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Last updated: July 24, 2017

3-In-1 Bridal Styles from Stephanie Brinkerhoff

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So you’re booked for an entire day of wedding festivities—the ceremony, the reception and everything in between. The bride has requested multiple hair styles for the day, and you’ need some inspiration to create a distinct variety of looks, while keeping them similar enough to complement the bride’s overall vibe. 


As always, BTC’s resident bridal expert Stephanie Brinkerhoff (@hairandmakeupbysteph) is here to save the day. BTC hosted a Facebook live with Steph, where more than 130,000 of you tuned in for an exclusive preview of the styles and techniques she will be demonstrating on stage at BTC’s COLOR, Cut & Style Show, Aug. 20-22 in Austin, Texas! Get your tickets now!


Steph created a half upstyle accented by a French fishtail braid that can easily transition into a full updo for the ceremony and that can then be taken down for the reception! Plus, she gave us a BONUS pull-through braiding technique—perfect for your brides who want to party all night long. (And these styles are also great for prom!)  


Watch Steph’s Facebook live below to learn tips and tricks like:

  • When creating a braid in an updo, you never want to overdirect any hair forward into the braid. Leave that hair out and instead pick up hair from underneath. This will help you avoid unsightly part lines.
  • Don’t open your bobby pins when securing an updo. “A lot of the time when you open the pin, you end up putting too much hair in it and you don’t get a good hold,” Steph says. Instead, she uses a weaving technique—inserting a closed pin into the hair and twisting it to catch it on different sections and latch the hair in place, which makes the updo extra secure.
  • When pancaking a braid, the key is to make sure to hold the braid loosely. If you hold it too tightly, you will create frizz (as opposed to bulk) as you pull. Also, pancake slowly, bit by bit, starting at the bottom and working your way up.
  • For the most voluminous curls, use three to four different types of curling and waving patterns. You’ll lose volume if you curl in the same direction with the same technique, says Steph. This will also make your finished look appear more organic and natural. Steph’s favorite tool for all her curling patterns is ghd’s 1” Styler which has smooth, contoured plates that glide effortlessly through the hair. 
  • If the bride requests a veil with a half upstyle, place the veil at the parietal ridge or higher so it doesn’t compete with the updo.
  • When braiding silky hair textures, add Kenra Professional Air Grip Spray 5 at roots to add grip and keep your braid in place. 


Get more perfectly imperfect updo styling tips and techniques at BTC “On Tour,” May 1 in L.A.! Steph will be taking the stage alongside 12 of the industry’s biggest names (like @mustafaavci, @prettylittleombre and @rebeccataylorhair!) for a day of nonstop education!


Now watch the whole video below!

Steph’s three finished looks 




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Stephanie Brinkerhoff