Some folks purposely grow their hair out for their wedding day. Others rock lengthy locks all year long. No matter which camp you’re in, having long hair opens up a plethora of style opportunities for your big day.
Whether you wear your wedding hair down or choose an intricate updo, there’s inspiration all around. However, from narrowing down style selections to prepping your locks leading up to the big day, a bit of forethought is required to pull off the perfect look. Here are fabulous wedding hairstyle ideas for long hair for both brides and grooms to jumpstart your thinking.
Stylists love working with longer hair, because there are so many options for styling. It’s best to chat with your hairdresser about what works best for your particular hair length and thickness. For example, if you have thick hair, that updo you have your eye on may be too heavy on your head. Conversely, if you have thinner locks, a statement bun may not be possible without extensions.
Talking with your stylist will help you narrow down what will work best for your particular hair and face shape. Doing a trial run—possibly for bridal portraits—is also smart, so that you can give your hairdo a test. Then, a consultation with your hairdresser allows you to try a style and make tweaks for the big day.
If your partner loves seeing you at home in your loungewear sporting a top knot, kick it up a notch for your wedding day. First, have your stylist sweep your hair out of your face. Then they can tuck it into a perfect, full high bun at the crown of your head. A top knot is also one of the most effortless styles for adding accessories. Place a veil at the base, or use combs or a tiara to highlight the knot.
A chignon sits lower on the head, often towards the nape of the neck. It’s a classic style inspired by French women, but it works on any hair texture. Sweep long hair into a beautiful messy bun, and add fullness with extensions. Keep it tight and neat, or give it texture by making your chignon messy and full. Use a beaded barrette to add interest to the top of the bun if you desire.
Half-up, half-down styles are perfect for brides with long hair who can’t decide on a final look. The front section is pulled back away from the face. However, the length of the hair flows down the back. This style is an excellent compromise for those who have lovely, healthy hair but want it out of their face. Clips and sparkly bobby pins can add interest where the hair is separated in the back.
A French twist is perfect for brides who want to wear their hair up securely. The classic twist is a lovely alternative to a bun or chignon. It also allows for the vertical addition of beaded accessories to enhance where the hair is tucked under. For a less severe twist, have your stylist leave out small sections of hair to frame the face. A slightly undone French twist with loosely waved tendrils is a beautiful way to accent your features.
Depending on the climate and the condition of your hair, wearing your hair down is an attractive option. “If you’re getting married in a cooler climate or cooler season, wear your hair down,” suggests Shani Gailbreath, owner and hair and makeup artist at Canvas + Coif in Nashville, Tennessee. “Soft curls and even old Hollywood glam waves are very in style right now for brides.”
To keep hair out of your face, use a small embellished pin or clip to keep loose pieces at bay. But, of course, there are other options for those who wish to showcase their natural waves. “Embrace your curls! Wear your hair down, curly or softly swept back into a textured, curly updo,” says Gailbreath.
Plaits come in many shapes and sizes. Whether you love a chunky loose braid, fishtail, or a classic French braid, plaits or a braided hairstyle add texture and interest. Many brides choose to focus on one large, full crown braid. However, small braids can also accent other styles, such as a braided updo hairstyle and half-up, half-down styles. Even if you wear your hair down, a plait at your hairline can keep locks securely away from your face.
“If you’re getting married in a warmer season or climate, try wearing your hair down with one side pinned back away from your face or a fun bridal, party ponytail,” says Gailbreath. A ponytail can take many shapes, from severe and sleek to curly and unstructured. Work with your stylist to determine the correct type of long ponytail for your face shape and gown neckline. If you decide to wear your hair down for the ceremony, make a quick transition to a ponytail to dance the night away.
Bold brides may enjoy doing something unique with their long hair, and that’s where a fauxhawk can genuinely deliver. Banish any thoughts of spiky, glued mohawks of the punk genre. (Although, feel free to do so if that’s your style!) Instead, try a softer version, often made of multiple buns or stacked braids. For an added touch of femininity, have your stylist place embellished bobby pins strategically throughout the style.
