Wedding Beauty

Wedding Beauty

by DailyMakeover

What’s My Wedding Hairstyle Timeline?

Paul_Labrecque_Picture.jpg (Normal Thumbnail)

Guest editor Paul Labrecque is the owner of three New York City salons andhas worked with countless celebrities, including Anne Hathaway, Renée Zellweger, Kelly Ripa, Kristin Chenoweth and Beth Ostrosky-Stern. Want to achieve a gorgeous updo hairstyle like that of Kate Hudson, pictured below? Here, Labrecque shares a timeline to ensure your wedding beauty plans are on track.


Credit: © Steve Granitz/WireImage

I prefer to see brides for a hairstyle trial about 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding. That way, I have plenty of time to consult with her about looks and we can create a plan of action if we need to color and cut her hair before the wedding. I ask brides to come in for their trial wearing either a white shirt or a blouse with the same cut as the wedding gown. I also suggest my brides get their makeup trial with a member of my fabulous makeup team on the same day so the complete wedding day look is created together all at once.

Brides should have their last haircut three weeks before the wedding, and hair color two weeks prior. Four days before the big day, if hair is dry or damaged, the bride should come in for a Lemongrass Deep Conditioning treatment. All of this leading up to the big day will make the final look “walk down the aisle” ready.

Wedding Hairstyles For Different Dress Types

When it comes to choosing the right hairstyle for your wedding day, it’s not just about what looks fabulous on you–it’s also about what enhances the neckline of your dress. Halter, strapless, cap sleeve… each has design elements that look amazing with certain wedding hairstyles and not so hot with others. “When a bride comes in, the first thing I ask her is what her dress looks like,” says Mar Romero, Creative Director and Founder of TEAM Hair and Makeup, a Santa Barbara, California-based studio specializing in weddings. “Then we can talk about a hairstyle that not only suits her face shape but her gown, too.” When you visit your stylist, bring in a photo of your dress, preferably with you wearing it. That way, she can see exactly how the gown is cut and plan your wedding hairstyle accordingly.

Romero offers these guidelines when strategizing your wedding hairstyle:

If you’re wearing: a spaghetti strap wedding dress
Then go for: a romantic hairstyle with soft waves, bangs pulled off the face, or a low ponytail

“This is a very soft, feminine look,” says Romero. “I like to romanticize the hair the same way the dress is romantic.” She suggests wearing hair down “maybe with just the bangs pulled off the face” or in a low ponytail with lots of soft wave cascading down the back.

If you’re wearing: a strapless wedding dress
Then go for: an updo, half-up hairstyle or all down hairstyle; bangs swept gently to one side.

“I hate when hair is pulled back super tight with a strapless gown. All you see is neck and forehead!” Instead, let bangs sweep gently to one side and play with texture and volume in the rest of the hair whether it’s an updo, half up or all down. One warning: don’t let hair hang down just to the top of the dress. “It will look boxy and blocky.” Loose hair should hit the middle of your breast line, even if that means a few hair extensions.

Claire Danes Updo

Try on Claire Danes’ soft updo
© Sara De Boer/Retna Ltd.

If you’re wearing: a halter or v-neck wedding dress
Then go for: an updo to keep your hair off the dress.

Wearing hair down with these dress styles is tricky. “When your hair covers part of the halter or V neckline, it looks like you’re suffocating your own dress.” Romero prefers an updo to keep you hair off the dress. “A low chignon or elegant twist with wispy pieces falling out is chic, very popular on the red carpet and looks great with a halter or V-neck.”

Gina Philips

Try on Gina Philips’ soft updo
© Jason LaVeris/

If you’re wearing: a cap sleeve dress
Then go for: a simple, modern ponytail, a volumized updo or a side bun.

“This is a very sweet looking dress. Don’t do anything too goody two shoes.” A simple, modern ponytail or an updo with some height on top and soft, wispy pieces framing the face would be the perfect complement.  “The idea is to get hair away from the neckline so you’re not competing with your dress.”

Related content:
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5 Steps To Gorgeous Wedding Day Hair Color

Claire Danes Updo

Claire Danes’ highlights brighten up her face
Photo:© Sara De Boer / Retna Ltd.

Getting ready for a wedding requires a lot of prep work months in advance of the big day. There’s the obvious stuff: dress fittings, food tastings, guest lists, seating charts. Oh, and don’t forget your hair color–it requires plenty of advanced planning, too. “I have lots of clients who come in when they get engaged and they’re like, ‘Amy look at my ring!’ and I say, ‘Great! Let’s talk about your hair,’” laughs Amy Mrkuric, a colorist at the Oscar Blandi Salon in New York City. “It can take months before the big day to get the bride’s hair color exactly right. We decide if the bride is going to grow her hair out, cut it short, wear it up, down, in between. Then all of that goes into planning the perfect hair color.” Here are key steps to getting fabulous hair color.

1. Book a consultation with your hair colorist three months before your wedding date. Discuss how you’re going to wear your hair and what kind of hair color you want. (You can try on Wedding Hairstyles and hair colors in the Makeover Studio). This will give you ample time to make several appointments if you need to get to your desired hair color in stages. You can also plan out what type of highlights you’ll want. Certain wedding hairstyles require a few strategically placed highlights to catch the light and highlight your face.

hair jewelry

2. Show your colorist your veil and hair accessories. “Highlights are all about creating a contrast between dark and light. If I know what your veil looks like or where you’ll place shimmery stones or little flowers, I can tweak the color so those things really stand out,” says Mrkuric. Try on bridal hair accessories in the Makeover Studio.

