If you’re reading this, chances are good you have wedding bells on the horizon. Congratulations! You’ve got the ring, the dress is hanging in your closet, and you’re finally about to have the wedding day of your dreams after a few pandemic-related hoops to jump through. Now, it’s time to decide what you’re doing with your hair. Wedding hairstyles can be deceptively tricky to choose, especially since you’re looking for one that both highlights your favorite facial features and complements your dress.
Take a deep breath because we're here to tell you there is no such thing as bad wedding hairstyles, whether you have dark brown hair or pastel pink strands. If you look like a goddess incarnate and can't feel any hair pins poking directly into your scalp, the look is undoubtedly a success. Here’s what you need to know to prepare.
How do I do my hair on my wedding day?
Wedding hairstyles are not one size fits all. After considering your personal style, the next factor to account for is the neckline of your dress.
Strapless or spaghetti strap dresses lend themselves to an all-down hairdo or a half-up, half-down look. Have a higher neckline? Opt for an updo or a low style that sweeps some of your hair away from the neck so your gorgeous dress remains front and center.
Can I do my wedding hair myself?
Absolutely! It's your big day, so anything goes, especially if you want to look and feel the most like yourself. If you're comfortable enough to craft your own curls or updo for your wedding, we say more power to you.
While you can do your own hair, you’ve likely spent months, if not a year or two, meticulously mapping out your special day, so you deserve to be pampered! Not to mention, your stylist is full of clever tips and tricks to help your hairdo last from cocktail hour to the last dance. If you go with a pro, check out our appointment guide for everything you need to know in the months leading up to your wedding day.
What do you do with straight hair for a wedding?
If you have naturally straight hair, you know it can take a few painstaking hours and a lot of frustration to get your mane to hold a curl. Luckily, there are still a ton of options for sleek-haired beauties.
Low or high ponytails, braided buns, fishtail braids, half-up twists, and updos with hair accessories are fairly low-effort and easy to achieve on straight hair. The secret to getting these styles to stay is a firm hold hairspray. To add volume and texture, try Matrix Vavoom Extra Full Freezing Spray, which works double-duty as a dry shampoo and texturizer to refresh hair and add workable fullness.
Matrix Vavoom Freezing Spray Extra Hold has you covered if you plan to experiment with updos or accessories, whether your hair is straight or curly. By adding volume and texture, it’ll give strands grip when creating updos, braids, and ponytails so nothing slips out of place.
Of course, you can always stick to the basics and rock your straight strands, especially if you have less length and need ideas for wedding hairstyles for short hair that are silky-smooth. If you go that route, enhance it with a shine spray. Kérastase Elixir Ultime L’Huile Original Hair Oil contains a blend of five precious hair oils that will add shine, deeply nourish, and help to prevent breakage.
How should you wear your hair when trying on wedding dresses?
If your heart is set on a lower-cut bodice or a strapless style, we suggest leaving some hair to hang loose around your shoulders. If you’re thinking of a higher neckline, pull your hair up and away from your face or wear it in a ponytail. Be sure to bring clips and extra hair ties with you, though; after all, so many of us end up being pleasantly surprised by the style we choose!
With the confidence of a woman who knows she’s about to look her best, take a peek at 20 of our favorite editor-approved wedding hairstyle ideas. Whether you’re aiming for bombshell or princess, you’ll find inspiration here for the perfect ‘do.
20 Pretty Wedding Hairstyles To Try Now
Pearled Waterfall Waves
One of our favorite wedding hairstyles for long hair has got to be waterfall waves topped off with a pearled headband. It helps sweep hair back and away from your face while still showing off your princess-length strands in a romantic way.
See how to achieve this simple yet elegant bridal style for yourself by tuning into our Spring Soiree video here at the 23:43 mark.
Pinned Up with Pearls
While we have pearls on the mind, we love the delicacy of this pearl-topped chignon. Just like the love between you and your partner, classic pearl accents are one thing we can count on for never going out of style. They’re a beautiful way to add a touch of allure and sophistication to a pinned-up hairdo, especially if your wedding is taking place on a sweltering summer day.
Side Swept Fishtail Braid
Look no further than this side-swept fishtail braid if you're looking for a wedding hairstyle with a boho feel. Gather all of your hair on your head's left or right side and secure it in a loose ponytail.
Next, divide the ponytail into two equal sections. To create the fishtail effect, take a section of hair from the outside of the left ponytail and cross it over to the right ponytail. Repeat the process on the opposite side, taking a section from the outside of the right ponytail over to the left.
