You’ve got the ring, the dress is hanging in your closet, and the caterer already knows about your great aunt who’s allergic to fish. Now, it’s time to decide what you’re doing with your hair. Wedding hairstyles can be deceptively tricky to choose, especially since you’re looking for one that both highlights your favorite facial features and complements your dress.
Take a deep breath, because we’re about to break this down for you. The good news? There’s really no such thing as a bad wedding hairstyle whether you have dark brown hair or pastel pink. If you look like a goddess incarnate and can’t feel any hair pins poking directly into your scalp, the look is undoubtedly a success.
With the confidence of a woman who knows she’s about to look her best, take a peek at some of our favorite editor-approved bridal styles. Whether you’re aiming for bombshell or princess, you’ll find inspiration for the perfect ‘do.
The half-up ponytail might have its roots in an awkward middle school style (Could we have yanked those tails any tighter?), but a recent revival in popularity has given it a much-needed update. To keep yours looking romantic, ask your stylist to loosely curl your hair before finger combing through the ringlets. Done but not too done is the aesthetic idea you’ll want to emphasize.
Teasing at the crown, the pro can loosely draw the top half of the hair into a band. Using a comb is optimal to attain a perfectly even part. If the style still feels a little restrained, try asking your stylist to pull a few tendrils out around your forehead and ears.
The name may be a little silly, but milkmaid braids are a style consistently beloved by fashion bloggers and influencers. That may because the bound-up braids are secure enough for a long night of dancing and drinking, but we also love how unexpected they seem. For a bohemian-style ceremony, consider these simple plaits.
To achieve the look, your stylist will part your hair down the middle with a comb before tightly braiding each half. Using plenty of pins and a healthy dose of hairspray, he or she will begin the process of wrapping each braid around the crown of the head. Because you’re aiming to encircle the entire head, this bridal style is best for ladies with lengthy hair. To dress the braids up even more, try weaving a delicate flower throughout.
If you’re short on time or don’t enjoy sitting still in a salon for hours at a time, try a twist instead of a braid or bun for your special day. Paired with a silky blowout, a single strand of hair twisted behind one ear looks classic, especially when paired with an especially opulent wedding dress.
We recommend using the style as an opportunity to show off a little glitz in the form of a sparkling hair comb or pin. You may want to ask your friends and family if they have any wedding day hair accessories—this is a perfect spot to place your “something borrowed” or “something blue.”
This style may look complicated, but try it a few times and you may be surprised how fast you catch on. Because it requires a bit of braiding, this updo may be most successful if you have an extra pair of hands for styling assistance. A wedding style is only as good as its base, so start by washing and conditioning your hair with Redken’s Color Extend system before applying Guts 10, combing through, and blowdrying to add volume at the crown.
OK, here’s the tough part: Just below the high point of your head, grab a 4-inch wide, 2-inch deep section of hair and Dutch braid it in an S-shape (watch the tutorial for more tips about how this is done). Then, start on the thicker side of your part and create a French braid along your hairline that leads back to the center of your head. Pin it in place, spritzing with Triple Dry 15 and pulling apart the braid for added volume.
You can continue adding detailing to the style or stop there, but either way consider adding fresh flowers to polish off the look.
Were you a cheerleader in high school? Are you more likely to be caught leaving a sweat session at the gym than agonizing over floral arrangements for your upcoming nuptials? If that’s the case, then you’re probably not buying into the the ringlets-and-tiaras look.
Take a page from some of the most influential celebrities, and walk down the aisle with your freshly blown-out hair pulled into a polished high ponytail.
Some of us have waited our entire lives to get married, eagerly anticipating the day we’d be able to walk down the aisle in a full ball gown and jewels to rival those of any royal. Give yourself the ultimate day as a princess by choosing a low chignon to complete your wedding ensemble.
The sleek look, which involves a slightly teased crown, pulls hair away from the face and off the shoulders. To dress the style up even more, ask your stylist to wrap two pieces of hair around the base of the bun, creating a more organic-seeming shape.
Everyone loves a throwback look, especially one that winks at the great femme fatales of decades past. If you’re a vintage-inspired gal, one who’s more interested in full skirts than mermaid silhouettes, pair your wedding gown with an amped-up bouffant. You don’t have to be a Southern belle to appreciate a little height to your hair.
Whether you’re getting hitched on an actual beach or you’d just like to channel those chill vibes for your wedding, a boho-inspired ‘do is a good idea. To create this simple but chic style on your own, spray Redken Iron Shape 11 all over dry, clean hair and comb through before taking a quarter-inch curling iron barrel to your mane. Be sure to curl away from your face, leaving the ends out of the curl for a more natural-looking finish.
