Maybe you’re already working as a hairdresser and want to add a few more strings to your bow, maybe you’re completely new to hairdressing but want to start with something creative that doesn’t involve lopping people’s locks off, or perhaps your friend is getting married on a budget and as your wedding gift you’ve offered to do her hair? Getting trained in how to do bridal hair is fun, creative and, when wedding season kicks in, can be very lucrative.
Up dos or loose waves
There’s a lot of pressure on anyone whose work impacts someone’s wedding day and, as such, it’s important you know what you’re doing. A bridal hair course will straight away get you styling hair and learning you all you need to know to ensure that the bride looks her best on her big day. You’ll learn how to work with different types of hair and which styles suit different face shapes.
You’ll also learn that brides are as different as the hair styles you can give them – some will want their hair up and out of their face to emphasise details on their dresses, some will want cascading curls to give the occasion some glamour and some will want a difficult mixture of both. Your challenge, as a bridal hair stylist, will be to find a style that will fit, not only everything else they’re wearing, but their personal style, their skin tone and their face shape. Plus, it’s usually got to be approved by the mother of the bride!
Courses will prepare you for both the creative side of bridal hair, the technical side of keeping it all together and the part of the job that involves being personable and providing good customer service.
Not just a hair stylist
Being friendly, outgoing and able to communicate is vital for bridal hair stylists as you will probably be doing all the bridesmaids’ hair as well. You might not have an invite to the reception, but like it or not, you will be part of the big day. You’ll be going into people’s houses and will probably have to deal with lots of emotions – expect plenty of happy tears!
You’ll have to think on your feet (especially when she changes her mind at the last minute and decides she doesn’t actually want her fringe like that), and act as a project manager when it comes to organising whose hair gets done first. Some bridal hair courses also look at bridal makeup and styling, so you may even find yourself doing a lot more than just hair.
Tips for choosing a bridal hair course
We had a chat with Pam Wrigley, an award winning bridal hair stylist who teaches courses at Create Beautiful Hair, about where to start when picking your course…
When choosing your course, I’d advise that you start by creating a list of ‘must haves’ – essentials that you think you will need to start your career. I would suggest the following:
1. Check the course content, but most importantly check out the work of the teacher
Find the name of the trainer – can you find examples of their work on line? Do you like their work? Can they create a wide variety of different styles for both long and short hair and different hair types? My advice is to look for examples of real brides, not just photo shoots – hair on the wedding day has to be put up so it stays up and looks good from all angles.
2. Think BIG
In today’s economic climate you want to get as big a slice of the market as you can. If you have to turn work away it should be because you are busy, not because you can’t work with particular hair types. Brides come in all different shapes and sizes with all different hair types, so there is no need to limit yourself to one section of the market, e.g. ‘Long hair only’ training courses or Asian bridal hair. Hair is hair – and the securing techniques don’t really vary. I would say find a course that teaches you the ground work and how to work with a variety of different hair types along with how to work with extensions and hair pieces. Where you take it from there will be up to you, but at least you know you will be able to handle all eventualities. Get a good all round training and if work goes well, you will then be in a position to specialise in a smaller section of the market.
3. Get value for money
Training courses can be expensive. If you find a bargain it’s worth checking it out. Have a good look at the course content first - it may prove to be a false economy.
4. Can you pay for the course in instalments?
This is worth investigating if you can’t afford the fees up front.
5. Ongoing support
Learning how to create beautiful bridal hair styles just the first step; business advice will be invaluable. Good training courses are intensive and you will learn a lot in a day – you might not remember everything, so, find out if the course offer ongoing support once you’ve completed the training. I also think it’s a good idea to keep in touch with some of the people on your course, you’ll learn a lot from each other’s experiences.
Got something to say about bridal hair courses? Leave your comments below