When it comes to choosing your perfect wedding hair, there’s a lot to consider: your dress, the venue, your jewelry, and the environment, among other variables. And even though the wedding hair is one of the biggest focal points of your day, it may be one the most overlooked aspects of wedding planning.Not to worry, we talked to Garren, celebrity hairstylist and cofounder of cool-girl hair brand R+Co, to plan out a wedding hair timeline leading up to your big day. And there's no one better equipped for the task, after all Garren was the mane mastermind behind Hannah Bronfman’s extravagant Moroccan wedding, which featured eight different bridal hair looks. We talked to the stylist about how he approached each look, as well as what every bride should know before heading into her wedding hair trial.
Keep reading for a glimpse at what your wedding hair timeline should look like in the months leading up to your big day.
1 Year Before the Wedding:
If you are considering a drastic change to your ‘do, approximately one year before your big day is when you should start thinking about the change, according to the stylist. Considering exactly what color you would like, what length you would like to go to, bangs or no bangs—all are things to consider. “If you’re going to change your hair drastically, you should think about it in the first almost year before you get married so you grow into it,” says Garren.
However, a drastic change such as a major chop or a completely different color than what you’re used to is not exactly something that the stylist suggests: “[The bride] really has to think about it. A drastic hair color change is something I don’t suggest because when you're looking at an album, it is supposed to be memories, and if you do something that is totally not you, it doesn’t really fit into what your future husband has fallen in love with.”
6–8 Months Before the Wedding:
If you still choose to go the drastic route, Garren suggests taking the plunge at least six months before the ceremony. This way, you have time to get used to the change, maintain it, learn how to properly style it, and allow everyone around you to get used to your new look too.
3 Months Before the Wedding:
Three months pre-wedding is when the real bridal hair planning should begin. According to Garren, the number of trials you have depends on how well you know your stylist and how acquainted he/she is with your hair. If you’ve been going to your stylist for a long time, then one or two trials should suffice. However, if this is the first time that your stylist will be doing your hair, up to three trials could be necessary in order to get your wedding-day look down pat. Garren also notes that if you are working with a new stylist for your wedding, trying out a few different stylists before making your decision is totally normal: “If you’re trying someone who does weddings, try three different people, like you would when you’re looking for your dress. Go to different salons, like you would bridal shops, in order to find what you want,” offers the stylist.
When heading into your trial, Garren suggests the following:
- Bringing reference pictures from magazines or Pinterest of styles that you would love to re-create for your big day
- Bringing a picture of yourself in your dress with your jewelry on (with views of both the front and back of the dress)
- Bringing any hair pieces, veils, clips, combs, etc. that you plan to wear during your ceremony
- Talking to your stylist about retaining him/her for the entire day of your wedding, noting that touch-ups between the ceremony, reception, pictures, and taking the veil off are important
Garren notes that during your trial, your stylist will work with you to help create the look that makes you feel most beautiful and comfortable, but the biggest factors that any bride should consider when deciding on a style are the natural elements and whether she should wear her hair up or down. “A lot of it has to do with whether it’s an inside wedding or outside wedding; you have to take the elements of nature into consideration—how it’s going to hold up, how it’s going to wear,“ Garren shares.
Garren speaks specifically of his experience styling Hannah Bronfman’s hair for her Moroccan wedding extravaganza. “When I was first introduced to Hannah, we met for the first time and I said, ‘Okay, what’s the mood of the place?’ I realized it was all going to be outside, so I said, ‘Here’s the deal, you have to do something that’s controllable.’ Once she showed me the dresses, I came up with some ideas of what I thought went with each outfit.’ Bronfman’s festivities included eight different looks throughout the weekend, which Garren planned and executed.
“You want to create a total fantasy; you have to come up with ideas for the veil, the headpiece. If there’s no headpiece that works with the neckline of the dress, then what is she comfortable with? You have to believe who you are that day, and I think you should start talking about [the hair] as soon as you figure out what kind of wedding you’re going to have,” explains the stylist.
7–10 Days Before the Wedding:
You should get your final wedding-day color and cut about a week before the big day so that your locks are fresh.
In order to make sure your mane is in tip-top shape, you should also consider doing any last-minute conditioning treatments, like R+Co’s Palm Springs Pre-Shampoo Treatment Mask. The mask should be used on dry hair before shampooing and is perfect for dry, damaged hair as the blend of oils works to balance out the cuticle of the hair so that the result is a moisturized, even texture ready for styling.
On Your Wedding Day:
Your wedding-day hair routine should mirror exactly what you did on the day of your trial: If you washed, conditioned, and dried your hair prior to getting it styled on your trial day, you should follow suit on the day of your wedding.
Garren also notes that if you are shampooing your hair prior to getting it styled, you should use products that you are used to. “You shouldn’t be using a shampoo and conditioner that you haven’t ever used before on the day of your wedding. There should be no surprises,” says the stylist.
Want to know what every stylist wants you to know about your hair before you walk down the aisle? Read our list of bridal hair dos and don’ts here.