5 Tips to Know Before Choosing a Wedding Hairstyle

Don't know a chignon from a French twist? We'll help you decide how to wear your hair on your wedding day.
by The Knot

Your wedding day hairstyle is a key part of your bridal look. Your 'do will help complement your dress, frame your face and last forever thanks to all those gorgeous wedding photos. But if you have no clue where to start, have never heard the word "chignon" or simply feel overwhelmed by all the beautiful options out there, we have a few basic tips to help lead you to your favorite look.

1. Coordinate With Your Dress and Overall Wedding Style

The formality of your outfit, venue and general wedding style are great places to start and can help dictate the direction to go with your hair. First and foremost, your hair should complement your gown (not compete with it). For a chic, modern ensemble like a pantsuit or a sculptural dress, a sleek ponytail, effortless low bun (a la Meghan Markle) or smooth blowout work beautifully. For a more relaxed, rustic look (think: a lace sheath, high-waisted two-piece or an off-the-shoulder boho number) try wearing your hair in loose, natural curls. Complete it with braids, small flowers, a flower crown or delicate, botanical headpiece, or tie it back in a half-up style leaving a few whisps in front. More of a ball gown bride? A sweeping updo with romantic touches, like an ethereal chignon, elegant French twist or soft Gibson tuck will show off your dress, accommodate a showstopping veil and stay out of your face while you party.

2.  Find Inspiration Everywhere

Now's the time to put your celebrity obsessions and Instagram rabbit holes to good use (there's no shame in a solid hairdo Insta search). Save magazine pages, follow hairdressers on social media, add favorite red carpet looks to your inspiration board and scroll through Real Wedding photos to find stunning hairstyles you think might work for your particular personality, hair type, wedding aesthetic and dress style. Have a go-to hairstylist? Consult a pro you trust, or ask your friends for recommendations, to start brainstorming the perfect look.

3. Get Your Shine On

The number one most important aspect of the bride's hair is shine—especially for all your wedding photos. Straight hair by nature tends to look glossier, but any flyaways from dry air or static will automatically ruin the effect. To combat this dilemma, which is especially common in the winter, you can actually rub a dryer sheet directly on your hair (seriously!), or simply spray it with an anti-static spray. For wavy and curly hair, which are prone to brittleness and dullness, massage moisturizing conditioner into your tresses before styling and use a shining serum to add gloss and keep frizz at bay.


4. Work With Your Length

Obviously you're limited by the length of your locks, but we wouldn't exactly call it a limitation—there are some seriously romantic, sophisticated and glam looks for short-haired brides, even braided hairstyles if you're looking for them. The fine-toothed headband or minimal barrette look, which works for modern, classic and vintage styles, is a sweet option for fuss-free brides with super-short or pixie-cut hair. If you have long locks, you'll have more options to play around with. If you decide to wear your hair in an updo—a wise choice if you're hoping to highlight the back of your dress, or in the summer if your hair is prone to frizz—you have tons of options, whether you're looking for something piece-y and romantic, low and simple, or high and sleek. 

5. Consider Your Headpiece

Is a veil, flower crown, tiara, comb or other bridal headpiece in the picture? Fnd an effective way to attach it to your hair—before your wedding day. For example, wide-toothed combs just aren't going to cut it with straight and fine hair (though you can replace them with finer, less heavy combs), and you don't want to find out your vintage crystal and pearl comb won't stay put the morning of your wedding. Wavy and curly hair are better suited for headpiece staying power—use bobby pins, clips or combs—whatever works for you. Unless you have the budget to have your hair styled twice (and quickly, the second time), make sure your style can actually hold your headpiece, and that it looks good with and without it in case you choose to remove it for the after-party.

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