Planning a wedding can be a beautiful experience. It can also be one of the most stressful. From deciding the cutoff point on the guest list to choosing the dress, the venue, and the catering, all while trying to field the "helpful" opinions of your parents, in-laws, friends, and social media, you're likely to experience at least one or two sleepless nights in the run-up to the day.
We're doing our best with Something New to give a helping hand to those planning their own weddings, so of course that means we've made sure you're covered in the hair department. Enter: Taiba Akhuetie from Keash, who has created three elegant, modern bridal ‘dos for all hair textures.
It can be tough to think outside the "wedding hairdo" box. You know — a perfectly tousled bun (high or low), a loosely curled princess look (half up, half down), or a modest milkmaid braid (crowning the head). Which are all lovely. But if you fancy being a bit more out there, then Taiba suggests having the initial hair conversation with your stylist as soon as you get your dress sorted. "It is important that you come up with style options that complement your outfit, and you want to try a few options to ensure you come up with the perfect look," she says.
As a stylist, Taiba says the more photos she can see for inspiration, the better. So make thee a mood board (or scrapbook, or Pinterest board) ASAP so that both you and your stylist are completely clear on the style you want. Hair prep is also essential — have a trim a month before the wedding for fresh locs and start deep conditioning your hair about two months before the event.
Read on for three styles, created by Taiba, to help you out while you're in the inspiration stage.
"You would ask your stylist for half a head of cornrows, explaining that you would like the hair to be braided into a swirly pattern from the front to the middle of the head," advises Taiba. By the way, she says feel free to add your own spin to the loose hair (you can do the same thing with the hairstyle above as well). "Straightened, waved, clipped to one side or even tied up," she says. This style is strong, confident, and bold. For maximum impact, copy the shoot and pair with sunset-inspired lids and a Lemonade-esque dress to totally nail a destination wedding look.
To achieve these intricate braids, ask your stylist for a full head of cornrows, explaining the braiding pattern. "You have to make it clear that you want the braids plaited on the side of the head rather than from the front to the back," warns Taiba. The effect creates a divine, regal bride, and the style would add a contemporary twist to a traditional church wedding. For shorter hair, Taiba recommends adding ombre hair extensions. If you're using your natural hair, however, you have the option of plaiting the braids all the way down, or you can stop halfway to let some more hair hang loose, using curling tongs to style the rest of the hair.
It Takes Two
For this minimal style, ask your stylist for undercut braids or say you would like a couple of cornrows on the side of the head. Choose the side of your face that you're most comfortable with facing the camera, then start the first braid from the arch of the opposite eyebrow, crowning your face along the hairline. Then, add the second braid above the first, beginning at the arch of the eyebrow on your "good side." Finish both braids just behind your ear and secure them with a bobby pin, fresh flowers. or jeweled accessories. This look will suit a city wedding — a no-fuss bride who wants something low-maintenance with an edge. For longer hair, Taiba suggests to "carry on plaiting the cornrows down to create a slightly different effect."
This story was originally published on Refinery29 UK.