Don’t worry, it’s not a blog post where I am about to rant (although if let off my lead for long enough, I could find plenty to rant about!) but instead a post about my bridal hair experience. My wedding hair was my biggest (and most expensive!) wedding regret. In this blog I’ll talk you through my experience and my recommendations as a result. I’m certainly no hair expert, you just have to see the way my two girls leave the house in the morning to understand that point, but I did learn some hard lessons.
If you’re anything like I was, you will be really struggling with what to do with your hair on your wedding day. I started to grow it although I think I did this because that’s what everyone seems to do when they start planning a wedding. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with my hair so the decision to grow it without a plan, in hindsight, seems a bit odd. But we all do odd things when it comes to our wedding planning and we rely on ‘experts’ to help guide us.
I picked a local hair salon where I’d been getting my hair cut and coloured for a long time. The owner was young and charismatic and I felt comfortable. Again, in hindsight, perhaps too comfortable as I failed to recognise that this should have been a business relationship and I allowed myself to be taken in by the friendly and welcoming environment. Now, please don’t get me wrong, there was nothing sinister afoot with the salon, this was all to do with me and my confidence (at the time) in not speaking up for what I wanted for fear of upsetting those involved in my wedding hair.
I wasn’t happy – I was the one responsible for saying so.
Here ends lesson one… If you’re not happy with your hair during the trials or on your big day, say something at the time. Don’t worry about upsetting their feelings. So, they may have just spent the best part of a few hours doing your hair but if it’s not doing it for you, then say something. Be honest. Don’t walk away thinking that it’ll be alright on the day or you’ll ‘just have to live with it’. If they are professionals, they will do their utmost to help put it right and provide you with the reassurance you need.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t happy with the two trials I had which cost nearly £350 (I hope Mr Tantrum doesn’t read this blog!). At that point, the right thing to do would have been to walk away and to find a hairdresser that ‘got’ me. When I think back to my trials, I think that the style and nature of the salon was not a good fit for my wedding hair. I often tell brides when they buy a headpiece that it is an extension of your personality. If you’re not into showboating or being the centre of attention, steer clear from statement making headpieces. The same is the case with bridal hair. If you like sleek, calm and sophisticated hair, you’re not going to feel comfortable opting for a messy up-do for your wedding day. It’s just not a good fit for you and you are what is important here. Therefore lesson two is:
Go with your gut reaction to your bridal hair and above all be comfortable.
At the beginning of this blog, I talked about growing my hair and not really knowing why. Again, on reflection I think that this didn’t help. For someone who makes bridal accessories, you’d think I was on top form when looking at bridal hair styles but for myself, I just couldn’t see it. I needed help to identify what was best. Mr Tantrum was no good, he just told me not to have an ‘alien head’ (a french roll to you and I).
I relied solely on the opinions of those that didn’t really know me or get who I am. Those I was paying to help me. I should have asked my friends. Those that know me would have been far better placed to help advise. I suppose in a way it’s like dress shopping. You don’t take those with you that you don’t trust the opinion of so why do it with hair? Lesson 3 to share then is:
Know what you want and get trusted advice.
Finally, some practical tips about wedding hair.
If the hair package offers additional services such as breakfast, like mine did, make sure you ask for details as to what time it will be arriving and if pre-orders are necessary. My package involved bacon sandwiches but we had to ask repeatedly and in the end, my Matron of Honour had to run out and get them as the salon was ‘busy’ and they didn’t have the staff to do it.
That’s another good point, if you’re paying to have bridal hair done and quite a few of you, you kind of expect that you are going to be the only customer that is being focused on. This didn’t happen with me and regular clients were coming in to the salon. Not a problem if you’re expecting it but I certainly didn’t expect my hair to be done in amongst these clients. Perhaps selfishly I wanted 100% paid to my hair and not to have different people dip in and out whilst colour was put on another lady or a quick trim carried out. Get confirmation about who is going to do your hair and what other commitments they have.
And lastly… Get a quote for the wedding hair on the day in writing and if possible, pay via credit card in advance. My hairdresser gave me a quote but half an hour before I was due to be at the church (still not dressed or made up!) the hairdresser kept me whilst she tried to tally up what had been done. It was the same amount but the stress of those extra 10 minutes whilst this happened was awful. It was £420. So, yes a total of £770 for hair I did not like and an experience that has marred my wedding day memory.
All of the above mistakes made by me cost me valuable time at home getting ready, spending time with my father, drinking fizz with my closest friends and being the chilled out bride I had planned to be. Time was also too short to get pictures with my bridesmaids before I left the house too and by the time I was married, this got missed. I therefore don’t have any pictures of me with my bridesmaids.
I arrived at the church frazzled, stressed and with a hairstyle I was not overly happy with. Whilst I think it bore some resemblance to what I asked for, it wasn’t right. I had intended on putting an image in here for you to have a look but on reviewing my wedding pictures, I don’t have many where you can truly see it to appreciate! It wasn’t just about the final hair though, it was the experience that let me down even more.
I hope the above has helped you when planning your wedding hair, if I’ve saved just one bride from feeling as I did, I’ll be happy.
Ooh and one final top tip for after you’ve had your bridal hair done…
If you’re going to have a lot of backcombing, grips and hairspray, you’re going to need a bit of help. My top tip, once you’ve removed all of the pins, is to take a large bottle of cheap conditioner into the shower with you. Pour the contents onto your wet hair and let the conditioner work through the hairspray and backcombing with ease. Once you can run your fingers through your hair again, wash it as normal and happy days, you’re done!