Continue crossing the opposite sections of the hair until you reach the end of the braid, then secure it with an elastic. Once the braid is secure, remove the elastic from the nape of the neck to give the braid a seamless look, and pancake the braid for a voluminous effect. For a bridal touch, place small flowers throughout your braid.
Once you see the final figures for your flower bill, you may wonder if your centerpieces will look more glamorous than you do. Avoid being upstaged by your decor and save a few of your favorite wedding flowers for your hair to adorn a breathtaking updo. And, if you have less length to work with, you can’t go wrong with creating a flower crown to embellish short locks.
This style may look complicated, but Redken artist Jackie Litscher breaks down how to do it with a little bit of styling assistance. A full-bodied wedding style is only as good as its base, so start by washing and conditioning your hair with Redken’s Volume Injection for Fine Hair Shampoo and Conditioner system to pump up the volume. Then, apply Redken Guts 10 Root-Volumizing Foam Hairspray to damp hair, comb it through, and blow dry to add more fullness at the crown.
OK, here's the challenging part:
- Just below the high point of your head, grab a 4-inch wide, 2-inch deep section of hair and Dutch braid it in an S-shape (watch the tutorial for more tips about how this is done).
- Start on the thicker side of your part and create a French braid along your hairline that leads back to the center of your head.
- Pin it in place, spritzing with texturizing spray and pulling apart the braid for added volume.
- Add a few floral accents if desired, then set the look into place with Redken Triple Take 32 Extreme High-Hold Hairspray.
Wrapped Half-up Ponytail
The half-up ponytail might have its roots in an awkward middle school style (Could we have yanked those tails any tighter?), but a recent revival in popularity has given it a much-needed update. Ask your stylist to loosely curl your hair before finger-combing through the ringlets to keep yours looking romantic. Done but not too done is the aesthetic idea you’ll want to emphasize.
Teasing at the crown, the pro can loosely draw the top half of the hair into a band, leaving a small section to wrap it around the ponytail's base. Using a comb is optimal to attain a perfectly even part. If the style still feels slightly restrained, try asking your stylist to pull a few tendrils out around your forehead and ears.
If a defined jawline and carved cheekbones have been bestowed upon you, why hide them beneath a curtain of hair? Instead, make a statement with a textured pixie, a classic look that will be in style long after your fiftieth wedding anniversary. It’s safe to say, this ‘do is a top contender for wedding hairstyles for short hair.
Ask your stylist for a blowout that focuses on height and lived-in texture. Once they are done heat styling, there’s a good chance a texturizing paste will come into play. The formula will create separation while holding your pixie in place. If you’re in need of one to stash in your bag for touch-ups, pick up L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Architexture Paste.
Crimped and Pinned
Remember when we used to go to great lengths to hide our bobby pins within our hairstyles? This bridal ‘do all about showing them off! Biolage artistic director Danielle Keasling shows us how to do it using her favorite products from Biolage Hydra Source.
Speaking of bobby pins, here’s another wedding hairstyle idea that relies on the simple accessory.
Pull the top half of your mane towards the back of your head and hold it in place with three bobby pins, forming a triangle shape. Placing them beside each other makes the go-to styling tools look dressed up, making this easy hairstyle perfect for your nuptials.
Pro tip: For any style where bobby pins come into play, spray a dry shampoo, like Pureology Style + Protect Refresh & Go Dry Shampoo, onto the inside of the pins before placing them into the hair. The texture helps anchor the pins in place to avoid any slippage.
Twisted Embellished Updo
Sensing a bobby pin pattern here? This twisted updo is polished and chic and again uses the staple hair accessory to add some fun intrigue to the overall look.
While the adorned updo can work for anyone, it's excellent for medium-length wedding hairstyles because it can help tackle those awkward-length strands that continuously fall out when you pull hair back.
Windswept Side Part
If you're a hair-down kind of gal (*raises hand*), this one's for you! Switching up your part is a simple change but makes all the difference on your wedding day. A deep side part with windswept texture can create instant, long-lasting volume at your root, especially if your locks tend to fall flat.
You’re going to want to enlist the help of an anti-humidity wash routine for this one, such as Biolage Professional Ultra Hydra Source Shampoo and Conditioner. Formulated with the moisture-retaining aloe plant that never seems to dry, this ultra-nourishing shampoo gently cleanses and helps optimize moisture balance in parched strands, preventing future breakage, frizz, and flyaways.
