10 Tips To Hiring a Wedding Hairstylist
Congratulations on your engagement. Now the fun really starts!
As that to-do list starts mounting, don't forget to give some thought to your bridal beauty look and the feeling you're trying to convey.
We chatted with Nunzio Saviano-a New York City salon owner and go-to expert for celebrities such as Mira Sorvino, Brooke Shields, and Anjelica Huston-to get his advice on how to hire the right pro to execute your vision.
Here's what to keep in mind:
1. Experience counts
Even the most seasoned stylists may lack a passion for creating twists or braided coiffures worthy of a bride. Ask prospective hair stylist how many weddings they've recently worked on and try to get a sense of their enthusiasm for bridal beauty. "You can teach any stylist how to do an updo, but they really have to love it and do it frequently to get really good at it," Saviano says. "The way a stylist moves their fingers, it's an art."
"Every salon has one or two people who love to do weddings," Saviano says. "It's just a question of doing a little homework. Many brides spend hours looking at dresses. But when it comes to their hair, they don't do the homework. If you want something special, a little homework can really make the difference."
Other experts involved in wedding planning can also be a source of reliable referrals. Heading to a resort for a destination event? "Chances are they already have a salon on the premises or know who other brides have used," Saviano says.
2. Do they have a portfolio of other brides they've worked with that they can share?
A picture is worth a thousand words. To separate the good stylists from the excellent ones, look for variety when scanning the images. This is not the time to settle for something cookie cutter. "Every bride should look different, Saviano explains. "The best stylists personalize the look to the individual bride, based on her personality and her dress."
3. Do they have checkable references?
Any stylist should be happy to share the names of satisfied clients who can speak to their work with them.
4. Don't rule out the tried-and-true
The person who already does a fantastic job trimming your locks may also do a fantastic job shaping them. "Having rapport with a stylist can be key to a successful wedding hairdo," Saviano says. Many brides find that ongoing relationship so important that they will even fly their regular stylists to their out-of-town weddings.
5. How many trials would they recommend before the big day?
Before hiring a stylist, always schedule an appointment for a trial. "The first trial may not be great," Saviano cautions, so make sure to communicate your likes and dislikes and being open to trying a variety of looks. "You need to see your options," he says. "You may be surprised."
Saviano recommends scheduling the trials after the dress has been chosen. The neckline and silhouette will influence the overall look.
6. How effective are inspiration shots?
Don't be afraid to bring a picture of the look you're trying to achieve to the stylist. You can always say you want more height or less height, but at least it gives your stylist something to start with."
When searching for visual inspiration, Saviano avoids hair magazines. "Flip through current magazines instead," he advises. "You want to look like a movie star; not dated."
YouTube is also a new favorite for Saviano. How-to videos can help women try out a variety of looks at home. The DIY bride may even get confident enough to style her own tresses before saying "I do."
7. Discuss the staying power of the style you're seeking
The prettiest looks may not be the most practical ones, especially when factors like the natural texture of your hair, or the weather at your event's location are completely out of your control. Consider hiring a stylist who will be present throughout the ceremony, reception and pictures or ask them for a plan (and products) to tweak as needed.
8. Finalize all the logistics
Do you need the stylist to work on all your family members and bridesmaids? If so, they'll need to bring along assistants. This is also the time to discuss whether they'd need you all at the salon or if they'd be willing to meet you at the wedding locale. Be certain you are both on the same page to prevent confusion as you get closer to the big day.
"Don't wait until the end of the wedding to go over the details," says Saviano. The better you know up front-from covering travel costs, handling gratuities and the right form of payment -the smoother the day will go.
10. Lock it down
It's never too early to book your stylist, especially if you're getting married during the busy bridal season or working with a popular stylist. Ask the person you are considering hiring what their schedule looks like and what kind of timing they need to meet your needs.