Wedding Hair Tips for Men

Looking for wedding hair tips for men? Here you’ll find the best advice for different types of hair textures, lengths, and styles.

By Laura Hensley

Wedding Hair Tips for Men
Photo by Limelight Photography

Deciding on your suit or wedding outfit is only one step of the process for men. Wedding hair is another—and important—aspect to consider when deciding on a look. But, where to start? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don't worry because we have all the tips and tricks for you to know.

In this guide, you will find:

Do I Really Need to Think About Men’s Wedding Hair?

If you want to look good on your wedding day, then yes, you need to consider men’s wedding hair. Men often are overlooked in the wedding planning process when it comes to hair and grooming—even though they shouldn’t be. Everyone deserves to feel their best when they say “I do.”

Depending on hair texture, length, and personal style, there are many wedding hairstyles ideas to consider, as well as tips to ensure that you look your best on your big day. You’ll also want to consider when to get your haircut, and if you need someone to style your ‘do on your wedding day. To that end, let’s get into it.

Part 1: Proper Wedding Hair Etiquette: Everything You Need to Know

There are plenty of things to keep in mind when it comes to wedding hair for men. Not only do you need to consider the location of your event, the season that your celebration is happening in, and your wedding theme, but you also need to think about your individual hair texture and style, too.

What’s the Difference Between Wedding Hair and Everyday Hair?

Men’s hair for a wedding is a bit more formal and spiffy than everyday men’s hair—especially if you typically don’t put much effort into your ‘do. Just like with brides and members of the wedding party, men’s wedding hair should show that extra attention was given to your look to reflect the importance of the day. Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life, so you want to show up looking your best with healthy hair.

When Is Your Wedding?

The season of your wedding and the location may affect which style you choose for your look. You should also take into consideration your wedding style and theme. If you’re having a formal winter wedding at a five-star hotel, you might opt for a slicked-back style, with all hair carefully secured into place. On the other hand, if your wedding is outdoors on the beach, a more laid-back and natural look, such as loose waves or a ponytail, will do. Of course, the style will also depend on your hair texture and length, which we will get into later.

What Is Your Style?

You want to feel like yourself on your wedding day. This means that it’s important to decide on a wedding hair look that reflects who you are as a groom, and as a person. If you’re known for your slicked-back hair, rock that on your wedding day. It will look out of place for you to sport an entirely new look for the first time. Plus, you want a hairstyle that makes you feel comfortable and your best.

Think About Facial Hair, Too

Wedding day beards and mustaches need to be considered when thinking about wedding hair. Ensuring that your facial hair looks good isn’t as simple as trimming your beard the morning of your wedding; you need to think about skincare leading up to your big day, too. Depending on the texture of your facial hair, its thickness and its length, you will want to see a barber a week before your wedding, or closer to your big day, depending on your needs. Some grooms decide to get a clean shave on their wedding day. Check out this guide on how to groom your beard for your wedding day.

Grooming and Cut Timeline

We will get into this more below, but you have to consider when you need to see your barber to get a haircut and/or a beard style and trim. It’s a good idea to do a test run for your wedding hair ahead of your big day, just like brides do. Of course this will likely be less labor-intensive than an updo or formal style, but it’s smart to get a haircut, plus a style, months ahead of your wedding so that you get a sense of what your hair will look like at your wedding.

If you’re getting a haircut for your wedding, book an appointment in advance and see how long it takes for your hair to settle into the length you most prefer. Then, use that timeline to book a hair appointment before your actual wedding day. For example, if during your test run your hair hits the sweet spot 12 days after a haircut, book a visit with your stylist 12 days before your wedding. Take into consideration how fast or slow your hair grows, and how short or long you want it.

Doing Your Own Hair vs. Getting It Professionally Done

Some grooms do their wedding hair themselves, which is perfectly OK. If that’s your plan, you may still want to visit your barber either the week before your wedding, or sometime during the week of your wedding. That way, you can have a proper haircut so that your length is ready for styling. If you wear a fade or buzz cut, you will want a pro to get you in good shape right before the wedding day.

If you’re hiring someone through a wedding vendor to cut and/or style your hair on your wedding day, have them come early in the morning for the grooming. This process does not need to take long, but it can help alleviate stress. Think about it this way: If you have plenty of other things on your mind (which is completely normal and understandable), take styling your own hair off your plate. A pro can make sure that your cut is fresh and clean, or trim your bangs so that no hair covers your face. You want your hair to look as great as possible for your spouse and photos.

