13 June 2024

Bridal Colour and How to Plan Ahead

As we begin to enter peak bridal season, stylists prepare for the rush of brides, bridesmaids, grooms and guests to help get them occasion ready for the big day. Bridal colour, and that of her entourage, is one of the hottest topics of conversation.

For most, having an overall look which meets their expectations and visions is super important. Ensuring you help plan and organise this process is vital to bringing their hair goal to life in enough time and of course ensuring the health of the hair is never compromised. Colourists of course have a major part to play, as bridal colour is an integral part of that total look.

As time marches on, bridal hair has become much more of a trend than ever before. Clients are so much more aware of the timing of their appointments. They now book in for other services such as treatments and masques in order to ensure their hair is in the best condition possible for the big day. But, how do we as colourists plan ahead and make sure we accommodate the requests and expectations? Here we speak to some of the industries leading colourists on how to plan ahead.

Alex Thaddeus, Owner of Alex Thaddeus Hairdressing:

As bridal hair specialists, our job is to make life as easy as possible for the bride to be. With this in mind, we created a bespoke package. It includes one bridal consultation, one trial, a deep conditioning treatment and blowdry and of course wedding day hair styling. We offer this as a specific package to encourage our brides to not only visit for a bridal hair trial but also the initial consultation. This helps us get to know the bride and work closely with her to achieve her dream wedding hair. This can also extend to the brides hair colour. During the initial consultation, take time to set out a clear path for their bridal colour.

When advising brides on the correct look for their special day, we have a face-face consultation, where we ask details of the dress neckline, if there are any areas that the bride would like to show off or conceal? The venue? The vibe of their overall wedding? We also ask that brides show us at least 2 photos of looks that they like including style and colour. This gives us a feel of their taste, texture and feel that they prefer and if they have enough natural hair to achieve this, or will the use of additional hair be necessary.

For us, we like to secure dates and start plans as soon as a wedding is booked. This gives us a clear timeline for consultations, booking in trials and working on the colour/condition of their hair in plenty of time before the wedding day. A thread of communication is then established and maintained regularly up to the wedding date.

Tina Farey, Editorial Director at RUSH:

Bridal Colour

When it comes to bridal colour, it’s so important to plan ahead and book all colour appointments in the lead up to the big day. Clients should ensure their last colour appointment before the wedding day is around two weeks before. THis will ensure they are happy with the colour after it’s had time to settle. It also gives some time before the wedding to do a couple of hair treatments. This will ensure the hair is in the best condition possible following the colour process.

I always advise clients not to opt for a new colour/colour technique they are not familiar with in the lead up to the wedding (I.e., the six months leading up to the wedding). When opting for a complete colour change, it should be done gradually. Clients should not opt for something completely new. They may spend the rest of the time in the lead up to the wedding trying to get their hair back to a colour they like. This will cause damage to their hair in the process.

Clients should try to think about what hair colour they would like for their wedding day six months before. They should then book in their appointments to ensure you have them secured. If they are brunette, they may just want to opt for a permanent colour every couple of months, with a glossing in between. If they are a blonde with highlights, they may want to do one month a full head of highlights and the next month a half head. This will keep the colour looking its best whilst also not causing too much damage to the hair. To avoid too much of a block colour, they may also want to consider adding in some lowlights to ensure the hair has a natural finish and that the dimension and depth within the hair isn’t lost.

Sabrina Dijkman, ALTERNA Ambassador:

In the lead up to the wedding day clients want their hair to look as best as it possibly can. When opting for colour in the salon in the lead up to the day, clients should always add in treatments such as Bond Rebuilding treatments, to keep their hair in the best condition possible during the colour process. Clients should also ensure they are taking care of their colour at home, keeping it vibrant and long-lasting, smooth, shiny and free from damage. I always suggest to clients to use the ALTERNA Restructuring Bond Repair Shampoo, Conditioner and Masque at home to keep their hair looking its very best, repairing any breakage and keeping the hair strong and healthy.

It’s common for many brides to ask for a pop of brightness in the lead up their wedding in the form of highlights and balayage to add a subtle glow and warmth to the hair and their complexion. Clients should try to do this around a few months before their big day and they should be aware that they may need to add new products including silver shampoos into their haircare routine to keep the lighter sections looking their best and free from brassiness.

Another tip for brides when it comes to hair colour is that they should stick with their current colourist who is knowledgeable on their hair and how it reacts to colour and treatment and not to try someone new that may use different techniques and products that aren’t as suitable for their hair type.

Tracey Ann Smith, ASP Global Ambassador:

Bridal Colour

Planning ahead with brides should be something at the top of any colourists list, especially around this time of year. We have seen a real influx of brides putting more effort and awareness into their hair pre – wedding. This has allowed us to really create a long lasting relationship with them. We can help bring their hair to life as much as possible for their big day.

Whether a client is a regular in the salon or perhaps new, it is important to find out what they want from their wedding hair, their vision and of course the colour they are opting for. The first step is to establish this at the very first consultation then create a plan. I do always advise the client not to be drastic with their hair colour. Sometimes the result can be something much further from what they had imagined given the time frame.

Generally we like to work around 8-10 months out from the wedding. This gives us enough time to bring the health of the hair to its full potential. This along with regular colour appointments will bring the bridal vision to life. As well as in salon care, we also create a home care plan for the bride and ask them to follow this at all times as this aids with the overall colour and care of the hair – home care is just as important as in salon care and as professional this is our job to educate our clients.

Brian Leo McCallum, Owner of ROAR Hair and Beauty Salon Group:

Your initial consultation with each bride is your chance to ‘wow’ them. It’s important that you are professional and personable. Find out what is most important to them for their wedding day. Listen to their suggestions but also offer your expertise. Provide your suggested preparation for their hair in the lead up to their big day. Suggest products for their specific hair types and concerns. Then put together a treatment plan and recommend the steps they should take in the lead up.

It’s essential to find out their colour expectations early on and manage these as best you can. For example if your bride is currently dark and wants to be blonde for her wedding in six months, you will need to set realistic expectations on the results you can achieve in that time frame. Condition of the hair is just as important as the colour when it comes to their special day. The hair needs to be in prime condition to look it’s best in photographs. This must be at the forefront of your mind as a coloruist when working with a bride in the lead up to their wedding.


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