How I (Finally) Found My Wedding Hair

To say that my hair is really important to me would be an enormous understatement. In high school, my yearbook superlative was about my many mane transformations. I've experimented with dozens of wildly different colors and cuts over the years, from (retrospectively hideous) blunt dip-dyes to pixie cuts, to Alanis Morissette long middle-parts, to a rainbow of colors way before it was en vogue.

A couple months before our wedding, a weird chemical reaction with some products burned off chunks of my hair and forced me to trim it a few inches. I was devastated. I had always dreamed of having long, Hollywood starlet-inspired locks for the big day and had resisted haircuts for a year in order to make progress. It was a nightmare.

I immediately did some major recon to help get my hair back into a healthy condition. First, it was essential to continue using sulfate-free shampoos and maintain a regimen of deep conditioners and moisturizers to repair my tresses; I washed with Kérastase's Ciment Anti-Usure shampoo and conditioner, and deep-conditioned weekly, alternating between Kérastase Chroma Riche Masque and Oribe's Gold Lust Transformative Masque. After washing, I'd treat my hair with different oils, my favorite of which was definitely Oribe's Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil (bonus points for always making me smell amazing). With a little TLC and a brand-spanking-new weave (with hair I matched to my color du jour at The Hair Shop), I finally got my hair to a place where I could begin to think about new styles for my wedding day.

I worked with hairstylist Adam Maclay to create a few styles that would work for me as I exchange vows. Here are the options we came up with.
Photographed by Alexandra R. Gavillet.
Advertisement
Number 1: The Half-Up, Half-Down
Adam and I examined pictures of my dress and discussed styles that would look and feel complementary, and then began playing with my locks. Using my hair's natural texture and creating subtle movement using a curling wand, Adam created a soft, ethereal look. I'm so accustomed to (subconsciously) using my hair to frame my round face that I initially felt a bit uneasy with the style, but it was so natural and pretty that I was happy with it as my starting point. It was effortless, and if there's one thing I usually dislike for my own hairstyles, it's when they're way too overdone and stiff.
Photographed by Alexandra R. Gavillet.
Number 2: The Colorful, Deconstructed Chignon
While Adam let me know almost immediately about his dislike for tight chignons, we agreed that there were great ways to play with an updo — and some wedding dresses and necklines absolutely call for them! Knowing that I'm anything but conventional, Adam pulled out some bright-blue clip-in pieces from his kit. I exclaimed, "Something blue!" I got so excited, even though I knew blue pieces wouldn't work for my wedding day: I absolutely loved the idea of weaving color into the hair to make a bold statement — especially for those who opt for a traditional white dress. Adam sculpted my hair into several braids and then pinned it into formation. I usually don't go for updos because I almost always find them uncomfortable, but I was struck by how good this one felt! If I had a more minimalist, white gown, it would have absolutely been a way to give my wedding-day look a little extra punch and personality.
Photographed by Alexandra R. Gavillet.
Number 3: The Loose Wave
Sigh. Don't we all wish we could have a hair genius with us on the daily to give us those perfect, #WokeUpLikeThis waves? Addiction to Glamsquad aside, that's exactly how this hair made me feel! For my personal needs, this beautiful wave situation might as well be captioned #hairgoals. Adam smoothed out my hair with a flat brush and blowdryer, curled it with a hot iron, and finished by brushing it out to create a relaxed, lustrous look. I was amazed by how shiny and healthy it looked — especially considering the trauma it had endured just a couple months before! It felt like the best, most natural version of myself — and I think, ultimately, that's what most brides strive for. For me, the best way to conclude our day of experimentation was knowing that this was the perfect look to see me down the aisle!


Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page!
Photographed by Alexandra R. Gavillet.
Advertisement