A ponytail may be too simple for some brides, and slightly altering the look will add a stylish element. First, have your hairdresser create sections of hair by using elastics along the length of the ponytail. Next, pull on the hair slightly to form tiny bubbles, which are a great way to elevate a traditional ponytail. Another option is to braid the hair and create bubbled sections by pulling on the braid to loosen it.
Building off of a traditional updo, the technique of wrapping the hair gives a hairdresser more control over the shape. Smaller sections are pinned and bound to create an upswept appearance. These styles are generally ultra-secure and will have staying power from walking down the aisle to the last dance. Wrapping and pinning sections is also common in other techniques, such as a half-up, half-down look.
If your favorite way to wear your hair is shiny and straight, consider a long, sleek look. Showing off a healthy head of hair makes its own statement. Add a tiara, barrette, or veil to embellish the hair a bit. A long, sleek wedding hairstyle can also transition into an updo or low ponytail for the wedding reception. Instead of changing dresses, debuting a second hairstyle provides an element of surprise.
Of course, you aren’t limited to just one of the above options. You can have braided and wrapped sections in an updo or half-up, half-down style. Additionally, loose braids can comprise a soft fauxhawk. Talk to your stylist about incorporating a few of your favorite long wedding hairstyles. Chances are they can combine them into one fabulous look. Listen to their advice about what will work best with your hair’s texture, condition, and length to ensure a gorgeous, long-lasting hairstyle for your wedding day.
Narrowing down styles can be difficult. After all, Pinterest is filled with updos, cascading long, loose curls, and side-swept locks. However, there are a few factors to consider that may help you nail down the perfect long hairstyle for your wedding day.
Choosing a wedding dress is one of the first things brides do once they get engaged. Not only is finding the perfect gown a memorable experience, but your clothing will also help determine your wedding day hairstyle. Take your wedding gown or a photo of it to your hairdresser during your consultation appointment.
Look at the detailing of your dress, and see what you want to highlight. For example, long hair worn down will hide an intricate, button-down back. Conversely, if you have a plunging backline, you may wish to wear your hair down to cover up a bit. Take cues from the neckline and other details to ensure that you aren’t hiding your gown’s details.
Suppose you are wearing sentimental jewelry, such as dangling earrings or a delicate necklace. Factor that into your style, as some accessories may not work well with certain hairstyles. Another consideration is whether or not you want to wear a hairpiece. Adding a barrette, tiara, or even a veil can help you determine a hairdo for your long locks. Also, be sure to not overdo it with accessories, as an elaborate dress, intricate hairstyle, and multiple jewelry pieces will compete for attention.
Long, curly hair looks beautiful when worn down. However, your stylist can also work with your curls to accentuate a gorgeous updo or half-up, half-down style. If you have shiny, straight hair, wearing it down can highlight how beautiful your natural hair is. Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable to straighten wavy hair and curl straight hair. Therefore, chat with your hairdresser to see whether you should leave it natural or change the texture for your long, wedding day hairstyle.
Chances are, your long hair will have to look perfect for hours, from getting ready to the final exit. Another consideration is the weather. If your hair frizzes with a touch of humidity, choose a style that will withstand the conditions of a beach wedding or rainy day.
Of course, stylists are prepared to make your wedding hairdo last, no matter the conditions. “We prep the hair specifically for the weather and hair texture of the client,” says Gailbreath. “We use products and tools that will help hold a style for hours long dancing and celebrations.” Additionally, let your hairstylist know about any activities you’ll be doing that could impact your style.
Incorporating a few DIY projects into your wedding day can help with your budget. However, be careful when it comes to your wedding day look. A trained stylist will know how to work with humidity and weather changes. They can also quickly turn around a bad hair day with their selection of tools, training, and styling products.
If you choose to DIY your long hairstyle, do a few practice runs in various types of weather.
Choosing a style is one thing, but preparing your long hair before the big day is equally important. From what to do months before to considerations for the day of, here’s how to ensure that your hair is healthy for the big day.
Working from the inside out is often the best way to have great long hair from the start. Many companies make supplements geared towards growing gorgeous hair. However, you can also start a regimen by including specific vitamins, such as A, C, and E. Hair is made mainly of protein, so increase your intake if possible. Collagen is also essential for the health of your hair follicles, and a side benefit is that it’s good for your skin, too.
