You don't have to be getting married to appreciate the art of a beautifully executed wedding hairstyle. In fact, you don't even have to like weddings. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost seven years, and we both feel pretty "meh" about the concept of having a wedding (so expensive, right??). But goodness knows I'm a sucker for a gorgeous wedding beauty look.
If/when I get married, I'm fairly certain I'll do my own makeup, but hair is another story. I feel confident about my everyday hairstyling abilities, but special occasion hair is a whole different beast. Especially considering how picky I am. IMHO, a lot of wedding hairstyles teeter dangerously close to the "prom" look (think overly complicated updos and gaudy hair accessories). I want my wedding hair to look romantic, effortless, and timeless. But beyond that, I actually don't have a specific vision.
To help me translate my taste into an actual look, I tapped three incredible hairstylists: Jenny Cho, Mara Roszak, and Melissa Hoyle. Keep scrolling to see their very different interpretations of my wedding hair!
After stumbling across Suave Professionals celebrity stylist Jenny Cho on Instagram, I knew I had to have her give my wedding look a go. She's styled Jennifer Lawrence many times for red carpet events, and the looks are always so romantic yet cool and breezy at the same time. Since J.Law has a similar hair length to mine, I knew I could trust Cho.
I gave all three of my stylists the same spiel about what I was going for: I wanted the vibe to be romantic and timeless but not too different from my normal look, so I'd still feel like myself. (In my everyday life, my hair is either messily waved or straight and sleek—never super curly and never worn up.)
"It’s important on the wedding day for the bride to look like the best extension of her everyday self," Cho affirmed. "So for you, keeping the hair loose was the way to go." For this look, Cho's focus was on the texture, which she executed with a one-inch curling wand, lots of Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo ($5), and salt spray ($8). She parted my hair in the middle, created a two-strand braid on either side and lightly teased my hair in the back to create a subtle "Brigitte Bardot" bump. She topped off the look with a dainty pearl comb.
Braided Pearl Updo
What I loved about this look is that it felt like me. The messy waves felt familiar, but the pretty braids, volume at the crown, and pearl accessory elevated the style. Overall, this is probably the closest to what I would do to attempt my wedding hair myself. But I was also curious to see if my other stylists would step a little more outside the box.
This vintage-inspired look was created by L’Oréal Paris celebrity hairstylist Mara Roszak, who has worked with everyone from Lily Collins to Emma Stone. When I walked into my appointment with Roszak (which took place at her top-rated salon, Mare), I hadn't washed my hair in days, so it was slicked back into a low pony with a deep side part.
Roszak said she was initially inspired by the shiny (read: greasy) look I walked in with to create this "sleek high-gloss" style—a very different but no less lovely take on "timeless beauty and femininity."
Watching Roszak create this style was like watching an artist carve marble. She started by applying L’Oréal Paris Boost It Volume Inject Mousse ($4) to my wet hair for hold. Next, she blew my hair dry, parted it, and set a couple of pin curls around my face. She used a one-inch iron to curl sections of hair toward my face "to form that S-wave." Then, she used several flat-top clips to craft the '40s-style shape you see in front.
"It's almost like sculpting at that point," Roszak said. "Just set your pins where you want the hair to kind of dip, where you want it to come out toward your eye, and then dip back in. You really can go in and create the shape that you want."
Roszak used L'Oréal's Sleek It Frizz Vanisher Cream ($4) to tame any flyaways and lots of Elnett Hairspray ($14) to lock the style in place. She finished off with a shine spray.
This look was truly like living art. I don't think I would have envisioned the style on my own, but it was stunning in person (and I swear, my hair never looked shinier). At my actual wedding, I probably wouldn't go quite this vintage, just because it's such a departure from my normal look, but I loved rocking it for the day.
Swept-Back & Sculpted
I'd worked with my third stylist many times before, so she had a teensy advantage since she knew my taste already. Haircutting specialist Melissa Hoyle at Spoke and Weal salon aimed to create "a beautiful romantic up-style," inspired by Charlize Theron's red carpet looks. She promised she'd make my hair look "red carpet," which is just what I wanted to hear.
To start, Hoyle used Aveda's Pure Abundance Style Prep ($25) to create texture and grit throughout my just-washed hair. Then, she blew my strands dry and used a one-inch iron to set my entire head, each time curling the hair away from my face. After the curls cooled, she raked her fingers through to loosen them, adding Aveda's Light Elements Texturizing Creme ($25).
For the updo, Hoyle pulled all the hair above my ears into a loose bun and secured it with bobby pins. Then, she used U-shaped pins to pin back each side. She loosely teased the top section for height and molded it all into place with her hands. To finish, she misted the style with Aveda's Control Force Hair Spray ($31).
If I were to come into a spare $50,000 and throw myself a wedding, this is very similar to the hairstyle I would end up doing. Romantic? Check. Timeless? Check. Not too perfect or heavily styled? Check.
Though I never sported in everyday life, the loose, tousled nature of this one made me feel at ease. The height on top flattered my round face, and the back was dazzling—I don't even know how Hoyle did it on short hair.
I had such fun with this experiment; it almost makes me want to say "screw it" and have a big fancy wedding. (I hope my boyfriend doesn't read this.)