Straight from the chairs of three top-tier hairstylists.
Photography: Patric Shaw1 of 15
You've already found your perfect partner—now it's time to find your perfect hairstyle. From timeless to trendy, there's a style out there for every bride. We gathered three top hairstylists to create unforgettable looks that will enable your personality to shine through. Even better, we're giving you every step you need to re-create these pretty looks at home.
From traditional updos and trendier takes on the classics to glamorous hairstyles and easy, breezy 'dos, there's a beautiful hairstyle here for every type of bride. Whether you try them for your engagement party, bridal shower, or even the big day itself, you'll be looking your absolute best on your way to exchange vows.
The Bardot Side Pony
Always wanted to channel your inner Brigitte but never knew where to start? Stylist Gregory Patterson says the two keys to nailing this pony are product and backcombing.
2. Pin up the front of the hair to get the bangs out of the way.
3. Backcomb the rest of the hair from the top of the head to the bottom, spritzing with Kristin Ess Refine Signature Finishing Spray ($14, target.com) as you go.
4. When you're finished backcombing, brush all of the hair back and gather it into a pony.
5. Secure pony with an elastic, and pull up on the crown for volume.
6. Place the pony over the side of the shoulder.
7. Pin a section of the pony to cover the hair tie, and complete the pony by curling it in sections.
8. Comb through the bangs, bringing them to the right side, and backcomb more.
9. Tuck bangs behind the ear. If the ends hang out, tie those around the pony and secure with bobby pins.
10. To add volume to the crown, pull up parts of the hair using the bottom end of a comb. Finish the pony with Beach Club Texture Spray ($29, igkhair.com) and more Kristin Ess Finishing Spray. Use ion Keratin Flex Finishing Spray ($8, ionathome.com) on the bangs.
Photography: Patric Shaw2 of 15
The Princess Leia Buns
Give a whimsical nod to the ever-inspiring Princess Leia with this look created by celebrity hairstylist Tommy Buckett.
1. Start with clean, blow-dried hair. Spray Garnier Fructis Texture Tease Dry Touch Finishing Spray ($4, garnierusa.com) at the roots.
2. Backcomb the whole head to create texture.
3. Part hair down the middle, from the front to the back. Then, section the hair into two low ponytails behind the ears.
4. Apply a little more Texture Tease Finishing Spray at the end of the ponytails, and backcomb at the base of the pony to create fullness.
5. Twirl the ponies to create a little knot that hides the base of the ponytail, securing in place with bobby pins.
6. For the final touch, use Garnier Fructis Sheer Set Extreme Hold Breathable Hairspray ($6, garnierusa.com).
Photography: Patric Shaw3 of 15
The Faux Bob
You've committed to your partner, but you can keep things casual with your hair. Patterson's faux bob is a great option for change-shy brides who want to try something new—for just one night.
1. Begin by pulling the hair back into a very loose ponytail, and secure with an elastic.
2. Roll the pony back up under the hair, and use bobby pins to secure.
3. Pull out the front bits of hair to give more of a natural look, and set it all with Kristin Ess Refine Signature Finishing Spray ($14, target.com).
Photography: Patric Shaw4 of 15
The Retro Roll
Keep the focus on your face with a simple vintage look. Buckett designed this update with the '40s in mind.
1. Prep hair with Serge Normant Meta Lush Volumizer ($23, sergenormant.com).
2. Use a large round brush to smooth out hair.
3. After making a center part, backcomb on the crown to ensure the hair is photo-ready and even.
4. Starting at the hairline, pin hair to the back of the head—two sections on each side—using large clips.
5. Spritz hair with Garnier Fructis Anti-Frizz Dry Spray ($4, garnierusa.com) for a pretty shine, then secure a mesh wrap around the hair.
6. Taking ½-inch sections, use the tail of the comb to surround and cover the wrap with bobby pins. Buckett's tip: Don't worry if it isn't perfect; a little texture will keep it looking fresh and not costume-y.