Part of prepping your hair for the big day includes choosing the right stylist. This may or may not be the person who typically cuts your hair. Some hairdressers specialize in wedding day looks, while others concentrate on maintaining your cut and color. Chances are, you may not utilize your usual stylist for your wedding updo. In that case, rely on both your hairdresser and wedding day stylist to prep your hair for the big day.
Depending on your long wedding hairstyle choice, you may need to grow out layers or cut bangs. If you don’t want a drastic change, slowly work towards a new hairstyle that’s more conducive to your updo. Even if you wear your hair down, a fresh cut close to your wedding day will pep up your look. Consult with your hairdresser about what haircut will work best as a base for your wedding style.
Doing an unplanned, last-minute drastic color change close to your wedding day can wreak havoc on your long locks. If you regularly color your hair, book an appointment close to your wedding day to freshen up the hue. However, those considering a significant change should slowly work towards a new look with a professional stylist. A hairdresser can help keep locks hydrated and healthy throughout the coloring process and beyond.
Feeling fresh and clean will have you looking your best, except when it comes to wedding day hair. Quite often, stylists ask that you arrive at your appointment with your hair dirty. And that doesn’t mean sweaty, gritty, or greasy—it simply means hair that hasn’t been freshly washed.
“Be sure to have a hair preview with your bridal beauty expert,” says Gailbreath. “Typically, second-day hair performs the best. You don’t want your hair so squeaky clean that it won’t hold a style.” If you want to have your hair looking its best, wash and style it for pre-wedding events. “Consider getting a blowout or hairstyle done for your welcome party or rehearsal dinner and then not washing before the wedding day,” she suggests.
Lest folks forget, guys can also rock long locks. Grooms may not wear twists or updos like those suggested above (but if you can swing it, do so!). Instead, take a cue from a few celebrities that have inspired looks for the groom with long hair.
Make your partner’s heart skip a beat by wearing your hair down and natural for your big day. You may not be Jason Momoa, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have Aquaman’s lush locks at your wedding. If you choose to wear your long hair down and natural, work with a stylist to ensure that your hair is healthy and hydrated. Dry, lackluster hair just won’t cut it on your special day.
The man bun has staying power as long as long hair remains a trend. Even if a bun is just a way to secure wayward locks while working or exercising, a good man bun is swoon-worthy. Also appropriate for the wedding day, guys can take cues from just about any celebrity. Jared Leto, Orlando Bloom, and Jake Gyllenhall have all rocked the look. Just be sure that your man bun hairstyle looks neat and healthy. If you naturally have a tiny, barely-there bun, add extensions to bulk it up.
Lest you think this style is just for females, think again. Combining our previous two techniques, you can pair a man bun with a down and natural look. Guys can even rock a ponytail as the up portion. Chris Hemsworth showcased the half-up, half-down style several times when he played Thor. It’s a great look, even if you aren’t saving the world.
Lenny Kravitz has proven that dreadlocks look great at any age and stage of life. Whether you wear them down or pull them back into a thick ponytail, dreadlocks create a striking look. Even if you don’t have time to grow them, a stylist can work with you to create them. Another option is to wear small braids to mimic the look of authentic dreadlocks.
One of the most effortless styles for men with long hair is the classic ponytail. Often secured at the nape of the neck, a classic pony can tame wayward locks the whole wedding day. Celebrities, such as Brad Pitt and David Beckham, have been seen sporting a classic ponytail. Hair can be parted or pulled straight back to create a sleek look. Feel free to enhance the style with a stately beard.
Small braids, cornrows, and French braids are all en vogue for guys, no matter their hair texture. Celebrities, such as Snoop Dogg and Travis Scott wear them well. Harry Styles has been spotted with French braids with an outstanding style. Take a cue from these musicians, and test out a braided style on your big day. Whether you have long or medium-length hair, braids are unique and unexpected.
Figuring out your perfect wedding day style is rewarding and implementation will require help from professionals. Zola is the destination for advice on putting together the perfect wedding day look, from selecting the ideal dress to choosing hair and makeup looks. So whether you are getting married on the beach or need to find a qualified hairstylist, read through Zola’s archives to get all of the advice you need. Not only will you have a perfect hair day, but you’ll feel confident from start to finish.