Believe me, I know. I've seen the beautiful photo of a bride frolicking in a field of lavender, a crown of fresh flowers, loose beachy waves falling around her face. I've seen the celebrity wedding photos of dad and bride walking down the aisle, hair to one side, extensions falling in soft waves at waist length. I've seen the designer shots of a beautiful backless wedding dress, model's head turned to the side, loose curls cascading down her back to match the V of the dress. They're all beautiful and I love them, but I also love my brides and I want to tell you what you can't see from those photos.
What you don't see is the last hour of the reception when the flowers have browned and the bride's hair is hanging in strings all over her shoulders. You'll never see the hairstylist hiding behind the wall next to the aisle, wielding a curling iron and touching up those extensions a second before that dad and bride walked down the aisle. You won't see the session stylist placing each freshly curled hair against that model's back while she sits perfectly still for a photo in that gorgeous dress. I tell you this not to discourage you from your dream look, but to help you understand the reality with hair. It doesn't matter who your stylist is or how good we are, or the $25 can of spray we're using. Certain hair will not hold all day. It's chemistry. Read on to learn more.
Hair is held together by chemical bonds of different strengths that can be broken and reformed in different ways. The ones we are concerned with on your wedding day would be the ones that can be broken with heat or water. This is how we achieve a style with a blow out (wet to dry) or an iron (extreme heat). When you wet the hair, the bonds are broken, then we dry it around a round brush to bend it into a style or pull it straight in order to straighten out curly hair. If your hair is straight and you want it curly, we will wrap it around a very hot curling iron to break the bonds, clip it to your head and allow it to cool in that position. Now the bonds are reformed into a curly shape. If you have a natural wave or curl pattern to your hair, the bonds are already that type of shape so your curl will hold longer. If your hair is naturally super straight, those bonds are resistant to the curl so your curly style has less of a chance of survival. Hairspray does add some support, similar to scaffolding. It won't hold up the building but it serves a purpose for inside work done right. Adding hairspray that coats the outside of the hair shaft doesn't do anything to help the situation going on inside your hair. In fact, too much spray can do the opposite and weigh the hair down. So that's how it all works.
If you've read my blog entitled "do I really need airbrush make up" and why it lasts all night, you can understand where I'm coming from with this. I can definitely guarantee that your face will last all day and night but hair that's left to hang down...not so much. It always comes down to science. There are things working against us right in the environment. If it's a rainy or humid day or super hot, (I think I just described summer in Jersey), those bonds inside your hair will start to droop - and so will your style. I'm not just worried about how you look when I'm finished beautifying you - I'm concerned about how you'll look at 11 pm as well. I would be a crappy bridal stylist if I wasn't concerned about that. So now that you know all this, what should you do?
I'm not suggesting you rip all those hairstyle photos you love so much right out of your binder or delete your wedding Pinterest board. What my clients want is always paramount to whatever chemistry lesson I may have or how I know the hair is going to react. Maybe consider an in between style? The hair that is pinned up onto the head will definitely stay put because of the massive network of intersecting bobby pins we'll hide in there. If you are dead set on a down style - then that's what you get. If you're ok with a little fall-age by night's end - then more power to you. My brides are always educated, always beautiful and always in love with their hair!