What About the Groomsmen?

Just like the groom, groomsmen and other male members of the wedding should be looking refined, too. If your groomsmen have similar hair lengths and textures, you can give general direction as to what you’d like them to look like: Should all men have their hair slicked back, or neatly trimmed? Other grooms may be less fussy and just ask that groomsmen make sure that their hair is brushed or styled with braids or a ponytail.

If you want all groomsmen to have fresh cuts or grooming, it’s nice to gift members of the wedding party a professional shave—think of it as a bonding activity.

Hats and Accessories

Some grooms and groomsmen opt for hats or another head accessory on their wedding day. Whether you rock a wide-brimmed cap, a paperboy hat, or a cowboy hat, hats can complement a wedding outfit and take the focus off of the hair.

An important thing to remember, however, is that you want your wedding outfit to be timeless. While certain hats may come in and out of popularity, make a decision that reflects your true style and isn’t a trend that you may regret in a few years. Your wedding photos last a lifetime.

Test Out Hair Products Ahead of Time

You should play with any hair products you plan to use on your wedding day ahead of time. If you’re doing your own wedding hair, be sure to use any gel or product a few times so that you get a sense of how it works with your hair texture. The reason you should test run any styles is so that you not only get a sense of how to do your hair, but also how well the product holds up and keeps your hair in place over time.

Practice Self-Care

Hair and grooming practices help you look your best, but self-care and sleep are also very important. Be sure to drink lots of water, get plenty of rest, and moisturize your skin ahead of your wedding. The night before your wedding may bring on the pre-wedding jitters, so be sure to get into a sleep schedule that helps you catch some Zzzs. Read our guide on how to sleep before your wedding.

Part 2: Things to Consider When It Comes to Wedding Hair

Now that we’ve covered the basics of wedding hair etiquette and everything you need to know, it’s time to get into additional things to consider. In this section you’ll learn more about hair texture, hair length, and grooming schedules.

Hair Texture

Hair texture is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to wedding hair. If you have wavy hair, straight hair, or curls, how your hair texture behaves when styled will determine which looks are best for you. There are various products designed for different hair textures, so be sure to use one that’s best for you. Unsure? Ask your barber.

Many men will wear their natural hair on their wedding day, whether in an afro or tight curls. Others may opt to get fresh braids or twists for a special wedding style look. For men who have thin or fine hair, they may want to add volume through product, or choose a style that flatters, like a side part.

Hair Length

The length of men’s hair will determine what tips and wedding styles are most suitable. For grooms with longer hair, a low ponytail or bun is a nice way to keep hair in place and look a bit more formal. A bun pulled behind the head, sitting at the middle of the back of the head, is a more casual look, but is suitable for more rustic weddings or laid-back events.

Hairstyle Timeline

Planning is key to looking best on your wedding day. While you may think you can just wake up and be ready to go, a timeline will help you ensure that your hair preparation is on track. Here are some wedding hair tips leading up to your wedding.

Six to three months out: Find a wedding hairstylist or barber, and then decide on a look. This is a bit of an underestimation of time—you may need more to find the right barber or hairstylist for you if you don’t have one. You also should decide on which hairstyle you’ll be rocking on your wedding day around this time. This ensures that you have time to grow out your hair if necessary, and run a test trial of your look. During your test run, you can ask your barber how often you need to get a trim to keep up the look, if necessary.

One month out: Ensure that you have all the right supplies before your big day. If you need a cut before your wedding, now is the time to schedule it—especially if your stylist books up quickly. If you’re doing your own hair, do a practice round. Invest in the right supplies you need for your wedding day, including products, any flat irons or hairdryers, as well as combs or brushes. Ask the professionals if you’re unsure how to use products or hair supplies.

Week or two before the wedding: Depending on how fast your hair grows and how long it takes for the fresh-cut look to settle, get your hair done a week or two before your wedding day by your barber. Of course, some men prefer to have their hair cut just before their wedding, which comes down to personal style. If you want new braids or twists, use the days leading up to the wedding to have your hair done. A week before the wedding is also the perfect time for a facial—spoil yourself, you deserve it.

Day before the wedding: For men who want their hair cut right before their wedding day, use the night before to have your look cleaned up so that you’re super fresh. Also, don’t forget to sleep, drink lots of water, and moisturize. You can also ask your barber to touch up your sideburns or facial hair.

Day-of wedding: The big day is here! If you're having a pro do your hair, start the process early on in the morning. A clean shave can be done on the wedding day, too. Styling yourself? You should be a pro at this point and know how to use all the tools and products.

