DIY Wedding Hairstyles
Lean in a little, we've got a secret to share: Contrary to what you might've thought, you don't need a professional to get hair that's as gorgeous as your wedding dress. In fact, there are a handful of easy 'dos that can be achieved without visiting a salon. If you don't want to sit through one or more hair appointments, you can master these beautiful styles from the comfort of your own home. You can even turn practice into a bonding sesh with your bridesmaids—everyone loves a good makeover night now and then!
Ahead, we've listed seven simple DIY wedding hairstyles that you can recreate all on your own (or with the help of some trusted friends and family members in your getting-ready room). For the modern bride, there's a contemporary updo, and for the glamorous bride, there's an elegant chignon. If your vibe's more boho, we've got options for braids and twists, and if you're more traditional, there are sleek and classic hairdos, too.
Aside from showing you the finished product, we've also provided step-by-step guides for achieving each beautiful hairstyle. If the tutorials aren't enough to make the process smooth, we've recommended some products as well. So, go on and check out our suggestions for DIY bridal hairstyles. If you like more than one, feel free to pass some along to your bridesmaids—in fact, these ideas work as wedding guest hairstyles for any attendee! After all, you don't have to be the leading lady to rock gorgeous strands on the big day.
Look One: The Modern Updo
Severe, shellacked wedding hair is stay-proof but not exactly pretty. For a more relaxed take on the classic updo, try this loose, romantic hairstyle instead.
Step One: Prep with Curls
Generously spritz your favorite extra-hold hairspray all over, and spiral-curl hair in small sections using a one-inch curling iron.
Step Two: Divide in Half
Using fingers, loosely pull all hair back from the face, leaving plenty of volume at the hairline. Split hair in half in the back and gently twist each side several times, until you have two long, twisted pieces. Do not make these tight.
Step Three: Criss-Cross Finish
Draw the sections together, crossing the left over the right. Depending on length, repeat this process until about three inches of ends remain. Pull the ends up, and secure them against your head using several bobby pins, then tuck and pin all stray strands.
Look Two: An Elegant Chignon
You probably recognize this look from almost every red carpet, but this one is much simpler to execute on your own. If you want a classic big-day look, you can't beat the traditional chignon.
Step One: Add Gloss
Using your fingers, work a dime-size dollop of frizz-fighting serum (such as Living Proof Style Lab Collection Satin Hair Serum) through hair. Make a deep side part; brush hair thoroughly to make it glossy.
Step Two: Overlap Layers
Take a one-inch piece of hair in the front; roll it up and around two fingers and clip for five minutes. Remove clip and gently pull that piece back along the hairline, incorporating sections from the right and left sides (each one about three inches wide) and overlapping as you go; secure to the back of your head with bobby pins.
Step Three: Loop into a Bun
Continue pulling back sections from the right and left, then loop the ends into a relaxed bun and secure with pins.
Look Three: Beach Braids
Bring your free-spirit style up a notch for the aisle with this easy-to-master look.
Step One: Part and Braid
Work in a quarter-size of Paul Mitchell Twirl Around Crunch-Free Curl Definer. Spiral-curl hair with a one-inch curling iron to create loose waves. Make a deep side part. Starting at the part, french-braid along the longer hairline, pulling in small sections as you go.
Step Two: Secure the Twists
Secure this braid in the back with an elastic. Straight-braid a two-inch piece along the shorter hairline; hold tight.
Step Three: Pin it Up
Remove the elastic and twist the end of the braids together, anchoring them in the center back of head with clips that match your hair's hue.
Look Four: The New French Twist
Your mom is right: Everyone wants to see your pretty face, especially at your wedding. So get those strands out of your eyes.
Step One: Boost Volume
First, prepare damp hair with volumizer, and blow-dry it with a round boar-bristle brush. Then spritz on a lightweight texturizer for extra body. We like Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray.
Step Two: Pull Back a Pony
Next, sweep hair into a low ponytail an inch or two away from the nape of your neck, and secure it with a clear band like Scünci No Damage Elastics. Create volume at the crown by grasping a small piece of hair from the middle of the pony and holding it steady as you slide the elastic up toward your head with your other hand.
