There's a lot to consider before making a decision.

By Helen Sondag
July 15, 2019
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You've coordinated your bridesmaids' looks-from their dresses and accessories down to their shoes-so should you plan to book hair appointments for the whole group, too, so they can truly be styled from head to toe? Intricate updos with braids and buns might warrant an assist from a stylist, for example, but attendants who want to wear their hair down can probably handle a relaxed style themselves. So, does everyone need to have their hair professional styled? Absolutely not. "This depends on the desired look the bride has for the bridesmaids," says Zoey Basinger of Method Hair in Austin, Texas. "If the bride prefers a more structured, polished look, then I would recommend going to a professional. If the desired look is more laid-back and easy, then bridesmaids doing their own hair could work."

How does this all work out? We break it down here.

If you want everyone to have their hair done, you should plan to hire and pay for the hairstylist.

"Some brides also choose to make a hairstylist optional to bridesmaids, but not necessarily require it," Basinger explains. If brides prefer the whole party has a professionally styled look, they'll often cover the costs-unless bridesmaids offer to pay for it themselves. Just get a head count of who would like their hair done as early as possible so the stylist (or team of stylists) schedules enough time.

Send photo inspiration everyone can look at.

Even if the bride allows her ladies to DIY, she may decide to provide some ideas to ensure a cohesive or even unified look. "She could send photos of hairstyles she likes to the bridesmaids ask how they feel about all re-creating that look," our pro suggests. "That way, she can get a feel for what to expect from each bridesmaid and can alter the looks if necessary."

Have a trial run.

Hair trials aren't just for brides! "If the bridesmaids are getting their hair professionally done, a trial run is not normally necessary, unless it's a more intricate style," Basinger says. "If the bridesmaids are doing their own hair, it may be a good idea to do a practice run and send photos to the bride so that everyone is on the same page."

Don't make this common DIY mistake.

Even if bridesmaids are styling themselves, they shouldn't look like they've styled themselves. "One mistake I've seen when bridesmaids do their own hair is that they don't make sure the style will last throughout the whole duration of the wedding," she notes. "They'll need to give their hair more hold than they're used to on a daily basis, since it will most likely fall throughout the day and night."

Use plenty of products.

The best way to avoid looking like a DIY gone wrong? "Make sure to use enough product in the hair, both wet and dry, such as a styling cream and hairspray," Basinger recommends. "Another way to add longevity is to use a curling iron or straightener to set the style."


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