Part 3: 8 Popular Wedding Hairstyles for Men

No matter which hairstyles are most popular for men at weddings, the best hairstyle is the one that most suits you. If you’re looking for inspiration or want to survey your options, here are some of the most popular wedding hairstyles for men.

#1 Waves on Top

Want a casual, but sophisticated look? Loose waves on top is one of the most popular wedding hairstyles for the modern groom. You can have a little bit of the hair swept across the face for a loose, laid-back style.

#2 Taper Cut

A tapered haircut is a wedding classic. This no-fuss look is easy and timeless. Try out this hairstyle a few months before the wedding if you’ve never worn it before. Depending on your hair texture and length, and how fast your hair grows, you may want to have this fresh cut done a few days to a week before your wedding for it to settle.

#3 Side Part

A side part is one of the most classic wedding hairstyles. You can either part the hair slightly off from the middle, or go deeper for a more stand-out look.

#4 Ponytail

For men with longer hair, a low ponytail is a great way to keep hair off the face and look a bit more formal. This style works for various hair textures and lengths; if your hair is long enough to tie at the back of your head it can be secured in place. For men with braids or dreadlocks, tying them back in a pony is a fantastic option, too.

#5 Slicked Back

For formal events and weddings, slicked-back hair is one of the most popular options for men with both wavy and straight hair. This look is ideal for men with hair that’s long enough to push off the face—so not for men with super short cuts. Product is important as you don’t want your hair to look overly greasy or sticky. A pomade or wax can help to do the trick.

#6 Light Fade

Many men these days rock fades at weddings. They can be adjusted to your personal style but a light fade is a suitable option for a soft, but clean look. Depending on your hair texture or length, you can keep the top a bit longer to either push back or style into a side part.

#7 Modern Pompadour

Pompadours are making a comeback, especially ones with a modern twist. This look can take a bit of practice if you’ve never styled one yourself before. You usually create this look with a round brush and hairdryer, and some product to keep it softly in place. Make sure the top of your hair is long enough to push back, with the sides a bit shorter.

#8 Tight Curls

For men with natural curls, get a fade on the slides and leave the top with the short, tight curls. This look is low maintenance, but looks sharp.

Part 4: Wedding Hair Tips for Different Hair Textures

For Straight Hair

For men with straight hair, styling tips will depend on what exactly you want your wedding look to be. If you’re looking to add volume, a light mousse or volume-boosting product will give flat manes some oomph. For men who want to rock straight hair, a flat iron is a great option to control flyaways and create a uniform look. To avoid heat damage, put a heat protectant in the hair beforehand.

For Curly or Wavy Hair

Men with curly hair know how to manage their locks. A diffuser on a hairdryer can help reduce frizz, as can products such as gel or pomade. A frizz-control hair product is key when the weather is humid or there’s lots of wind. You will thank yourself for thinking ahead when it comes to pictures.

For Natural Hair

Natural hairstyles, such as afros or tight curls, look great at weddings. Leave-in conditioners and products that help boost shine will elevate your look and help you stand out in photos.

For Thin Hair

Men with thin hair may want to create more volume on their wedding day. Some popular hairstyles for grooms with finer hair include short cuts as it makes thin hair look thicker, as well as comb-overs. Comb overs can be held in place with some pomade or wax.

For Thick Hair

For people with thicker hair, styling can depend on the hairstyle you’re going after. Air drying can be the best option over using a hairdryer, as hot air can add even more volume. If you want to slick back your hair or keep it secure in place, see if your barber can add some layers or texture during your cut to make the thickness—and weight—more manageable for styling.

Zola: The Destination for All Your Wedding Hair Needs

Wedding hair for men doesn’t need to be stressful, nor does it need to be an oversight. With some thought, planning and the right tools, Zola is here to help you style your hair the way that works best for you on your wedding day. Whether you have wavy hair, straight hair, thin hair—or anything in between—there are easy ways to make your wedding hair go as smoothly as possible.

By thinking about your wedding hair and how you want it to look on your wedding day, you'll be sure that in 10, 20, and even 30 years from now, you’ll be happy with your wedding photos. With good-looking hair, there’s no regret. There’s nothing worse than a sloppy style that can be easily avoided.

When it comes to all other style factors, such as groomsmen outfits and best man speeches, Zola has got you covered. Check out our expert advice for all your wedding needs. At the end of the day, you want to focus on being present and enjoying your wedding day. Let us do all the heavy lifting.

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