If there's one day you want to look and feel like yourself, it's your wedding day. After all, it's an event you'll remember for decades to come, both in your own memory and through the precious photos you took. For this reason, many brides consider limiting the amount of makeup they use and going with a hairstyle that feels more genuine to their personality. Additionally, for those brides who color their hair, they may consider slowly transitioning their locks back to their natural hue.
"A trendy hair color can often date a bride in photos and make them look back and say, 'What was I thinking?!' Reverting to their natural color may help to avoid such problems," says Kali Ferrara, senior colorist at Roy Teeluck Salon in New York City. "I can't say I have many clients growing out to their gray color for their big day, however I have had many brides that tone down some trendier 'dos and colors to appear to be their more natural self." Considering switching up your hue for your big day and going back to a shade that's more you? Follow these expert-approved tips to ensure a flawless, wedding-ready color.
Once a wedding date is secure, work with your stylist on a timeline for services.
Depending on the length of your hair and the drastic color change you're seeking, you'll want to allot as much time for the process as possible. For this reason, experts agree that it's important to seek out the help of a talented colorist who knows what he or she is doing early on. The last thing you want when you're hoping to revert back to your natural chocolate brunette color is to wind up with an amber tint that's so not you.
Keep up with regular trims so ends stay healthy.
No matter your color of choice, experts agree that the quality of your hair is of utmost important. "Making sure the bride is not picking at her split ends regular trims will help keep curls looking polished with fresh ends," says Ally Myette, New England Goldwell Artist and owner of The Designory Hair and Makeup Studio in Salem, Massachusetts. She recommends scheduling out your trims in advance and trying your best to commit to at least every eight weeks.
Consider growing out your roots.
If you hang onto your long hair like a dysfunctional friendship, George Kyriakos, hairstylist and founder of StyleBookings.com, recommends talking to your stylist about growing out your roots—at least to about two or three inches long. "If you are super embarrassed about this then use a root touch pen like L'Oreal's Magic Root Cover Up," he says. "This will help you get by until your roots are long enough, after which you can then go into your salon and have them match your original hair color."
Going darker? Add in some lowlights.
If you're planning to go back to your darker natural color, talk to your colorist about threading in some lowlights to cut the definitive line that happens during this process. "Blending the solid line will help to bring the entire head of hair together to a more cohesive look," says Ferrara. "If lowlights won't work for your gray pattern, then try a translucent demi permanent color, like Redken Shades EQ, to give a little tint to the entire head." This, she explains, will cover the gray with a little pigment, but will help to blend the line between the previously colored hair and the new growth.
Going lighter? Add in some highlights.
If you have been coloring your hair slightly darker than your natural, Lauren E. Hack, co-owner of LAUREN+VANESSA salon in New York City, suggests adding in some highlights to break up the existing color and add dimension. "Most natural hair color has a subtle tone on tone highlight, so this can be a beautiful transition making it look as though your tresses are sun kissed," she says.
Use clear glosses to add shine to the hair.
Depending on the length of your hair, you can expect it to take at least six months to a year to bring back a natural hair color. For this reason, Myette suggests starting with routine gloss appointments to start blending in old color with new color. "This helps the transition so you're not dealing with discoloration that's shocking," she explains. "Natural hair can sometimes lack life and shine and a gloss will enhance already existing tones in the hair while adding shine and bounce to the hair."
As a last resort, consider color remover.
After coloring your hair black or very dark brown for years, Hack suggests a professional hair color remover. "Especially if time is of the essence, this can help drastically!" she says. "A professional color remover like L'Oreal Effasol will do the trick, though this is a very strong product so it should only be used by a licensed cosmetologist." The process consists of removing and toning sometimes multiple times depending on the underlying pigment. "Deep conditioning treatments are a must when using any kind of color remover," Hack adds.