The 15 best new bridal hairstyles
Middleton's rolled bun is formal, but thanks to subtle volume and soft draping, it also has a cute, vintage appeal. For the volume: Flip your head upside down to blow-dry (a spray like Ojon Volume Advance Thickening Spray will give you a boost). Then create a one- to two-inch-deep middle part. Set aside a section in the front on each side of the part. Next, tease the crown lightly—"You want just a little bump," hairstylist Matt Fugate says—and start rolling the hair up into the chignon; spritz it with hair spray and secure it with U-shaped pins. Drape the two sections from the front toward the back, covering the tops of the ears, and twist them into loose coils above the bun. It's totally fine if the ends poke out: That little bit of texture makes it less structured.
By starting with a tousled texture, Cate Blanchett transformed a stiff style into something much softer. First, loosely curl your hair (use a thermal protector, like Tresemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray) and clip up three sections: one at the top of your head and one by each of your ears. Back-comb the piece that's left, then roll it into a knot, and secure it with U-shaped pins at the nape of your neck, Fugate says. Take the two sides down, and one at a time, drape them across the back over the top of the bun. "You'll want to cover the tops of the ears to keep it soft," Fugate says. Pin each one down, weaving the ends into the chignon. Rake the last section back with your fingers, crisscrossing the pieces and tucking the ends into the top of the knot. "The volume at the sides should be the same as the top," Fugate says. "Otherwise it will be too pompadour-ish."
"It looks very done, but it's actually very easy," says Fugate. "It's all about the smoothness and shine." Tackle the smoothness first by spritzing a leave-in conditioner, like Alterna Caviar CC Cream Complete Correction 10-in-1 Leave-in Hair Perfector, over damp hair and blowing it dry with a paddle brush. Make a middle part, then set aside a section of hair in the back (one that extends from the ears to the crown), and clip it up. Pull everything else into a low, sleek ponytail, securing it with a hair bungee. To get the roll-shaped chignon, loop the ponytail through the bungee—it's OK if the ends poke out. Unclip the section at the crown, wrap it over the top of the knot (ends covered), and tuck it under, securing it with U-shaped pins. Now the shine: Finish with an all-over mist of glossing spray, like Garnier Fructis Style Brilliantine Shine Glossing Spray.
Contrary to popular belief, great updos don't require a pile of hairpins—and this one only takes a few. First, blow-dry hair straight and smooth. A thickening spray, like Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray, is essential, hairstylist Teddi Cranford says: "The volume and the width of the bun makes it modern." Gather hair into a ponytail at the crown of the head and secure it with an elastic. Tease the ponytail for extra fullness, then smooth it over with a comb (you don't want it to look puffy), and twist it into a bun. Secure it with a couple U-shaped pins and mist hair with a light-hold spray, like Suave Professionals Touchable Finish Hairspray Lightweight Hold.
A swept-up bun as elegant as this one really shows off a gorgeous neckline. First, flip your hair upside down and blow it dry with a volumizing spray (we love Nexxus Hydra-Light Weightless Moisture Root Lift Mist). Once you're finished, flip your head back up and create a side part that goes about two inches back. Set your bangs aside and gather the rest of your hair back to the crown with your fingers. Instead of making a ponytail, twist hair directly into a loose bun and secure it with U-shaped pins. "This keeps it from looking too severe," Fugate says. "You want it to be soft." Smooth your bangs to the side and finish with an all-over spritz of hair spray. Sally Hershberger Smooth Fix adds a flexible hold and pretty shine, too, Fugate says.
This unfussy bun plays nicely with naturally wavy hair, but it's easy to fake if your hair is straight—just blow-dry with a volumizing spray, like Sally Hershberger Plump Up, and wrap hair loosely around a curling iron. Then comes the updo: Pull hair into a low ponytail with your fingers, leaving out a section by each ear. "You want to make sure there's volume along the hairline," Cranford says. "It shouldn't be tight." Twist the ponytail into a big bun and secure it with U-shaped pins. Next, drape the two hanging pieces back, wrap them around the bun, and pin them into place.
