Celebrity and royal hairdresser, Richard Ward comments on bridal hair

Read Sally's interview with Richard Ward for his top tips to achieve gorgeous hair on your wedding day, including hairstyles, accessories & hair trial tips.

Updated: 06/03/2014

• What advice would you give to brides with short hair?

Consider wedding hair accessories, like bridal hair clips, fresh flowers or diamond style grips.  Also treat yourself to a blow-dry so you’re still getting into the feeling of pampering on the day.  Don’t go over the top with hair accessories, keep it simple and as close to your usual style as possible as you’ll want to feel comfortable.
Richardwardaction • Are there any seasonal considerations which brides should take into account when choosing the hairstyle? (e.g. For a winter wedding)

Your wedding hair style should always reflect the style of your dress, rather than the month of your big day. In general, the simpler and more understated the wedding dress, the simpler the hair should be to echo its look. For example a very softly cut dress in a rich satin fabric should be echoed by a wedding hair updo so the overall effect is sleek. However, there is an element of your personality that has to come into it. If you always wear your hair loose and tousled, a sleek chignon wouldn’t be recommended for your wedding day as it’s too far removed from your signature look. Take into account the texture of the fabric, the style statement the wedding dress is making and then add your personality into the mixture when deciding. If you do what your hair to nod towards the season that you’re getting married in, try using some wedding hair  flowers which reflect those in your bouquet.
Have you any tips for brides when it comes to conditioning and treating hair before the wedding day?

You’ll need to start working on the condition of your hair about five months before your wedding.  Treat yourself to some professional at-home deep conditioning treatments, to make sure your hair is in great condition before your big day. My range of Couture Hair treatment masques are prescriptive to your hair type so I always recommend this range to our brides. To compliment your twice weekly deep conditioning treatments, treat yourself for a monthly in-salon backwash treatment.  In salon treatments are more intensive and you feel like you’re treating yourself too! Regular trims are also a must to keep split, dry and damaged ends to a minimum. Think about visiting your hairdresser every 6-8 weeks to keep your hair in optimum condition.
• How long before the wedding day should brides have their hair coloured?

If you want to change your hair colour, think about getting this done 3 months before your wedding. This allows for both you and your future husband to get used to the new look colour – nothing worse than him not recognizing you walking down the aisle!  This goes the same with permanent hair extensions. I’d suggest you try them out now so you can see if they are really what want and you can cope with the after-care.  We use Great Lengths in the salon and the natural hair quality and colour matching is fantastic – you’d never know it wasn’t your own hair!
• Do you have any advice on choosing the right hair accessories to complement bridal hairstyles? e.g. tiaras or hair combs for up-dos?

Nowadays there is such a wide range of wedding hair accessories available. Brides need to choose between hair clips, pins, combs and many others. But it is important to remember that choosing the right accessories really does depend on the style of your dress. Be sure to bring in as many pictures as possible when your meet with your hairdresser for your trial so they can guide and advise you accordingly.
• Any practical tips for the wedding hair trial? (any advice/which questions to ask)

Having a wedding day trial is your opportunity to have an in-depth consultation to discuss your requirements for your big day.
At Richard Ward, we recommend a consultation and trial with our specialist Bridal Stylists (priced £200 for 2 hours), who will analyse your hair's capabilities and discuss a bridal look to complement your wedding dress, headdress and jewellery.  We will also discuss your evening hair requirements to ensure you look spectacular the whole day and then quote you a price for your special day.

It's crucial to road-test your style and try some different options so don't be tempted to economise and skip the wedding hair trial  Leave the finished style in place for a good few hours (don't take it down whilst still at the salon) to assess the hold factor and feed back to your stylist ready for the big day. Detailed consultation with your hair stylist is vital. The Bride should not only feel beautiful, but comfortable, too. Make sure you feel 100% happy with your planned look and that you’ve tested your style to check it’s holdability before you go too complicated!
• In your opinion, which celebrity brides have stood out to you on their wedding day and why?

I think brides that don’t stray too much from there every day styles always get it right. For me, The Duchess of Cambridge is always going to be the stand out, celebrity bride. She’s a style icon and her natural, achievable style was both flattering and timeless.
• It's the Big Day - have you any advice on how to manage last-minute hair problems?

If you’re wearing your hair down, then do wash and style it as desired on the morning of your wedding.  However, if you’re wearing hair up, then wash and blow-dry your hair the evening before.  This will enable more grip and hold for the hair up style.  Newly washed hair can work but it will mean a lot more product to get it into a workable position.
To get that shiny, healthy hair finish then products will help. Look for a shampoo and conditioner that will help achieve sleek hair.  It is also a good idea to use products like shine sprays or serums to give that glisten to the wedding hairstyle. My Couture Hair Tri-Active Serum with Argan Oil is fantastic for taming frizz, but also for leaving hair with a mirror like shine.
If you have fine hair, avoid heavy products like oils and serums which can weight down the hair.