We asked London-based hairstylist and bridal hair expert Summer Langton, who works at prestigious London salon Michael Van Clarke, to give us her best advice on preparing for your hair trial. How do you describe what you want? Should you bring pictures? Should you already have bought your wedding dress? How long before the big day should you book your consultation? Summer addresses all your most pressing questions, and gives some ideas of her own...
Summer working in the London salon
Get the dress!
"This is possibly the most important thing to have done before you have a hair trial. It's incredibly important to know your dress before you choose your hairstyle. Hair, make-up, shoes, accessories... These should all just enhance the star of the show: the gown. So make sure you've got it first."
Bring your Pinterest board
"Or, if you don't have one, lots of pictures. The reason I love it when clients bring their wedding Pinterests is because I get more than just an idea of the hairstyles they like. I can see colour schemes, the venue, dress styles... It gives me a great understanding of what they like. What might sound surprising is that I also find it helpful to see images of hairstyles my brides-to-be don't like. For example, maybe she loves the front of an updo but hates the back. It's great when she shows me both. That way, I'm sure to steer clear of a look they hate."
Have a clear idea of how you want to
"Let your stylist know what 'vibe' youre going for with your big day look. Classic? Traditional? Demure? Sophisticated? Or would you like to look like a Greek goddess or bohemian babe? Anything goes! Don't be afraid to express yourself in a non-specific way, too. It can really help guide a stylist's suggested hairdos for your big day."
Wear more make-up than usual
"It can be daunting (and even off-putting) for clients who come for their hair trial in their leggings and with no make-up on. The only reason I say this is that, particularly if they feel under-confident already, they can't then envisage what the whole look will be once it all comes together. Remember, on the day, you'll be dressed to the nines! Bear that in mind when you're at your hair trial. It helps to put in a little more effort for it, so you have a better idea of the final look."
Wear a similar colour to your wedding outfit
"This is also very helpful for visualising how the style will complement your gown. This is a particularly great idea if you're getting your hair coloured on the same day as your trial."
Try to coordinate a dress fitting for the day
"If you can, it's a fantastic idea to organise your second or third dress fitting with the day of your hair trial. Book the latter for beforehand and then you'll be able to see the gown with the style we create at the salon. It's the best way to see if the look works."
Imagine the red carpet you
"One of my biggest tips is actually not to focus on seeing yourself as the 'bride', but to imagine yourself as the most glamourous, elegant, beautiful, regal etc. person you can possibly be. Your wedding day isn't just about looking like a bride, it's about feeling one million pounds (or more!)."
When should you have the trial?
"It's completely up to you - you can leave to the last minute, if you like! I don't recommend that, personally, but the most important thing is that you've already chosen your dress because that's your jumping off point. I suggest to my clients that we have our trial 3-4 months in advance. That way, it's fresh in your mind but you aren't worrying about it at the eleventh hour. It's a hairdresser's dream to have a good rapport with their clients, so I also love it when my brides book in for trims or blow-drys before the big day, so we can get to know each other."
Last but not least!
"TAKE LOADS OF PHOTOS. The more the merrier. If you take lots of shots of your hair styled throughout the day, then you'll have a clearer picture of what it'll look like at your wedding and over a good few hours. Plus, you'll be able to see it from all angles (just as you will in your wedding photos)."
Summer says: "If you always rock your hair down and hate it any other way, why change?! Just make sure it's set really well. Try different styles. A bouncy curl or beach wave result in completely different looks, for example. And make sure you have an idea of how long your hair will stay in that position - get your trial booked in the morning and take pictures throughout the day so see how it settles."
Summer says: "Half-up is becoming very popular among brides. It's a perfect balance if you like having your hair down but want something that looks a little different from usual, as well as keeping those tresses out of your face. It's also super easy to secure a veil into a half-up do, while keeping some locks loose across your shoulders."
Summer says: "A wedding updo always looks fabulous. It's an obvious choice if you have lots of detailing on your neckline or the back of your gown. I always keep them soft and pretty for my brides, nothing too tight, formal or harsh-looking. And for dark-haired clients, it's a good idea to include flowers or twinkling hair accessories in it, because plaits and twists aren't as visible in photographs."