Hair Stylists' Secrets to Creating the Perfect Wedding Updo

We spoke to industry experts and discovered the top tricks to achieving a Pinterest-worthy wedding hairstyle

Updated 05/22/19

Photo by Unique Lapin Photography

Nothing can create an impact quite like a wedding updo hairstyle, whether it's a perfectly swept-up classic chignon that pairs well with a veil or an effortlessly messy updo that's already set for the dance floor. Thanks to their versatility, there is a wedding updo for every type of hair—from thin to thick and straight to curly—as well as every type of bride. But how does a bride create the perfect wedding updo that'll stay set from the ceremony to the reception (and through all those wedding photos in between)?

We spoke to industry experts and discovered the top tricks to achieving a Pinterest-worthy wedding hairstyle.

Freshly Cut

"Now isn't the time to try out a new haircut," says Carolyn Aronson, hairstylist and CEO and founder of It’s a 10 Haircare. "You should stick with a cut that works for you." Ryan Richman, a Kérastase consulting hairstylist adds that a light trim should be done a week before to clean up split ends, but "an actual haircut with length being removed needs to be done two to three weeks prior for your hair to settle into the new cut"—and for it to be styled well on your wedding day.

Clean VS Dirty

To create a look without a strand out of place, you need to start with the right canvas notes Giovanni Vaccaro, Glamsquad Artistic Director. He goes on to say, "My general rule is that one to two-day-old hair is the easiest to work with unless your roots get super oily. If your hair is squeaky clean, it becomes much more difficult to create the preferred shape, so you end up working harder and relying more on products."

The Right Tools

When it comes to wedding updos, the size and shape of the tools used really do matter. Different curling barrels create different curls, so the kind of tool needed really depends on what look the bride wants. "If a bride wants a loose, more relaxed 'do, a bigger barrel is needed because it won't make the hair look too curled. Anything more intricate has to be curled with a smaller barrel, so volume and texture can be created," explains Ashley Streicher, celebrity hairstylist and member of The R+Co Collective. She also prefers to give clients a great "down-do" first. As Streicher explains, this is "a more volumized and textured version of what the bride wants her hair to look like down. Then she takes that style and starts pinning it low and loose or high and structured to achieve the desired look."

Safety First

One of the biggest hair sins a bride can commit is not properly securing her wedding hairstyle. Mara Roszak, celebrity hairstylist swears by crisscrossing bobby pins when placing them in for added security. "You want your style to last all night long," she explains, not fall out after the first dance.

Signature Look

Your wedding hairstyle should be a 'do that's true to your look. "Topknot lovers should wear their hair up and high towards the top of the head, and those that love a low chignon should wear it back and low. By wearing a similar silhouette that you’re used to, you’ll feel most comfortable on your wedding day," explains Ryan. The worst thing you can do is have your hair compete with your wedding dress. "You and the dress are the focal points, and the hair should complement the neckline and style of the dress."

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