Many brides dream of gorgeous mermaid hair for the wedding, but if you don't actually have that hair—can extensions be the answer?
Photo by Morgan Sessions

When you count down to your wedding day, you may start thinking about how you are going to wear your hair before you even select your wedding dress. And for many brides, that fantasy look involves super long hair-even if they don't have it just yet!

"Every bride wants to look (and feel) like the most beautiful version of herself on her wedding day, and sometimes that means longing for long, gorgeous wedding-day hair, especially perfect for achieving an updo!" says Lisa Richards, co-founder of RPZL, a blowout and hair extensions bar in in New York City. "Some brides spend a year or more growing out their locks before the big day-but most brides add hair extensions instead," says Richards.

Should you get hair extensions?

If you decide to go with extensions, there are a lot of directions you can take them, as far as volume and length, but even texture and shading. And you may want to give yourself a few rounds of extensions before the big day to make sure you are getting it right. "I usually start hair trials six months to a year before the wedding, and sometimes it takes two to three trials to get it completely right. First, we'll discuss pros and cons and share all of the possibilities," says celebrity hair stylist Ricardo Rojas. Rojas, who's worked with Naomi Campbell, Eva Longoria, and Jourdan Dunn, also suggests that you have your makeup artist speak to your hairstylist to make sure that your beauty look is cohesive.

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And know you have a lot of options.


Clip-ins: This totally commitment-free option is just what it sounds like-wash and style them just like your own hair, but take them out or put them in when you want. Meaning, headed to the gym or the pool with the girls? These can stay at home.

Bonded: For the girls that want it to feel like their real hair, bonded is the way to go. These involve keratin glue on the tip that is then attached to your own hair via something that looks vaguely like a glue gun and lasts up to four months-shower with these, swim with these, do whatever you want, and it'll totally look and feel like your own hair. (You may want to avoid a curling iron or heavy conditioners near the bond though; that could weaken the attachment.)

Sewn: Also known as a weave, these extensions are literally sewn on. This route lasts about two months. It's a good option as long as you don't have super thin hair since it may not be strong enough to hold the extensions.

Tape-in: These last about two months, too, but they're not great for super thin hair. However, it's the easiest to remove, so a lot of people like it if they want more commitment than clip-in, but less than a weave. Your extensions will literally be adhered to your scalp via what looks like two-sided tape, but it's a lot more durable than it sounds.

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Hair extensions dos and don'ts:

Just as you wouldn't consider a new haircut or color on the day of your wedding, you don't want to get extensions the day-of either. "We suggest getting the extensions put in two weeks out (please note that our clip-in extensions will need to be customized and cut for the perfect blend and then put in and styled the day of your wedding). With all RPZL extensions, we want you to get used to them and also give you time to do a practice run with your stylist before the big day," says Richards.

Worried that extensions will damage your natural hair? Don't be, as long as you maintain them properly. "If you take care of your extensions properly and follow our hair care rules, extensions are safe and damage-free. Additionally, extensions are virtually weightless and after a few days, you'll forget you're even wearing them," says Richards.

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