The most important step in the styling process is consultation, done correctly it can save you hours.
I use this building blocks technique to achieve the most detailed consultation possible.
The week prior to the trial date email your bride with:
- Confirmation of the trial date and time
- Directions including your Eircode to the trial location
- Recommend she look on-line for ideas of hairstyles, a visual is always better to communicate with.
- Ask her to bring along a photo of her dress if possible.
- Bring along her veil, headpiece and jewellery she may have purchased for the day
- Advise on hair prep, this is how I world the email, feel free to copy and paste-
please come with clean hair, if you shampoo your hair daily then shampoo on the morning, using only the product you would normally apply. If you shampoo your hair less frequently then do so on the evening prior to your trial, applying your usual product and dry as normal.
- I always recommend only one person attend with the bride, too many opinions are generally confusing for the bride.
On the trial day
- When meeting your client for the first time have a think about your presentation along with the area you will be working in.
It is perfectly fine to conduct trials in your own home in fact it can help the client to feel more at ease.
- Consider what your client is wearing!
Is she very funky? If so, she may like a more ‘out-there’ look!
Is she conservative in her style? Something understated like a low bun could work here
Is she wearing up to date fashion? Chances are she will want the latest hair looks so keep the ‘Oscars’ in mind
Is she classically dressed for example a twin set and skirt? This Audrea Hepburn, Classic chignon
Is she very casual wearing sporty gear? A cool ponytail or a simple up-style may be the ticket!
- Chat easily- is she shy, confidant, professional, happy or sullen?
A very business-like person will generally not opt for a mohawk!
A shy person will not appreciate a style that will bring a lot of attention to her so keep it simple.
A confident person will often know exactly what she wants, which makes our life easier!
A quieter sullen person may not give you great feedback, don’t persume she’s not happy, she just may not be a very vocal person.
- To get a feel for the wedding theme/style look at the photos of the dress
Is the dress very Boho in style? If so, a looser more relaxed hair style may be the thing, braiding can be a good boho option.
Is the dress more of a sleek look, simple in style with very little embellishment? Keep the hair simple like a chignon or an elegant bun can work well.
If there is alot of detail on the back you might suggest an up-style to show off the back.
If the back is bare, hair down can look beautiful against bare skin
A high neck-line lends itself well to hair up!
- looking at the veil, where would she like this positioned? The chosen style will need to include an anchor to hold the veil so do consider this as you work.
- Look at the images she has saved.
Is there a common theme,for example are they all soft and textured? Or sleek and perfect? Is there a lot of height and volume or none at all?
At this point you should have a good idea of what your client is looking to achieve so now we analyse the hair type, texture, length and volume.
Will you need to add extensions, padding? Will you need to reduce bulk
Face shape is very important to consider at this point, no matter how beautiful a style is if it does not suit the client it wont look good no matter how well executed.
Refer to my easy guide to face shapes to master this in unit 2.
Whilst executing the choose style you need to:
- Position your client in-front of a mirror
- Stand directly behind the mirror and see where she normally parts the hair (if at all), Play with this parting in different directions that she may not have explored before, as a general rule if the front of the hair is correct you are on a winner.
- Be mindful that this is more then likely your brides first wedding and she may be nervous, be chatty and friendly so she will relax and chat more freely
- Ask open questions like: how would you typically wear your hair as a wedding guest?
- Don’t take it personally if your client is not happy- Remain calm and patient
She will sense if your anxious and panicked
Work on one area at a time so it is not as overwhelming, for example: how do you feel about the height/volume? How do you feel about the parting?
- Never tell your client she ‘can’t’ have a certain style- make alternative suggestions. Your job is to make people feel great
- Show genuine interest in your bride and her big day, no matter how many weddings we do every year this is her one and only (hopefully) wedding, it a big deal.