Our Comprehensive Guide to the Bridesmaid Hairstyles Your Friends Won't Hate

Updated 04/09/18

Wedding day hair can be tricky, and we’re not just talking about the decision on whether you’ll go for a beautiful bridal updo or wear your hair free and flowing. When it comes to bridesmaid hair ideas, things could get messy (and not the good, roughly textured kind). With memories of old-school bridesmaid hairstyles haunting us all (and no doubt qualifying as highly flammable, thanks to three cans of hair spray per ’do), picturing a scenario where everyone’s happy can often be hard. What works for one short-haired friend may be a nightmare for your pal with Rapunzel-esque hair.

Meanwhile, your dream of everyone wearing cute milkmaid braids and flower crowns could strike fear in heart of even the most loyal best friend.

bridesmaid hairstyles: Rodarte
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But fear not—we’re here to help. From plaits and braids with added cool to smart takes on tousled waves and hair accessories that’ll work on every hair length, we’ve rounded up the best looks from the runway that are sure to please your whole wedding party. Ready for the crème de la crème of wedding hair ideas? Start scrolling for 30 of the most inspiring bridesmaid hairstyles fresh from the shows—cool, classic and quirky all included.

bridesmaid hairstyles: woman with gold hair clips
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Versace offers up a super-simple solution to the bridesmaid hairstyle dilemma. Simply tuck the hair behind the ears and slide a chic gold hair clip into both sides.

bridesmaid hairstyles: woman with pearl hair slides
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Or, what about handing your bridesmaid two pearl barrettes each and allowing them to work them into their own style and texture?

bridesmaid hairstyles: woman with bejewelled headband
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This look has all the trappings of a ’90s hairstyle (low bun, loose strands et al.), but thanks to the bejewelled headband, it feels a lot fresher than something you might have worn in your school years. ASOS is the best place to look for similar hair accessories.

bridesmaid hairstyles: woman with messy French plait
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A French plait is a true classic, but you can make it feel more 2018 by rubbing the finished braid with a towel to muss it up a little and loosen some of the strands at the front. A strong but flexible hair spray such as Hair by Sam McKnight’s Modern Hairspray (£22) will keep it at that perfect point of pretty dishevelment.

bridesmaid hairstyles: braids and twists at Preen
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Fancy a plait but want something a little different to the norm? Try plaiting a small section of hair, twisting a larger chunk and then twirling them together in a loose half bun, like the team did backstage at Preen this season. Redken Braid Aid (£11) is great at adding extra shine and hold to plaits.

bridesmaid hairstyles: alternative flower crown
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Having a more bucolic-themed wedding? Try placing pieces of baby’s breath (aka Gyp) in the crown of the head using plenty of kirby grips.

bridesmaid hairstyles: mini ponytail
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If your focus is on eye makeup, then try slicking back hair with a glossy hair gel and leaving it in a cute ponytail.

bridesmaid hairstyles: messy romantic pony
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For a super-romantic look, curl hair loosely and then tie it back, leaving strands to frame the face. If your hair is pretty straight, then a texture spray such as Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray (£41) will help create movement.

bridesmaid hairstyles: Greek-style hair
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A Grecian goddess look—just make sure to shop gold-style headbands

bridesmaid hairstyles: intricate plaits
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If cutesy braids aren’t for you, try this edgier take with plenty of texture.

bridesmaid hairstyles: bows
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Bows are back, and they work on absolutely every hair length and texture.

bridesmaid hairstyles: long plait with a bow
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See what we mean about bows? They’re perfect for adding a finishing touch to elegant, ethereal ’dos.

bridesmaid hairstyles: thick fishtail plait
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Updos can get complicated—not to mention supersize—when there’s long hair involved. This layered fishtail solves the problem. Just invest in a Ghd Tail Comb (£8) to help section hair and pull strands loose at the end.

bridesmaid hairstyles: thin half-up, half-down 'do
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Pretty, cool and incredibly sleek, courtesy of a really reliable hair serum.

bridesmaid hairstyles: milkmaid braid
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Update the classic milkmaid braid by roughing things up and adding plenty of wispy bits.

bridesmaid hairstyles: mini plait
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Soften up a super-slick ’do by finishing with a folded plait.

bridesmaid hairstyles: flowers for an updo
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It’s pretty, it’s irreverent and it can be adapted for most hair lengths. Add a flower, and you’re done.

bridesmaid hairstyles: side parting old-school Hollywood glamour
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Classic bouncy waves look great on long and mid-length locks. Sweep them to one side for a modern feel.

bridesmaid hairstyles: the playful hairstyle
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Look past the makeup; this is a playful hairstyle for all ages that’ll look great decorated with small, fresh flowers or hair accessories.

bridesmaid hairstyles: sleeked back
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Super-sleek with a deep parting is an easy way to achieve smart elegance. The wet-look finish will feel modern on the big day without dating your photographs.

bridesmaid hairstyles: double French plait
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Ideal for keeping both straight and curly hair off the face at a wedding abroad or during the summer heat.

bridesmaid hairstyles: a cute hairband
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Simple yet effective, beautiful hairbands are a quick way to create a sense of consistency between bridesmaids who all have very different hair types or lengths.

bridesmaid hairstyles: topknot
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Swap an overly neat ballerina bun for a topknot with texture. It’ll still look chic while a little less severe.

bridesmaid hairstyles: the upside-down flower crown
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Hair accessories don’t have to be full flower crowns. Try adding a statement piece like this to chignons, plaits and sideswept ’dos.

bridesmaid hairstyles: side plaits
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A boho-wedding dream, this look works on bobs, lobs and longer lengths with gorgeous results.

bridesmaid hairstyles: half-up, half-down topknot
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Compromise between buns and free-flowing locks with this half-knot.

bridesmaid hairstyles: sleek low ponytail
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Add interest to a simple ponytail with chunky hair accessories. Metallics will feel fashion-forward while thick ribbons work well for a softer touch.

bridesmaid hairstyles: a twist
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An updo with a different twist, this breaks away from overly hair-sprayed creations and feels fresh yet elegant.

bridesmaid hairstyles: the Björk-style hairstyle
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For the less conventional bride, these knots work on all hair types and look fun, fresh and modern.

bridesmaid hairstyles: romantic and relaxed 'do
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Soft and romantic, this relaxed ’do is perfect for a smarter take on tousled waves.

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