Brides choosing softer, whimsical buns and braids

CorrespondentMarch 13, 2013 

  • Get picture-perfect hair

    Great hair takes prep. Follow these tips to achieve picture-ready wedding day hair.

    Choose wisely: Schedule a consultation before you choose your stylist and watch how he or she operates. Do you like the stylist’s portfolio? Do you feel comfortable? “If they aren’t on time or ready for you at the consultation, that’s not a good sign,” says Gia Peebles of Aura Salon and Boutique in Durham.

    Explore options: Collect pictures of styles you like and talk them over with your stylist so you get a realistic idea of what will work for your hair, Peebles suggests.

    Schedule a run-through: Evie Hornak, a Raleigh PR specialist who’s getting married in two weeks, had her stylist do a trial run on her hair two weeks ago, following the example of two friends who did trial runs before their weddings. “I wanted it to be pretty and special,” says Hornak, 33. “It gives you a chance to see what it will look like before you decide on your style.”

  • Braided bun

    Model Catherine Fain is a style blogger of Southern Arrondissement and designer of Ramey Rhodes, a new women’s clothing line ( www.southernarrondissement.com). Hair by Dawn Bender Carrington, owner/stylist at Raleigh’s Glam Lounge, and makeup by Debra Goodyear, makeup artist/hairstylist at Glam Lounge.

    1 Pull dry hair into a low ponytail and secure with an elastic.

    2 Apply laminating gel to polish the ends of the ponytail. Braid the length of the ponytail and secure the ends with another elastic.

    3 Expand braid by gently pulling both sides at the same time.

    4 Wrap braid around base of ponytail into a bun.

    5 Tuck ends of the braid into bun and use pins to lock into place. Spritz with hairspray to set the look.

  • Simple braid

    Model is Dawn Bender Carrington, owner/stylist at Glam Lounge, and hair by Debra Goodyear, makeup artist/hairstylist at Glam Lounge.

    1 Starting with dry hair, mist with spray laminate to tame flyaways. Take a small section of hair from the underneath layer right above the ear.

    2 Braid the section and wrap across the top of the head. Secure with a bobby pin behind the ear.

    3 Repeat steps 1 and 2 on opposite side of head.

    4 Spritz with hairspray to set the look.

  • More information

    What else is big with brides? Hair extensions, lash extensions and showcasing the backside.

    Butt pads – inserts that add fullness much like breast pads lift and create cleavage – are in demand, says Maria Navarro, owner of Anjolique Bridal and Formal in Birkdale Village Shopping Center in Huntersville.

    “Breast pads are standard, but now they want to have the butt pads, too,” says Navarro. “We’ve done special tailoring that curves under their butt. They want the S-curve you can see from the rear and the side.”

    It’s the Hollywood effect, says JoAnn James, alternations specialist at Victorian Rose Bridals ( www.victorianrosebridals.com) on Daniels Street in Raleigh.

    Shaping dresses to hug the rear end, “that’s the new look, or whatever you want to call it,” James says. “With some of the gowns, you have to change the line of the dress to get the look they are after.”

    That Hollywood look often involves adding extra strands to the eyelashes and the head.

    “Hair extensions and lashes have become nonnegotiable,” Navarro says. “Because of the hairdos they want, their natural hair length can’t achieve that look. … With the new bride, she has no guilt feeling anymore (about adding hair).”

    Gia Peebles, owner of Aura Salon and Boutique in Raleigh, sees it as a way to open new options.

    “Because really the sky is the limit when it comes to adding hair because it increases their options. You can achieve a look that’s a little stronger; it might have more volume.”

    Meanwhile, strips of traditional fake eyelashes don’t cut it for some brides.

    “They want individual lashes, because it looks more natural than a full strip” of fake lashes, Navarro says. “So when the guests are talking to her, and even in the pictures, it doesn’t look fake.”

She’s more than a bride. She’s the art director of her big day.

Taking cues from show’s like TLC’s “Four Weddings” and WE TV’s “My Fair Wedding” and sites including WeddingWire, Pinterest and The Knot, modern brides focus on the details that set the scene they envision, down to hairstyle and accessories.

And when it comes to hair, this season two big bridal hair trends are buns and braids, feminine styles that create a sophisticated yet easy look.

“Brides are going beyond tradition and getting away from the strict formality to a style that still has an element of tradition but includes touches of their creativity,” says Gia Peebles, master stylist and owner of Aura Salon and Boutique ( aurasalonandboutique.com) on University Drive in Durham.

For instance, the thick rope braid, softer French braid and loose fishtail are being worn with a little twist, styled to one side or pinned in circles, Peebles says.

Meanwhile, “the bun is a timeless look: You saw them 20 years ago and you see them today, so a bride won’t look back and say, ‘Why did I have that done?’ ”

The trick with either hairstyle is to make it whimsical, not tight and stuffy, says Maria Josette Navarro, lead stylist at Anjolique Bridal and Formal ( anjolique-bridal.com) in Huntersville, a Charlotte suburb. She might curl the entire head, then pin the hair up loosely so it’s not “too done.”

“A lot of the bridesmaids I’m seeing, they’re wanting a braid across the forehead and a lot like fishtail braids. Or we can leave the front down, and I pull pieces to the back and add it to the braid. It adds more interest, rather than just a plain braid.”

Some brides are choosing both hairstyles.

“They might do something like a braid for their engagement photo and then half-up and half-down on their wedding day,” Navarro says. “A lot say their fiancé likes it down, so they go with half-up half-down for the ceremony.”

Hair accessories are part of the trend, too. “That takes it from everyday or ordinary,” Peebles says. “The hairstyle might be something you see every day, but it’s the accessory that elevates it to something special.”

Some popular choices are brooches for the hair, dainty headbands, hairpins adorned with beading, rhinestones or pearls, flowers (real or faux) and feathers.

“Hair accessories are a necessity. Every girl has to have one,” Navarro agrees. “They can be incorporated into any hairstyle.”

Sheon Wilson ( sheon@SheonTheStylist.com) is a personal stylist and creator of the Refresh Your Style makeover feature.

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