3. Get your highlights done seven to ten days before the wedding. “Highlights look best after the color adheres to the hair and it takes about a week for that to happen,” Mrkuric notes. Ask for a few extra foils around your hairline to help brighten your face and makeup in photos.

4. Once you’ve gotten highlights, wait at least two days before shampooing. You want to give hair color time to settle before washing it. Also, use a shampoo that’s safe for color-treated hair to reduce any color being stripped away.

5. Keep hair well conditioned. Healthy, moisturized hair really makes highlights sing (think of how light reflects off of a shiny surface compared to a dull one). Treat yourself to an at-home hair mask. Mrkuric recommends Oscar Blandi’s Luce, a gloss that adds shine, plus a built-in hydrating mask.

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Your Ultimate Guide to Hot Rollers

Looking to create a soft and romantic wedding hairstyle? Hot rollers are definitely the way to go. These classic styling tools have come a long way since the days you watched your mom walk around the house with a head full of pink rollers. “Hot rollers are perfect for bridal hair because they ensure hold and create gorgeous, shiny curls,” says Christine Symonds, a celebrity stylist at Warren-Tricomi’s L.A.
salon and Lauren Conrad‘s go-to hair girl.

Here’s what to consider when shopping for a new set of hot rollers:

Hot Rollers

Creating soft and romantic curls is easy
when you use hot rollers.

1) What type of roller finish do you want? There are two main types of roller textures: ribbed and flocked. Ribbed is the more traditional style, and one that “more people prefer because they slip out of the hair easier when it’s time to remove them,” says Sally Beauty‘s Corporate Communications Director Jan Roberts. Flocked rollers “have a velvety coating which grabs the hair and holds the curler in place,” says Roberts. They are good for creating larger curls.

2) What type of heating technology do you want?
- Sponge rollers use steam so they heat up fast and give you shiny curls in about 10 minutes. Roberts likes Caruso Professional ProSet Steam Hairsetter.
- Ceramic infused rollers feature a ceramic core that produce ions and far-infrared heat to lock in the style and seal the cuticle, creating shine and eliminating frizzing. This type is great for damaged hair. Try Babyliss Instant Heat 12 Roller Ceramic Hair Setter.
- Wax core rollers feature wax in the roller to hold the heat longer and make the curl stronger, which is ideal for curl-resistant hair types. Try Helen of Troy Hot Shot Tools Ionic Hairsetter.

3) What size of rollers do you need? If you want to create consistent curls all over, look for a set that has all the same size rollers. For a more versatile style, choose one with a variety of sizes.

4) What heat setting should you use? Roberts advises paying attention to the heat setting on your rollers. “Fine or thin hair needs less heat and coarse or thick hair needs more heat,” she says.

Once you’ve found the right rollers for your needs, heed this styling advice:  “When setting hair, make sure it’s set in a direction that is away from the face, then spray each section with a light hairspray to hold,” says Symonds. “Once cooled, take out rollers and lightly comb fingers through your hair.”

For a soft and ethereal updo, Symonds recommends pinning up all your hair into a loose bun at the nape of your neck, leaving a few strands to fall naturally. For a romantically loose hairstyle, use different size curlers and alternate every other curl to create a more organic, natural texture.

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Most Popular Wedding Hairstyles

These days, brides take their hairstyle cues not from overly done ads in bridal magazines, but from the young, glam stars walking the red carpet. “Celebrities are going for much more casual hairstyles for big events and brides are after same effect. They want to look like themselves, only a little more glamorous,” says Roz Sedaris, a hairstylist at the Frederic Fekkai salon in New York City. That means soft, understated styles have replaced tight, contrived curls piled high like a princess, notes Mar Romero, Creative Director and Founder of TEAM Hair and Makeup, in Santa Barbara, California. “When you walk down the aisle, you should be the star, not your hair.” These styles have become some of the most popular with chic brides across the country:

Sexy Half Up/Half Down Hairstyle

Romero loves soft barrel curls, pinned half up, with a little volume at the crown. This sexy style is just right for caressing. “Your new husband should want to run his fingers through your hair,” says Romero, and this style fits the bill. Try on these looks:

Half Up Zoe Saldana Molly Sims

Molly Sims
Photo: © Fotonoticias/

Zoe Saldana
Photo: © Dominique Charriau/

A Slightly Messy Low Chignon

This is one of the most popular hairstyles on the red carpet–hair is pinned low at the nape of the neck with wispy pieces peaking out from the chignon and pulled down around the face. Try on these looks:

Becki Newton Angelina Jolie Chignon

Becki Newton
Photo: © RD / Dziekan / Retna Digital

Angelina Jolie
Photo: © Steve Granitz /

Soft And Side-Swept Bangs

This wedding hairstyle is all about the bangs. They should gently fall over the forehead to one side while the back of the hair is either loose and wavy or pulled back into an updo. “Beware of plastered down bangs circa 1992,” warns Romero. “This style is soft and sweeping.” Try on these looks:

Isla Fisher Eva Mendes Bangs

Isla Fisher
Photo:© Steve Granitz/

Eva Mendes
Photo: © Tony Barson /

Loose And Luxe Long Hair

Wearing your hair down conveys confidence because it really looks like you. Plus, it’s timeless. “Ten years down the road, you want to see your photos and think, ‘It looks like I got married yesterday,’” says Romero. Try on these looks:

Kim Kardashian Shakira Long Hair

Kim Kardashian
Photo:© David Livingston/

Photo: © Paul Morigi /

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Wedding Hairstyles For Different Dress Types
Look Book: Star-Inspired Wedding Hairstyles