How to Find the Best Hairstylist for Your Wedding


Photo by Lacie Hansen Photography

There are a ton of places that you can search for a wedding hairstylist, but as a bride, you might wonder where to start. Instead of relying solely on the internet to guide your search for a wedding hairstylist, start by checking in with your current stylist. Chances are they are skilled in doing wedding hair, too.

If your trusted stylist can’t tackle your hair on your wedding day, they can always make a recommendation. And, if that doesn't lead to a great option, bridal hair expert Ben Skervin shares tips for finding the right hairstylist for your wedding below.

Meet the Expert

  • Ben Skervin is a celebrity hairstylist responsible for editorial, advertising, and runway looks—as well as Ellie Goulding’s wedding-day hair.

Use Referrals

Much like using referrals for finding a wedding-day makeup artist, you can do the same for booking a hairstylist for your wedding. If you loved a friend’s bridal hair, then contact their stylist and ask for a consultation. You can also contact your personal stylist or stylists whose work you admire. If they don't do wedding hair, they can probably recommend a few colleagues who do. Create a list of the referrals and start at the top. Chances are you will find a hairstylist that you love, and if not, keep reading.

Find Qualified Stylists

Skervin says you need to look at a stylist’s work to make sure that they understand modern bridal hair. "You need a stylist that understands the difference between what people see as classic bride hair—ringlets [or] piled-up hair like a tower—and understated hair—up with beautifully placed flowers or a beautiful, brushed-out wave. Because you want the latter, trust me." Most professionals worth vetting will have their work proudly displayed. Check out their social media profiles or websites for their portfolios. A quick Instagram scroll will highlight if a particular stylist's vision and technique matches your own goals.

Factor Your Budget

If you've curated a list of stylists whose work you love, but have no way to narrow them down, circle back to your budget. This is by far the best and easiest litmus test: Does the price of their work fit the wedding budget? If yes, carry on. If no, stick to your gut—and your budget—and move on. As a general rule of thumb, wedding attire and beauty services should make up five percent of the total budget.

Invest in Hair Trials

Finding the best wedding hairstylist takes trial and error. Gather a handful of stylists you like and start booking hair trials to test if they're a match for your vision. "It’s important to always do a trial a few weeks before so you know you're both on the same page," Skervin says. "Also, you have time to replace them if you don’t like the way it’s going."

Make Sure the Hairstylist Understands Your Vision

According to Skervin, it’s essential to have a variation of photos that showcase the styles you love, like, and don’t like. "Make sure you have pictures of your [outfit] so they know what it looks like to complement the whole look." Skervin also notes that it’s a good idea to think about when you want to get your hair color done. "Don’t leave it till the last minute."

Be Open to Changes

Even if you already have a look in mind, be open to suggestions from the hairstylist. While you don't want a stylist to divert from your vision completely, they may have something to contribute. If you are working with a skilled and highly referred hairstylist, they are familiar with what will look and photograph best. You might even be surprised with their creative vision and love it.

Don’t feel pressured to accept the hairstylist's suggestions. If you aren't in love with your hair, then don’t commit to it—make your opinion heard.

Test Your Trial Hair

The last step in finding a wedding hairstylist is to wear your hair throughout the day to see how you feel. If you aren't 100 percent sure that you see yourself getting married with the hairstyle, then book a follow-up trial appointment or interview a few more stylists.

Another detail you should test is how the hair holds. Is it constantly falling? If so, check in with the stylist so they can alter it to last throughout the day. If they can't, consider if the look is really right for you or schedule trials with other stylists on your list. Also, be sure that your hair is versatile and able to go from day to night. Chances are, your ceremony will be earlier in the day with the reception to follow. If that's the case, your wedding-day hairstylist should be able to give your hair some extra details and drama for the reception.

  • How much does it cost for someone to do your hair for a wedding?

    The cost of professional hair services varies depending on the stylist's level of experience, the complexity of the coif, and your location. Average prices range from $100 to over $350.

  • Do you tip for a wedding hair trial?

    Yes. You should tip your stylist for the hair trial (especially if you require more than one appointment to nail a look) as well as on the big day. A gratuity of 15 to 20 percent is standard, but be sure to carefully read the contract as some stylists include it in the final price.

  • Should my wedding hairstylist do my bridesmaids' hair too?

    This depends on the size of your bridal party. We recommend one stylist for every four or five people being serviced (including the bride). However, if you prefer to splurge on a stylist for your own hair and book a different stylist for the wedding party, you certainly can.

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