How to Choose the Best Hairstyle for Your Dress Type

Once you’ve found your perfect dress, you want to make sure that everything else about your wedding look perfectly complements it. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to choosing the ideal hairstyle for every dress type.

By Maggie Mahoney

How to Choose the Best Hairstyle for Your Dress Type
Photo by Thomas Christian

The First Look ✨

  • We’ve put together a guide to choosing the best hairstyle for your dress type, whether it be a mermaid-style, ballgown, or sheath.
  • Consider your wedding aesthetic or theme, your personal hairstyle preferences, your hair type, and the level of maintenance you want to commit to.
  • We have laid out hairstyle ideas for you to choose from that suit a variety of different necklines.
  • Finally, you want to think about your overall dress style, especially its silhouette, in order to come to a final hairstyle decision.

All eyes are on you on your wedding day, so feeling your best is crucial. A large part of that comes down to making sure that your wedding look is cohesive from head to toe. For most brides, finding their dream dress is one of the first things that they check off their wedding planning checklist.

But, once you have your dress, how do you ensure that other important components like your hairstyle complement and enhance your overall appearance? And how do you narrow down your choices from a sea of viable options? Whether you’re working with a high neckline, a mermaid cut, or a ballgown, here are Zola’s top tips for choosing the best wedding hairstyle for your dress type.

Do I Need to Coordinate My Hairstyle With My Dress?

Your wedding hairstyle frames your face and serves as the perfect foundation for your veil. It may seem unnecessary to base your hairstyle decisions on your dress, but the last thing you want for your special day is to feel mismatched. Coordinating your hairstyle with your dress allows your aesthetic vision to come together, plus it guarantees that neither component overshadows the other. Now, let’s get into tips for choosing the perfect wedding hairstyle for any wedding dress style.

Part 1: Wedding Hairstyles for Each Dress Type

In addition to your dress, you should also keep in mind several other factors when selecting a wedding hairstyle. These include:

  • Your hair type. Whether you have curly, straight, or wavy tresses, picking a wedding hairstyle can be a challenge; however, working with your hair texture can help make the process go smoother. For example, you may love a high, slicked-back pony, but if you have extremely curly and thick hair, achieving this look will require lots of product and heat styling to maintain it. The hairstyle you choose is ultimately up to you, but thinking about what hairstyles work best for your hair can be a huge help.

  • The level of maintenance that you’re looking for. Along similar lines, the amount of maintenance that you’re willing to put into your wedding hairstyle should help inform the look you go for. If you’re an easy-going bride, you may want to avoid hairstyles that feel stiff or require lots of touch-ups. You may instead prefer a hairstyle that is more effortless, requires less heat styling, and channels a tousled, worn-in look.

  • The theme and aesthetic of your wedding. The wedding theme or aesthetic informs nearly every decision you will make about your big day. Themes can be as specific or as general as you want them to be; however, when choosing a wedding hairstyle try to focus on the overall feel of the theme. For example, if it's a western or rustic wedding, you’re likely going for a more natural and no-fuss look for your appearance, which should include your hairstyle.

  • What hairstyles make you feel most confident. It goes without saying, but you should ultimately choose the wedding hairstyle that makes you feel most beautiful and like yourself. Nothing matters more than your confidence and happiness on your special day.

Part 2: Wedding Hairstyle Ideas Depending on Neckline

Whether your dress is a sweetheart neckline with a touch of Hollywood glamour, a bohemian flowy number, or a princess ball gown, there is a hairstyle to complement any neckline or aesthetic. You just need a little inspiration to guide your choice. Below are hairstyle ideas for a variety of classic wedding dress necklines.

Sweetheart or V-Neck

Sweetheart and v-necks are feminine necklines that can pair well with a variety of different hairstyles, as both cuts highlight the collar bones and décolletage. These types of necklines look great with effortless and tousled hair. Styles such as loose retro curls or a textured high bun with face-framing wispy pieces are perfect for this neckline.

High Neck

High neck dresses, whether they be turtleneck or boat neck, embody sophistication and modesty. In order to highlight the high neck style and bare a little skin, go for an updo. A braided bun or sleek high pony will offset the lack of exposed skin, plus it will show off the detailing of high neck wedding dresses.

Asymmetrical

For asymmetrical necklines like a one shoulder, consider either an updo or a side-swept style (on the bare shoulder). Either of these styles will create visual balance and ensure that the dress is the star of the show.

Off-the-Shoulder

Romantic and sexy, off-the-shoulder necklines can pair well with many hairstyles. If you want to bring attention to the neckline detail, avoid wearing your hair down and covering your shoulders. Instead, have your hair cascade down your back or go for a half updo incorporating braids.

Strapless

Depending on what you’re going for, strapless necklines can serve as a base for a variety of different looks. You will want to ask yourself whether you want to show off your collarbones and chest or not. If you want to highlight these areas, then updos will be your friends; however, if you’re looking to make your look a bit more subtle, half updos or loose hair may be more your style.

Part 3: Best Wedding Hairstyle Ideas for Any Dress Cut

Besides the neckline, the shape and cut of your wedding dress can also impact your hairstyle choices. Here are some guidelines to keep you on the right track for all the common wedding outfit styles.

A-line or Sheath

Straighter silhouettes such as sheaths or a-lines allow a lot of room for flexibility with complimentary wedding hairstyles. You can either choose to pull your hair back for a sleek look or add some volume and interest with your hairstyle. Think of these dress styles as a blank slate that allows you to have free reign over your hair choices.

Mermaid or Trumpet

This style of gown stays form-fitting through the hips and legs, and then it flares out at the ankles, creating the trumpet shape that gives the style its name. Cascading hair worn down pairs well with this style because it creates visual balance, while also maintaining a flirty vibe.

Ballgown

Due to the drama and high impact of ball gowns, updos are a safe bet, as they don’t detract attention from the show-stopping silhouette and make for a more elegant and mature overall appearance.

Jumpsuit or Pantsuit

Since jumpsuits and pantsuits lean toward a more masculine aesthetic, consider creating balance with a feminine hairstyle. This can mean soft curls, textured braids, loose front pieces, or even incorporating accessories such as beaded clips or fresh flowers.

Plan Your Wedding Hairstyle at Zola

When it comes time to choose your wedding hairstyle, the most important thing is your comfort and confidence. Any hairstyle you choose will look radiant with your wedding dress as long as you feel your best. You can’t go wrong with any of these stunning hair pairings, but if you’re in need of inspiration, you can check out our Wedding Hairstyle Expert Advice. Zola even has tips for once you start working with a hairstylist. With all this advice, you are well on your way to finding the wedding hairstyle to bring out the beauty in your dream dress and round out your entire wedding look.