This Is When to Color Your Hair Before Your Wedding

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Unsplash / Design by Julie Bang

Whether you have a fuss-free beauty routine or skew a little high maintenance (no shame!), having extraordinary hair color on your wedding day is a big deal for many brides. Whether you're a hair-coloring enthusiast or considering a dye job for the first time, you have a lot to figure out when it comes to dying your hair before a major event such as your wedding.

Regardless of your hair type or color—long, short, thin, thick, dry, oily, red, brunette, blonde, you get it...—it all depends on the type of service you want to have done before the big day, from highlights to a root touch up or possibly a dramatic change. All of these coloring services are totally doable before your I do's, but giving yourself an appropriate amount of time is key to ensure your locks look their best.

For a professional take on the right time to color your hair before your wedding, we tapped two industry experts, Adrian Wallace, a colorist at the Rita Hazan Salon in New York City, and Chase Kusero, co-founder of IGK Hair Care.

Meet the Expert

  • Adrian Wallace, a colorist at the Rita Hazan salon in New York City, has been featured in a variety of magazines including InStyle and Vogue.
  • Chase Kusero, co-founder of IGK Hair Care, has been a practicing hairdresser since the age of 15 and now has numerous celebrity clients.

The most popular hair color requests before a wedding:

Adrian Wallace: “Typically women want to go lighter for their wedding. They want to look softer and brighter.”

Chase Kusero: “Most women come in for root maintenance and we get a lot of requests for highlights for a pop of light and color dimension.”

When to book an appointment:

Chase: “Come in two weeks before your wedding for a routine color to give it time to settle, look more natural, and to make any adjustments if necessary.”

If you’re considering a drastic color change:

Adrian: “When women want to go lighter and it’s a drastic change (like brunette to blonde), the time frame is around six months or at least four salon visits.”

Chase: “Be clear with your colorist on the end result you’re looking for and bring photos for inspiration. Figure out what he/she thinks about timing and set out a plan for how often you’ll come in. You want to start as soon as possible to give your hair time to adjust to the new look and to make any changes. Especially for big color changes, your hair needs time to go through all the processes.”

Coloring service to avoid before your wedding:

Adrian: “Going a solid shade (like from highlights to one even color) or going red if you are not a redhead already.”

Chase: “Don’t make a drastic change too close to the wedding. Give yourself enough time. And don’t go too trendy with your look. These pictures are forever, so you want to make sure you’ll still like your style years from now.”

If you’ve never colored your hair but might want to:

Chase: “Start a few months out to give time for adjustments. Start close to your natural color and make small adjustments until you’re comfortable making a bigger change. Make sure you have a thorough conversation with your colorist so you’re on the same page and have the same goal in mind.”

If you’re unhappy with your color:

Chase: “You can always say if a style isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, or if you wanted something more subtle or with more impact for your wedding. At the end of the day, colorists are professionals and in the customer service industry—they want you to be happy with your color and will understand if you want to make a change. A corrective color appointment could be okay—it will depend on your hair type and what needs to be done. Your colorist would be able to advise.”

If you’re considering a new colorist:

Chase: “It’s not usually a good idea unless you’re able to go a few months before your wedding. It’s best to stay with your current colorist who already knows how your hair responds to color and treatments. Everyone is different.”

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