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

Updated: Jul 19

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 2022 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 usually 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, our team actually PREFERS clean, dry, hair for styling. It gives us full control to dirty it up exactly to the point we 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 we 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.





Consider Some Soft Highlights or Balayage.


I'm a natural beauty advocate 100% of the way. But sometimes, getting an updo done with natural, mono-toned hair, that’s never been colored might just leave you feeling unimpressed, & well, rather plain - especially up front.


I fully support whatever decisions you make regarding your hair color, but we do need our brides to know that if they want to stick with their natural hair, their expectations may need to change a just bit, especially if they are bringing in inspiration photos of an entirely different color from what they have on their head.


Here is the beauty of considering some color:

If you add foils or balayage (lighten or remove color), even just around the face, it adds dimension. Dimension is MVP in styling. Dimension, is all of the different colors & contrasts you see in an updo, when parts of it are twisted or braided up. It gives the style depth and movement, and it's just plain pretty to look at.


If you deposit color, it adds richness, depth, & shine to your style. If the natural hair on your head isn't a flat color at all, and you've already been blessed with rich, shiny, natural tones, then you really don’t need to change a thing - but keep in mind that solid colors will still lack dimension that most bridal inspiration photos show.


If you choose the dimensional route, and are going with a more natural, lived in balayage, I highly recommend getting some face framing highlights or “money” pieces up front around your hairline. This will brighten you up around your beautiful face, highlight your makeup artist's talents, and 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 feeling 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, to keep expectations realistic. 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 photos, & my dark haired beauties to find at least some brunette inspiration pictures. This keeps everyone’s expectations of what the final outcome will look like, closer to reality! Realistic expectations = happy brides!





Let's Talk About Textures & Prep.


If you have naturally curly hair, and you plan to keep and/or work with your natural texture, please freshly wash and style your curls, prior to showing up to your hair appointment, so that they are the best versions of themselves - smooth, shiny, defined - and exactly why you love them. We can absolutely touch a few curls up, to eliminate the development of frizz during the styling process, but with 45 minute slots on wedding day, we will not be able to wash, style, and diffuse nice shiny curls, all before we start the updo process for each curly girl. This is also great information to share with any curly -haired friends or family in the wedding party, who plan to keep and work with their natural textures!


If you have naturally curly hair, and you plan to request a smooth, more refined, re-curled with an iron look, it is best to wash and blow out your strands or have them pressed, before your hair appointment. You can do this yourself, or have it done at a local salon a day before your hair trial/wedding day.

This sets us up for success right from the start, and ensures a smooth, frizz-free canvas, that we can easily re-define & re-curl, and style in to the more relaxed hairstyle in your inspiration photo. This would be ideal for naturally curly girls who don't plan to work with their natural texture, and wish to have their curls completely re-formed / smoothed with a curling iron.


If you have super fine, stick-straight hair, that never holds a curl, it's important to start off with realistic expectations from the very beginning, and/or consider options that can help make the styling process easier, ie, extensions - and the appropriate ones recommended by your artist. We will help you pick out a style that is best for your hair type, and will offer the most volume & staying power, based off of your texture. We have AMAZING products, and we are damn good at what we do, but realistic expectations are key. Not all textures are the same, and this sometimes means that super fine hair textures, just will not do what coarser, thicker, hair textures will do. If your hair is baby fine, silky & straight, the best way to prep for your hair for your hair trial, and for wedding day, is to shampoo your hair so it's clean and free of oils, apply a golf ball sized pump of volumizing mousse through towel dried strands (from roots to ends), and blow dry it in all the way (focusing at the roots for lift).


This sets us up for success, right from the very beginning. Mousse provides hold, texture, and lift to otherwise soft & limp hair. We're able to build off of this at your hair appointment!


The mousse we recommend? Kevin Murphy's Body.Builder Volumizing Mousse


You can purchase this in the Kayla Anne Hair Co. Studio at your bridal trial, or you can order a travel size online for $21.



Which leads me to my next topic ....




Let's Talk About Hair Extensions.


Not required, but also a complete 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 (braiding shrinks the hair, tremendously).


Extensions add fullness to any style, drama, and help to hold a curl like a dream. Every artist on our hair team, is familiar with, and comfortable handling a head of hair extensions.


If you are considering them for wedding day, it's important to get a recommendation for the appropriate method, based off of your current hair type, and the style you are imagining for wedding day. Some extensions work better with certain styles, vs others. Lifestyle and maintenance play a huge role in choosing the best option for your hair as well. Please reach out to Kayla, through your Honeybook wedding day portal, and I am happy to help you discuss hair extension options, and the recommended method for you, even if you are seeing another stylist for install!


