From the moment you've said, "yes!" you've probably been daydreaming of your glamorous bridal look for your big day. While you may have said yes to the dress and accessories, it's important to spend some time determining your beauty look, too, especially what you'll do with your hair. There are plenty of steps you can take (and others that you shouldn't!) to ensure your bridal hair is everything you've dreamed of.
For expert tips, we chatted with Ashley Branda, owner of Two01 hair salon in Hoboken, to find out what you should know, do, and expect while getting your mane ready for your walk down the aisle.
What All Brides Should Do
As with most things in life, it's important to be prepared. This means maintaining your hair regularly for it to be in prime condition. Ashley advises, "Make sure you trim and dust the hair regularly. This makes for smooth strands, for a perfected style. Also, consider adding subtle highlights to give amazing dimension throughout the style, and for the photos."
Try to keep your hair in its best condition by avoiding too much heat. One of the worst things you could do pre-wedding is "singe your gorgeous locks with too much heat." Ashley recommends using a heat protectant before blow-drying, or heat styling. One of her favorite products? "Satin Finish by Shu Uemura is an excellent product to use prior to any heat," she mentions. (Anti-frizz blow-dry lotion, $39, Shu Uemura)
What No Bride Should Do
It may be tempting to give a whole new look a try prior to your day as a bride, but it's not a good idea. Ashley warns against drastic color changes, explaining, "Make sure you are thinking ahead. These will be memories that last a lifetime. You should want your color to reflect you as a person, not something that was trending." So, while unicorn or mermaid hair might look gorge on Instagram, you might want to save it for after you've wed.
Have Reasonable Expectations
The #1 question Ashley's brides ask most often is, "Do you think this will stay?" While of course we wish we could keep our bridal hair perfect forever, try to be reasonable in your expectations. "Of course hair will naturally lose volume and some shape throughout the long day ahead of you," Ashley points out. To try to combat this, she suggests brides-to-be select a style according to weather and texture. For added volume, length, and shape, Ashley also proposes considering hair extensions.
It's recommended you begin to follow a great hair care regimen, just as you would a skincare or nutrition plan. "Always have high-quality products for your hair—shampoo and conditioner followed by styling products," says Ashley. "Speak with your hairdresser to find out what products and regimen will work best for your hair texture." She adds, "I truly love Shu Uemura moisture shampoo and masque." While you're at it, be sure to keep up with your coloring services! ("Urban Moisture" hydro-nourishing shampoo, $48, Shu Uemura; Hydro-nourishing treatment masque, $68, Shu Uemura)
On the morning of the big day, some brides might show up with freshly washed, three days old, or (gasp!) dripping wet hair! Ashley tells all her clients to get a blow out the day before the wedding (you don't have to tell us twice!) so that not only do you have the perfect hair for your rehearsal dinner or pre-wedding festivities but also so that it's at its best texture for styling the morning of your wedding. Just remember to avoid too much product.
Follow Expert Advice
When asked for some last words of wisdom, Ashley encourages brides with some classic advice: "Please do something timeless! Do a style that reflects you and your wedding theme." She also warns to beware of Internet photos, as they're not always what they seem.