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How to Be a Successful Wedding Hairstylist

Selecting a wedding day hairstyle can be one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your life. You need to remember that this ‘do will follow you for years to come in both photographs and memories from your big day, so you’ll want to look your absolute best. That’s where your wedding day hairstylist comes in to make all of your bridal dreams come true. If you’ve ever wondered how much work it takes to be the hair guru for a bride and her party, it’s definitely a lot. We spoke to Vanessa Ungaro, co-founder of bespoke NYC salon Lauren+Vanessa and LAVA Weddings, and wedding hairstylist to break down a day in the life of bridal hairstylists. The duo has been working in the wedding hair space for quite some time and are experts in the field with a ton of bridal experience. Ahead, everything you’ve ever wanted to know about completing a wedding day look for a bride and her bridal party.

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What does a typical day look like for a wedding hairstylist?

A typical day for a wedding hairstylist starts with months of preparation. By the time the bride’s wedding day is here, we are in a creative and focused state of mind. We always arrive 20 minutes early to find the best lighting in the bridal suite for the bride to get ready. Lauren and I also like to create a zen atmosphere by bringing clear quartz and rose quartz crystals to clear the space and bring love into the room. It is essential for the bride to have some privacy while still giving her the option to chat with her bridal party if she would like to. We prepare one hour per service for the bride and 45 minutes per person in the bridal party. Creating a timeline for the day-of is essential for everything runs smoothly. Majority of our brides do wear hair extensions, so we usually set their hair before beginning their makeup application.

What products do you always have in your wedding day hair kit?

Oribe Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Spray: This is my go-to for most brides because it adds a beautiful glossy shine to all hair types. Wedding hair tip: Spray before curling for added texture.

Ouai Dry Shampoo: This dry shampoo not only smells amazing but it is excellent for all hair colors as it does not leave a white residue like most dry shampoos. We always say to our brides, “this is going to sexify your hair!”

Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray: For the bride who likes her hair to look sleek. This anti-humidity spray fights frizz and controls moisture leaving your hair ultra silky and smooth.

What would you say are the biggest bridal hair trends of 2018 thus far?

Nineties style braids are making a big comeback. Cornrows can help beef-up a very feminine dress by giving it some edge. Waves never seem to go out of style, but each season they change in variation. Natural, beachy, textured or glam, some women love them to be big and voluminous others love to have it look like bedhead. Waves can never do you wrong because they are both timeless and trend-forward.


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What do you love most about working with brides and a bridal party?

It is an honor to work with a bride on her wedding day. I love the prep as it sets the tone for the entire day. Really! Lauren and I always make sure there is a comfortable atmosphere before we begin. We love to pamper our brides with face masks, reiki, and hand massages to help them relax. Whatever the bride needs to feel glowing from the inside out, we provide. I especially love to scan the room of the bridal suite and watch the women primping and chatting. This bonding time is so special, and it is something we’ve been doing for centuries.

What is the most challenging part about working weddings?

The most challenging part of working a wedding is not the hairstyling itself but the chaos that is going on around the bride. Although Lauren is a hair colorist and does not perform any bridal hair services, she provides that sense of calmness that every bride needs. She also manages the other hair and makeup artists while I work with the bride, which is very helpful. Teamwork makes the dream work!

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Looking for a wedding day tiara? Take a look at the most famous royal headpieces for some inspiration.

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