I’ve heard quite a few wedding day hair horror stories, bellas. Quite a few tales about the hot stylist who came to the wedding party with her own ideas instead of listening to the bride. Or the hair guru who was less than professional or accomodating considering the stress the bride was going through. Or even about stylists who falsely advertised their own skills, making it seem like they were capable of the impossible, only to disappoint on the big day.

On your wedding day, the LAST thing you need is stress. Stress begets bridezillas. And you don’t wanna be a bridezilla on your wedding day, do you?

Of course not.

For natural hair there can be even greater concerns. Will your stylist know how to truly style your coif to perfection? It takes a little more looking in advance. For advice in this arena I turned to one of the most professional hairstylists I know of in the city of Chicago. Aeleise J. is known on Twitter as @HairLoveArt. Check out her official site and studio at HairLoveArt.com, and if you live in Chicago you can make an appointment with her via her StyleSeat page.

natural hair bride, natural hair wedding,

Hair by Aeliese J., photo thanks to Eetomi Photography

Aeleise’s mission is “to inspire women of all textures to create a Love/Love relationship with their hair.” I hope her step by step guide on wedding hair expectations helps you with your big day! And this bride that she styled — isn’t she GORGEOUS??

Take it away, Aeleise!

Weddings can be very exciting for all involved. As a stylist I love the priceless look on a bride’s face when I turn my chair towards the mirror. That awestruck look usually comes with plenty of pre-wedding preparation that should start 6-12 months prior to the wedding. I encourage brides to approach their wedding hair with care and preparation by including the following three appointments in their plans and budget.

1. Introductory Consultation – Research natural hair stylists in the area where the wedding will take place. Schedule an introductory bridal consultation with the stylists whose portfolios impress you. In this brief meeting you should be able to discuss your wedding timeline, desired look, budget, and any pre-wedding preparation you will need. All agreements about time, place, and services should be made in writing and agreed upon by both parties.

2. Bridal Styling Trial – The trial is the most important aspect of achieving your desired look. Understanding how the style you’re imagining will translate to reality should not be left to the day of your wedding. A minimum of one bridal styling trial is recommended especially if your bridal stylist is not your regular stylist. The stylist should carefully listen to your desires and ideas, and give you guidance on what will look best with your facial structure, dress style, makeup intensity, and type of wedding. They should also respect your beauty wishes. If you want to wear Bantu knots or do a big chop for your big day, the stylist should oblige and not pressure you into a “conventional” style that does not work for you. Remember, this is your big day, not theirs!

3. Wedding Day! – All the kinks have been worked out (pun intended) and now all that’s left is to recreate the style you and the stylist agreed upon during the Bridal Styling Trial. Hair and makeup services should begin well before the wedding to reduce stress and anxiety. The stylist should arrive 15-30 minutes prior to start time in order to set up and prepare. Most bridal hair styling takes between 60-90 minutes the day of, though many naturals have their hair styled the day before.

natural hair, black bride, beautiful black bride,

Hair by Aeleise J., photo courtesy of Eetomi Photography

Timeless Tips for Wedding Day Natural Hair
— You want to look like a dressed up version of your everyday self, so choose styles you’re comfortable wearing.

— Be realistic about the limitations of your hair vs. your desired style and be open to alternative styling methods

— Have Fun! Hair is a creative accessory that’s a very memorable part of your wedding memories.

I think Aeleise’s tips are super helpful for brides, and there’s even some truth in there for anyone seeking a new stylist. It’s all about having realistic expectations and finding the right person to do the job!

Thank you Aeleise!

You can visit her at HairLoveArt.com, click here to make an appointment, and click here to follow her on Twitter!

Photos by Enimien Etomi Inegbedion of Eetomi Photography



stephanie says:
August 15, 2011, 1:38 pm
Im doing my own hair; really I dont need the added stresss or Im getting my self a lace front cute wig LoL; honestly; smooches
Tequila b says:
August 15, 2011, 3:38 pm
Although i do want to showcase my curls for my wedding, next month, I'm still scratching my head on what kind of style i can keep up the entire day into the night.
India says:
August 16, 2011, 9:33 am
what wasnt this around when I got married??? Even though I liked my hair, I couldnt find anyone supportive to give me tips. It was all trail and error. I hope this will help curlies out in the future!
Ariana says:
August 16, 2011, 6:54 pm
I did my hair myself. It took me forever to figure out what to do with it but in the end that still seemed easier than finding someone I was confident could handle my curls.
PetCareRx says:
September 2, 2011, 11:33 am
I think its better to get your hair styled for wedding...as this day comes only for once in life...and the hair stylist should be the best one.
Mrs O says:
November 12, 2011, 2:16 am
Great article - also wish this article was written before my wedding. Really good advice, esp. on knowing the limitations of your hair...work with what you've got. Also, I love the spelling of the name Aeleise - but how do you pronounce, it looks beautiful!!! : )
http://www.blackisonline.com/2011/09/how-to-pick-a-great-natural-hair-stylist/ says:
December 20, 2011, 10:59 pm
Right on the money. Very good post thanks for sharing - you should also take a look at www.seekingstylists.com, it's free and very beneficial to hair stylists!
http://www.bittenandbound.com/2009/03/18/celebrity-lawsuit-hair-stylist-kim-vo-burns-clients-head/ says:
December 20, 2011, 11:48 pm
Very good post, thanks for sharing. Make sure you post your info on www.seekingstylists.com (it's free).
Omni says:
November 4, 2013, 7:30 am
Quite honestly this article reminds of a client who planned everything for her wedding day, only to be turned out at the last minute by the natural here stylist. She called and narrated her story and how important she needed us to come in, to save her day. She said, she searched online and found www.omnibraids.com, and that she was satisfied with what she read at the reviews section. We came in, did our job to save to the day at the last minutes, she was so grateful and she sent us pictures she took with inscriptions at the back describing how happy she was that we came.
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Shallon says:
January 9, 2015, 4:22 pm
I am in a similar predicament. I am set on using nothing fake or chemical in my hair on my wedding day but now I'm like so what exactlyy am i going to do with it???


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