How to pick the best wedding hairstyle

By: Natalie Bahadur

Author: Canadian Living


How to pick the best wedding hairstyle

By: Natalie Bahadur
When it comes to hairstyles, avoid a wedding day disaster by knowing just what you want and how to get it. We checked in with beauty expert Janine Falcon, who writes the blog, to find out what the latest trends are. Here's her advice for getting a look you'll love. What are the latest trends in wedding hairstyles?
Janine Falcon: Unless you're incredibly fashion forward, the word "trend" is really a four-letter word when it comes to bridal beauty. The last thing most women want is a wedding album with a screaming date stamp. The word "current" is perhaps better, and current today is about healthy, frizz-free hair and glossy rich colour that looks as though you were in the lucky lineup at nature's beauty buffet.

As for cuts and styles, this is the time to look to celebrity style icons rather than the newest trends off the runway. The best celebrity style enhances – showcases, really – the celebrity's own beauty. That's what you want – a hair colour and cut that makes the most of your natural texture, skin tone and bone structure.

In terms of bridal 'dos, you want a look that isn't too "done," not too hair-sprayed, and definitely free of curly tendrils. If you've got short hair, what options do you have for creating a sophisticated, elegant look?
JF: Short hair can be just as beautiful and just as elegant as styles for longer hair. The key is that soft, healthy, touchable, frizz-free shine. If you have a pixie cut, Google Natalie Portman red-carpet images from her own cropped 'do days (she made even a buzz-cut look glam). If you have a short bob, search out images of Charlize Theron from her shorter-hair days, or Norah Jones, who has sported a charming asymmetrical bob. Ginnifer Goodwin is another one to look at – she's particularly fetching and glamorous with her short cut.

Also, think about hair accessories, such as a single blossom, a pretty crystal hair pin, or a thin, sparkly headband (a more subtle and refined touch of princess than a tiara) like the one actress Carey Mulligan wore with her pixie-cut hair at the Golden Globes one year.

Page 1 of 3 – Learn if you should wear your hair up or down on Page 2 What about long hair? Up? Down? What's on trend?
JF: More and more brides are opting for wearing their hair down. Think smooth and shiny sideswept waves, or the soft, loose romantic random curls often seen on Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Hudson. Straight is beautiful too, but go for swingy volume instead of stick-straight and flat. And yes, a little beachy braiding works, too – if you're getting married on a beach or in a flower garden.

If you're set on an updo, hit the Internet for photos from the most recent awards shows and take inspiration from the evening's biggest beauty hits. A soft, low chignon set off to the side is classic, as is an upswept tumble of loose curls. How far in advance of your wedding day should you cut and colour your hair?
JF: Refresh your cut and your colour about a week before your big day. By the way, there's a school of thought that "dirty" hair is easier to style, but that doesn't mean you should actually have dirty hair -- that's disrespectful to your stylist. Clean hair is best, but wash it the day or night before your wedding day so it isn't too slippery to handle in the morning. Can you provide some tips for working with your hairstylist to test drive a few hairstyles?
JF: Pictures to show your stylist are a must, so you know you're on the same page. In addition to pictures of your dress -- your hair should complement the style of your gown, of course -- keep a file of printouts and magazine pages that illustrate the hair options you like best. Keep your hair texture and length in mind when choosing images. That said, if you adore a particular style but are uncertain as to whether it'll work for your hair type, a good stylist should be able to adapt it – or at least explain why it won't work, if that's the case.

Definitely book a trial run to get an idea of how your stylist will work with your hair and features to deliver a look that works best for you. And take along your most trusted beauty-savvy friend and a digital camera.

Page 2 of 3 – Learn the dos and don'ts of bridal hair on Page 3 If a bride is wearing a veil, should she style her hair a certain way to accommodate it?
JF: For the most part, you can wear a veil no matter how your hair is styled. Your stylist will find a way to secure it and show your maid of honour or trusted friend how to remove it without ruining the hairstyle. Where can women look for inspiration for hairstyles to try?
JF: Definitely check out Internet images from the most recent awards shows and movie premieres, and flip through the pages of In Style Weddings as well as your favourite bridal magazines. Note: you'll get better advice and more current examples of beautiful hairstyles from hairstyle stories than you will from most bridal-gown ads. A magazine beauty editor usually gets tips and style suggestions from A-list stylists, whereas the average bridal-gown manufacturer doesn't have access to the same calibre of experts.

Dos and don'ts for styling your hair for your wedding day
Janine offers up a list of ways to ensure that you get the look you want:

DO start with a cut and colour that works with your hair texture, your skin tone and bone structure.
DO make sure your hair colour and brow colour match.
DO make sure the style is comfortable for all-day wear.
DO expect more volume in your hairstyle than you are used to – it may look over the top when you're still in your PJs, but it'll look good with your wedding dress.
DON'T be afraid to let an updo down for your evening celebration.
DO show your stylist a photo of your dress so she can make sure your hair complements the style.
DO show your stylist images of the style you hope to achieve – this is where that adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" really rings true.
DO make sure your bridal party has photos to show the stylist on the wedding day, too – it helps ensure the beautifying process goes smoothly and efficiently. (Your stylist does not have time to fuss with changes if your bridesmaid can't decide on a style an hour before your ceremony.)
DO wash your hair the day before the wedding, not on the day of.
DO keep hair accessories fairly simple – the focus should be on you, not your ornamentation.

Natalie Bahadur is the senior editor of, and is a regular contributor to

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How to pick the best wedding hairstyle