Expert Wedding Hair Tips for Every Hair Type and Length

Indispensable advice for brides and guests alike.
Bride getting her hair styled
Photo: juliachernetskaja | Shutterstock
jenn barthole headshot
Jenn Barthole
jenn barthole headshot
Jenn Barthole
The Knot Fashion & Beauty Contributor
  • Based in New York City, Jenn Barthole is a Freelance Editor for The Knot, where she contributes fashion and beauty content.
  • Jenn also contributes wellness, interiors, celebrity, fashion, beauty, and travel content to notable publications including ELLE, Refinery 29, Domino, TripAdvisor, EBONY, Cosmopolitan and PopSugar.
  • She graduated with a major in Communications and a minor in Spanish, from Loyola University in Balt...
Updated Jan 17, 2024
We have included third party products to help you navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments. Purchases made through links on this page may earn us a commission.

Whether you're a bride, guest, or member of the bridal party, figuring out a wedding day hairstyle that works best for your locks and a stylist that fits within your tastes and budget can be challenging. As if finding an outfit wasn't hard enough, we need to get our hair right, too. Thankfully, with the right wedding hair tips, you can find your dream 'do.

Regardless of your hair length, shape, or texture, there are so many fabulous styles for every hair type. To figure out which bridal hairstyle would look the most flattering on you, start by identifying your hair type. Keep in mind that what works for someone with long, straight hair may not make sense for someone with thick, curly tresses. To simplify the styling process, we've rounded up some wedding day hairstyle inspiration, DIY tips, and insights from top stylists, with personalized instructions for every hair type.

In this article:

Wedding Hair Tips for Long Hair

Bride with long hair
Photo: 515 Photo Co

Long hair is the most versatile length to create any type of hairstyle, so narrow down your options based on the cut of your dress and personal style. Labrecque suggests showcasing your long locks, by wearing them down and styling it in romantic waves. You can even gather it to one side with hair-toned bobby pins for an asymmetrical look. Another option is a wavy half-up, half-down style. Just add a sparkly statement clip, to make both styles feel more 'dressed up'. For either look, be mindful of the density of your tresses. If your hair is fine or in need of some 'oomph', Labrecque recommends adding subtle extensions to pump up the volume. He explains, "Halo Couture's Clip-In Extensions are my go-to! The key is to only use enough extensions to enhance the natural hair and never dominate it."

Wedding Hair Tips for Medium Hair

Bride with medium length hair
Photo: Kelsea Holder Photography

Styling a shoulder-length cut may seem tricky, but there are plenty of gorgeous styles—from bobs to buns—to choose from. If you decide to wear your hair down, LeBrecque recommends "using a flat iron to flick the ends up or inwards" to add instant life to limp strands. If you prefer your hair back, LaBrecque encourages adding some drama with a perfectly undone 'messy bun'. Start with a rough blow dry to add texture to the hair. Next, curl your hair using a large curling iron and focus on teasing the roots to create height top of the crown. Then, pull your hair to the top of your head and twist it, while leaving the ends out, and securing it with bobby pins. Leave a few loose curls out to frame your face and give it that natural look. For a boho vibe, adorn the bun with some delicate floral accessories.

Wedding Hair Tips for Short Hair

Whether you're rocking a pixie cut, natural coils, or an ear-length bob cut, "embrace the cropped look and give it a sleek, movie star treatment!" exclaims LaBrecque. For classic pixies, wear them sleek and straight, or add some curls if your hair is longer at the crown. Top off the look with a bit of pomade to add some shine. Dress up a mini bob by adding some loose curls and a deep side part. For a retro vibe, "embrace your texture by creating soft finger waves" LaBrecque instructs. The vintage waves are perfect if you want a timeless look. Add some glam to any of these looks with pearly pins, a bejeweled hair clip, or a delicate headband.

Wedding Hair Tips for Natural Hair

From textured fros to twist-outs, and even locs, the options for natural wedding hairstyles are endless, so embrace the unique texture and versatility of your hair. Whichever style you go with, "prepping your hair a few days in advance is crucial" explains Jacelyn Bautista, Senior Stylist at NYC The Team. Natural hair tends to be drier than most textures, "keep it moisturized and in protective styles, leading up to the wedding. Even consider going into a salon for a deep conditioning treatment" she says. As a result, your kinks and coils will be shinier, and easier to detangle, and style.

Wedding Hair Tips for Curly Hair

For vibrant, defined curls, there's no need to straighten your beautiful ringlets. Before the big day, visit the salon for a trim and ask for a haircut that accounts for shrinkage and complements your natural texture. Also, "don't be afraid to ask your stylist to show you how to recreate the look" instructs Bautista. To avoid overwashing or stripping your strands of their natural oils, use a gentle sulfate-free shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner. Post-wash, stick to curl-enhancing products formulated for your hair type, like anti-frizz serums, hydrating creams, and gels that provide hold without stiffness. Finally, choose a style that takes the weather into account. If it's a humidity-free day, "you can wear your hair down by properly diffusing it" Bautista states. If the ceremony is on a sticky, summer day, try an elegant updo with some loose, face-framing curls.

Wedding Hair Tips for Thin Hair

Bride with thin hair
Photo: Brie Thomason Photography

Styling thin hair can be a challenge, but with the right techniques and products you can create volume and the illusion of thicker, fuller tresses. "Be cautious of the products you are using" warns Bautista. "Avoid anything too heavy with moisture. Instead, apply volumizing products, such as texture sprays or mousses, to the roots to give hair some extra 'oomph', while creating some height." Also, be strategic about the hairstyle you decide on. "Sweeping your hair into a sleek bun is one way to disguise fine hair or go for a more blown-out look with added extensions for body."

Wedding Hair Tips for Thick Hair

To make the most of your thick hair, be strategic about your styling methods and use high-quality hair tools. To begin, be sure to detangle with a wide-tooth comb and blow-dry your strands in small sections to ensure thorough drying and sleekness. Then, apply a tiny amount of lightweight hair oil to the ends to add shine and control frizz. Bautista suggests "styling a gorgeous updo and securing it well" so that it's likely to last an entire evening. She admits, "Creating long-lasting curls with thick hair can be difficult" so start with a heat-protecting and setting spray to protect the hair and help hold the curls. Then, divide your hair into small sections and use hot rollers or a curling iron. To finish up, pin the curls to your head and set them with hairspray, to guarantee that they stay put.

Up Next
  • Bride wearing high neck wedding dress with low bun updo
    35 Hairstyles for High-Neck Wedding Dresses