Photography: Patric Shaw5 of 15
The Sideswept Chignon
Nothing says chic like a chignon, but Buckett turned this one on it's side—quite literally.
1. To start, prep hair with Garnier Fructis Smooth Blow Dry Anti-Frizz Cream ($4, garnierusa.com), and use a round brush to smooth out hair.
2. To make the perfect side part, start the part at the arch of the eyebrow.
3. Brush everything flat to the head and secure hair in a low side ponytail.
4. Apply Garnier Fructis Smooth Air Dry Anti-Frizz Cream ($4, garnierusa.com) throughout the ponytail to soften and add shine.
5. Make a knot at the middle of the ponytail, flip it up, and pin it over the base of the pony.
6. Fan out and pin the loop of hair hanging down to the nape of the neck. Set the chignon in place with Garnier Sheer Set Extreme Hold Breathable Hairspray ($6, garnierusa.com).
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Photography: Patric Shaw6 of 15
The Multi-Braid Bun
This dazzling look, created by Beachwaver inventor Sarah Potempa, is full of glitter and shine.
1. Begin by curling hair with the Beachwaver Pro rotating curling iron ($199, beachwaver.com).
2. Take sections of the hair to create three small braids.
3. Take more sections of the hair and make two fishtail braids.
4. Create one thick braid down the middle of the head, and pin it up under itself.
5. Finish by crossing all of the smaller braids over the big one, securing with pins.
6. Potempa's tip: If you want to thread anything through the hair, make sure to double the desired length of it first—you can always cut it shorter. Potempa also recommends using vintage materials for threading to make the look more unique.
Photography: Patric Shaw7 of 15
The Double Fishtail
Edge up your bridal look with an unexpected twist. Bonus: humidity won't put a damper on this 'do.
1. Start by parting your hair starkly down the middle.
2. Braid an inverted fishtail on each side of the head. Separate the hair in front of the hairline into two pieces.
3. Take the left side, go under, and add to the right. Repeat this with the right side under and into the left side. Continue by adding small sections from the root to the small section that passes under the other side (like you would in a French braid).
4. Continue this all the way down. Secure with an elastic.
5. Repeat the above steps on the other side of the head.
Photography: Patric Shaw8 of 15
The Modern Bombshell
Patterson's vintage, attention-grabbing look will unleash your inner Veronica Lake, while maintaining an element of your contemporary style.
1. Backcomb hair to add texture.
2. Rope-twist hair around a 1-inch curling iron, making sure to curl all of the hair in the same direction. Pin up curls as you go to let them cool.
3. When you get to the crown, twist the hair under the iron, still making sure all curls go in the same direction.
5. After taking the hair down, pin hair along the waves of the curl.
6. Holding a straightening iron horizontally, tap on the waves of the curls to help them set.
7. Comb out the ends of the hair, then straighten them.
8. Complete the look with Kristin Ess Refine Signature Finishing Spray ($14, target.com).
Photography: Patric Shaw9 of 15
The Sexy Pony
There's nothing sexier than a perfectly done undone hairstyle. Patterson loves the potential this look brings: twist it into a messy braid or fold it into a chignon before you hit the reception.
1. Apply mousse throughout the hair, then do a rough blow dry.
2. Brush the back half of the hair to create volume and smoothness.
3. Using an iron or wand, curl your hair in alternating directions to create soft texture.
4. Apply Beyond the Zone Rock On Volumizing Powder ($7, sallybeauty.com) to soften up the look.
Photography: Patric Shaw10 of 15
The Five-Strand Braid
Potempa's intricate basket weave pattern manages to be delicate and bold at the same time.
1. Brush the hair back, then flat iron.
2. Slick the hair back with Ouai Finishing Cream ($24, theouai.com).
3. Starting at the top of the head, use four fingers to separate hair into five sections.
4. Basket weave the braid all the way down. Your braiding mantra: Start at the right side, bring over, then under. Then, alternate to the left side, over, then under.
