What is perfect wedding hair? Modern, timeless, perfectly conditioned hair that lasts all day. A tall order, but one that needn't be impossible - just follow the tips and tricks of some of the industry's most brilliant experts and you are guaranteed perfect wedding hair.
1. Don't forget to have a trial run
A wedding hair trial is an absolute necessity. Bring pictures of everything you love as well as those you definitely don't love. "The advice I always give to a bride when choosing wedding hair is to first, create a wedding hair mood board. Include pictures of celebrities' hair (as opposed to 'bridal hair') from red carpet events such as the BAFTAs and Oscars as these styles have been created with thought by some of the best hairdressers around," says Craig Taylor, Creative director at Hari's Hairdressers.
The same goes for colour: Amie Wilson, Senior Colourist at Neville's Hair and Beauty believes that every wedding planning strategy should include a 'hair colour plan'. "Consultations are the key to success - the first should be at least six months before the big day. Take along images of colours you like, pictures of your dress, hair pieces/veils etc. It's a great way to give us a real idea of how you will look on the day. I always look at your natural colour, your existing hair colour and work out a timeline plan to include your budget and the amount of salon visits needed".
2. Your priority should be what suits you
There's a certain thinking that comes with what 'wedding hair' actually looks like (OTT or classic, usually) but it's time to revise that preconception, says says Jonathan Long of Lockonego. "It's not about being elaborate but about feeling like you and therefore feeling and looking comfortable throughout the day. Keep it simple - less really is more." Wendy Iles, celebrity stylist and founder of super-chic hair brand Iles Formula, agrees. "I never understand why brides go for elaborate hairdos - your future husband will not want the girl he loves to look like a stranger. Keeping things soft and natural will keep your wedding pictures timeless". Seeing that Iles is that the stylist that keeps the tresses of Keira Knightley, Jennifer Lopez and Marion Cottilard, looking picture perfect, her advice is well worth taking!
3. If in doubt, think timeless
There are ways to go for a contemporary look that still stands the test of time. Sam Burnett, Creative Director and founder of Hare and Bone says, "There are so many new adaptations of classic styles that you can experiment with. Enhancing your hair's natural texture will immediately contemporize a timeless classic style. Don't overly smooth your hair with tons of product, An undone, tousled look with a tiny bit of definition is perfect. Waves for instance are both classic - think Veronica Lake - and modern - think Blake Lively." Braids, says, award winning hairstylist Errol Douglas, "is a huge trend that will continue way beyond 2017. They are so versatile and can create a soft yet structured look". Bridal hair expert, Anne Veck, agrees. "A romantic updo with a crown braid is a really popular style for modern brides to be." Maria Galati, Education Director at Taylor Taylor suggests embracing the natural movement of the hair with say a modern ponytail. "Don't be afraid to let a few strands escape to give you a sexier evening feel".
4. Prep, prep prep!
A requisite for every bridal hairstyle is staying power. And it's all down to your prep work: get this right and it's going to stay. "While a strong hairspray helps it is what you do beforehand that makes all the difference," says Errol Douglas. "This includes not washing your hair on the day, which allows the hair to have more texture and manageability - if the hair is too soft, it won't hold". Sam Burnett, Creative Director and Founder of Hare and Bone also places emphasis on the importance of having regular treatments in the run up to the big day. "Regular treatments prior to the wedding day not only build up the health of the hair but they are vital for achieving a beautiful, lasting and healthy looking style." Actress Lupita Nyong'o's stylist Vernon Francis, believes an inside out approach to hair care is imperative for great bridal hair. "While products, treatments, drying and styling techniques are all very important, your lifestyle, good nutrition (start taking Omega 3 supplements) and drinking plenty of water all play a huge part in maintaining healthy hair."
5. Consider natural looking hair extensions
Hair extensions have had an unfortunate reputation of being cheap, tacky and fake looking. The good news is that it has moved on quite significantly. There are beautiful quality extensions that add length, colour and volume in a way that is totally undetectable . Stephanie Pollard is the hair extension specialist that the A list on both sides of the Atlantic flock to when they want picture perfect hair. Her key to natural looking extensions? "I always match the clients' hair texture exactly to the chosen hair extension that will be applied. Texture matching is key and if not carefully mastered, it's a real giveaway to poor hair extensions."
Now you have the essential tips to get your perfect wedding hair, now to help you choose the perfect hairstyle. We've got a gallery packed with a whole load of real-bride wedding hair inspiration, to fill up your bridal hair mood boards. From gorgeous wedding up-do's, to beachy bridal waves and braids, plus oodles of interesting ways to incorporate hair accessories. We've got the lot. Pinterest boards at the ready...