For luxury, semi-permanent hair extension options and information, please follow us on instagram at @kaylaannehairco.studio or visit our hair extension information page at https://www.kaylaannehair.com/hair-extensions


If you are considering this option, it is important to plan ahead, and get an appointment booked for your in-person hair extension consultation at least 12 weeks prior to wedding day. Our hair extension studio is fully booked ten weeks out at a time, so we will need time to get you on the schedule for a new install before wedding day. If you plan to wear them for a couple of months prior to wedding day, it is best to come in to consult even sooner, around 4-5 months prior to wedding day.


For a more affordable option, clip-ins are temporary, and work super well for someone considering budget, and not dreaming of a longer term commitment, in exchange for fuller, more voluminous hair.


Clip-In Extension brands I recommend are ZALA Hair Extensions (https://www.zalahair.com/hair-extensions/clip-in-hair-extensions) or CASHMERE Hair Extensions (https://cashmerehairextensions.com/extensions/)





An Inspiration Picture is Just That - Inspiration.


We LOVE inspiration pictures! Like, lots of inspiration pictures!


Remember the old saying, “A picture says a thousand words.”? This could not be more true on the hair planet.


When you show us pictures of styles you already love, it helps us visually grasp what vibe you’re going for, how much volume you're attracted to, what type of texture you want to see in your hair, whether you’re the hair-in -your-face type, or the hair-pulled-away type, etc. Whatever you forget to actually say about what you do & don’t like, I’ve already comprehended from your pictures.


All of this being said, no all hair types won't style the same way, and no updo will ever be exactly the same twice. ALL HAIR TYPES WON'T STYLE THE SAME WAY, AND NO UPDO WILL EVER BE EXACTLY THE SAME TWICE. There, I said it two times, & I know that freaks you out, but we are your stylists, and I need you to trust us.


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, or in the same exact way as the hairstylist did it in the inspiration photo.


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!




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 longer 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 us 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 for the rest of happily ever after.




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


If you are a Kayla Anne Hair Co. Bride, the information to get your hair trial scheduled with your Lead Artist, will be sent to you via your Honeybook portal, 90 days prior to wedding day - this is to prevent hair trials from being scheduled too early, but also to make sure you have ample amount of time to get on your artist's schedule.


Once booking information is received, we recommend scheduling your hair trial no sooner than one month before your wedding. 2-3 weeks prior to wedding day 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. Our team works with a lot of brides in the salon, and we specialize in special event styling. We are 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 our minds and in our memories, just a few weeks leading up to wedding day.


Of course we make special exceptions for people arranging travel/scheduling from out of state, but what we don’t want, is for those little details to get lost in the hustle & bustle of everyone else we are seeing in between the day of your trial and the day of your wedding.


We take pictures, & they are a big help to review the night before your wedding. But, it’s all of the little details, that we 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 us the best results with your texture, etc.


It's possible to schedule earlier, but I feel obligated to tell you what time frame works best for me and my team, so that we can give you our best selves & our best work on your big day!





Wear Makeup to Your Bridal Trial.


AND have your bridal makeup done on wedding day, before you sit in our chair for your wedding day hair. This applies to the Bride, only.


Nothing is more weird than looking in the mirror at your hair trial with a completely bare face, and the most formal hairstyle of your life. It will always feel a little off, and it surely doesn't help you get an idea for the overall, complete picture of your look for wedding day.


Wear some makeup, bring your earrings, and let us help you put the whole picture together, so you can see it all coming together, for a little pre-wedding preview! I promise you will not regret it!


On wedding day, the Bride should always have makeup done first, and then bridal hair comes after. This is nearly impossible to align schedule-wise for the entire bridal party, but it's important for the Bride, because YOU are the lady of the day (and you need to be perfect), and we don't want our talented makeup artists clipping any of your hair out of your face while they work their magic, and risk causing a crease in your perfect face framing piece! Just trust us!


Last, but not least, and perhaps the most important...




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


You’re not going to hurt my feelings. You're not going to hurt my artist's feelings. We won’t be annoyed. We're not going to be upset.


Women really, really, care about their hair. & that’s OK. We got into this industry, because we do too.


While it is important to trust that we know what we are 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. We are not perfect, but we very capable of fixing the problem, as long as we can understand what it is, and the only way we 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 us about how you’re feeling about it, we promise you, we will give you our very best efforts to get it right!




Cheers to your Best Hair Trial Ever!


I am so looking forward to another year in the salon doing what I love!


To those of you who have gifted our hair team 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!







Xoxo, Kayla


@kaylaannehairco.studio @kaylaannehairco

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