How to Have Your Best Hair Trial & Wedding Day Style Ever.

Updated: Jan 8, 2020

The start of the new year, means the start of the year you’re about to be married! Eek! This one is for all of my 2019 brides, but is, in my opinion, timeless information. I’m sharing everything your stylist wishes you knew before coming to your wedding day hair trial. Knowing these little things ahead of time sets both of us up with realistic expectations, & for success! If you’re planning a wedding, & you’re the bride, you’ll want to read this!

Not Dirty, Not Oily.

& there actually is a big difference between the two. Day old hair on someone who isn’t oily, is no big deal. But if you’re someone who gets an oily scalp rather quickly, and you’re waiting 3 days to wash your hair because someone, somewhere told you that we, the stylists, prefer dirty hair, I’m here to debunk that myth. Even in spite of dry shampoo, & it's miraculous capabilities, I actually PREFER clean, dry, hair for styling. It gives me full control to dirty it up exactly to the point I need it to be. If the hair is oily when we start, it’s super hard to work with, & styling/volume becomes limited. The more dry shampoo I apply, the duller your color will look. Fine for rocking cool-girl (or new-mom), day 4 hair in a high pony on a regular weekly basis, but not ideal for that gorgeous once-in-a-lifetime updo.

Get Some Color in Your Hair.

This may sound harsh. Natural is beautiful, but getting an updo done with natural, ash-brown hair, that’s never been colored might leave you feeling unimpressed, & well, rather plain. I’m not here to peer pressure you, & I fully support whatever decision you make regarding your hair color, but I need my brides to know that if they want to stick with their natural hair, their expectations may need to change a bit. Hair color is a game changer. If you deposit color, it adds richness, depth, & shine to your style - a very striking effect! If you foil or balayage (remove color), it adds dimension. Dimension is all of the different colors & contrasts you see in an updo, when parts of it are twisted or braided up. If you already have a very rich, shiny, natural color, then you’ve been blessed by the hair gods, & you really don’t need to change a thing. Be thankful, while the rest of us scramble to decide which hair color option will give us the prettiest hair on our wedding day. If you choose the dimensional route, and are going with a more rooted balayage, I highly recommend getting some face framing or “money” pieces up front around your hairline. This will ensure that when your hair goes back into an updo, all of the colored ends don’t just disappear to the back, and leave you bored with the front.

If You’re a Brunette, Find a Brunette Inspiration Picture.

This is absolutely not a requirement, but it’s SO HELPFUL. Solid brunette hair will not look the same as dimensional blonde hair in an updo, even if it’s the exact same style. As stated above, the color of your hair makes a gigantic difference in the outcome, and blonde & brunette - both beautiful colors - are very different from one another. I always tell my blondies to try to find at least some blonde inspiration pictures, & my brown-haired lasses (sorry, too much Outlander this week) to find at least some brunette inspiration pictures. This keeps everyone’s expectations closer to reality! Realistic expectations = happy brides!

An Inspiration Picture is Just That - Inspiration.

I LOVE inspiration pictures! Like, lots of inspiration pictures! I pride myself on usually being pretty darn good at recreating an updo, & understanding what my clients like & don’t like, and the most helpful aid in this is inspiration pictures. When you show me pictures of styles you love, it immediately helps me understand what vibe you’re going for, how much volume you like, what texture you want to see in your hair, whether you’re the hair in your face type, or the hair pulled away type, etc. Remember the old saying, “A picture says a thousand words.”? This could not be more true on the hair planet. Whatever you forget to actually say about what you do & don’t like, I’ve already comprehended from your pictures. That being said, no updo will ever be exactly the same twice. NO UPDO WILL EVER BE EXACTLY THE SAME TWICE. There, I said it two times, & I know that freaks you out, but I’m your stylist, and I need you to trust me. It will be very similar, of course, but not exactly the same. Each curl can’t possibly be placed in the exact same spot, in the exact same way, with the exact same pin as the time before. You’re allowed to have a favorite inspo pic, but I always suggest finding at least a few of similar updos, so that if it turns out to be a combination of them all at your hair trial or on your wedding day, everyone is still thrilled! Bonus points for you if you can find pictures of different angles, or front-facing pictures of styles you like!

