Long hair is often considered the ideal for weddings, and many women spend their engagement period growing out their tresses to achieve the coveted fairy tale look. For those brides with genuinely long hair, here are some options for making the most of it.
Crown and Cascade Braids
No longer considered stuffy or schoolgirlish, braids are making a comeback on catwalks. Crown braids create a elegant, regal yet romantic look by using the hair as a natural tiara. The hair is plaited around the head like a circular French braid (although Dutch, rope and herringbone crown braids are also possible), and requires an experienced hand to achieve a really professional look. Renaissance Faire braiders are often happy to take on a wedding assignment, and if you want your bridesmaids to match, crown braids can also be performed on short hair.
Cascade braids are a softer and more girlish option, conjuring up images of medieval princesses. A cascade hairstyle braids only some of the hair into a crown, leaving the rest of the hair rippling down the bride’s back. Cascade braids are a gorgeous option for flowergirls.
Both crown and cascade braids can incorporate a veil, fresh flowers, jewels, ribbons or a tiara. Accent braids can add interest and glamour—one stunning look weaves small accent braids in a basketweave pattern over a crown braid.
Hair Worn Loose
Long hair in excellent condition is perhaps best shown off hanging loose. Brides who choose flowing locks often decide against a veil to avoid distracting from the hair. Additionally, the style of the wedding dress must be taken into account, as the back of the dress and the hairdo should not compete for attention.
Loose hair can be gathered at the front into small accent braids to give some shape around the face, or sprayed and plumped around a tiara for a little height. A wreath of flowers and ribbons can help keep hair neat while providing added interest. For a little more structure the hair can be worn in a loose half-ponytail, with an antique or wedding-themed clasp.
Some brides like to ring in the changes by straightening curls or curling straight hair. Make sure to choose a hairdresser who is experienced with long hair—long hair can require more effort to hold curls, and inexperienced hairdressers may damage cherished locks by applying too much heat. Rag curls or roller curls are a gentle, non-damaging way to curl hair—do a test run before the wedding to make sure they don’t interfere with your sleep!
Half-updos have multiple advantages. More formal than loose hair, they still show off length while allowing for creativity and a unique look. Most half-ups designed for short hair still work with long hair, giving you a wide range of options. Always road-test a half-up style to make sure the end result is not bulky or awkward due to incorporating more hair than usual.