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How To Get the Perfect Wedding-Day Hair

Several hours into her September 18th wedding reception, hairstylist Jennifer Solden started to think about bridal hairdos in a new way. Sure, her elaborate updo looked great, but as she danced into the wee hours her head started to ache from the weight of it. She left the event as Mrs. Erik Roggeveen and with a new perspective on wedding hairstyles. Today she has created three styles that look great, but acknowledge the reality of today’s weddings.

Solden, who counsels brides as a stylist for Alexander G Salon in the Richmond District, says that many women are looking for what might seem impossible: hair that’s going to go from day to night and with two different dresses. “Many brides are changing out of their wedding gown and into a short party dress for the reception. I wish I’d done it, because my heavy gown left me bruised after dancing,” Solden says. “The trick is finding a hairstyle that will work with both and, since most people don’t have a stylist with them all night, that you can maintain yourself.”

Look 1: Lady and the Vamp

Solden created this style for that bride who starts the day in the church in an elegant gown and ends the evening tearing up the floor in short dress and dancing shoes. One side is smooth and almost traditional, but the other has large, sexy curls. “This is for the person who wants that sleek updo, but also wants to show her fun, creative side,” says Solden. “It’s also great for the woman who wants to wear a veil during the ceremony, but get rid of it for the party. It’s a lasting style you don’t need to worry about.”

Look 2: The Convertible

Solden devised this hairstyle for the bride who wants to wear her hair up for a garden wedding, then let it down for dinner and dancing. “During the day, her hair is loosely pinned up,” says Solden. “But later, she pulls out a few bobby pins and runs her fingers through her hair to produce loose, but sculpted, curls.”

Look 3: The Convertible #2

When it comes to hot weather Wine Country weddings that go from day to night, Solden says it’s best to get the hair up off the neck for the daytime ceremony. “This style is a bit more formal. You roll the hair up for a tidy, elegant look during the day. At night, you let most of it down for a straight style with a little body,” says Solden. “This style is great for women with long, straight hair.”

Solden also has some bridal hair basics:

    •    Wedding (Hair) Rehearsal
Just as you run through the ceremony before the big day, you want to test your hairdo before you go down the aisle. Solden suggests coming in for hair trials well in advance of the wedding day.

    •    Pictures Worth 1,000 Words
When you come in to plan the hairdo, Solden suggests bringing the stylist as much visual references as possible. Not just a photo of the dress, mind you, but images of the wedding party outfits, the location and the bouquet. “The more the stylist knows, the better he or she can craft a style that’s perfect for you,” she says.

    •    The Secret is in the Spray
Solden says the key to getting the style to last all say lies in a bottle of hairspray, but ditch the Aqua Net. “You want to spray the hairdo often,” she says. “But you don’t want to use hairspray from the drugstore that is going to matt down your hair. Get a good bottle from a hair salon.”

    •    Bag It
When it comes to getting your crowning glory into the wedding gown unscathed, Solden has a simple trick. “Put a plastic bag over your head to protect your hair when putting on the dress,” she says. “It sounds weird, but it really will protect the style.”