Who says your wedding hairstyle has to take two hours and cost a pretty penny? Try this easy low bun hair hack for an effortless, chic style that’s stunning for a laidback bride. Best of all, the effortlessly undone look comes together in ten seconds, flat.
If you’re looking for an elegant style that pairs well with a veil, glamour waves are for you, and they’re ideal for adding some pizazz to medium-length wedding hairstyles.
Give yourself a deep part, then start at the back of your head working, with 2-inch sections of clean, dry hair. Spray each one with a heat protectant like Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner before wrapping it around a 1-inch curling iron barrel.
Continue curling until you’ve completed your entire head, then brush out your curls until you achieve your desired S-curl. If you're only wearing your veil for the ceremony, you may want a quick and easy way to add sparkle to your reception look. Clip a jeweled hairpiece near your temple.
Are you more likely to be caught leaving a sweat session at the gym than agonizing over floral arrangements for your upcoming nuptials? If that's the case, you're probably not buying into the ringlets-and-tiaras look for wedding hairstyles.
A twisted ponytail is just what you need to kick your bridal hairstyle up a notch. Show this video tutorial to your hairstylist, or try the look at home and save yourself time and effort.
While traditional Dutch and fishtail braids will always hold a special place in our hearts, we love this pull-through ponytail, which gives the appearance of a braid and is easy to achieve.
To start, gather the top half of your hair in a ponytail and secure it with a hair elastic. Then, use your fingers to separate your hair and create a hole just above the elastic. Flip your ponytail up and over, pulling the ponytail through the hole you created. To complete your look, pull your ponytail taut.
If you want your wedding dress to be the center of attention, you’re likely in need of wedding hairstyle ideas that will look beautiful in the back without commanding too much attention in the front.
This adorable bow-tie will require a trained pro to execute it flawlessly, but you can keep the sides looking sleek and flyaway-free by touching it up with Mizani Edge Trimming Hair Gel. This dry-finish, high-hold styling product smooths edges so that you can dance the night away.
On the topic of lower-key looks, here’s another simple but timeless wedding hairstyle. When paired with a shimmery dress and a bold makeup look, this high bun screams Hollywood glam and allows your facial features to remain the focal point.
Gather your hair at the top of your head and secure it with an elastic. Place a foam or fabric hair donut and the base of your ponytail and begin to wrap your hair around the donut, making sure the donut isn’t visible through your hair. Once all of your hair is tucked, use a few bobby pins to hold the bun in place.
This style combines the best of both worlds: It allows your gorgeous curls to thrive, but the flat twists keep strands out of your face so that you have one less thing to worry about on your big day.
Help your curls spring to life and hold their shape during your ‘I do’s’ with a leave-in like Biolage Professional Ultra Hydra Source Daily Leave-In Balm For Very Dry Or Curly Hair. The leave-in’s star ingredient, Cupuacu butter, offers 72 hours of moisture retention, which means you’ll enjoy longer-lasting frizz control, smoother hair, and defined curls for photo-worthy results.
The name may be a little silly, but milkmaid braids are a style consistently beloved by fashion bloggers and influencers. That may be because the bound-up braids are secure enough for a long night of dancing and drinking, but we also love how unexpected they seem. For a bohemian-style ceremony, consider these simple plaits.
Your stylist will part your hair down the middle with a comb before tightly braiding each half to achieve the look. Using plenty of pins and a healthy dose of hairspray, they will begin wrapping each braid around the crown of the head. Because you aim to encircle the entire head, this one is best for ladies with lengthy hair, making it one of the top wedding hairstyles for long hair.
Want a style that's not quite a ponytail but not a complete updo? Consider glamming up your tresses with a wavy faux pony! This look features knotting a section of your hair over your free-flowing strands to create the appearance of a tail but still lets you have some swishy length cascading down your back.
One of the best things about textured ponytails is that they work better on unwashed hair. Give strands a little pick me up before styling by working a bit of Shu Uemura Art of Hair Ashita Supreme Intense Revitalization Hair Serum through the mid-lengths to ends. It revives second or third-day hair and is an easy on-the-go style enhancer that won’t weigh down hair or need rinsing out.
Braid your locks up and away from your face with a braided half-updo. There's no doubt you want to wear a gorgeous hairstyle on your wedding day, but you'll also want a functional style when you're on the dance floor. This style has it all; beautiful waves, volume at the crown, and a plaited accent that's chic yet understated.
Did any of these wedding hairstyles stand out to you? We thought so! Head to Hair.com for the salon-grade products you need to bring your bridal hair visions to life.