Hair Care

By Kathryn Holl

Last November I began the search for my wedding hairstyle and left my first trial donning a classic, foolproof chignon. Like so many decisions associated with the wedding I was left wondering, am I content with this or do I begin a never-ending search for other options? After contemplating this for, oh about three minutes, I hit the Internet to peruse red carpet pictures. Since my first attempt at a do was very classic and structured I decided to try a more free-spirited, ethereal style the second time around. I took inspiration from Lauren Conrad’s hippie chic up-do from the Emmys and headed to the Valery Joseph salon on Madison Avenue for my second wedding hair style endeavor.

Upon entering Valery Joseph I was welcomed by the owner and my stylist for the evening, Idan Chen. Armed with the pictures from the net I was excited to attempt a different bridal look. Idan skipped the wash in an effort to utilize my natural oils and control fly-aways. Knowing I’d be in the chair for at least an hour, I seized the opportunity to get Idan’s expert opinion on how to achieve the best and least stressful wedding day hair:

Owner, Valery Joseph

BN: What are the steps a bride should take to ensure she has healthy, shiny hair on her big day?
Idan: When it comes to hair tone, color or highlight hair three months prior to the wedding date and again one week prior. A gloss the day before will add shine and boost color.

Idan recommends a conditioning treatment such as Kerastase Age Recharge or Kerastase Vita Treatment to strengthen and hydrate hair, especially if hair is color-treated.

BN: When it comes to styling, what are some trends or tips a bride should consider?
Idan: Extensions can boost hair and add volume. Adding a partial extension to the back of hair for a half-up-half down style gives a more romantic look. I like to use mouse to add volume, boost roots and give hair density.

Idan likes Shu Umera Fiber Lift for volume and Shu Umera Iron Design to define a style. He uses old-fashioned Velcro rollers for lift and bounce.

BN: What are the most requested wedding day hairstyles?
Idan: Styles are very personal but most girls are choosing less structured, more romantic looks. I’ve been doing a lot of half-up, half-down styles and nothing too tight. I’ve seen many girls pull hair back for the ceremony and take it down for a more casual look at the reception. In the spring and summer, I often add an orchid or flower, depending on the dress.

Idan says that brides looking to accessorize should to head to Claudia Hanlin’s Wedding Library on East 78th St. for some great options.

BN: What should girls with very curly or short hair consider for something special?
Idan: For those with very tight curls I like to blow hair out and create larger, soft romantic waves. For very short hair I recommend the bride get a fresh cut to reshape the hair for a modern look. You don’t want to look completely different on your wedding day, rather do something a little extra special for the occasion.

Idan suggests brides with bobs consider pulling two pieces back and attaching a small extension for extra lift and volume.

As for my style, Idan’s rendition of Lauren’s hippie-chic do was just what I was looking for in a more free-spirited alternative.

The pulled back cascade of loose curls and twists is perfect for those looking for a substitute to a traditional, structured up-do. This free-spirited approach would be a great option for girls wearing bohemian-style empire-waist gowns or those looking for a more romantic, less “done” or “finished” look.

The orchid in my loose look added a very summery feel and topped the style off beautifully.

If you do decide to go for a less structured up-do such as this, make sure to use products that hold. When choosing this type of style, be prepared for it to fall and loosen throughout the night. Perfectionists may want to think twice on this one!

As for preparation, if you don’t plan to have your regular stylist do your hair, Idan recommends developing a relationship with the person who will do your hair about three months prior to the wedding so they can get a sense of your style. If you aren’t doing a trial, allot your self at least an hour and a half on your big day for your stylist to play with your hair and get it just right. If you do opt for a trial, which most stylists recommend, you may only have to allot yourself one hour. For an additional charge, many stylists will stay with the bride throughout the ceremony and retouch hair for the reception.

Stick with me as I continue my search and make my decision before it’s time for my big day!

Valery Joseph Salon
1044 Madison Ave.
b/w 78th & 79th streets
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10022
212.517.2333

Originally published March 2009
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