Tips for Rocking Short Hair on Your Wedding Day

Bride with short hair holding a bouquet of flowers

PHOTO BY PICTURE ME & U

You've heard of the post-wedding chop, but if you're a bride-to-be who already has short hair, finding inspiration and advice for your tresses can be challenging. But having hair above your collarbone instead of down to your waist doesn't mean you can't have a stunning hairstyle as you walk down the aisle. And who better to talk to than the pros? Hairstylists Alison Harper and Eva Scrivo are dishing on their favorite ways to rock short hair on your wedding day, as well as the tried and true tips you'll definitely want to remember.

Meet the Expert

• Alison Harper is the owner of Alison Harper & Company.

• Eva Scrivo is the owner of Eva Scrivo Salons.

Pick a Style That Works for You

When you're working with shorter hair, pick a style that suits your cut. "If you have a pixie cut, choose a style that fits your hair," says Alison Harper, owner of Alison Harper & Company. For something a little different, add some volume at the roots by backcombing. "Then softly pin the hair in the crown for a faux upsweep," says Eva Scrivo, owner of Eva Scrivo Salons. "If your hair is around chin-length, you'll have a wider array of options. I always encourage my brides to choose inspiration photos featuring a similar length of hair to what they plan to have on their wedding day." Whether you go with a faux updo or a braided headband, short hair doesn't have to be limiting!

Another fun way to reimagine a short bridal hairstyle is play up the texture. Bring oomph to an effortless bob by adding some retro waves or straightening it for an ultra-sleek finish. With the help of a miracle-working texturizing spray or shine spray, you won't even have to worry about touch-ups.

Consider a Different Cut Style

Whether you've had short hair all your life or you're looking to try something new, a fresh chop doesn't have to be daunting. If anything, you may be surprised to find how versatile a short 'do can be. The possibilities are truly endless! First and foremost, you'll want to find a style that complements your face shape and features. If you're not sure, this is where a hairstylist will be able to step in and lend their expertise. Or perhaps, you're interested in adding transformative bangs to soften or edge up your look. With so many different types of bangs to consider (from blunt bangs to side-swept bangs), you'll want to find similar bridal hairstyles featuring bangs to make sure that you have a clear vision of the style you desire.

Seek Out Products and Accessories

When you're a short-haired bride, don't be afraid to explore your hair accessory options. From ornate hair clips and polished headbands to flower crowns, a subtle headpiece can go a long way in transforming your 'do. Let your personality shine through on your special day by selecting an accessory that matches the aesthetic of your gown.

Clips

"I love seeing accessories on my short-haired brides," Harper says. "If you're wearing a decorative piece, keep the hairstyle itself simpler." A trio of hair pins or a celestial-inspired hair comb with Swarowski crystals can complete any bridal look. Have side-swept bangs? A rhinestone barrette can be a sweet way to keep hair out of your face.  

Headbands and Crowns

Harper loves lace headbands, which can help pull your look together while still being timeless. If you're wearing a strapless gown or a sleek column dress, a pearl-strewn headband is sure to add an element of class and sophistication. Vice versa, if you're more of a bohemian bride, a preserved flower crown or romantic halo is an effortless way to add some panache to your free-flowing strands.

Hair Extensions

Looking for a little fullness and the illusion of longer hair? Consider extensions. "They can add both length and volume," Scrivo says. "Strategically placed pieces can make short hair look longer, as well as dress up a bride's style." Or ask your colorist to match a faux bun to your existing hair color for seamless integration that will give you a bun look without the extensions.

Try Out a Different Color

While the thought of coloring your hair before a wedding may sound a bit daunting, some fresh color could be a fun way to change up your look. Be sure to consult your colorist ahead of time and come prepared with photos as inspiration to ensure you're getting the hue that you want. If you're looking for something beyond a simple touch-up at the roots or highlights, then it's typically recommended that you come in for an appointment at least six months before your wedding. This is especially important if you're going for a drastic change, such as going a full shade lighter.

Consider Adding a Veil

Having short hair doesn't mean you have to skip the veil. "If you have a shorter hairstyle, the comb of the veil will be placed closer to the crown," Harper says. "When shopping for a veil, choose one with a thin metal comb instead of a large plastic one. The thinner comb will be easier to slide into your hairstyle if you have less hair to cover it."

Adds Scrivo, "Shoulder length, tulle birdcage veils, or a simple piece of lace is always classic. Or you can skip the veil in favor of a statement piece, like a large flower or vintage feathers." For something edgier, opt for a piece that's more intricate, which can add volume to a shorter hairstyle as well.

Major Don'ts for Short-Haired Brides

There's one thing no bride should forget: "Don't skip your haircuts!" Harper says. "Even if you're trying to grow your hair out, have your stylist trim a little less than normal. Skipping regular haircuts will cause your hair to have dead ends and splitting. A healthy hairstyle will always look better than an updo."

Scrivo also recommends avoiding hard gels and too much hairspray, as they can make a shorter style look crunchy instead of soft and flattering. "Don't wear your hair too straight or overuse product, as it can plaster your hair to your head," Scrivo explains. Instead, she favors some softness and movement to keep your hair looking natural.

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