Wedding Hairstyle Tips for Every Hair Type

Find the perfect wedding hairstyle, whether your locks are fine, thick, straight or curly.
by Maddy Sims
Brides with up-do hairstyle
Photo by Art Is For Lovers; Hair & Makeup by Kelly Jones

Deciding on the perfect wedding day hair is just as important as finding the ideal wedding day outfit. Whether it’s thin hair or thick hairstyles for the wedding, your best option is to work with what you  have.Focus on the details most important to you (maybe your mom’s chandelier earrings, a cascade veil or your celebration’s über-formal style). Follow these tips for some ideas to play up your hair’s best qualities for your day-of ’do. Then work with a professional hairstylist to get the perfect wedding day hair.

Curly Hair

Don’t fight what nature gave you. Own it! If you have curly hair and it’s August, it won’t matter how hot you make the flatiron Those curls could be back within an hour. Instead of trying to conceal what you were born with, play up your natural assets. Since curly hair tends to be drier than other hair types, look for styling products with humidity-fighting ingredients to help keep frizz at bay (no matter if it’s summer or winter). Don’t be afraid to befriend the bobby pin. Maintain a touchable curl with well-placed pins so your stylist can ease up on product.

Straight Hair

You can’t fight your natural texture—even tight curls sprayed with a full can of hairspray may fall before the end of the ceremony. If you want wavy hair, be sure to keep curls big and loose. For a sleeker style, consider a low bun to one side or a bowlike French twist to show off your hair’s silky smooth texture. 

Fine Hair

If your hair is fine or thin, keep it simple. Choose an updo so you don’t have to worry about your locks going limp. But that doesn’t have to mean your day-of ‘do has to be boring—go for an updo that’s as unique  as you are. Add twists, fishtails, braids, fresh flowers or hair accessories into your wedding hair ‘do. Thin hair should be slightly dirty before going into an updo, since freshly shampooed hair is often too soft to hold pins. Add some extra fullness with a texturizing spray. 

Thick Hair

Looking for a wedding hairstyle that’s right for your thick hair? Show off lush locks with a twisted half-updo—braided and twisted styles are more formal than simply wearing your hair down. If you want to wear it down, plan for extra time at the salon to first straighten your thick mane and then curl for extra control. A dime-size drop of pomade raked through with your fingertips gives hair height, structure and texture while preventing pesky flyaways. 

Oily Hair

If your hair is grease-prone, you might want to avoid wearing it down. A low-maintenance updo will keep you from touching your hair, which encourages oil production. Keep your roots fresh and clean all day with a dry shampoo, which will absorb oil and add a subtle scent. In a pinch, a touch of baby powder does wonders. Just don’t forget to pat it in until you can’t see any white residue.

Long Hair

If you have length and  plenty of good material to work with, your options are endless regardless of whether you choose a hairstyle that is down, up or half-up (lucky you!). One look we love: an edgy ponytail. It works best with hair that’s shoulder-length or longer and has plenty of layers. Take advantage of your long hair by playing with  braids, curls and twists. And here’s a quick tip: If you’re wearing a backless dress and want to keep your hair down, it could stick to your back (yikes). Prevent this with a nongreasy styling gel. 

Short Hair

Many brides think they need long hair to create an ideal bridal look, but chin-length hair can actually be even more effective for many styles (it weighs less, so it takes fewer pins and products to keep it up). Short hair can handle impressively pristine pin curls (think old-Hollywood style), but you’ll need to keep firm-hold hair spray on hand throughout the celebration (cue maid of honor). For a spritz that’s strong but lightweight, try a volumizing hair spray. 

Colored or Chemically Treated Hair

If you chemically straighten, relax, color or treat your strands, your hair is likely fragile and prone to breakage. Pick a wedding day hair style that conceals damaged ends, like a French twist—your stylist can use pomade to increase shine and smooth down your strands. 

Accessorized Hair

Okay, this one is more of a style preference than a hair type, but if you have a specific, must-wear accessory in mind, let that influence your final hairstyle. (Bring any hair accessories you plan to wear on your wedding day to your hair trial so your stylist knows exactly how to work it into your final look.) To determine your wedding day hair look, think about how you can best show off your accessories. For example,if you have a great necklace or statement earrings, sweep your tresses up and keep your décolletage bare. 

Adding a Veil

If you want to wear a veil, choose a hairstyle that works with it. For example, you can wear it below a chignon or just above a half-updo. You might even consider keeping a fabulous style under wraps for your ceremony, so it's even more dazzling at your reception. Just be sure your stylist shows you or your maid of honor how to remove your veil without messing up your style.

Natural Hair

Chances are you wear your hair in a way that’s both easy and flattering on a day-to-day basis. Even if it’s a basic ponytail, your hairstylist can help you create a wedding-worthy version of the look you’re most comfortable with. When all other inspiration escapes you, try matching your hairstyle with your wedding style. If you’re getting married in a ballroom, look for images of twists, buns and other formal updos. If you’re marrying in a casual, backyard celebration, look for slightly less “done” styles like loose half-updos. 

Find all the bridal beauty tips and advice you need right here

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