A hair trial appointment in advance of your wedding day can ease your mind and assure that your look will be lovely and cohesive. You don’t have to know a bun from a chignon or a weave from a braid to make your trial a success—just follow these tips from the pros.
Choose a stylist who has experience. Inquire about specialists at salons and look at stylists’ websites to assess their technique. “Not every stylist can do wedding hair,” says Nicky Stewart, former stylist at Innovations for Hair on the Corner and a 25-year veteran of preparing brides to look their best. “It takes a lot of patience and creativity. It’s not just a matter of skills but also personality—you have to be able to handle the extra stress that comes with doing a wedding.”
Ask if the stylist offers a free consultation to see how you mesh and to discuss pricing before the trial. On the trial day, allow a couple of hours for the appointment and arrive with natural, un-styled hair.
Bring photos and accessories. Photos from Pinterest, Instagram, and bridal magazines will illustrate your hair vision for your stylist. “With photos, we can get an idea of who you are, your vibe, and what you’re looking for,” says Erica Haskins of Top Knot Studio. “A particular style usually will work but not always the way it looks in the picture, so I try to be really honest.”
“If a bride is undecided, we can start with a down style first and then pull it up,” says Stewart. Bring any flower, barrette, clip, or veil you wish to use to help the stylist work those accessories into the design, as well as your bridal gown—or a photo of it—to complete the picture. “Oftentimes the trial will run on the day you’re getting your dress fitted, so you can come to me first to do hair then go to your fitting.”
Know what you need. Decide in advance if the bridal party and mothers will be having their hair done as well, and whether you want your stylist on hand for hair and makeup touch-ups during the big day, both of which will increase the cost. Be flexible during the trial, but don’t hesitate to redirect if you’re not comfortable with a particular style. Once you’re satisfied, relax. “On the wedding day, my brides are calm and happy,” says Haskins. “They know they’ll look great.”