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June 14, 2016

Meet Your Match: 13 Bridal Hairstyles For 4 Bridal Dresses

Meet Your Match:
13 Bridal Hairstyles For 4 Bridal Dresses

By Katie Harrington

As her bridal stylist, you have a big job—to help her select a style that encapsulates the vision she’s had for her wedding day since she was eight years old. You must capture the essence of her Pinterest board and create a style that will complement the most important element of the occasion—her dress. That style will live forever as the one she wore on the most important day of her life. In photos. On social media. No big deal, right? No, seriously, no big deal. Because the next eight pages are full of advice and inspiration from top bridal experts, who have paired the perfect bridal hair with gowns that depict key bridal styles. It’s the first step to her match made in heaven.


Annette Waligora; @annette_updo_artist The aisle is her stage and she’s the star. Her dress is dreamy, dazzling and dramatic. So where does that leave her hair?

Pin-curled Drama  

Statement-making dress = statement-making hair. This dramatic, pin-curled updo works for a couple of reasons. One, it doesn’t hide the dramatic neckline and exposed back. Two, the loose pieces complement the lace detailing, enhancing the romance of the overall look.


1. Prep the hair with KMS California Hair Play Makeover Spray.

2. Curl the hair section by section. Lightly mist the hair with KMS California Hair Play Playable Texture, then brush out the curls to create a wavy, textured base.

3. Starting in the crown, create 1/2- to 1-inch sections and backcomb slightly to add volume and height.

4. Smooth out each section, twist into loose curls and secure.

5. Continue working in this manner throughout the entire head, leaving a few curls unsecured for an undone, romantic touch.

6. Set the style with KMS California Hair Stay Medium Hold Spray.

Romantic Half Upstyle

If she’s open to some subtlety, try this half upstyle twist with a soft, organic feel. Pulling the hair back puts the high, sheer neckline in the limelight. Plus, “this style is versatile and can be worn back or swept to the side,” says Annette. “It looks amazing both ways!”


1. Prep the hair with KMS California Hair Play Makeover Spray.

2. Curl the hair section by section, then brush out the curls to create an organic wave.

3. Gently backcomb the hair at the crown.

4. On each side, twist pieces loosely, direct them back and secure with a pin.

5. Set the style with KMS California Hair Stay Medium Hold Spray.

Whimsical Side Updo

Being the center of attention is her thing—especially today. Pull out all the stops with this intricate side updo, accessorized with a gold leaf headpiece that matches the gold belt of the gown. It’s bold, sexy and on-trend!


1. Prep the hair with KMS California Hair Play Makeover Spray and Hair Play Playable Texture.

2. Section the hair from ear to ear.

3. Secure the bottom half into a ponytail, angled toward the side where you will place the bun.

4. Gently backcomb the hair at the crown and smooth it back, then secure.

5. Set the style with KMS California Hair Stay Medium Hold Spray.

6. Place the headpiece. (Do this now because you will create the updo around the headpiece.)

7. Curl the rest of the hair in the ponytail, creating a soft bend.

8. Take small sections and gently feather them with a teasing comb to expand the curl.

9. Secure each section, creating a personalized side updo design.


Heather Chapman; @heatherchapmanhair

She’ll be wearing her great grandmother’s necklace with her timeless gown; her palette is all-white everything and her bridal idol is Kate Middleton. Tradition is her thing, and it’s up to you to give her the perfect classic ‘do for her white wedding.

Soft Romance

One of Heather’s favorite tricks for creating a classic updo is to juxtapose a timeless shape with a current texture. This look also photographs beautifully from all angles.


1. Prep the hair using Oribe Volumista Mist for volume.

2. Create two front sections and clip away.

3. Direct the back section off-center and to the right of the head. Divide it in half, securing the bottom half with an elastic or bungee.

4. On the top section, cross two bobby pins to create a base just above the occipital.

5. Twist two side sections and direct them back, then pin them over the base pins.

6. Continue creating twists and pinning them in place.

7. Allow a long front section to remain unsecured for drama; curl it loosely.

Updated Classic

Classic wedding traditions give you a chance to be creative with the “something old” and “something new.” Heather chose this particular style to complement her bride’s “something blue” accessory. “I love classic wedding traditions,” shares Heather. “And hair jewelry is very special because it can easily be passed down from one generation to the next.”