5. Continue braiding the five pieces all the way down.
6. When finished braiding, flatten the five strands with your hands before securing with an elastic.
7. Roll the braid up under itself. When you get to the top, secure the braid with bobby pins. Finish with Living Proof Blowout Styling and Finishing Spray ($24, livingproof.com).
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Photography: Patric Shaw11 of 15
The Waterfall Braid
Perfect for the on-the-go bride, this gorgeous look has tons of movement.
1. Start by sectioning off three even strands at the front of one side of the head.
2. Place the right strand over the middle, followed by the left.
3. Let the third strand fall, and pick up a new strand from the roots to complete the braid.
4. Continue the process around the whole head.
5. When you get to the other side, secure the waterfall as you would a normal braid.
6. Tuck the braid under the waterfall and pin.
7. Using a Beachwaver ($199, beachwaver.com), curl the remainder of the hair around the braid, making sure to curl away from the head.
Photography: Patric Shaw12 of 15
Show off a pair of statement earrings and a red lip with a high fashion high bun. Buckett recommends adding hair extensions to add fullness in the topknot.
1. Begin by spritzing texture spray through unwashed hair.
2. Gather all of the hair into a pony at the very top of the head, and secure with an elastic.
3. Wrap the hair, in various directions, around the base of the ponytail. Secure the look with bobby pins. Make sure to keep the coil slightly undone to keep the look youthful and modern.
Photography: Patric Shaw13 of 15
The Milkmaid Braid
Potempa's dreamy, ethereal 'do is perfect for the down-to-earth bride.
1. Start by braiding at the left side of the head.
2. Add a glittered thread embellishment by looping it around the hair.
3. Begin Dutch/inverted French braiding across the head, separating the hair into three strands and braiding under all the way. Pull tighter as you go, and continue to wrap the braid around the head, making sure the braid gets thicker to add texture.
4. Potempa's tip: Even if you're going for a loose look, make the braid as tight as possible. You can always pull strands out and make things look unstructured when you're done.
5. When you finish braiding, use a clear hair tie to secure the wire at the end, and conceal it into the start of the braid with a bobby pin.
6. Use a .75-inch Beachwaver ($199, beachwaver.com) to curl the ends of the hair away from the face.
7. There should be excess wire hanging down from your head. Pull the end of the wire through the braid with your fingers, incorporating it around the loops of the braid to make it show more clearly.
8. Finally, "pancake" the edges of the braid: use your fingers to open the edges of the hair up and make them appear thicker.
Photography: Patric Shaw14 of 15
The Cool-Girl Beehive
The beehive was developed in 1960 to usher in a new era of women. Over 60 years later, we’re still obsessed – with a few minor, modernizing tweaks, of course.
1. Begin by working Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse ($39, oribe.com) through wet hair.
2. Rough dry the hair with your fingers, adding plenty of height.
3. After using a round brush at the root to add (even more!) lift, warm R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste ($28, randco.com) in your hands before massaging it into the roots.
4. Backcomb two-inch sections of hair all over the head, then place them in a French twist.
5. Pull hair over to one side of the head and use bobby pins to create a vertical seam down the middle. Your pattern should be one bobby pin up, one bobby pin down.
6. Repeat on the other side of the head, securing with bobby pins. Buckett's tip: The more you use your fingers, the more texture you'll get, and the more modern it will look.
7. Finish by securing with Kristin Ess Refine Signature Finishing Spray ($14, target.com).
Photography: Patric Shaw15 of 15
The Sea Siren
This look is low-key but chic, and perfect for the free-spirited bride (we even paired it with a jumpsuit for our photo shoot!). Hairstylist Gregory Patterson created this look, and stresses that it's all about building texture.
1. Use a texture iron to curl every part of the hair, except for the roots.
2. Flat iron the roots.
3. To finish, brush the curls out for even more volume.
Art direction by Michael McCormick. Styling (fashion) by Jessica King. Additional styling (jewelry) by Colleen Banks. Makeup by Regina Harris.
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