Step Three: Do the Twist
Position one hand at the center of the back of your head, fingers down, and use the other to wrap your ponytail around your index and middle fingers, forming a twist. Secure it along your head with large pins, such as those from Goody. Snip the elastic with scissors (better yet, ask a bridesmaid to do it).
Step Four: Add Imperfections
Using your fingers, gently loosen strands at the crown and sides of your head, and around your face. "That imperfect wispiness is what makes this chic and youthful," says New York City stylist Oscar Blandi. Finish with firm-hold hair spray to make the look last. Try Blowpro After Blow Strong Hold Finishing Spray.
Look Five: The Sleek Bun
Timeless and easy-peasy for many lengths, this style works for the main event—or your rehearsal dinner or shower.
Step One: The Perfect Part
Apply volumizer (such as Phyto Phytovolume Actif Volumizing Spray) to damp hair. Then use a comb to create a part that lines up with the arch of your eyebrow. Mist it with firm-hold hair spray to tamp down flyaways.
Step Two: Create a Low Ponytail
Pull your hair back into a low ponytail and begin securing it with an elastic, but stop halfway when pulling your strands through for the last time, forming a loop with a dangling tail. "Run your hand over the tail to bring wild hairs together," says Myron Chin, a New York City stylist. "Part of what makes this look so pulled together is a smooth shape."
Step Three: Secure with Pins
Slip your finger through the loop of hair, press it up until it meets the back of your head, and attach it with wire U-pins, which "hold a ton of hair but are really discreet," says Chin, who likes Sta-Rite Hair Pins. To use one, insert it with tips pointing up, and then flip it so the ends are facing downward, and push in.
Step Four: Tuck and Secure
To complete, draw the hanging tail section from the left side of your original ponytail's base to the right, tucking its ends under the top loop, and anchoring it with pins to create a bun.
Look Six: Pressed Waves
With its face-framing curls, "this look is just as polished as any updo," says Jasmine Galazka, a stylist in New York City.
Step One: Basic Blow-Out
Spray damp roots with a thickener like John Frieda Root Booster Blow Dry Lotion. Twist pieces of hair and pin them back. Then, blow-dry each one with a round brush, bending the ends under.
Step Two: Create Curls
Take a two-inch section of hair from the front of your head and mist it with medium-hold hair spray. Curl it under with a one-inch-barreled curling iron, and hold for five seconds before releasing.
Step Three: Roll Each Ringlet
Roll the ringlet up around your finger to create a circle, and secure with a clip that won't form creases, such as Salon Care Metal Duckbill Clips. Repeat, working from your forehead to the nape of your neck, curling, twirling, and pinning, until all your hair is up. Let the pinned curls cool for 10 minutes to help set the style.
Step Four: Let Loose
Unclip the bottom third of your curls, spritz them with hair spray, and lightly brush the ringlets into waves with a paddle brush. Then repeat with every pinned-up layer until all your hair is combed out, and rub a drop of serum onto your ends for extra shine.
Look Seven: The Braided Updo
"This look is relaxed, sophisticated, and unexpected," says Chin, making it ideal for a free-spirited bride in a floaty gown.
Step One: Dry and Curl
Apply gel to damp hair from roots to tips and blow-dry with a round brush. Curl three-inch sections with a one-inch-barreled curling iron, and hold for five seconds.
Step Two: French Braid
Once all your hair is curled, break up the ringlets with your fingers to form waves that will help keep the braid together. Use your natural part as a starting point, and create a side French braid, hugging your hairline and grazing the top of your ear as you go. Tie it off with a clear elastic. If the style's not perfect, that's even better for a laid-back feel, Chin says.
Step Three: Loosen and Spray
Working from the top of the braid, lightly loosen the woven strands with your fingers (it's okay if small pieces poke out here and there—actually, that’s the idea). Try pulling out a couple of wisps for added softness, too. When you like the way it looks, mist hair with firm-hold hair spray, applying it more heavily on the braid itself.
Step Four: Roll and Secure
Grasp the end of your braid, and gently roll it up until it rests underneath your ear and to the side of your neck. When you've got it in place, secure the updo with U-pins. The style should be fairly indestructible, but a few final spritzes of hair spray won't hurt. And when you eventually take it down, you'll have masses of lush waves.