1. Prep the hair using Oribe Volumista Mist for volume.

2. Create an inverted V-shaped section starting at the top of the crown and extending to each side of the nape.

3. Braid and swirl the section into a stylized low bun to serve as a base.

4. Create French fishtail braids on each side and direct them back toward the base.

5. Pull apart the fishtail braids on the sides, mist with Oribe Superfine Hair Spray and pin, draping one over the other in the back.

6. Fold the ends under to conceal them and pin.

The Simple Bun

Nothing beats a stunning, simple style for a classic bride. “This is a favorite of mine; it will always transcend time,” says Heather. “It’s swept back from the face and styled into a soft chignon—it truly captures bridal beauty.”


1. Prep the hair using Oribe Volumista Mist for volume.

2. Isolate a 2-inch section at the nape.

3. Twist the remaining hair above the nape section.

4. Gently pull apart the twist and wrap it into a bun.

5. Twist the original, 2-inch nape section, drawing it upward.

6. Gently pull it apart and wrap the twist around the bun. Spray with Oribe Superfine Hair Spray and pin.


Stephanie Brinkerhoff; @hairandmakeupbysteph

She goes with the flow (flowy hair, flowy dress) and hates the status quo. A barefoot wedding in the middle of the woods? Sounds like a Boho bride!

All Down

Play up the whole “woodland fairy” vibe with an all-down look and embellish with floral accents! “When it comes to wearing her hair down, there are two things to take into consideration,” says Stephanie. “One: is her hair long enough, and two: is the dress simple enough. For this bride, it’s yes to both!”


1. Prep the roots with texturizing powder or a dry texture spray such as Kenra Professional Platinum Texture Powder 4 to add grip and volume.

2. Starting at the nape, loosely curl all of the hair with a 1- to 11/2-inch curling wand. Steph likes the ghd CurveTM Classic Wave Wand because it’s oval-shaped—perfect for creating deep waves instead of tight curls.

3. Micro-backcomb at the roots to add volume and texture.

4. Run your fingers through the ends and mess up the curl, spraying Kenra Professional Dry Texture Spray 6 to help build texture.

5. Gather small, random sections of hair throughout the head and secure them with small elastics. Concentrate on the center back with fewer elastics through the sides.

6. Insert small clusters of flowers through the elastics.

Loose Updo

Did your Boho client choose a dress that’s not obviously Boho? Then it’s up to you to bring out her true spirit. Sheer, lacy head scarf? Check. Loose, effortless updo? Check. Now she looks like a real Boho bride.


1. Backcomb all hair at the roots. Then loosely curl the whole head with a 1-inch curling iron. Direct the hair away from the face in the front.

2. Isolate the top and side sections from the ears forward and clip aside for later.

3. In the back, create a loose updo on the side by scrunching and bobby-pinning hair into a loose bun shape. It helps to add a medium hold spray, such as Kenra Professional Medium Spray 13, to the ends.

4. Release the top and sides and loosely incorporate them into the updo. The hair should be very flowy and relaxed, so be sure to create substantial texture in the hair before pinning. Use Kenra Professional Medium Spray 13 and Kenra Professional Volume Spray 25 to keep loose hairs in place.

5. Wrap a scarf or turban around the forehead.

The Long Braid

Is her dress so casual it’s hard to tell her apart from the other wedding guests? Then her hair has to exude bridal style! Try this look—a perfect blend of relaxed and refined.


1. Begin by prepping the hair with Kenra Professional Platinum Dry Shampoo to add grip at the roots.

2. Make a deep side part. Begin on the heavy side at the front hairline, and create a French fishtail braid that begins on the part and wraps around to the back.

3. When the braid reaches the center back, clip it aside.

4. Repeat on the opposite side, bringing a second braid around to the center back.

5. Combine both braids and add a French fishtail braid down the center back.

6. At the shoulder blades, switch to a three-strand braid.

7. Secure the end of the braid with an elastic and conceal the elastic with a section of hair.


Jenny Strebe; @theconfessionsofahairstylist

“When a bride brings in a photo of a vintage dress, I tend to ask more questions,” says Jenny. “Is she a modern vintage lover or a true vintage gal? This is really important when choosing the hairstyle. Some brides want to stay true to the era, so in that case, I try to find hair inspiration from that time, then add a modern twist.”

