Bridal hair – top tips for your crowning glory

Guest blog by Lisa Frost of Salon 131

Coco Chanel, Brigette Bardot, Carine Roitfeld...if you look up the word ‘style’ in the dictionary, then it may as well give the definition as France. From chic Breton stripes and ballet flats combos to the haute couture of Parisian fashion houses, as a nation, the French ooze style and sophistication.

And brides who want to achieve a timeless, elegant look on their wedding day should certainly glance across the English Channel for inspiration. One of my all-time favourite bridal hairstyles is the simple French roll – a chic style that suits almost any face shape and is perfect for any type of wedding, whether it’s an upmarket city venue or a laid-back outdoors affair.

Although the finished look is simple – not to mention stunning – getting there can be anything but! It takes time to create the look, and a fair bit of work to ensure that not a hair will be out of place come the end of the day’s celebrations.

I did the styling for Tricker Bridal’s recent photoshoot and as I chatted to Beverley about the inspiration behind her beautiful collection of gowns, I just knew that a classic French roll would set the dresses off to perfection. Just like these graceful gowns, the French roll doesn’t need bling or accessories and this style could let the dresses speak for themselves.

Although many brides prefer a slight boho look with a few loose strands, I wanted to keep the French roll structured just as brides in the 40s and 50s would have worn their hair. Our models both had long and thick manes of hair – it took a lot of backcombing, pins and hairspray (brushing the style out may have taken longer than putting it up!) but the results were beautiful. It was like we all stepped back in time for a few hours to a completely different age.

Although it is versatile, a French roll will not necessarily be for every bride. A good hair stylist will take the time to work with you in the run-up to your wedding, trying out lots of different styles, to make sure you not only look amazing, but feel amazing on your wedding day.

Here are some of my top tips to ensure that you get the hair that not only suits your style but puts a smile on your face for those all-important photos!

Create a look book

When you were looking for a wedding dress, the chances are that you turned to Pinterest – every bride’s BFF – to pull together some ideas on the type of gown you wanted to try. The same goes for hair. If you go in with one style in mind and one style only, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment if you can’t pull it off. Give your hairdresser lots of ideas about what you like and don’t like, and they will give you honest feedback about what’s going to work.

The early bird doesn’t always get the worm

I’ve known brides make an appointment for a hair trial six to eight months ahead of their wedding day. In my opinion, you should leave it as late as possible. This advice might send super-organised brides into a tailspin, but if you schedule it six to eight weeks before the big day, then you are going to better understand how your hair fits with your overall look. I’ve known some brides to book a trial on the same day as their final dress fitting – and then go back to the drawing board when they discover their dream updo really doesn’t work with the gown!

Think a-head

Do you plan on wearing a veil or a headpiece? If so, you need to think how this will work with the look you want to achieve. For example, if you decide that you want a classic French twist, this involves creating height on the crown through backcombing. If you dream of wearing a tiara, it won’t be stable enough to sit on top – and will create a dent in your ‘do! Likewise, if you want to go with the current trend for garlands then you can wave goodbye to big bouncy curls as this requires the hair to be very flat on top.

Ditch the entourage

When you’re looking for a wedding dress, it’s tradition to take along family and friends to help you decide. If you’ve already chosen your dress, you’ll know that people have lots of conflicting opinions – and they won’t be afraid to voice them. My advice would be to pick one person – preferably someone who really understands your style and what you want to achieve – to give their feedback. Too many opinions will just confuse you and as long as you feel happy and comfortable, it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks.

Cheat on your hairdresser

Some of my clients have been coming to me for many, many years – almost from the time that I became a stylist. It’s understandable that if you have a good relationship with your hairdresser and you trust them, that you’ll want them to do your hair for your wedding. However, some stylists will freely admit that they might not be the best person for the job! Just like many salons have staff who specialise in cutting or colour, some will specialise in bridal hair. Ask your hairdresser if they would like to do it – you never know they might recommend a colleague who they feel is more skilled in the art of bridal hair styling.

Lisa Frost is senior stylist at Salon 131. Follow her on Instagram @lisafrost_hairdressing

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