Is there any day more important for your hair than the day of your wedding celebration?
There will be hundreds if not thousands of pictures of it. Everyone in your family (who you get along with) will see it. There will be moments when everyone at your reception will be staring at it. How will you handle your wedding hair?
For that moment, it’s the most momentous choice you will make. Your friends will fixate on it, and they may have opinions.
Okay, that’s hyperbole. But it is a hair-raising experience. For some brides-to-be, it’s actually a pretty accurate description of the pressure felt to get one’s hair just right for the big day.
To get the best advice for brides-to-be, we spoke with the hair professionals at Le Shag, a boutique, Manhattan-style salon in uptown Kingston run by longtime local entrepreneur Jen Donovan.
In addition to cutting and styling the hair of our area’s most stylish movers and shakers, the Le Shag team are experts in beautifying brides for matrimony. Here are their top six tips for ensuring your vision of celebrating love includes celebration and love for your hair:
Do a hair trial run
If you want your hair to perform perfectly on your perfect day, you’re going to need a dress rehearsal.
There are benefits to having consultation and trial with your stylists months in advance of your wedding. Everybody will know what to expect from your hair, having worked with it hands-on. Moreover, it’s an opportunity creatively to sculpt your masterpiece in collaboration with experts under no pressure.
Bonus: You get to walk out of the salon and literally live with it. Plan a night on the town with your fiancé and/or friends, and put your hair through its paces. Give yourself and your stylists the ultimate confidence to make your hair a big hit on your big day.
Care for your hair
The person turning your hair into art wants your hair to be healthy in their hands. Hair that is thriving is the ideal source material for a show-stopping hairstyle. To this end, make sure you’re up on cuts and maintenance prior to going in for a consultation. This is especially important if you’re skipping the trial run. Your hair expert is a master at spontaneous solutions for unexpected obstacles, but there’s only so much they can updo in the moment.
In the run-up to your celebration, give your hair the attention it needs before all eyes are upon it.
Having healthy hair and a cut that you’re confident in are prerequisites to a great consultation and subsequent ceremony. If your hair is not there yet, your stylist will be more than willing to help.
Have clean, dry hair when you arrive at the salon or on site
Talk to any hair pro about their job, and one common complaint will come up: Clients show up with dirty hair more often than you think.
Some are just lazy, ignorant or inconsiderate. Does your hair stylist really need to huff sweaty scalp scent while he/she works?
Others are under an odd impression that there is some great benefit to avoiding washing their hair. Where did urban myth come from? Did we miss a viral TikTok about not showering before a hair appointment?
Some experts will suggest washing hair the night before a wedding updo, as so-called “second-day hair” can sometimes be easier to work with and style. However, texturizing spray and other products are always at the ready if your hair needs that extra grit.
In a sense, showing up with clean hair is to show up for your hair artist with a blank canvas. Anything becomes possible, and everyone is happier from your hygiene. The more you let your hair absorb the debris of everyday life, the closer you get to your stylist politely offering to wash it.
Be on time
We get it. There’s a lot going on with your wedding plans. Your hair is only one of many items on the list. That’s why hair pros really want to get across a simple but often-overlooked fact: They are not gods or goddesses who can bend the fabric of time. If you show up 45 minutes late, your stylists will still do their best. After all, you’re not the first person to show up late for a hair appointment. But you may be forced to make necessary concessions, and for anyone who wants a perfect day, that won’t fly.
Think about it: Everything for your celebration has been perfectly arranged and prepared beforehand. In contrast, your stylists need the breathing room to sculpt hair in real time into a work of art. There are no shortcuts to perfect hair. You ultimately respect yourself by respecting your hair stylists’ time.
Bring the right photos
By now, most folks have tapped into the power of the Internet for their beauty aesthetics. Every possible hair permutation can be found with a simple Google Image search. Bring a photo or two to your hair pro, and you’d be amazed at how well they are able to use that information to get you the look you’re looking for.
To get the hair of your dreams, don’t describe the dream you have for your hair. Show your stylist what it looks like in real life. The photos don’t have to be exactly what you want, just get in the ballpark. You can mix and match.
Ideally, look for examples of people that have similar features to your own. Providing photos of celebrities and other people is great. You get extra credit if you bring a pic or two of updos you’ve enjoyed in the past. There’s no better hair model for your hair than you. All of these images will be used by your hair expert to triangulate the dream hair in your head so they can translate that to dream hair on your head.
Don’t forget special accessories, including your veil
Remember to organize and pack any special tool or accessory that will touch your hair. Your stylist will have a basic supply of hair pins, clips, and the like – but any decorative clips, ribbons, or other special accessories should be brought to your trial consultation (and of course, don’t forget them for the ceremony).
One near-universal accessory that many forget to bring to the salon is the veil. It’s ideal to schedule your hair consultation and trial right after locking in your dress. Not only can any details of the dress be integrated and complemented in your hair, but the veil can be tried out in conjunction with your hairstyle. You’ll have the opportunity to get comfortable with the combo and work your hair around it. Peace of mind on your wedding day means preparation. Do it all in advance, and your future married self will thank you.