Traditionally, Indian brides don a brightly colored and heavily embroidered veil called a dupatta over their heads and shoulders as well as jewelry along their hairline known as a tikka. But while these accessories served as symbols of modesty and wisdom in the past, modern brides have since put contemporary twists on these traditional styles—mostly, through their hairstyles.
From jasmine flowers woven through thick fishtail braids to bohemian mermaid waves paired with sheer, saffron red dupattas, there’s a hairstyle to match every hair length, lehenga type, and personality. And the endless possibilities make this beauty to-do an exciting task for any Indian bride.
Ahead, we're sharing 24 gorgeous Indian wedding hairstyles inspired by real brides.
Small and Sleek
If you really want your jewelry to shine, keep your hairstyle simple with a sleek bun. The extreme side-part makes the look more done-up.
Contemporary Indian brides are now donning white and ivory lehengas with brightly colored jewelry and accents. If you’re a low-key bride, loose, natural waves are the perfect way to keep things simple—and let your brightly colored dupatta shine.
For a timeless look, an elegant French twist never fails. It’s a refined style fit for any chic bride, and it pairs perfectly with an outfit like this one that has lots of bright, dynamic colors and distinct prints.
Combine a deep side-part with a voluminous, structured bun for one chic look. The high-shine finish of the bride’s hair only adds to her iridescent, ethereal beauty.
To step up the look, ask your stylist to surround the chignon with a generous amount of jasmine.
This bride’s highly patterned dupatta and dramatic tikka, also known as a matha patti, do all the work. She masterfully enhanced natural hair with some curls, adding some beautiful texture to this look that’s really more about the expertly crafted dupatta and jewelry.
Blow out your hair with natural waves and pin a long jasmine garland on the side for a casual look. This bride’s style proves less is more—and we’re all for it. To put her large tikka front and center, she elegantly pinned just a few front pieces of hair back.
For the most traditional Indian brides, a thick braid with jasmine woven through it is the look that never fails. The sleek style allows the bride’s earrings and gold hairpieces to shine, while the thick braid will undoubtedly inspire your guests to gawk at your style as you pass by them down the aisle.
Bump It Up
It can be hard for an Indian bride to do a half updo that still highlights her jewelry and makes it easy to pin a dupatta on the head. But if you choose not to wear a dupatta, this is the look for you. The face-framing pieces of hair twist outward ever so elegantly—just enough so that the tikka still shines.
Inspired by the pink roses on her sheer dupatta, the bride showered her low chignon in matching ones to bring out the pink in her lehenga. We especially love the choice to pair pink and green—it's a classic Indian color combination as green represents new beginnings and pink symbolizes purity.
A bright pop of flowers underneath your dupatta is a great way to add flair to the back of your look.
An elegant side-part offsets the loose waves coming out of this effortlessly chic bun. If you have long hair you want to show off but still keep it out of your face, this is a great look to consider since it both frames the face and brings attention down to your gorgeous blouse.
Frame your face with two mini French twists on either side and some long, loose strands naturally falling out. The refinement meets an easy-going look for the bride who wants to scream “effortlessly chic."
The only thing making this long, fluffy braid more ethereal is the bride’s gold tikka along her side-part. The hair along the bride’s part is flipped outward to draw attention to her face, keeping the focus on the bride’s heavy jewelry up top.
A waist-grazing, feathery braid is a great way to add texture to the look of the lehenga, too.
For this modern bride, a high bun adds some excitement to a more traditional red lehenga. The sleek, slicked-back hair looks uber chic, adding some drama to an otherwise simple style.
What bride doesn't love a subtle, romantic look? Soft waves meet a gentle boost of volume to frame the face ever so gently. And pushing all your hair to one side will make the style appear more polished, too.
Flowers are symbols of good luck and prosperity for traditional South Indian brides. Covering the braided hair with florals immediately creates an idyllic and, unsurprisingly, jaw-dropping look.
This bride paired a loosely tied chignon with curly pieces on the sides of her face. With her hair tied back, the chunky earrings and dainty tikka stand out.
The lightly curled pieces on the sides are a great way to add dimension and texture to an otherwise sleek, simple look.
For her at-home Sikh wedding, this bride sported a stunning oversized bun. A lovely look that combines glamour, sophistication, and effortlessness in one!
This bride offsets a tight bun with a few jasmine flowers and light waves to frame her face. The two singular, structured pieces in front of the face create a chic, refined look.
Traditional With a Modern Twist
For the Indian bride who craves tradition but also a bit of modernity, this look is for you. This blushing bride embraced her effortless waves, which she accessorized with a tikka and traditional jewelry. To anchor her look, she wore a statement-making red and hot-pink lehenga with a sheer dupatta draped over her head.
Simple and Elegant
This gorgeous bride opted for a sleek and refined updo that would transition seamlessly from day to night. Equal parts glam and sophisticated, her pinned-back 'do was accompanied by a custom tikka and matching gold jewelry.
True to custom, this bride channeled her inner Indian princess with a gold and red lehenga and an ornate tikka headpiece. Her sophisticated, yet simple pulled-back hairstyle included a few face-framing wisps of hair.
When your wedding ensemble is this stunning, don't hesitate to downplay your hairstyle. To keep eyes on her gold-embroidered blue lehenga and yellow floral jewelry, this bride opted for a discrete, yet no less elegant, side braid. The addition of a traditional headpiece further enhanced her overall look, proving that sometimes less really is more.
A Short Bob
Way to go bold for your wedding reception look! This chic bride made her bridal outfit change count by reappearing in not only a new ensemble but also a fresh 'do. She rocked a short bob with a navy blue lehenga, an accompanying tulle skirt, and a gold star-flecked dupatta.
You got to love a bride that puts comfort first. This beauty embraced natural makeup and a low-maintenance bun that she knew would stay put for the duration of her ceremony and festivities. It turned out to be the perfect pairing to her gold-embroidered two-piece maroon lehenga.
What type of hair works best for an Indian wedding hairstyle?
For best results, be sure to wash and condition your hair the day before your wedding to help maintain its natural luster. Ideally, you want it to be silky and smooth, not dry and frizzy. If you choose to work with a hairstylist, they may recommend additional styling products.
How elaborate does your Indian wedding hairstyle have to be?
It's totally up to you! If you're unsure, a wedding hair trial is a great way to try out a variety of styles and coordinate a 'do with your bridal makeup and dress.
What Indian wedding hairstyle looks best with a lehenga?
There's no shortage of wedding-worthy hairstyles to try out with a lehenga. From a sleek bridal bun to effortless waves or even a side-swept braid adorned with flowers, you definitely have options! We recommend trying out different looks during your wedding hair trial to see what looks best.