Wedding Hair Type Tips

Find the perfect wedding hairstyle whether your locks are fine or thick, straight or curly.
Wedding hair for different hair types
Photo by Arina Borodina Photography

Wedding day hair is, for many brides, as important a decision as the dress. The most obvious place to begin: Think about your hair. Though stylists today often seem like they can spin straw into gold -- just look at how quickly celebs change up their locks -- it's more sensible to try to work with the hair you've got. Or to work with what's most important to your bridal beauty look (chandelier earrings, a cascade veil, an über-formal style). Follow these tips to enhance your hair's best qualities for your bridal style.

Curly Hair

It's best not to fight what nature gave you. If you have supercurly hair and it's August, you can flat-iron it straight, but within an hour those curls will come back.

Style Tips: Instead of ditching the curls, play them up -- and whether it's summer or winter, look for styling products with humidity-fighting ingredients to help keep frizz at bay. (We love Frizz-Ease by John Frieda Moisture Barrier Firm Hold Hair-Spray, $5, Ulta.com.) And befriend the bobby pin. Since you want to maintain a touchable curl, well-placed pins let your stylist ease up on product.

Straight Hair

Similar to curly hair, you can't fight your natural texture -- tight curls may fall by the end of the ceremony. Either keep curls big and loose, or go for an updated sleek style like a low bun to one side or bowlike French twist to show off your hair's fabulously smooth texture.

Style Tips: If you want to keep your hair down (without weighing it down) on your wedding day, amp up your natural shine with a product like Alberto VO5 Dazzling Shine! Ultra Light Shine Spray ($4, Drugstore.com).

Fine Hair

If your hair is very fine or thin, keep the look simple. “If you choose to wear your hair up, you don't have to worry about it going limp on you," says celebrity stylist Brian Magallones. Go for an updo that's anything but everyday: Think about adding in twists, loops, baby braids, and hair accessories.

Style Tips: Fine hair should be slightly dirty for updos -- just-washed hair is too soft to hold pins. Magallones recommends adding texture and fullness with Garnier Fructis Style Fiber Gum Putty ($5, Drugstore.com).

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 do want to wear it down, plan for extra time at the salon to first straighten your thick hair and then curl for extra control.

Style Tips: A dime-size drop of pomade raked through with your fingertips gives hair height and texture while preventing flyaways. Try Robert Kree Structure ($18, RobertKree.com)

Oily Hair

If your hair is grease-prone, you might want to think twice about wearing your hair down. Magallones says, “Your hair will get greasier as you dance the night away." A low-maintenance updo will keep you from touching your hair, which encourages oil production.

Style Tips: Keep your roots looking clean and dry all night with Stila Crème Bouquet Hair Refresher (which gives your hair a subtle scent, while absorbing oil -- $28, Sephora.com) or even a pinch of baby powder -- be sure to pat it in until you can't see any white.

Long Hair

Whether leaving it down or pulling it up, you'll have plenty of good material to work with. A look we love: an edgy ponytail. It works best with hair that's shoulder-length or longer and has plenty of layers cut into it.

Style Tips: Comfort is key. If you're wearing a backless dress and want to wear your hair down, your hair could stick to your back. Prevent this with a nongreasy styling gel like Kiehl's Clean Hold Styling Gel ($14, Kiehls.com).

Short Hair

Many brides want long hair for the soft, romantic look, but hair that's chin-length can be more effective for some styles (it's less heavy so it takes fewer pins and products to keep it up).

Style Tips: Short hair can handle precise pin curls really well (think old-Hollywood style), but you'll need firm-hold hair spray on hand. For a spritz that's strong but lightweight, try Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Hair Spray ($15, Aveda.com).

Colored or Chemically Treated Hair

If you chemically straighten or relax your strands, your hair is likely fairly fragile and breakage-prone (same goes for any type of regular treatment; including coloring).

Style Tips: Choose a style that conceals damaged ends, like a French twist -- your stylist can use pomade (again, we like the Robert Kree one) to increase shine and smooth down your strands.

Jewelry-friendly Hair

Okay, it's not a hair type, but if you do have a specific accessory that is an absolute must-wear for you, it should influence your final hairstyle.

Style Tips: Think about how you can best show off your accessories -- if you have a great necklace, pull your hair up and keep your décolletage bare. Luxe earrings call for a sweeping updo.

Veil Hair

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.

Style Tips: 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 your MOH how to remove your veil without mussing your style.

Fashion Forward Hair

Consider your gown. Just like you probably wouldn't find paper streamers decorating a black-tie reception, so too an ultra-modern faux-hawk would be a bit jarring with a ball gown.

Style Tips: A romantic chiffon sheath calls for a loose style, up or down; a sleek knotted updo works with a sexy trumpet silhouette.

Natural Hair

Chances are you typically wear your hair in a way that's both comfortable and flattering. Even if it's a basic ponytail, your hairstylist can help you create a wedding-worthy version.

Style Tips: Be sure to keep the look fitting to your wedding style: If you're getting married in a ballroom, look for inspiration pics 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.

Special thanks to Redken session artist Giovanni Giuntoli of Cutler Salon in New York City.

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