Andrew Jose, one of Britain's top hairstylists, offers advice for brides on how to find the perfect wedding day style... How to have great bridal hair on your big day…
Written by Pam Wrigley Last updated: September 26, 2012
Styling your hair for the wedding is no ordinary feat – it really should be the best hair style you’ve ever had, to compliment your overall look. You invested so much money and time into your appearance for the day – the hair should get just as much attention! If you are looking at bridal hairstyle pictures, dreaming of an elegant bun, cascading curls, or a sculpted braid studded with diamonds throughout… help is at hand! There are lots of ways of achieving beautifully voluminous hair for your wedding day – with hair extensions!
Where do I start?
Bonded extensions are commonly used, but can be expensive and are not the best option if you want to wear your hair up – the bonds may become visible when you lift the hair, and that’s not a good look for a bride! They are used mostly for hair that’s worn down.
If you go for this option, have your trial run first so you know how your hair is going to be put up and let your extension specialist know about this so they can figure out where to put the bonds and which areas they need to avoid to make them invisible.
A better option may be clip-on extensions – they can be added to your hair in strategic places, just where you need them, so you can wear your hair up, or half-up-half-down, and still get some fabulous height using them only at the back to create length and thickness.
Clip-ons have a great advantage of the option to take them out at the end of the day, so whether you’re planning an action-packed safari honeymoon, or just an occasional dip in the pool at your luxury resort, the one thing you won’t have to worry about is having to deal with all that extra hair!
What about the curls?
You might be shocked at how much shorter your hair looks with even the softest curl…
If you’re happy with the length of your hair when it’s straight but would like a curl in your hair on the big day… don’t panic – invest in a couple of wefts of hair extensions, curl them first and then add them to your own curled hair starting just above the hair line at the nape of the neck moving up to the crown, section by section. The extensions can be trimmed as needed to a length that’s just right for you. This way you can keep the length of your hair and have a curl and extra volume too!
If you have super soft hair and you’re worried about the clip-on extensions slipping out, try backcombing the hair a little just at the root, or even better – invest in a product by Schwarzkopf called Osis Dust It. This is a texturising product ideal for very soft limp hair, giving it a matte finish, extra styling control and lots of volume. Sprinkle it sparingly in the hair at the root, just where the clip will sit and then clip in your extensions – they will not move at all!
You can get great hair extensions anywhere these days, in stores as well as online. My advice would be to get real hair instead of synthetic. Synthetic hair is less expensive and you may even get a great colour match – but the downside is that it reflects the light too much, and in flash photography looks a lot shinier than your own natural hair, giving it a really obvious false look. Even if your professional photographer doesn’t use flash, you can bet your guests will, and you probably don’t want to draw attention to your fake hair. It’s better to invest in the real hair extensions for this reason.
How much should you spend?
It’s a minefield out there – you can spend £20 or £200… so what’s a bride to do?
The hair used in clip-on extensions may not be quite as high quality as in the bonded extensions, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. For a start, you won’t be washing them or sleeping in them, so they don’t need to stand up to the same kind of wear and tear as bonded ones. Also, you might only wear them a couple of times, so save yourself the added expense, as long as the hair is real and the colour match is right, you can buy them from anywhere for the best price you can find.
A great tip for saving money is to visit a shop which specialises in Afro-Caribbean hair products of all kinds. They have an amazing selection, and you’ll find hair extensions of all colours, shades, lengths and textures at a fraction of the cost of major department stores – just ask for help if you’re not sure! In London you can find these shops in Brixton, Tottenham and Shepherds Bush, and in other parts of the country the city centre is your best bet.
Another useful tip is to always buy the extensions with the clips already sewn on, rather than buying the clips separately. They will cost a bit more, but will be worth it in time savings! The clips can be real tricky to sew on and by the time you’ve fiddled around with them for 2 hours you’ll wish you’d just spent the extra tenner – I did!
Last but not least - if you are going to dye your hair for the wedding – make sure to get the extensions to match your new colour!
Getting extensions doesn’t have to be complicated – and the results you’ll get will be well worth that little extra expense and effort. Afterwards, you will admire your gorgeous hair in your wedding photos for years to come!
Photography by www.studiorouge.co.uk
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