How to Prepare for Your Hair Trial

I recently tagged along to my sister's wedding hair trial at Dolce Vita Salon & Spa in Flemington, NJ. While watching owner Nicole Maxcy work her magic, we chatted about how brides can best prepare for their own hair trials and get the most out of the experience. Here's what she shared:

wedding hair trial

1. Allow enough time
Start searching for your stylist at least three months before the wedding; six months if you're getting married in peak wedding season. For your trial, you’re going to need at least an hour. And don’t be afraid to do more than one trial! Many brides do two or three test runs before finding a style they truly love and feel comfortable with.

2. Prep your hair properly
Wash and blow dry your hair the night before, without using products. If you use a flat iron to tame frizz, it's fine to go ahead and use it. But if your hair is curly, it's better to work with your natural hair texture than to fight it, especially if you're getting married in an area where humidity will come into play.

3. Choose your photo inspiration wisely
Bringing pictures is a given, but don't feel as though you need to narrow it down to just one option. Pinterest is a wonderful source of inspiration, but a lot of the pictures you'll find will only show the hair from one angle. If you love the front of one look but the back of another, your stylist can work to incorporate elements of your favorite ideas.

Don't know what you want? Bring a photo of your dress — this can help your stylist get a sense of your personal style. Plus, she can help you determine the best look based on your dress's neckline. 

wedding hair trial

4. Know what you want and what you don't want
Sometimes, it can be even more helpful to tell your stylist what you don't like — especially if you're going in without a clear vision of your dream wedding-day hairstyle. Do you prefer loose waves or tight ringlets? Sleek or poufy updos? These cues will help your stylist find the perfect fit.

5. Be open to changing your hair
If you're in love with a particular style, ask your stylist if she'd recommend changing anything about your current cut and color to make it look its best. You may find that your style would look better with side-swept bangs or that you should cut layers into your long locks to add dimension. Or, she may suggest something subtle, like parting your hair on the opposite side or overextending the part. And if you highlight your hair, Maxcy recommends getting a touchup two weeks before the big day; that'll give it time to tone down, but you won't have roots showing yet.

wedding hair trial

6. Bring your headpiece
Your veil can completely transform your hairstyle. It's important for your stylist to know how your veil attaches, whether you're going to wear it all night, and if you're planning to add any other hair accessories. Maxcy recommends that if you're using a jeweled clip and a veil, add the clip only after you've removed the veil. That way, the two won't be competing with each other. Plus, it's a quick and easy way to change up your look from day to night.

wedding hair trial

—Kristen O'Gorman Klein