Faux Bob and Gatsby Waves

She told you she wants to look like she stepped out of a 1920s jazz bar. Your go-to? The faux bob, which is great for all face shapes. You can easily adjust the length of the bob depending on her hair length and facial structure. For round face shapes, says Jenny, keep the bob a couple inches below the jaw line. Add volume around the cheeks if the face is oval-shaped. A faux bob works especially well with a delicate neckline like this one, because it shows off the subtle details of the dress.


1. Start with dry hair and apply label.m Volume Mousse for texture, volume and hold.

2. Create a triangle section from the crown to high recession, and clip away. 
Pro Tip:
 The density of the hair and the presence of layers will determine the size of the triangle.

3. Create a long, 1-inch wide rectangular section that extends from the crown to the nape.

4. Create an inverted braid starting at the crown and extending to the nape—this will serve as the base for the faux bob. When you run out of hair, continue with a normal three-strand braid and secure with an elastic.

5. Gather the remaining hair underneath the triangle section and create a loose, three-strand braid. Secure with an elastic.

6. Flip the three-strand braid and pin it directly into the inverted braid.

7. Release the top section, curl all of the hair in the same direction around the head, setting each curl with pin-curl clips.

8. When the hair is cool, release the pins and comb the hair, forming an S-shape.

9. Secure the S-formations with duckbill clips and let the hair set for a few minutes.

10. Release the clips and finish with label.m Extreme Hold Hairspray. For added shine, apply label.m Shine Spray.

Victory Rolls

“These victory rolls are perfect for the true rockabilly babe,” says Jenny. “They’re glamorous, so pair them with something formal like a tea-length dress with a full skirt.”


1. Prep the hair with label.m Volume Mousse for texture, volume and hold.

2. If your client’s hair is naturally straight, add curls with a 1-inch curling iron, holding the iron horizontally.

3. Section out hair in front of the ears to use as the “roll.” Brush these sections thoroughly.

4. Lift the section to a 45-degree angle and wrap it around your fingers to create the beginning of the roll. Continue rolling the hair toward the scalp.

5. Once the hair is rolled all the way up, pin it into place with bobby pins.

6. Repeat on the opposite side, and mist with label.m Extreme Hold Hairspray.

Bardot Pouf with a Bun

Vintage AND classic all wrapped up into one neat upstyle! “This Bardot pouf works well with the classic lines in vintage-style dresses,” says Jenny. “And a bun always says ‘timeless.’ Since the hair is up, I suggest a dress with a lace collar—something you’d want to show off. Lace also brings out the texture of the hair.”


1. Brush the hair out fully before starting and part on the desired side.

2. Create a small triangle section on the top of the head, extending from the crown to the sides of the hairline.

3. Apply label.m Texturising Volume Spray at the roots, and tease the top section, beginning a few inches away from the hairline and working to the crown. Use hairspray if the hair texture is silky.

4. Gently comb the top of the backcombed hair, directing it toward the crown.

5. Create the desired height, then gently twist the hair into the low crown area. Push it up and lock it into place with a bobby pin. If the hair is thick, several pins will be necessary.

6. Direct the remaining hair up to the twisted area, gather into a ponytail and secure with an elastic.

7. Release the small triangle section and part it, sweeping it across the forehead.

8. Wrap the ponytail into a bun and secure. Finish with label.m Extreme Hold Hairspray.


Mustafa Avci (@hairsalonm) has built a reputation for his unique special occasion styling. The Brooklyn-based salon owner’s signature look—big, bold finger waves—has earned him more than 275,000 Instagram followers and is one of his most-requested bridal looks. Here’s Mustafa’s secret to creating his signature waves!

1. Create a high parting, prep damp hair with Kérastase Styling Lift Vertige, then rough-dry.

2. Apply a generous amount of Kérastase Laque Noire Extra-Strong Hold Hairspray to 1-inch sections, from roots to ends.

3. Curl the hair in wide, brick panel sections using a 1-inch iron (the key to full, voluptuous waves), twisting each section as you wrap. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds.

4. Grasp the curl with your opposite hand as you remove the iron so the curl retains its shape. Clip each curl with a metal duckbill clip. Set the hair for a minimum of 15 minutes.

5. Release the curls and smooth the hair with a comb; then gently tease the underside. Fan and pull the hair to blend.

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