If you have an event that requires looking sophisticated, elegant, or totally glammed up, an up do hair style is as classic as LBD. But as easily as this type of do can go right, it can go completely wrong if you’re not careful! So before you step into the salon this summer, make sure you check out these awesome tips from Latrice Strader (pictured here on the right), the owner and master stylist of Destiny De’ve in Washington, DC. (And if you need some inspiration, check out these great looks pictured in this post from Latrice herself!)
- Down and Dirty: There is some prep work that you should be aware of before getting your up do. You may want to be fresh and clean when you go to the salon, but try to resist the urge to wash your hair the day of your up do. “Hair that’s a day or two old is easier to work with,” says Latrice. “When hair is too soft, it doesn’t hold curls or tease as well.” When planning for a glam hair style, forget the rule “lather, rinse and repeat!”
- Avoid a Wardrobe Malfunction: Wear a button-up shirt or a top with a loose fitting neck when you go in for your appointment. There’s nothing worse than trying to maneuver out of a small neck hole while keeping your tresses in tact! “Some women are so distracted with everything else on their mind that they don’t think about the shirt they are putting on over their head the morning of an up do,” says Latrice. Stick with an easily escapable top, or you might end up having to cut yourself out of one of your favorite blouses!
- Think Total Package: Make sure you consider your entire look when selecting an up do. Although choosing a hairstyle based on your face shape or hair-type are both effective techniques, don’t forget to factor in what you will be wearing for that special occasion. Think about the top of your dress and what would flatter it the most. “Strapless gowns generally look nice with some romantic waves or loose curls hanging down, whereas dresses with busy tops would look the best paired with a French twist or sleek pompadour ponytail,” advises Latrice. Do a run-through by fixing your own hair as close to how you want it as you can, along with trying on your complete ensemble (shoes, bag, jewelry, the works), to see the whole picture. You may discover everything doesn’t fit together quite like it does in your head, and you’ll want to be able to rethink things ahead of time.
- Don’t be afraid of hair accessories: Never underestimate the power of a well-placed accessory. If you see a piece in a store or magazine that attracts you, ask your stylist if it can be incorporated into your up do. Again, think total package. “If the rest of your look is simple, playing up your face with a stunning flower or sophisticated headband can add some high drama to your look,” says Latrice. But just don’t go overboard. You want one show piece that’s going to stand out, so don’t do this if you already plan on wearing an elaborate dress, necklace or other attention-grabbing piece. Simplicity is the key here.
- Inject some personality: You should still look like yourself (albeit an even more devastatingly beautiful version of yourself) for your special occasion, so try to incorporate some of your own personal style. “If you always wear your hair down, maybe try an up do with a part that has some face-framing locks falling down,” Latrice says. “This way it’s similar to your typical look, but with some added glamour.” You will have pictures from this event for the rest of your life, so you probably want to be able to recognize yourself in them. Not only is it important to look like you, but also if you have an up do that fits your personality, you’re more likely to feel beautiful, and therefore more likely to work it!
- Honesty is the best policy: If you are not 100% happy with your up do, don’t keep it a secret from your stylist (chances are he/she can tell just by looking at your face). Let them know how you really feel so they can make changes before it’s too late! “You may not want to sound rude or demanding, but your stylist would rather know if things aren’t looking like you imagined,” says Latrice. “They will be able to adjust the up do for you better in the salon than you will be able to do yourself at home.” That being said, keep in mind up dos are works in progress, and may look a little crazy at some points. Feel free to ask questions if something concerns you, but remember that an up do generally doesn’t look chic and polished until the very end, when the final spritzing and smoothing is administered.
Can’t make it to the salon? Try these great looks that you can get at home!
Photos and advice courtesy of: Latrice Strader