Your wedding is a moment in time that involves a significant amount of prep work, and for some brides, the bridal beauty process starts long before their hair and makeup artists arrive at their doorsteps. More specifically, given that your hair is an essential part of your overall look, the health of your locks plays an important role in bringing your bridal beauty vision to life.
So to ensure your tresses look their absolute best when you say “I do,” adopting a hair routine early is important to give your mane plenty of time to grow and thrive before the big day. That’s why we turned to hairstylist Leigh Hardges and trichologist Kerry E. Yates for advice on how to improve the health, quality, and length of your locks before walking down the aisle.
Ahead, the two experts share tips for growing out your hair, the best pre-wedding treatments to improve hair health, and guidance on how often you should trim your hair to encourage growth. Read on to learn more.
How to Improve and Maintain Healthy Hair Before Your Wedding
Healthy hair doesn’t happen overnight, so if you want to achieve and maintain luscious locks, it’s best to start your hair care routine at least six months to a year before your big day. Wondering what that routine entails? For starters, shiny, healthy hair starts at the scalp, so choose your shampoo and conditioner products wisely. “Use a salon-quality shampoo and conditioner specially formulated for your hair’s needs,” says Hardges. “Having your stylist recommend one is best.”
Try to also resist the urge to shampoo and condition your hair every day, which strips your locks of their natural oils. Instead, wash it every two to three days to allow your scalp to replenish its oils on its own. Additionally, weak or brittle hair is often partly due to a vitamin deficiency, so make sure you’re eating a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals in the months leading up to the wedding to encourage hair growth.
Schedule a consultation with your hairstylist if you’re planning on growing out your hair. They can recommend personalized hair care routines and products tailored to your hair type, in order to help you achieve the health and length you desire.
Tips for Growing Your Hair Before the Big Day
According to Hardges, hair only grows a half inch a month, so don’t expect to see results in a few days or even weeks. But to help your locks grow as healthy as possible, here are some effective tips to adopt during your hair growth journey.
Schedule Regular Trims
It might seem counterintuitive, but cutting your hair can actually help it grow faster. “Regular trims are a necessity,” says Hardges. “8-12 weeks is a good window for growing out hair.” Yates agrees and also highlights, “If you think about it, the ends have experienced the most damage and will generally be susceptible to breakage due to the excessive dryness. If you have long hair, you need to trim those ends regularly to prevent fraying or breakage.”
What’s more, getting regular scalp massages will also help promote healthy hair growth. In between trims, Hardges suggests giving your scalp a little extra TLC before every shampoo. “Scalp massages or routine brushing will help stimulate blood circulation in the scalp,” she shares.
Minimize Heat Styling and Chemical Processes
Any type of heat styling is damaging to the hair, even if you’re using heat-protectant products. The same goes for harsh treatments like highlights and bleach. Thus, minimize the use of hot tools and limit chemical processes on your hair in the year leading up to your wedding. “Allow the hair to rest,” adds Hardges. “The less styling and manipulation, the less hair will need to be trimmed.”
Be sure to also let your hair air dry and consider wearing loose styles that don’t pull on your strands. This will reduce the chances of hair breakage and ensure that you have the long, beautiful hair you’ve always envisioned for your wedding day.
Regularly Use Deep Conditioning Treatments
Using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner can certainly help keep your hair healthy, but if you really want to keep your scalp and hair follicles hydrated, apply a deep conditioning treatment mask every one to two weeks. Some of these treatments can make a big difference in the health of your hair in as little as 10 minutes, while others can be worn overnight, which is also known as “hair slugging.”
“The act of ‘slugging,’ or basically applying a hair mask for overnight use, is excellent for all hair types and textures,” says Yates. “The natural heat from your scalp can help ‘activate’ your treatment formula, assisting with product penetration.”
To effectively “hair slug,” apply the deep conditioner through your hair, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends. Wear a shower cap over your hair to keep the product from getting all over your pillowcase and sheets, and rise everything out when you shower in the morning. If you have fine hair, however, Yates suggests avoiding masks made with silicones or paraffin, as these ingredients can weigh fine hair down and be challenging to rinse when worn overnight.
The Best Pre-Wedding Hair Treatments to Consider
Both experts suggest a balance of topical and ingestible treatments to improve the health of your hair before your wedding. For example, “A good multivitamin with a hair, skin, and nail focus is great to start about six months before the ceremony,” says Hardges. She also loves and recommends overnight treatments, like Oribe’s Hair Alchemy Strengthening Treatment Serum, to help strengthen hair while you sleep.
Yates suggests Christophe Robin’s Regenerating Hair Mask if you’re going to try hair slugging, which is formulated to condition dry and damaged hair while also smoothing frizz. After washing the mask out, she also likes to take a few drops of Innersense’s Harmonic Treatment Oil through the mid-lengths and ends. It’s a 100% natural, supercharged emollient oil that she says keeps your strands conditioned, supple, and in overall good health.
While there are tons of at-home hair treatments to choose from, Hardges further recommends asking your stylist to add a deep conditioning treatment to your appointment. “In-salon treatments are wonderful, especially when preparing for any color services,” she says.
Additional Healthy Hair Tips
If long, healthy hair is your goal, you’ll absolutely need to have a lot of patience. It can take months or years to grow out your hair, especially if it’s damaged from bleach or excessive heat styling. However, if you stay committed to your hair care routine, the results will come.
As your wedding day quickly approaches, don’t forget to get your last trim two to three weeks before the big day (this is also the best window of time to dye your hair if you choose to do so). “Mishaps happen and you want time to fix anything should it go awry,” says Yates. “In addition, color looks more lived in and natural during that two-week period of time.”
By following these tips and staying committed to your hair care routine, you’ll be ready to walk down the aisle feeling beautiful and confident with long, strong hair that shines in every photo.