Vintage Bridal Hair 101

Words by Carl Brown

It has to be said, creating unique vintage bridal hair and being part of some amazing vintage weddings probably tops as one of our favourite things to do at Russell and Brown’s HQ! It’s always a privilege to be a part of transforming our brides into the glamorous vintage vixens they’ve always dreamt of being (yes….we love our job!) But it’s true to say, when faced with the prospect of planning such a huge occasion, we understand it can be a little difficult to even know where to begin when it comes to choosing the perfect hair for your special day. So, with spring in the air and the start of wedding season just around the corner, I thought I’d put together a guide to choosing the perfect vintage bridal hair to keep you looking hotsy totsy on your wedding day.

Step 1: Get Inspired
The first step to selecting your style is to get inspired! There are so many places to look for vintage hair ideas. From Instagram, to Facebook & Pinterest, the options online are vast. However, one of my top tips to get inspired is by watching old Hollywood movies. The hair and make up coming out of the studios of Hollywood in the forties and fifties is some of the best ever seen. It’s the perfect pre-wedding get together for you and your gals. You can see a huge variety of historically authentic styles this way and it’s just fun to get you in the mood for your vintage wedding.

When selecting potential styles however, remember to take the lead from your every day style. So often people feel they need to have a spectacularly elaborate hair up for their bridal hair, however, what you really need to think is, you want to feel as comfortable as possible as you’re going to be photographed all day long. If you’re used to wearing your hair down day-to-day, opt for a style that reflects this. Some classic Hollywood waves or a perfect pageboy can be just as show stopping as any vintage up style and it’ll keep your comfort blanket firmly in place when you’re on show all day. Equally, if you’re used to wearing your hair up and off the face, stick to something similar such as a beautiful 40s Victory Roll up do or a 60s beehive or bouffant style.

Step 2: Don’t Worry about Era’s
One of the best things about vintage hair is that it takes it’s inspiration from fifty years of fashion. Todays vintage vixen has the ability to mix and match their vintage attire adding aspects of each era into their wedding theme. Just because you have a 20s style wedding gown, doesn’t mean you need to have historically matching hair. Mixing and matching when it comes to vintage is one of the most creative things to do. This can even be done by adding a variety of different textures to your hair style. Very often we will get bridal clients who want to have an overall vintage shape and style to their bridal hair, but with a softer more modern-bohemian style texture and hold. This is the perfect way to marry up modern tastes with vintage glamour and is a great option for those of you who don’t set and style your hair every day as it is a little less structured.

Step 3: Make Sure you Have a Hair Trial
If you’re concerned about your bridal hair style or a little unsure which direction to take, make sure you have a hair trial. So often brides will come to their trials with images taken from Instagram or Pinterest expecting to love that style on them, however, when recreated on their heads, they don’t feel comfortable with how it sits. Face shape, fashion style and even hair colour can have a dramatic effect on how a hair style looks on different people. So, even if you think you know exactly what you want, visit your stylist for a test run first, you may change your mind!

Step 4: Choose the right stylist
Hairdressing is a creative industry and so there is a huge variety of styles and stylists available to you. Even within the vintage hair dressing world there are many different options and each stylist does hair with their own flair. Do some research into who creates the styles you like the most. After all, it is the one time you want your hair to be perfect, so if you choose someone on your level, you’re going to walk out happy.

On the same token, select a stylist who has experience of styling for brides. From a hairdressers perspective, I can tell you, styling for a wedding party can be much more pressure. You have to stick to timings, be experienced and organised and also ensure that your styles look as they should and will hold for the day. Choosing a stylist who has done this all before will ensure your day runs as smoothly as possible and you get the results you want.

Step 5: Enjoy the Experience!
The ultimate best way to get your perfect bridal hair is however, just to enjoy the experience. Remember, hair is just hair after all. Keep an open mind and be flexible about your wedding style. It’s not something to worry about, it’s something to enjoy and be playful with. There are much more important things about weddings, getting your hair styled is just the fun part!

Lisa Harrison

Lisa Harrison

Lisa is the Deputy Editor of Vintage Life Magazine and Publisher at Dragoon Publishing. She is avid bookworm, collector of vintage homeware, loves travel, lazy weekends away and eats way too much cake!