At some point in our lives most - if not all - of us have had a bad experience at the salon; and having a bad experience on your wedding day is definitely not an option. So, you will want to make sure you put this very important task in good hands.
Check out our Questions to Ask on hair stylists
Where to Start
Even if you feel that you are 100% sure about what kind of style you want for the wedding we do recommend that you still do some research. Have a look online, on Pinterest and in wedding magazines to get a good idea of the different looks available and then compile a list of those you like the best. It is usually best to do this for your make-up as well, just to give you an idea of the complete look.
Once you have a good idea of the look you want you can start looking for stylists. Many brides will consider their current stylist, this will have the advantage that they already know your hair and how best to work with it. The disadvantage of this is that up-dos might not be their forte, it takes a certain amount of skill to pull off a beautiful up-do that will last the whole day, and just because they can give you the perfect cut and colour does not necessarily mean the can give you the perfect up-do. An experienced wedding hairdresser who specialises in hair up-dos will also be up to date with the latest wedding hair trends and give you some ideas that you may not have thought about.
Another thing to consider is do you get one supplier that can do both hair and make-up or do you go for two. The good thing with getting someone that does both is that you only have one supplier to worry about in regards to time management, payment etc. On the other hand, you need to consider that hair and make-up are two different crafts, it takes time and dedication to become a specialist in each one, and although you do get those people who naturally have the talent to be able to do both you do not want to end up with a perfect hair-do but mediocre make-up. So if you are opting to go with one supplier to do both just make sure that they will be able to deliver.
First things first, before you ask any more questions you need to confirm whether the stylist you are looking at is available on your wedding date....if not there is no point in continuing the conversation.
The best way to judge a stylist's work is to have a look at their portfolio, having a look at their past work will tell you a lot about their style and whether or not it aligns with your vision for your wedding. It will also give you a feel for their ability regarding hair colour as well as how well they work with your hair type and length.
Your hair length
If you want the full-body up-do but do not have enough time to grow your hair to the right length (or have very thin hair) you need too, make sure that the stylist can work with extensions. Otherwise, if you prefer to keep a short style, that they can style it without making you look like a peacock.
Your hair type
Most stylist work very well with straight hair; however, if (like me) you have curly (or otherwise difficult) hair you will know that it is not that easy to find a stylist that knows how to work with it. So, make sure the stylist has experience with your hair type.
Your hair colour
If the look you are aiming for requires a different colour make sure the stylist is good at colouring hair, just because they can give you the perfect cut does not mean they can give you the perfect colour.
Along with the portfolio ask them for a list of references of past brides they have worked with. The portfolio can tell you a lot about their ability and style, but past clients can tell you about their work ethic - things like promptness, attitude and professionalism.
It is also a good idea to get some background info at this point, find out how long they have been in the business and how many weddings they have done. This will give you a good idea of their qualifications as well as experience - which will really come in handy if you are looking for that perfectly pristine look.
If the portfolio and experience tick all the right boxes ask yourself 2 things before you make a decision:
Did you get along?
It’s important that you feel comfortable with the stylist you choose - if you have ever sat through an hour of awkward silence at a hair salon before you will understand why. You will be spending you whole wedding morning with this person, and you don’t want it to be awkward.
Do you feel that they listened to you?
We have all had an experience with a stylist where we’ve left feeling frustrated and misunderstood, that is definitely not how you want to feel on your wedding day. When you meet potential stylists you should feel that they are truly listening to what you are saying and want to make your vision a reality. If it feels like they are more focused on that they think you want and trying to force their opinion on you, don’t waste your time any further.
Trail & Consultation
Once you have decided on a stylist make an appointment to have a trail run (about 2 months before the wedding) so you can try out different looks to figure out what will work best - if they do not offer trail runs then you should look for a different stylist.
When you make the booking find out if the stylist needs you to do any prep work the day before, washing your hair or avoiding any products that will affect styling. Also find out what product they use, you may prefer to use your own over theirs or maybe you have an allergy related to a specific product and need them to use something else. Either way, it’s better to know and arrange this beforehand.
At the trail you need to sit with the stylist and show him/her photos of styles you like as well as a photo of your dress and any tiara, vail or other hair accessories you are planning on wearing - it is also helpful to give them the theme and colours of the wedding. This will give them a good idea of the look you are aiming for and help them create the style that will best suit it.
As I mentioned earlier it is important to choose a stylist that listens to you and wants to give you what you want. However, you need to keep in mind that they do this for a living and it can be very useful to listen to their suggestions and ideas.
Ask the stylist to take photo’s of each style you try from all angles, you can then go through them again at a later stage and decide on the best one. You can also use the trail to test how well the style lasts - arrange your appointment for the morning and if the style is still good by the evening its one less thing for you to worry about.
Top Tip - If possible have a hair and make-up trial on the same day so that you can see your whole look working together.
On the Day
The big day has arrived and you only have a couple of hours to get ready, so you will have to set up a time schedule which you need to discuss with both the hairstylist as well as the make-up artist. If you have a large wedding party who all need hair and make-up done you can arrange for them to bring assistants that can help out to make sure everything gets done in time.
Something else you need to consider is whether stylist can come to the venue or if you need to go to their salon - if it is the latter, you will have to take into account the extra driving time that will be needed.
Make sure the same person who did your tail is the one who will do your hair on the day and find out from the stylist if there is any prep work you need to do the day before. Also confirm what their backup plan is in case the stylist you want is unable to make it.
Firstly, consider your budget - decide how much you are willing to spend on the hair and eliminate those stylists that do not fall within your budget.
Then before you officially book a stylist make sure you have all the details regarding the costs, ask them to give you a breakdown of how the costing works and explain any packages they have. Also ask for a clear explanation of what the extra cost are, like traveling, overtime or trail run fees.
Once you are clear on the costs you can find out the finer details like how much deposit they need, when the final payment is required and what their cancelation policy is.