Hair Styling for Special Occasions
Bridesmaid Hairstyles: 36 Looks for Every Hair Type and Texture
14 May 2018
When it comes to bridesmaids, everybody has an opinion. Your best friend from high school would like a cocktail gown, while your sisters-in-law think it’s best if the whole bridal party squeezes into mini dresses—and don’t even get them started on bridesmaid hair.
It’s your special day, and it’s overwhelming to hear a dozen opinions on any given subject. We get it. Luckily, you have us, and we’ve handpicked you a bridesmaid hair style for every kind of wedding and bridesmaid. All you have to do now is pick.
Vintage Victory Rolls
Inside every one of us there’s a vintage-loving vixen just waiting to get out. If your wedding comes complete with a swing band, full skirts, and old fashioned cocktails, deck your bridal party out in true 1940s style.
Ask your stylist to give your bridesmaids face-framing victory rolls, while leaving the bottom half of the hair free and curled. The hairspray-set style will last all the way through photos and the Charleston, providing long wearing volume and style.
Truly, this messy chignon is how we wish our hair looked every day of the week. It’s sexy, effortless-seeming, and suits any face shape. If you’re the kind of bride who prioritizes her maids’ comfort, the messy chignon is truly for you.
To achieve the casual coolness of this style, ask your hair pro to leave a section of hair out while building the chignon. When he or she is totally done, they should wrap the strand around the base of the bun and pull a few pieces out to create a less-formal look.
Twist Braid with Fresh Flowers
Twist braids are a love letter from hair stylists to the kind of bride who’s never once thought about styling her own hair. Your bridesmaids can be just as low maintenance as you are with a style that takes less than five minutes.
All you’ll need are bobby pins and a few sprays of flowers that didn’t quite fit into your bouquet. Simply twist two strands from behind each ear and pin them in the middle, placing flowers within the spiral.
Boho Waterfall Braid
Looking for a style that embraces the unique hair texture each of your bridesmaids brings to the party? The boho waterfall braid is the way to go, and can even be achieved in the comfort of your very own hotel suite. It’s just like a French braid, but with an added trick. You’ll drop a strand of hair every time you add more to the braid.
For a rustic wedding or a civil ceremony, this comfortable, romantic look is the way to go.
Teased Low Ponytail
The voluminous low ponytail is sexy and understated, highlighting the neck and collarbones without going overboard. We love this style for an upscale city wedding, one where your bridesmaids might be wearing column gowns.
When choosing this style, be sure your stylist back combs at the roots of each bridesmaid’s hair before beginning the ponytail. Adding a little texturizing spray wouldn’t hurt, either. The more undone this style looks, the better it is.
We’ll be the first to admit it: The bouffant is a style that traditionally screams “wedding.” Still, we love the added volume and the retro vibe of the technique, especially when it’s used to create a low, sleek bun at the nape of the neck.
Additionally, brides who choose this style won’t have to worry about their stylists goofing on the day of the ceremony. We’re pretty sure the ability to tease hair runs in their blood.
Modern French Twist
Has there ever been a style as timeless as the French twist? You, your bridesmaids, and your great-grandmother can all wear it and somehow manage to seem age appropriate. Needless to say, we’re big fans.
To keep the twist feeling fresh and young, add a modern-feeling pin or clip to the twist. Your bridesmaids with thank you.
Double Ponytail Updo
Confession: We’re totally enamored with this opulent, over-the-top dramatic ponytail. It’s the ultimate in girly guilty pleasures. Although this seems like a standard, curled ponytail, it’s actually two. (The second tail is hidden under the first to create the illusion of extra volume and length.) If your wedding is all about glamour or you’re struggling to find a bridesmaid hairstyle for extra-long hair, give this look a shot.
Reverse Headband Braid
Aiming for a style that’s so chic it might be featured by a style blogger or fashion magazine? Look no further than the simple reverse headband braid. From the front, your bridesmaids will seem as if they’re wearing a standard half ponytail updo. In reality, they’ll be wearing beautifully “pancaked” (loosened and flattened) braids across the backs of their heads.
This hairstyle is an optimal choice for bridesmaids who have extremely straight or fine hair since you won’t have to worry about it holding a curl.
Nothing is quite as elegant as a simple bun, perched high on the head and complemented by face framing pieces or bangs. If your bridesmaid dresses are a bold color or cut, consider this classic style as a quick, easy way to ensure those gowns stay the focal point.
Interestingly, this particular style isn’t much different than a messy bun. If you’re hoping to save money by skipping the salon, ballerina buns are absolutely doable at home.
Single Side Pin-Back with Flowers
Short-haired bridesmaids can be challenging to plan around because their hair rarely lasts in even the most solid updos. Instead of stressing over the inevitable, ask your maids to try a style that leaves most of their hair free of pins and hair mousse.
Your stylist should give bridesmaids allover texture with loose waves, gently pinning back one section of hair over the ear and adding a sprig of a festive flower (we love baby’s breath and wax flower).
Cropped Crown Braid
Here’s another quick fix for the lobbed and bobbed ladies you love. A crown braid keeps stray hairs out of the face while ensuring photographer-friendly volume and a sense of whimsy. For a garden or beach wedding, a braid is ideal.
