Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wedding hair -The "How to” of having a successful hair relationship

Today on the Marry Me Productions blog we have the lovely Lori of Showpony educating us on how to find the perfect hairstylist to achieve the look you want for your wedding day. We have had the pleasure of working with Lori on a number of weddings and we are always struck by how beautiful our brides and bridesmaids look when she is through. Read on for some great tips!
I love doing wedding hair. There is something so very wonderful about being a part of the day two people stand together and announce to the world “I choose you”. It’s a privilege and honor. I love love about as much as I love hair.  That being said, I need to acknowledge, there are very few things that can create anxiety for a bride quite like wedding hair - True story.
Here are a few simple words of advice, which may help… Love is in the hair after all.

photo by: Melanie Rebane Photography

1.       Have Faith and do your Homework
The wedding planning process has begun.  As the bride, you approach your regular stylist excitedly announcing your wedding date,  expecting an equally enthusiastic offer of involvement, only to find out that your stylist  does not do up dos and prefers to avoid wedding hair. It happens. Often. And when it does, it leaves a feeling of unease and panic – that relationship you’ve trusted and come to rely on has been temporarily interrupted. Now what?

Time to start “dating”. Firstly, ask your stylist if they can recommend another individual in their salon. A set-up, if you would.  The fact is not all stylists have the particular skills needed to create a detailed up do. If the salon employs a number of stylists though, odds are there is someone there who has the expertise. A recommendation from your stylist goes a long way – they know your hair, your routine and your tastes. Trust that they would know who might be a good match then, give it a whirl. Just don’t wait too long; a good stylist can often book up from 6 months to a year in advance for weddings.

photo by: Amanda Either (friend of the bride)

Secondly, if your stylist does not have a good recommendation, or if you don’t have a regular stylist, time to start doing a little research. Friends who have been married recently or have stood in a wedding party are great places to start. Ask them about their experiences, ask to see pictures, heck, ask for names! Go to the salons/individuals’ Facebook page or website and check ‘em out! This is the online dating of hair. Do the recon. Like what you see? Is there initial attraction to their work? Request an informal meeting or consultation and see if it’s a good fit.

Thirdly, if you are getting married out of your postal code, or you haven’t found suggestions from stylists or friends helpful, don’t give up! There is someone out there for you! Try a wedding forum or blog.  Brides are happy to offer their positive and negative feedback; they understand that this is a big decision. It’s your coiffe!

photo by AMB Photography
You can also try your other vendors: photographers, makeup artists, weddings planners. They will have worked with several hair stylists through the years and likely have a good sense of who they might recommend to work with the overall style and vision of your wedding.  Trust them. Ultimately, they all work together on your big day. If the bride looks good and is happy, they all benefit too.

At this point in the process, the most important thing you need to accomplish is finding a stylist you are comfortable with. You have to feel confident and at ease. Make sure whomever you choose compliments your personality and you feel as though it can be an open and communicative relationship.

This brings us to the next phase:

2.       The First date a.k.a. "The Trial"
So you’ve looked at their photos, searched their Facebook page, asked around, and chosen who you hope might become part of your wedding family on the big day. Time to meet.

You should schedule a trial at least two to four months in advance of your wedding. The hope is it will go smoothly, but if it doesn’t, it gives you time to have an additional trial and work out the kinks or perhaps find a replacement. Schedule your trial early in the day or when you have an event; this will actually help you determine how your hair holds up in real time.  Give your hairstylist feedback about the result: it was great for 3 hours, then the curl relaxed; half the bobby pins fell out; or it was phenomenal and you loved it. They need to know! Don’t be afraid!  This should be a partnership. 

Come Prepared.  Bring everything you think will help your stylist understand what look it is you hope to achieve.  Pictures are a good starting point – remember to consider your style from all angles. Bring a variety. These should serve as an inspiration, not an exact template. It can even be helpful to discuss things while looking at your Pinterest or inspiration board – getting a feel for the theme of the wedding will give your hair stylist an idea of how you want to feel on your day (elegant and sophisticated, soft and romantic, or playful and carefree). Lastly, don’t forget a picture of your dress and jewelry. Necklines can dramatically influence how a hairstyle will look, and your hairstyle should complement both you and your dress.

photo by: Troy St. Louis
Bring your hair accessories and your veil. If you truly want to get a sense of the overall look, it’s important to make sure that all components are available. Sometimes styles are literally built around an accessory. You don’t want a surprise on the wedding day and.3 neither does your stylist.
Have realistic expectations. If you have naturally curly hair and are getting married on a hot, humid day in July, perhaps a down and smooth style isn’t for you. If you have very fine hair, with a shorter style, it’s unlikely Kim Kardashian should be your model.  Consider your location: will you be outside, will it potentially be windy? Hair stylists can be amazing creatures with transformative skills…but even we have our limitations. Know your hair type, and if you don’t, ask your stylist. There are many things that can be done to achieve the unachievable (hair pieces, extensions to add length and fullness, add-ins, and product). Be open, but be realistic.  Your stylist is there to help guide you – a good stylist will discuss a number of options and help to resolve any concerns you may have had in the past, then ultimately suggest something that will work with your texture and type of hair, in keeping with your vision for your wedding.

Experiment. Try a few things. Hairstylists are equal parts engineer and artist. It’s good to see modifications on your style to help refine exactly how your wedding day hair will look. Try a side bun, then try it centered; sweep bangs, then pull them off your face. You may be surprised to see you like something that you didn’t think you would. And take photos!! All angles! Show friends and get them to weigh in. Photos can also be useful reminders when you have a boatload of wedding planning going on; it will keep your hairstyle fresh in your mind and serve as a reference on your wedding day. If you decide to wear your hair down, it’s a good idea to have a ‘second style’ as a back-up. Sometimes weather can play a big factor on your day; it’s good to have a second option just in case that torrential downpour may cause frizz.

photo by: Melanie Rebane Photography
Discuss strategy. If you want shiny, healthy, bouncing and behaving hair, it takes a little effort. A color should be done a few weeks prior to ensure root coverage and to soften a bit, and regularly scheduled haircuts leading up to your day are important. Ladies, I know most of you want your hair as long as possible, but long and unhealthy locks for the sake of an extra inch are not pretty. You should also be discussing conditioning or smoothing treatments as preparation. Find out your stylists preferred hair preparation for your wedding day: do they prefer clean and washed the night before, morning of, a few days prior? Opinions vary. Confirm with your stylist what will work best with your hair and hair style.

We hope you learned something from Lori’s advice! Be sure to check out the Showpony website or the Showpony Facebook page to connect with Lori and her team!


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