It's the classic low chignon, with a twist. Literally. "It starts with a smooth blow-dry," hairstylist Jen Atkin says—you'll want to use a paddle brush, like Sonia Kashuk Hair Brush, for a sleek, polished look. Part hair deep on one side and gather hair into a loose ponytail on the opposite side of the part. Break the ponytail into two sections, rope them together, and pin the twist up. "You'll want to crisscross the bobby pins as you slide them in," Atkin says. "That will keep everything in place as you're dancing."
You certainly can wear a ponytail to your wedding, and this mussed-up version is pretty without being too casual. Work a volumizer into towel-dried hair (we like Göt2B 2 Sexy Voluptuous Volume Spray Mousse) "and blow-dry it roughly with your hands," Atkin says. Once it's dry, blast roots with a dry shampoo, such as Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray, and part hair gently on the side—a harsh line takes away from the softness. Drape hair into a ponytail, securing it with elastic below the ear. Wrap a piece of hair around the elastic to hide it and back-comb the ponytail lightly for one last boost of texture.
Does this look like the hairstyle of a total bridezilla? Nope—which is exactly what we were going for. Just the right amount of undone, this half-up starts with a solid round-brush blowout. "You'll want some body, so work in a volumizing mousse first," Fugate says (try Dove Style+Care Nourishing Amplifier Mousse). When your hair is dry, part it gently down the middle (the goal isn't for it to be perfectly straight). Grab the front sections on both sides of the part and twist them toward the back, securing them with bobby pins. To give the style a little shape, wrap a few pieces quickly around a curling iron, but even though it's your wedding day, "leave the fuss at home," Fugate says.
Veil not your thing? A skinny, sparkly headband is a fun way to dress up a short haircut. "It adds a focal point and femininity," Fugate says. But N'yongo's hair texture is the real hero: "It's smooth and tight in the front but full and natural in the back."
Your big day calls for a big-hair moment. The key is getting soft waves like these to stay all day, so prep damp hair with a thickening spray (try Tigi Bed Head Superstar Queen for a Day Thickening Spray). Blow-hair dry with a round brush, then part hair however you like—down the middle or to the side—and start curling with a one-inch iron, such as Sultra The Bombshell One-Inch Rod Curling Iron. "Her hair looks great because it's so thick," Cranford says. "Don't be afraid to add some extensions." Spritz curls with a light-hold hair spray, such as Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray, then comb through them so they're not tight and structured.
This is no basic blowout. Sleek and glossy, Munn's look requires a little serum—and a lot of arm strength. "It's all about the blow-dry," Cranford says. "The hairline needs to be really clean, and the part really straight." Prep towel-dried hair with a light oil (Cranford likes Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Oil), then dry it straight with a flat brush. Part hair on the side and mist a shine spray, like Davines OI/OIL Absolute Beautifying Potion, over the ends. "The cleanness and shine of it is why it looks elegant," Cranford says.
Bride-to-be Conrad is no stranger to retro curls, but a gorgeous hairpin brings an extra dose of glamour to her look. First, blow-dry hair with a round brush and part it on the side. Wrap sections around a one-and-a-half-inch curling iron (BaByliss Pro GT Gold Titanium 1 1/2" Spring Curling Iron does the trick), focusing on the layers near the front of your face. Fasten in an accessory—Jennifer Behr designs some beautiful ones—on the side of the part with less hair, and finish with a spritz of hair spray, such as Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Medium Hold. "I'm a sucker for this look," Atkin says. "Your wedding day is your red-carpet moment, and you want to look like yourself."
Plenty of women start growing their hair out half a second after they get engaged, but you don't have to be one of them: Soft, sculpted curls, like Jones's, are great for shorter lengths. Blow-dry hair with a round brush, make a side part, and start curling the whole head with a one-inch curling iron (try Tigi Bed Head Curlipops 1" Tourmeline Ceramic Hourglass Styling Iron). "You're using a smaller curling iron than you'd think," Atkin says. "But you're going to brush them out, so they'll have a nice, loose bend." Use a boar-bristle brush, like a Mason Pearson, to comb through the curls and top with a shine spray, such as Oribe Shine Light Reflecting Spray.
Cool-girl hair, bridal edition: "It's best with day-after hair that's already wavy," Atkin says. But since it has a bohemian feel, the waves will need to be taken down a notch. Part hair down the middle, then smooth them over with a flatiron. Spritz in Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray for body, then braid a skinny section on side of the part and pin it behind your ear.
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