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 the heart of even the most loyal best friend.
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.
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.
Or, what about handing your bridesmaid two pearl barrettes each and allowing them to work them into their own style and texture?
This look has all the trappings of a ’90s hairstyle (low bun, loose strands et al.), but thanks to the bejeweled headband, it feels a lot fresher than something you might have worn in your school years.
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 ($32) will keep it at that perfect point of pretty dishevelment.
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 ($17) is great at adding extra shine and hold to plaits.
Having a more bucolic-themed wedding? Try placing pieces of baby’s breath (aka Gyp) in the crown of the head using plenty of bobby pins.
If your focus is on eye makeup, then try slicking back hair with a glossy hair gel and leaving it in a cute ponytail.
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 ($46) will help create movement.
A Grecian goddess look—just make sure to shop gold-style headbands.
If cutesy braids aren’t for you, try this edgier take with plenty of texture.
Bows are back, and they work on absolutely every hair length and texture.
See what we mean about bows? They’re perfect for adding a finishing touch to elegant, ethereal ’dos.
Updos can get complicated—not to mention supersized—when there’s long hair involved. This layered fishtail solves the problem. Just invest in a Ghd Tail Comb ($22) to help section hair and pull strands loose at the end.
Pretty, cool, and incredibly sleek, courtesy of a really reliable hair serum.
Update the classic milkmaid braid by roughing things up and adding plenty of wispy bits.
Soften up a super-slick ’do by finishing with a folded plait.
It’s pretty, it’s irreverent, and it can be adapted for most hair lengths. Add a flower, and you’re done.
Classic bouncy waves look great on long and mid-length locks. Sweep them to one side for a modern feel.
Look past the makeup; this is a playful hairstyle for all ages that’ll look great decorated with small, fresh flowers or hair accessories.
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.
Ideal for keeping both straight and curly hair off the face at a wedding abroad or during the summer heat.
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.
Swap an overly neat ballerina bun for a topknot with texture. It’ll still look chic while a little less severe.
Hair accessories don’t have to be full flower crowns. Try adding a statement piece like this to chignons, plaits, and side-swept ’dos.
A boho-wedding dream, this look works on bobs, lobs, and longer lengths with gorgeous results.
Compromise between buns and free-flowing locks with this half-knot.
Add interest to a simple ponytail with chunky hair accessories. Metallics will feel fashion-forward while thick ribbons work well for a softer touch.
An updo with a different twist, this breaks away from overly hair-sprayed creations and feels fresh yet elegant.
For the less conventional bride, these knots work on all hair types and look fun, fresh, and modern.
Soft and romantic, this relaxed ’do is perfect for a smarter take on tousled waves.