Hair Extensions.

Not required, but also a game changer. I’ve done plenty of gorgeous styles on people with no hair extensions, but they absolutely DO take your wedding day hair to the next level. Especially for those of you with fine hair, for mostly down looks, or for big boho braids. Hair shrinks a lot when it’s braided. As most of you following me at @kaylaannehair know, I specialize in Hot Heads tape-in hair extensions (perfect for down styles), Great Lengths fusion hair extensions - my personal fav! GL's are made with the best quality hair available in the extension market today, hold a curl like a dream, and are virtually invisible, which leaves us with no limitations in styling! Plus, they’re so fun to have on your honeymoon! For a cheaper option, there’s always clip ins. I’ve worked with clip in sets from ZALA (, and have really liked them. If you’re considering Great Lengths fusion hair extensions, or for more information on them, you can always email me at

Layers & Face Framing - Be Willing to Lose a Little… For a Big Gain.

You know all of those perfectly messy styles you see that have adorable little pieces pulled softly out around the face and ears, & in the back of the updo giving them that effortless, undone look? You can’t have those, if you don’t actually have those. If you desire that tousled, sexy, loose, “I just threw this up and barely tried” vibe, get a few long layers cut into your hair, and some face framing. It makes a world of difference, & will help with volume and getting texture on top too. On the day of your wedding, don’t be scared to let me cut a few small pieces around your face & neck to help you get that messy, soft, look! It’s a great look! It’s my favorite look! But you can’t have it, if the piece of hair in front your ear is grazing your belly button. I promise you, I won’t take a chunk out of your haircut, & you’ll barely notice them when your wedding day is all over. In fact, you’ll probably love them, every time you wear your hair back from that day on.

Get Your Hair Trial as Close to Your Wedding Day As Possible.

I recommend no sooner than a month before your wedding. 2-3 weeks being the most ideal. This still gives us enough time to work out changes if we absolutely had too, for your peace of mind. This also rarely ever happens. I work with a lot of brides in the salon, and I specialize in special event styling. I’m doing updos constantly, so it’s better for both of us if everything we discuss about your hair and practice at your hair trial is fresh on my mind and in my memory. I don’t want it to get lost in the hustle & bustle of everyone else I’m seeing in between the day of your trial and the day of your wedding. Of course I take pictures, & they are a big help to review the night before your wedding. But, it’s all of the little details I want to remember that will make a big difference on the morning of, like how your hair curled, what products were working well in your hair, what size irons were giving me the best results with your texture, etc. I’m not banning you from coming in earlier than that for a hair trial - you can! But I feel obligated to tell you what time frame works best for me, so that I can give you my best self & my best work on your big day!

Last, but certainly not least, & perhaps the most important:

No Really, PLEASE, Tell Me If You’re Not Liking Something.

You’re not going to hurt my feelings. I won’t be annoyed. I’m not going to be upset. Do you think I would have gone into the hair business if I was sensitive? Women really, really, care about their hair. & that’s OK. While it is important to trust that I know what I’m doing, I also NEED to know if there’s something you’re not liking as we’re building your updo. Is there a weird piece thats bothering you? Are your bangs not sitting right? Is your part not in the correct spot? Tell me. I’m not perfect, but I’m very capable of fixing the problem, as long as I can understand what it is, and the only way I can try to understand, is if you mention it. It’s far easier to attempt to fix something or change the direction we’re headed early on in the process, than it is once all the pins are in, and I’m about to apply a boatload of hairspray. It’s your day, you deserve to have perfect hair, & if you’re open & honest with me about how you’re feeling about it, I promise you, I will give you my very best effort to get it right!

I am so looking forward to another year in the salon doing what I love! To those of you who have gifted me with the opportunity to do your hair on one of the biggest occasions of your life, past, present, & future… Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Kayla Anne

@_lifeofkaylaanne @kaylaannehair

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