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Bridesmaid On A Budget: How To Style Bridesmaid Hair At Home

21 June 2018
photo of bride with bridesmaids
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Emily Arata

Senior Editor, Hair.com

As an employee of L’Oréal, Emily works with celebrity stylists to make finding the right cut, color, or style easier than ever before. She's previously written for Allure, Elite Daily, and First We Feast.

Being a bridesmaid means walking a fine line in the months leading up to your loved one’s big day. While a bride generally has plenty of good intentions, anyone who’s ever been in a wedding can tell you the potential to go off the rails lurks nearby at all times.

When the flower, cake, and venue budget start adding up, don’t be surprised if your bride starts getting a little—shall we say—DIY. Don’t panic! With tips taken straight from salon professionals, you’ll be surprised at how manageable updos are at home. Laura Dyer, Kérastase brand ambassador and stylist, has your back.

Read on for everything you need to know about how to style bridesmaid hair at home. Grab a glass of champagne while you’re at it—you deserve it!

Start with a cohesive aesthetic.

Some brides couldn’t care less about matching bridesmaid dresses while others scour the web for the perfect customizable dressing gowns for pre-ceremony photos. Whichever kind of ceremony is in the plans, you’ll need some sort of universal aesthetic to make sure the bridesmaids all look like they’re attending the same party. (We see you, Andrea who only wears loose high ponytails!)

Think of hairstyling the same way you might dresses: It doesn’t matter if the color is the same, as long as some recognizable visual elements repeat. Whether you all incorporate a delicate fishtail braid somewhere in the look or add a sprig of Waxflower behind one ear, think of yourselves as a team wearing a team hairstyle.

Dyer’s picks?

“A beautiful blowout followed by some simple iron work to touch up loose waves, a snatched pony (don’t forget to wrap hair around the bungee to cover it up!), and a loose side braid that is petaled out to make it big and sexy.”

Keep in mind that cousins, sorority sisters, and childhood pals will have a variety of hair colors, textures, and lengths—not to mention tastes—which means there’s no pleasing everyone. The more they’re able to customize their own styles, the better.

Build a styling arsenal.

If you’re all planning on styling hair in the same location the morning of the wedding, treat it like your unofficial war room. Stock up on pins, clear hair elastics, and a basic set of products (teasing brush, hairspray, anti-frizz serum) that can be shared among the group. Let the whole group know you’ll be purchasing the tools beforehand and divide the costs up evenly. Don’t place all your hope on Aunt Linda remembering to bring the curling iron.

“Most wedding hair can benefit from anti-humidity products. Even if the weather isn’t wet, you’re going to sweat on the dance floor. My go-to choices are Kérastase L'incroyable Blowdry, Kérastase Keratine Thermique Anti-Frizz Hair Milk, and Kérastase Laque Noire Hairspray,” Dyer advises.

It’s not just the right products that will make or break the styling, either. Some of us are self-described novices at hair styling, unable to do much more than a standard braid. That inability to get a style done efficiently can make or break the wedding day schedule. Luckily, there’s a fix: If your bride isn’t comfortable with professional hair appointments, give your favorite stylist a ring.

Many stylists are open to scheduling in-salon styling sessions to help clients master techniques like curling and teasing using tools you already own. Setting up an appointment a few weeks before the big day could make all the difference in your wedding style—and the appointment may come with a lower price tag than a full-scale bridal session would.

“The first reason that comes to mind would be a destination wedding. When you’re miles away from your trusted hairstylist, it’s a great idea to schedule a lesson before you venture to the wedding location,” Dyer says. “Something as easy as discussing which products to use, and some simple blow drying and curling techniques can make the destination wedding situation a lot less stressful, especially if you’re not sure of using local services during the festivities.”

Take your updo for a spin—before the big day.

You know the bride will take the precaution of trying out her bridal hair long before her actual ceremony, and so should the bridal party. Once there’s a plan in place, each member of the squad should spend an hour trying to master their own styles. Once it’s in place, throw a home dance party, go for a jog—generally ensure those pins will really hold the style in place when you throw down on the dancefloor.

Does the chignon fall apart the first time you drop it low? Start over. We’d recommend repeating the process at least once before the final countdown to your bride’s nuptials begins.

Take a deep breath.

There is an insane amount of pressure on your bride, but that’s not to say anyone in the bridal party is getting off easy. The morning of, take a deep breath and remember that your updo will not make or break her day. With a smile that’s big enough, no one will notice your hair.

Looking for more personalized styling tips? Use our salon locator to book a consultation at a salon near you.

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