How to prepare for your bridal hair trial

By Lynsey Le Keux – Owner at Le Keux Vintage Salon (vintage and modern bridal specialists available nationwide).

If you’re feeling nervous about your wedding hair trial, don’t worry… its completely normal to be apprehensive! After all you’ve been visualising what you’ll look like on your big day for years, it’s a big deal to you, and you want your stylist to create your dream do. We have nearly a decades worth of experience in bridal styling and we’ve met everyone from the ultra organised bride to the super laid back. Whatever your approach, here’s our key tips for getting the most from your bridal trial…

Tip 1: Bring images!

Any good bridal stylist will start your trial with a consultation, going through your complete look and the feel of the wedding to find out what you want. Whilst decribing your perfect do can help, it’s open to so much subjective interpretation without imagery. Big hair to one may mean huuuuuge to another, so arrive armed with your scrap book or pinterest account. We love looking through images with you and it helps us see your vision through your eyes!

Tip 2: Your hair vs the model’s hair

It’s also important to manage your expectations when looking through hair style inspiration. You may find the perfect hairstyle image but if the model has completely different hair length and texture to you, the end result will look different. What your stylist can do is take inspiration from the shapes and look of the style and work with your hair to recreate it. Also remember that some styles will have additional hair extensions woven in (especially large bun styles or ultra thick flowing curls). Your stylist can add these in for you, so speak to them before hand if you plan to bring clip ins so they can factor in extra time for you (and ensure any extensions are real human hair as synthetic won’t curl and will stand out against your own hair in bright light).

Tip 3: It’s ok to change your mind!

Your trial is just that… a chance to try out different styles and it’s so important that you let your stylist know that you don’t like a style, or parts of it. After all we want to get it right for you, and unless you tell us, we don’t know it’s not what you wanted. We want you to leave extatic and dreaming of your bid day, not worried and unhappy. Your stylist will appreicate the opportunity to refix your do to suit you, so speak up at your trial.

Tip 4: To wash or not to wash

This will very much depend on your own hair. If your hair goes lank and greasy the next day, wash it the morning of your trial. If your hair will survive a day or two unwashed, washing the previous day and blow drying your hair is ideal. That way the hair follicles are lovely and smooth and the one day dirt on your hair allows more grip (so your style stays in place longer). It’s also fine to wash your fringe only the morning of the trial! Avoid applying products to your hair before your trial so your stylist is fighting against their effects, for example serums, straightening balms and pomades may prevent a curl staying and hair spray may mould the hair in a different style to the one you want.

Tip 5: Book your trial on the same day as a dress fitting

If possible! That way you can see the complete look together and make sure that the hair sits well with your dress’s neckline and overall look.

Tip 6: Bridesmaid ettiquette

Its so important that you are the star of your wedding day so if your stylist is also doing your bridesmaid’s hair, give them some general guidelines on what looks you’d like to achieve for your wedding party. That way your stylist feels confident that anything they do for your bridesmaid won’t make you feel uncomfortable and will also fit their dresses and the feel of the wedding.

Tip 7: What to do it the trial doesn’t go right

If you’re going to a new stylist, prevention is better than cure. Ask to see a portfolio from their salon and if you’re going for a specialist look, such as vintage ask them questions about victory rolls and different eras, for example. You’ll get a feel for whether they are experts at your particular request. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram and you’ll see their previous work (and frequency of customers!). Bridal styling is a specialist skill, your stylist will need to know how to set your hair to last, how to work in your accessories and/or veil and understand the needs of a bride on her big day. If you end your trial feeling unhappy with the style or stylist it’s ok to express this. It may be that you feel more comfortable doing this over email afterwards. Just explain in detail what didn’t feel right, it may be the stylist was unprepared for your particular request and a second trial will fix that, or that in the end you’re not the right fit for eachother.

Tip 8: How to avoid a no show stylist

This is a tough one. Any wedding stylist worth their salt would never leave a bride high and dry, even in advance of the big day. Unfortunately we do hear of it happening sometimes (with poor, panicked brides ringing us days before their wedding to check our availability). We recommend going to a salon with ‘back up’ stylists so if your hairdresser falls ill or suddently decides to holiday in the Med, there’s an alternative for you. Ask your salon what their policy is on stylist sickness, the answer should be robust and reassuring that they’ll always send a replacement. Organised stylists and salons will also reply quickly and confirm times and payment terms in advance. If your stylist won’t confirm details, this may be an indicator of trouble ahead. At Le Keux our stylists all complete trial forms and send images to our bookings manager so if the worst were to happen and they became unexpectantly ill, a replacement stylist would be armed with all the product and process notes and full images of the styles. Your wedding suppliers should approach your wedding as if it were their own… no shows are not an option.

Tip 9: Choosing the right style for you

It’s so tempting to want to go for something completely different, and by all means go for it! Here’s some little tips to think about for your own comfort on your big day

  • Do you love to touch your hair and run your fingers through it? A structured wave may not be ideal for you, unless you’re willing to sit on your hands for the day!
  • Do you feel exposed with your hair up? Perhaps try a half up, half down style.
  • Do you like minimal upkeep and effort? If so, a full up do may suit you, your hair will be up and out of your way and cemented in place for you. Hair down may need some upkeep during the day such as a hair spray touch up… if this sounds like a nightmare to you… go with the easy option.

After your trial, wear your style as long as you can so you can see if it lasts and you’re comfortable wearing it all day.

Tip 10: Bring your accessories!

And lastly bring along your veil and accessories so your stylist can work them into your do. This is so important to make sure you get the final look you want. For example a beehive may dictate that you put your veil right at the front of your hair (creating a waterfall effect) or at the base of your neck. If you really want your veil at your crown, bringing it to the trial will allow your stylist to play around with your look for you. It may also be advisible to bring along a bridesmaid or friend so they can watch your stylist remove the veil, so they can help you do that later in the evening without pulling out your hair!

If you’d like to find out more about Le Keux’s bridal hair and make up services email with your wedding date, location and styling request.