Choosing Your Wedding Hairstylist
Your hairstylist is one of the most important members of your wedding entourage, both on your big day and in the months leading up to it. We are one of your 3 professional image consultants for that date (the other 2 being the make-up artist and dress boutique clerk/dressmaker), and if you have chosen to go with mobile services instead of a salon we are essentially part of your wedding party as you get ready for the day.
The first thing I have to say on this subject is that many hairstylists do not enjoy updos. In fact, I know of some who flatly refuse to book them! This attitude is based on a number of factors, but the only one worth mentioning is that they have simply not been trained to do them properly. Thus, the first thing you do is ask around or google stylists who are experienced with wedding parties. Look for a licensed hairstylist who demonstrates training and professionalism, and the hardest part is over.
I recommend you book a hairstylist who is versatile and up-to-date with her styling techniques. Make sure that she has an extensive portfolio of her actual work on real brides…not a book full of photoshopped models and magazine ads. Look for multicultural experience as well as a variety of looks on different hair types. It’s a bonus if there are before-and-after shots of the looks so you can search for your hair type!
If you have chosen to book a salon for your party, make sure to take a few minutes to meet the stylists who will be working with you. Salons offer a brief free consultation so you can speak to the stylists about specific concerns, time limits, if a photographer will be present and so on. Make sure they are all on board and working as a team to get your party out on time. Discuss who will be styling whom, and if you have chosen a theme or specific hairstyle for your bridesmaids. Make sure that the salon has a portfolio of their wedding updos…or even better, that each hairstylist does.
If you have chosen a mobile hairstylist, there are a few things you need to know that run above and beyond salon services. This is why we cost more! Give as much info in your initial email as possible – date, time, location of styling, location of wedding, number of people requiring services, and any specific concerns! The stylist will need this information in order to be able to accommodate you – and since mobile services book faster than salons, it’s best if you book them a year in advance, 6 months minimum.
With mobile hairstylists, pay attention to details such as how long it takes for a response to your initial query, how organized and updated is their website, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, how friendly and knowledgeable are they? Do they provide a contract to give you legal security that they will show up on your wedding day? Are they amenable to meeting you briefly in person to make sure they are someone you would welcome as a party member?
I must stress the importance of scheduling a separate trial hairstyle with your stylist! This gives her an opportunity to learn how your hair behaves and how she can tailor your ideal style to suit and enhance your face, dress and makeup. In fact, go right ahead and book your hair and makeup trial on the same date as a dress fitting so you can get the full effect. Show up at the trial with your veil, any hair jewellery and a stack of photos showing styles you like. The best hairstylists will tell you honestly which styles will work and which won’t. Wear the style all day so that you can tell the hairstylist on your wedding day if the curls fell out, any volume dropped or any small changes need to be made.
Those are the basics! Anyone wishing more detailed advice is welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will tell you what I know or refer you to someone who can help. I wish you luck in choosing your hairstylist!