3 Bridal Looks for Taking Long Hair to Its Big-Day Best
DIY beauty options, from long waves to a braided updo.
Finding your wedding hairstyle doesn’t require multiple fittings, and it hasn’t spawned a TV show—yet. But it’s just as integral to your ensemble as that gorgeous gown. We asked New York City stylist Sarah Potempa for her step-by-step ideas for transforming long strands to here-comes-the-bride ready.
Having a fair amount of length means you’ve got infinite styling choices. To narrow them down, think of the way you want to look and the type of wedding you’re having. These loose waves fit right in at a barefoot-on- the-beach celebration, while a more refined updo might be just the thing for a black-tie affair.
Step 1: Prep the Hair
Start by prepping hair with a volumizing mousse, like Aussie Sprunch Mousse + Leave-In Conditioner ($4, aussie.com), before blow-drying locks. Once dry, apply a heat-protection spray over the dry hair (we used ghd Heat Protect Spray, $22, ghdhair.com). Separate hair into two sections: the left and right sides. Begin on the left side, and use clips to section side into layers, starting with the bottom layer.
Step 2: Give It a Curl
Clamp small sections of hair into the Sarah Potempa Beachwaver Pro ($199, sarahpotempa.com). Holding the Beachwaver vertically, press the “L” button to twist hair around the barrel of the iron. Keep in place for a few seconds, then release clamp and slide coil out. Continue working layer by layer until left side is completed. (Note:
Waves should always curl away from the face to create a softer look.) Repeat the process for the right side of the head (press the “R” button when clamping hair).
Step 3: Separate to Finish
Break up the waves with your fingers or a cushion brush (we used the Sarah Potempa On Set Styling Brush, $42, sarahpotempa.com).
An unfussy, braided chignon keeps hair off your face and looks beautifully bohemian.
Step 1: French Braid
Start with a side part. Create one thick, three-strand French braid that begins at the part and snakes along the hairline and down past the ear. Fasten with a clear hair tie.
Step 2: Fishtail
To create the fishtail braid, take a small section of hair from the nape of the neck and separate into two pieces. Wrap a small section of hair from the right side over the left section. Then wrap a little hair from the left over the right. Repeat. Fasten with clear hair tie.
Step 3: Wrap It Up
Sweep all hair over to the side with the French braid. Bring all hair except the fishtail braid inside Sarah Potempa Wrap Up ($12, sarahpotempa.com), slide Wrap Up down to ends of hair, and pinch closed. Roll hair up and bend the two sides of the Wrap Up in. Twist the hidden fishtail braid around the bun, and secure with two or three bobby pins.
A cool accessory and a few styling tools add up to maximum impact with minimal effort.
Step 1: Set the Band
Lay a Scünci No-Slip Grip headband ($6, scunci.com) on the crown of the head so that it starts one inch behind the hairline and ends below the ears.
Step 2: Roll Up
Wrap ends around the Sarah Potempa Wrap Up ($12, sarahpotempa.com) and start rolling hair inward and up toward the nape of the neck.
Step 3: Fasten and Tuck
Secure the roll at the nape of the neck by anchoring hair inside the headband’s elastic. To conceal any part of the headband that remains visible, remove a few loose tendrils and tuck around the exposed elastic.
Step 4: Top Off
Finish by placing a Jennifer Behr Odele fascinator ($395, jenniferbehr.com) on top and securing with bobby pins.
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