To create the updo, separate a small section of hair from above one ear and divide it in two. Twist both strands around each other until you reach the back of your head and pin the section in place, then repeat the technique on the opposite side. Remember, it’s always better to aim for a tight style because you can always loosen it later but tightening a style that’s too loose is basically impossible. Once you’re finished pinning, finish off the style with a decorative comb or a really dramatic veil. Finish the ‘do with Control Addict 28 for 24-hour control and humidity resistance—both key elements when you’re taking about all-day wear.
On the scale of hairstyles that also double as serious power moves, beach waves rank at the top. Made with the help of a large-barreled curling iron and sea salt spray, these loose ringlets create volume while simultaneously maintaining the illusion that you’ve been effortlessly splashing in the waves all morning. If you don’t tell, we won’t.
This look is optimal for an outdoors ceremony or reception because the style can withstand wind or wild dancing. What’s more, you won’t have to enlist an army of bridesmaids with bobby pins to make sure your hair is flawless all night long.
The challenge of choosing the perfect wedding hairstyle is finding one that will be flattering in the thousands of photographs you’re bound to pose for, while still staying out of your face.
The floral crown braid is the ultimate solution to both problems and happens to work for almost all hair textures and lengths. Braiding along the forehead guarantees your hair won’t fall flat halfway through your first dance, and inserting fresh flowers adds a laidback vibe to the ensemble.
When it comes to weddings, not everyone feels comfortable with the standard amount of blush pink and lace. Modern-inspired ladies shouldn’t be stuck with hot curlers and bedazzled hair clips, either. If you’ve swapped a formal gown for a tailored suit, update your hair as well with a stick straight look that’s more about shine than it is volume. The most important thing is that you feel like, well, yourself on your wedding day.
Did you spend the equivalent of three months rent on the most opulent, fashion-forward gown on the market? If that’s the case, let your hair take a back seat to your designer wedding dress with the ever-fashionable low ponytail.
Whether you decide to part it in the middle or sharply to one side, you’re sure to look like a high fashion model who’s just taken a break from the runway to say her vows. That’s an aesthetic we wholeheartedly support.
There’s nothing quite like a statement braid, especially one thickened by clip-in extensions, to make your wedding look unique. Unlike the standard or French braid, fishtail braids are woven with two strands instead of three or more. They’re feminine without being overdone and require very little maintenance throughout the day to keep them looking photoshoot-friendly.
The wedding hairstyle looks especially fabulous on hair that’s recently been highlighted or lowlighted. If you plan on investing time and money into fresh color for your nuptials, make sure and show it off.
According to Sabine Constanzo, expert stylist for the French on-demand mobile beauty app Simone and Hair.com consultant, your wedding dress design matters.
“If your dress has a high neck, an updo will look very elegant,” Constanzo says.
Take an ‘80s trend—high volume that starts at the very top of the head— and polish it up for the formal ceremony. Its minimal yet androgynous shape deviates away from classic updos. Add some flash with an oversized hair piece.
For a natural approach that’s still reminiscent of a rock-themed wedding style, embrace the hippie band member hair of the ‘70s.
“If your dress has a low neck, opt for loose hair,” Constanzo says.
Keep your hair length flowing free or tied in a side ponytail. Your waves should resemble that iconic shaggy look—loose pieces around the face and textured fringe are great final touches.
We live and die for anything with even the slightest hint of Old Hollywood to it, so it makes sense that we have a serious crush on this glam bridal look that works beautifully for short hair. Begin the style with a coat of Redken Iron Shape 11 over dry hair, combing it through to help ensure even distribution.
Working in horizontal sections, curl your hair using a 1-inch iron and Fashion Work 12 hairspray. Curl each section the same direction, pinning it in place with a no-crease clip before moving onto the next one. Once your ringlets are cool, remove the pins and use a brush to break them apart and create a uniform wave pattern (add more hairspray if you feel like it’s getting frizzy).
Feeling really ambitious? Secure no-crease clips at every bend of your waves, then coat the whole ‘do with Fashion Work 12 and allow the look to set for about 10 minutes. Remove the clips and enjoy your finished glam waves! For an added sweet touch, a bejeweled clip or comb will go perfectly.
“If your face is long, fix a low hairstyle in order to balance out the shape,” Constanzo advises.
This low hanging side updo secures long hair with a little flair. Instead of unkempt curls and waves for your bridal look, transform your mane into a textured updo that’s a mix between offbeat and elegant.
If you have a round face, “prioritize a higher updo in order to elongate your profile,” Constanzo says. Inspired by the rocker perms of the ‘70s, show off some extra curly ends in this piled high updo. Incorporate volume at the top of the head and tangled textures to create a truly memorable updo style.
Looking for professional styling advice for your wedding day? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.