The great hair trials of 2012 – getting your look right

To preface any hairdresser types correcting any of my totally incorrect jargon or hair speak, I’m not a hairdresser. I’m not even a hair enthusiast. I’m writing this as a confused, hair-ignorant bride, appealing to other brides out there with no clue – there’s hope! My hair has always been a big unruly mane, and I’d given up entertaining the idea of it being anything else. Ever. So when I went to a hair stylist expecting her to magically turn my hair from its usual state into the exact replica of a picture I’d torn out of a magazine, I don’t know what I was expecting.

First of all, I’d convinced myself that in order to get the cute, boho curls I’d seen in the picture, I needed to straighten my naturally curly hair first to get it sleek. Although Lucy of Hair that Turns Heads (my fab hair stylist) seemed dubious that it would have the effect that I wanted and suggested I try it from curly instead, I insisted I didn’t want too much frizz. Looking at the results in the mirror, my heart sank. I looked a bit like a porcelain doll – the cool bohemian effect was nowhere to be seen and I had big, Victorian-style ringlets.

Lucy suggested playing around with my hair at home to see if I could get the right look. Lo and behold, she was right all along and adding curls to my already curly hair worked a treat. Having tried it out so many times in advance, I knew exactly what I wanted and, on the day, Lucy outdid herself and did an amazing job on my hair. I looked exactly as I’d imagined and couldn’t stop staring in the mirror wondering how my tangled mess had turned into something I’d always dreamed of. The moral of this story? You need to prepare for your hair trial to get the best results on the day!!

How to get the best from your hair trial

Know your face shape

I have chins. Lots of them. I’m not overweight, but I’m what you’d call “a little doughy” (don’t argue, it’s affectionate, I like my dough!) Therefore up dos were out of the question – I didn’t want to get my wedding pictures back only to lament the constant appearance of my poor, self-conscious chins, poking out with no hair to hide behind. It had to be down.

So what’s your face shape? If you’re lucky enough to have a lovely, angular face, an up style could be perfect, if you’re like me and you’re a bit self conscious about the shape of your face, frame it with your hair down or even half down. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to handle both, you need to make a decision as to which is more “you”.

Know what you hate

The first time I ever met a good friend of Under the Vintage Veil’s, Sharon from Wonderful Hair by Sharon Roberts, she told me that it’s much easier to know what you hate than to know what you like. I never forgot that piece of advice, because that means you can totally rule things out so your hairdresser doesn’t waste time trying out styles you already know you won’t want in a million years. Don’t be shy about letting your hair stylist know what’s out of the question because it will help them to understand your taste and get on the same page as you.

Be realistic

You know your hair better than anyone. So when you’re choosing your style, make sure you’re realistic about what your hair can and can’t do. My hair will never be fine and flyaway, so choosing a style that needs that type of hair would be ill advised, for example.

Look like YOU

Part of me wanted poker straight hair for my big day. Part of me wanted sophisticated, Hollywood-style waves. But my hair has always been very very curly – and I didn’t want to get married looking like someone else. There’s a certain appeal to the idea of having a “makeover”, I mean it’s a chance to be totally transformed, but I think it’s a confidence thing. I decided that, rather than trying to look totally different to how I usually style myself, I’d just become an enhanced version of me. Yes, I had my eyebrows done, but just cleaned up – I kept their natural shape. Yes, I had my make-up done, but in colours I would usually go for, just a little (OK a LOT) more preened than usual (but there’ll be a make-up post soon) and my hair? We added in curl where there was already curl. It’s your decision how you look on your wedding day, but looking back at the photos, I’m glad I showed up as myself.

Try out different styles at home

Even the best hairdressers in the world can’t read your mind and need a little time to get to know your hair. With hair trials costing usually half your whole fee, it’s probably best to try out as much as possible at home before you go, so you have a good idea of what suits you. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try out some YouTube tutorials first so you can at least see if that style you’ve fallen in love with looks remotely good on you. My hair stylist did exactly what I asked her too – but I didn’t like it. Why? I hadn’t even tried to see what it would look like on me.

On the day, it was absolutely perfect. Lucy did the best job imaginable, like I said, it was beyond my wildest dreams – because guess what practice makes?

A friend’s snap of me on my wedding day – not a hair out of place!

Have you had trouble deciding what to do with your hair? How have you solved your hair dilemmas? We’d love to hear from you! 

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