Notably, this style also works cohesively for the members of your bridal party who wear their hair long. Instead of tucking all their hair into the crown braid, your stylists should braid across the hairline but let their lengths hang free.
Glamorous Pin Curl Waves
Classic, glamorous, Old Hollywood: If these are the words you want attendees using to describe your ceremony and reception, then have your bridesmaids wear pin curls to your wedding. Because this style involves pre-planning and special skill to get right, check in advance to make sure your chosen stylist has experience with the style.
Your bridesmaids will not only look like movie stars, but also feel like them while sitting around in silk robes and curl clips. This is one style that makes for incredible photos, both before and after it’s let down.
Backcombed and Sleek
If you’re planning a modern ceremony, don’t feel as if you need to jump at the first curled updo you see. We recommend bridesmaid hairstyles that mesh with your larger concept for the celebration.
For those ladies leaning toward clean and contemporary design, this backcombed half updo is a perfect fit. Because the style tucks under a section from the crown, there’s no need for bedazzled hair clips or fresh flowers. Follow your gut and keep it simple.
Don’t push pigtails to the side as a look meant exclusively for children. When styled for maximum shine, these curly tails can be played for a seriously glamorous effect.
If you were young in the early 2000s, these clip-in pearls will bring back plenty of fond memories. For a youthful twist on wedding styles, allow your bridesmaids to embrace their natural texture with just a hint of formality.
Classic Formal Chignon
The formal chignon is stately, elegant, and looks perfect in photos. Using a padded bun base, your bridesmaid’s stylist will roll her hair into a neat bun and finish with a decorative twist across the top.
Bedazzled Half Ponytail
Yes, embellishments! This past year, we’ve seen dozens of celebs try out metal rings in updos and braided styles. If the bohemian look appeals to you, pair it with a classic half ponytail.
Pinned Half Ponytail
Finding a bridesmaid gift that fits several personalities at once is practically impossible—unless it’s a modern hair accessory. Purchase a whole set of clips or fasteners, asking your bridesmaids to wear them together on your special day.
If simplicity is the name of your wedding game, try this sculptural cinnamon bun updo. With strategically hidden pins and high hold hairspray, a talented stylist can pull even the longest hair up and off the neck.
Don’t fight texture, embrace it! This understated look combines the beauty of natural curls with a touch of sophistication for an ethereal final appearance. For extra panache, ask the stylist to use embellished pins.
For a summer wedding, a pineapple updo can keep your bridesmaids cool while simultaneously showing off any earrings they might be wearing. Styling the pineapple so that the curls fall gently around the face will make the style extra photogenic.
For a city or modern wedding, the pull-through ponytail is a simple, stylish choice. Instead of a typical braid, the stylist will create a 2-inch section with half the tail, then pull the rest of the pony through and repeat.
If you’ve been hyperventilating over the thousands of bridesmaid opinions and choices, opt for a classic. The universally flattering twisted chignon works for all hair lengths and face shapes.
A braid is only as good as the texturizing spray that goes into it, and this one is doing a serious job creating lived-in volume that photographs well. Because braids are so customizable, any stylist can help you tweak this look to fit your wedding’s aesthetic.
Wraparound Braid With Flowers
In its heyday, stylists often paired wraparound braids with leather, metal, and athletic apparel. We’re more inclined to support this hyper-feminine version, which features small flowers and voluminous pancaking.
If your bridesmaids don’t have enough length for the updo you’ve been picturing, try a version that creates the illusion of a bun without requiring the extra inches. The faux updo is actually two smaller buns at the nape fluffed to look like a single cohesive style.
Don’t overthink bridesmaid style. If you’re going for soft, feminine, and romantic, bombshell curls may be your best bet. Thanks to the soft volume, shine, and bounce, your best girls will be able to shake their manes on the dance floor until late into the night.
Beachy Long Braid
Getting married on a beach or outdoors can make planning a hairstyle tricky, which is why this long braid is so perfect. The style gently loops long hair into a very loose plait, ensuring it’s not flying into your bridesmaids’ eyes when the wind kicks up.
If you’ve been a victim of too-tight updos in past weddings, grant your bridesmaids a bit more slack with a loose fishtail braid style. They can remember all the details of your special day (and not a hairpin-induced headache).
Double Dutch Buns
Forever the space buns enthusiasts, we’re convinced this style is totally wedding-appropriate and youthful—just be sure the stylist knows to pancake the look as much as possible.
Cross Braid Updo
The cross braid updo is the perfect intersection of practical styling and classic wedding styles. It may mimic the shape of a traditional updo, but that braiding is totally 2018.
As the bride, you’ll want all eyes on you—but that doesn’t mean totally stiffing your bridesmaids. A rolled bun with a small floater (think: headband, but on the back of your head) is simple, beautiful, and won’t steal the spotlight.
Oversize Crown Braid
If festival vibes are just as welcome in your nuptials as they are at outdoor concerts everywhere, a beautiful crown braid is just the thing for your bridesmaids. For spring or summer ceremonies, don’t hesitate to weave fresh flowers into the style.
Pinned To The Side
In every bridal party, there is one bridesmaid who hates the way her hair was styled. She inevitably rips out the pins and constructs her own look. Avoid the stress and chaos of same-day changes with a style that’s pinned to the side, giving every maid the best of up and down hair.
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