curls, hair salons, how to, interviews, updo, wedding

How To: Non-Lame Wedding Hair

Amy-adams-bridal-updoLast week I posted about getting my extensions from Jordana Lorraine and my wedding hair consultation with Kristen Gaby. I mentioned that I would be doing an interview with Kristen about all things wedding hair. Kristen is super busy since we’re in the middle of wedding season, but she was able to answer all my questions about consultations, the best wedding hair styles, hair accessories, and more! I wish I’d known all this stuff way back when I started wedding planning… Actually, I joke with my beyonce that if I’d known everything that really went into wedding planning, I would have forced him to marry me in Vegas! Learn from me, peeps. (Lesson #1: Hire a wedding planner!)

Hair On The Brain: I know I did my consultation totally late. When should bridez really do their wedding hair consultation?

Kristen Gaby: A bride should be “stylist shopping” for her wedding approximately 2-3 months before her wedding date. It is important to at least book a consultation to get to know the stylist and understand their approach to hair, style, and availability. The consultation should include a ball-park quote and a trial run. A trial run is the stylist giving you a preview of how your hair will look on your actual wedding day. It also helps the stylist account for how much time they will need to work with your hair day of.

HOTB: What specific things should you ask your stylist?

Kristen: Ask your stylist if she has any suggestions for creating a unique look for you on your wedding day. Ask when a color and cut should be done and how soon before the wedding. Ask if the stylist has price packages to include your wedding party. It is always great to ask if the stylist can travel to you on your wedding day. It may cost a little more, but not having to worry about the commute or leaving the salon on time is priceless.

HOTB: I totally agree with that! You don’t want to have to drive around on that day, especially in LA traffic. Do you have any advice on how to pick the right hairstyle for your wedding?


Kristen: I find that many girls get attached to a certain hair style and forget that their hair needs to compliment and work with their overall look. Some things to take into account are the shape of the dress, your facial bone structure, and if you are wearing earrings or a necklace. Other things to consider are the neckline of the dress, the time of the wedding, and if it’s an indoor or outdoor ceremony. In your trial run with the stylist, don’t limit yourself to one look. Try several different looks. The one you pick might surprise you!

HOTB: It is good to be open minded when in the chair, especially when your stylist is just trying out different looks. Do you have any tips specifically for short haired women on their wedding day?


Kristen: Short hair brides do not despair! I have worked wonders with temporary extensions on the day of the wedding, especially with updos. If the hair is too short to wear up at all, consider a simple wave with an accent in the hair such as a beaded headband or a vintage jeweled clip. I would stay away from trying to do a “half-up” look with bob length hair, it tends to look school-girlish and not very sophisticated.


HOTB: Should you bring along any hair accessories and veils you will be wearing?

Kristen: Because you want the most accurate idea of the look you will get on your wedding day, I highly encourage bringing your veil and/or any hair accessories (no matter how silly or glittery you think they are), a picture of you in your dress, and any pictures of hairstyles that you like. Also, bring a digital camera and have your stylist take a picture of all angles of your hair so that you can see how it photographs. It is also important to bring the veil so that the stylist can anticipate what kind of hair comb they are working with or around.

HOTB: Oops. I didn’t do any of that! Any other tips for brides when working with hair stylists?


Kristen: Be sure to ask your stylist if they would prefer your hair washed the day of or the night before. That can sometimes make a difference. Be sure to relax and be patient during the trial run because your stylist is “getting to know” your hair. Understand that it is a creative process. Don’t be afraid to speak up if their is something that you don’t like: “Can we make this piece higher?” or “Can we make this sleeker?”

HOTB: I agree. Don’t suffer in silence, but please don’t be bridezilla either!

Kristen: Right. And if you do not have good energy with your stylist during your trial run, WALK AWAY! You do not need any negative energy around you on your wedding day, and you definitely don’t need a stylist with a diva complex. Find someone that calms you and is confident in their skills and it will be a great fit.

HOTB: Very true, Kristen. Not every stylist is cut out to do bridal hair. How do you make sure your curls/waves stay put throughout your wedding day and night?

Kristen: To ensure that your curl will last through your big day, is largely up to your stylist. For hair that is being worn down here is my golden rule: NEVER rake your fingers through your set curls! If you feel they are losing their bounce, simply mist with a light hairspray and do a soft scrunching motion with your hands to encourage bounce.


HOTB: Any tips for beach brides?

Kristen: I know beach brides just love the beachy wavy hair that’s worn down. It’s beautiful in magazine, but there are some things to consider. It’s usually very windy on the beach and the air is usually quite moist. If you don’t want to constantly be tucking your hair behind your ear or pulling it out of your mouth during your vows, then I suggest a happy medium. Consider wearing your hair half up and half down with the loose beach wave. I have seen even the most “curl friendly” hair fall out and frizz at beach weddings. If your ceremony is indoors after the beach ceremony, consider asking your stylist to style your hair in such a way where you can take out the half-up pins and give you head a shake and rock a beautiful all-down style for the reception.

HOTB: Do you have any specific hair products that you couldn’t live without when doing wedding hair?

Kristen: My updo/styling secret weapon that I am absolutely obsessed with is Bumble & Bumble’s Thickening Spray. It is a fantastic thermal product that ensures long lasting curl and great hold! I also wouldn’t go anywhere without hair powder/dry shampoo. Dry shampoo is my secret to long lasting updos that do not slip. It gives hair great volume, moldability, and hold.


HOTB: I can’t live without dry shampoo either–it’s amazing stuff. What’s your favorite wedding hairstyle?

Kristen: My current favorite style right now is a textured, loose, un-done updo. I find that look to be so beautiful. Braids and waves are very in too, and that gives a soft romantic look for any bride. Accenting this kind of updo with a vintage pin or small feather is absolutely stunning!

HOTB: Oh, that sounds so pretty! Any other wedding hair tips you would like to add?


Kristen: Some great points to remember for creating harmony between hair and dress: If the dress is very detailed, beaded, and ruffled, the hair should be more simple and sleek so that the eye won’t be distracted with all the bead work and a huge main of hair. If the dress is simple, smooth and sleek, try doing something soft and curled to contrast the simplicity of the dress.

Thank you so much for all this great advice, Kristen! I’m so excited to see you soon.  🙂

To book an appointment with Kristen Gaby, you can email her directly at and check out her Facebook page.


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