Hair trends for brides

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Bridal option: A hair extension offers a bride more options for her look on her wedding day. | File photo

Next to the dress, the hair is what makes a bride and her wedding party wedding-ready. Today’s brides have myriad options for their nuptial locks, but whether it’s putting it up, wearing it loose or accessorizing, there is one caveat most brides follow: look your very best.

Thou shalt not have a bad hair day

Most brides have a pretty good idea of how they want to look, but it’s wise to consult with your hair stylist to get an expert opinion.

“Brides will bring in a picture to give us an idea of what they want, but sometimes the picture doesn’t translate to a real-life situation,” said Cathy O’Hara, owner of O’Hara and Friends Salon in Alsip. “We take into account the neckline of the dress, the headpiece and the style of the dress to help our brides determine the look that will look best.”

Once a bride chooses a style — whether it’s long, loose waves, a waterfall braid or formal updo — it’s important to keep functionality in mind.

Lauren Carroll, stylist and marketing manager for Image 21 Hair and Day Spa in Oak Lawn, said summer heat and humidity can be a bride’s worst enemy.

“Brides will often choose a tighter updo during the steamier months to ensure it will hold all day long. If they are getting married in the cooler months we’re seeing them wear it down. Brides will definitely factor in how a style is going to hold and wear throughout the event,” Carroll said.

Top dos for wedding hair

Just like fashion, hair trends come and go. In recent years, O’Hara and Carroll said half updos, looser “messy” buns and braids have been really popular, but hair extensions seem to be all the rage.

“We use the snap-in extensions that are human hair and we match them to the bride’s color. They stay in up to three days. Extensions just give a fuller presentation and allow more options, especially if your hair is on the shorter side. A bride wearing her hair down and loose will add extensions for length and [dimension],” O’Hara said.

Most hair experts recommend staying away from synthetic hair because it not only doesn’t look as natural, but the heat from a curling iron or flat iron will damage it. There are several options from clip-ins to fusing or bonding them in for a longer duration. Sometimes brides will want to keep extensions in longer so they can keep up the look over their honeymoon.

“Others only want temporary extensions for their wedding day so they don’t have to worry about the upkeep. Extensions do require extra care and upkeep to keep them looking nice over an extended period of time,” Carroll noted.

Timing is everything

You know exactly how you want your hair and your stylist concurs. When should you schedule a trial-run? Carroll recommends scheduling your appointment out a month ahead of the day you’ll actually be going. It’s especially nice when it’s all done for your bachelorette party.

Both O’Hara and Carroll say other than leaving your hair in the good care of your stylist, there are just a few things to avoid.

“Don’t do hair color, or any drastic cut or color changes, the same week of your wedding. You want to look like you — the best, most beautiful form of you — on your wedding day. Wash your hair the night before, not the morning of,” recommended O’Hara.

Most of all, relax and enjoy each and every moment of your special day.

More information about O’Hara and Friends Salon, 11753 Leamington Ave., Alsip, is at (708) 597-1022.

More information about Image 21 Hair and Day Spa, 4823 W. 95th St., Oak Lawn, is at (708) 422-1421.