. That said, your wedding hairstyle—whether it’s a big updo or a sleek low ponytail—is another reflection of yourself and your personal style on your special day.
Just like any other aspect of a wedding, finding a good bridal stylist requires a bit of research and time. You not only want someone who knows how to handle your type of hair, but also someone with bridal hair experience. If you need some help booking a talented hairstylist for your wedding day, browse Zola's Vendor directory for trusted wedding hair and makeup arists in Chicago, IL to Miami, FL and everything in between.
Before booking any sessions or trials, peep your ideal stylist’s social media pages. “You definitely want to look at examples of a stylist's past work to make sure you like their work,” says Taylor. “Also, check out any references or reviews to ensure the stylist is well liked and respected.” She suggests imagining: Will you love this hair when you show your wedding photos to your grandkids?
Get referrals. If you have any close friends or family members that booked a bridal hairstylist, ask them if they would refer them to you. This is especially ideal if you’ve attended a wedding where you coveted the bride’s hair. Ask for the stylist’s information, as well as what the process of working with them was like.
Check the stylist’s past work. Whether you find a stylist through word or mouth or social media, locate their website and take a look at their previous work. If possible, reach out to them via email and ask if you can see a portfolio or list of references.
Have a clear vision of what you want. For the smoothest process possible, have a clear idea of how you’d like your hair to look. Moreover, know what you’d like your makeup look and general wedding look to be. Knowing these things can greatly inform your hairstylist and help you both to make style decisions.
Consider your budget. We highly recommend deciding on your hair budget prior to seeking out a stylist, that way you aren’t looking at those that are outside of your preferred spending amount.
Questions to Ask Potential Hairstylists Here are a few questions to keep in mind when consulting with a potential stylist:
How many years of experience do you have?
Do you have experience working with my hair type?
How much does it cost to book you? Do your charge per person or per hour?
Do you offer trials? How much does one cost?
Do you have a portfolio of past bridal work I can look at or a list of references?
How would you describe your artistry? What styles are you most experienced with (glam, natural, boho, etc.)?
Will the same stylist who does my trial do my hair on the wedding day?
What kind of products do you typically use? What would you use on my hair type?
Will you bring your own hair products or do I need to provide anything?
Do you charge extra to come to my venue? If so, where is your beauty salon located?
Will you have an assistant or team accompany you?
Can you or an assistant work on my bridal party’s hair?
Do you provide hair accessories or will I need to purchase them separately?
Can you provide hair extensions or will I need to purchase them separately?
What should I do to prep my hair before our trial? Should it be freshly washed?
Have you done styles similar to the one I have in mind? (Bring inspiration pictures!)
Will this style hold all day, including throughout the wedding reception?
If I want a hair change for the reception, can this style be transitioned?
Are you able to stay for touch-ups or changes before the reception?
Do you and/or your team also do bridal makeup services? If so, what are your beauty services? If not, can you recommend a bridal beauty makeup artist?
Always do a wedding hair trial styling day—maybe even two. Try to plan your makeup and hair trial on the same day, so you can get a better idea of what the final look will be like. Provide your stylist with as many hair inspiration photographs as you can in advance, as well as photos of your dress and your makeup inspiration, too. This will help them ensure that they’re giving you exactly what you want while also managing expectations.
To guarantee your happiness, don’t be afraid to experiment during your trial. “I've had brides try as many as six styles in a day, so you definitely want to take that time to make sure that you love the look,” says Taylor. “These consultations are almost a rehearsal dinner for the final look.”
Plan your makeup and hair trials for the same day. Often, seeing pieces of your wedding look separately will give you a different impression of them. For that reason, it’s in your best interest to see as much as possible together. Booking your hair and makeup trials for the same day allows you to see the majority of your potential, final bridal look. It also gives you an opportunity to wear both throughout the day and evening, giving everything a wear and longevity test.
Provide inspiration images. Just as you’d gather inspiration for your makeup and wedding decor, compile a series of images that can serve as hair inspiration. We recommend having at least one look in mind, with photos covering a few different angles (front, sides, back).
Provide photos of your dress and makeup inspiration. Showing a hairstylist your wedding dress and makeup (or makeup inspiration) can help them provide you with the best hair advice. It also gives them an idea of the total picture.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Sometimes, the styles you’re unfamiliar with are the ones you end up falling in love with. Try to be open to something new or different, should something catch your eye or be recommended by the stylist.
To ensure your support system looks as good as you do on the big day, you’ll want to choose a bridal party stylist that’s as good as your own. It’s common to keep the stylists in the family, hiring multiple stylists from the same salon or same team. Depending on how big the wedding party is, you’ll typically need to have one to three stylists on hand to ensure everything flows smoothly.
If you have a multicultural wedding party, it’s also important to communicate that with your stylist and any stylist involved. Hair can be particularly sensitive for some people, and not all bridal hairstylists have been trained to do all types of hair. You don’t want to upset a member of your bridal party because a stylist made them feel inferior due to their hair texture. The best way to avoid this is to really do your research beforehand and identify a stylist that’s comfortable with the hair textures of your wedding party.
How much do you charge for individual members of the wedding party?
Do your charge per person or per hour?
How long are you available to work on my bridal party on the day of my wedding?
How many hair stylists from your team can be available for my wedding day?
How many stylists are needed for my wedding party, based on the size?
Considering the size of my wedding party, what time would you recommend starting your hair services?
How much time do you estimate it will take to execute all of these hairstyles?
What styles for the wedding party will complement, but not overshadow, the bride's look?
Do you and/or your team also offer wedding makeup services for the bridesmaids or wedding party? If not, can you recommend a makeup artist?
All in all, finding a versatile, talented hairstylist doesn’t have to be particularly hard. Make sure you’re communicating your needs and wants, and that they have the background and experience to create the look you want. If you do all of that, your wedding day will go off without a hitch.