Next to finding the perfect dress, choosing the perfect wedding hairstyle is probably one of the most important decisions a bride will make when it comes to nailing down their wedding day look. That’s why as hair pros, it’s so necessary to book a bridal consultation and a hair trial (or two) with your clients to understand EXACTLY what they want and create a solid plan for their big day.
With that in mind, The Tease spoke to bridal hairstylist and Olivia Garden ambassador Raquel Silva and got her to spill all her need-to-know info on bridal consultations and hair trials. Here, she breaks down everything, from how to gather the best hair inspiration to what kind of reference photos to request from your clients.
The Tease: How early should a consultation and hair trial typically be booked with a hairstylist?
Raquel Silva: Typically for a bridal hair trial, they can be done as early as a bride would like. I personally recommend 1 to 3 months before their wedding. The reason being, they have a good visual of what it will look like with their dress, accessories, etc. They will get a fresh vision of the complete look.
What’s the first step a stylist should take in terms of helping their clients figure out a hairstyle that will work for their wedding day?
Silva: A stylist should ask for inspiration photos of what they have in mind, and what are the brides’ concerns and questions. This helps to determine what will be a suitable hairstyle for the bride.
When it comes to reference photos, what kind of visuals do you recommend brides bring to their hair trial?
Silva: I ask my brides to send or screenshot several inspo pics they have in mind. I like to see several. That gives me an idea of the type of curl, wave, volume, softness, texture, and details they like. All these details set your hairstyle up for success. For example, in one photo, she may like the back, but the front in another one. This gives me a good visual and I can customize their style to their liking.
In your opinion, what are some great sources of bridal hair inspiration for stylists?
Silva: For great sources of bridal inspo, I recommend social media: Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. I feel like there are amazing videos of hair transformations, showing before and after. You can see many brides with similar hair textures, length, and hair color like theirs and see a complete transformation. It can also feel more relatable.
Do you find that one hair trial is typically enough? In what situations, would you recommend having multiple hair trials?
Silva: One trial is typically enough for most. On some occasions some brides may decide that they want to do something completely different from the first trial or what they had as a vision. For example, some brides may want this beautiful, extravagant updo, but in reality, they’re not used to wearing their hair up, so they just don’t feel like themselves. That’s when a second trial is recommended or desired.
What product do you recommend stylists have packed in their kit for a wedding hair trial?
Silva: Hair products and tools are extremely important. I can’t stress this enough. A few faves in my kit are Kenra Professional Volume Hairspray($19.99), Sexy Hair Big Powder Play ($18.95), and the Olivia Garden Titanium + ion Curling Iron ($79.99), along with many more. These three products and tools are an absolute must in my kit. They are suitable for every hair texture and type and really help long-lasting hairstyles.
What are some popular hairstyles that brides are currently requesting?
Silva: A current popular bridal look is glamorous waves —soft, voluminous, or tight. They are absolutely timeless. I feel like a bride can look back at their photos in 10-15 years and it’s such a classy look.
Lastly, what tips do you have for brides who want to keep their hair looking flawless during their entire wedding?
Silva: For long-lasting hairstyles, I always say, do not touch their hair is extremely important, and not to smash it when sitting or in car rides. Also, have a small mini Kenra Professional or Sexy Hair on hand to give it a little touch up in the evening.
Interview has been edited for length and clarity
For even more of Silva’s bridal hair advice and tips, be sure to follow @matrimonymanes on Instagram.