The way you wear your hair is an important part of your total wedding day look. Your wedding gown, makeup and hair are as much a part of your day's theme as your reception decor and altar decorations, providing a backdrop for you and your partner to showcase your love on your special day. Nationally, brides pay an average of $70-$120 for wedding hairstyling. The cost for wedding hair can vary based on your geographic location. For example, prices in Austin, Texas average $70-$90, while in Beverly Hills, California, the average price ranges from $70 to $130. The reputation of the hairstylist or salon will also impact your costs, as in-demand stylists will command higher rates. Costs vary by season and day of the week as well. You may pay a premium on a Saturday during peak summer months when there is a lot of competition for services, while reserving a hairstylist on a slower day or month can mean a lower rate. Many hairstylists offer bundled packages with lower pricing when their company also does your bridal makeup or the hair and/or makeup for your entire wedding party.
Hiring a pro for your wedding day is a good idea, even if you like doing your own hair or you're just not fussy about your locks. The morning of your wedding can be stressful, with all the people you love gathering in one place to witness your commitment to your life partner. You don't also need to worry whether your hair will cooperate. A professional hairstylist brings all the necessary tools, styling products, and accessories to create your agreed-upon look, so you can sit back, sip some bubbly, and enjoy the day. Maybe the most important reason to hire a professional hairstylist is for the wedding photos. As you look back at them throughout your life, you'll be glad your hair looks good.
Wedding hairstyles are available for the bride, bridesmaids, flower girls and family. Even grooms are welcome to hire a hairstylist to handle unruly locks. Wedding hairstylists work with all lengths of hair, from pixie-short to waist-long. Common hairstyle requests for weddings include half-up/half-down, updo with loose curls, down and straight, down and curly, sleek updo, braids, and side curls. Many people request hair accessories such as a tiara, veil, flowers or accent clips. Professional hairstylists are adept at working with a range of hair textures, from fine to kinky — just be sure to review their portfolio first to make sure they're experienced with your hair type. Several factors can affect the cost of bridal hair services.
In-demand hair stylists may charge a premium for their services, especially in cities or metropolitan areas where the cost of living is higher than average. You don't need to be afraid of working with someone with a smaller portfolio or a less famous reputation, but do a trial run so you can be sure of what you're getting.
Number of people
The number of people receiving hairstyling services will affect the overall cost, but may not reduce the cost per service for wedding hair. Some wedding hairstylists do offer bundle pricing. If you have multiple people in your bridal party getting their hair styled, the principal hairstylists may bring bring one or several assistants to ensure everyone's hair is completed on schedule. Stylists may charge an additional fee if an assistant is necessary.
Location will also impact wedding hair costs. If you are getting ready at your home, hotel or ceremony site and want the hairstylist to travel to you, they may have a travel fee, such as $50. Other stylists only charge a fee if you are outside their service range, such as 50 cents per mile outside a 25-mile radius. This accounts for their travel time and costs. If your hairdresser is traveling to you, plan ahead and let them know parking availability, etc., to make your wedding morning as seamless as possible.
Typically, hair services for the bride cost more than for other members of the bridal party, as bridal hairstyles are the most involved. Hairstyling for flower girls generally costs the least, as their hairstyles are often the simplest. Most hairstylists have price sheets that break down their costs for different services. They may charge a higher rate, such as $125, for a complex, braided updo, while a less complicated look like long, beachy waves might cost $100. Ask the stylist detailed questions to make sure you understand what service you'll be receiving for what price. Here are some examples of average wedding hair pricing:
Flower girl hair:
- Celebrity Army: $30
Most wedding pros recommend that brides schedule a trial run of their wedding hairstyle, especially if they have a definite vision of what they want. The trial allows the hairstylist and bride to perfect the look. Experts suggest bringing visual aids to illustrate the look you want to achieve, such as a Pinterest board or magazine clippings. Trial costs are usually lower than day-of-wedding hair, but pricing still accounts for the time, skill and effort of the stylist. Here are some examples of average wedding hair trial costs:
Day of the week
Some stylists may offer discounted prices for weekday weddings. This is true for most wedding vendors, and booking on a weekday — even a Friday — gives the budget-minded couple an opportunity for great savings. Many stylists are in high demand on weekends, especially during wedding season, so if you have your heart set on a Saturday in June, don't expect discounts to be available.
A great way to save is by finding a hairstylist who is also a talented makeup artist. If you hire the same person or company to provide both services, you usually get a discount, as well as a cohesive overall look. If the same person is doing both your hair and makeup (as opposed to two people working on you simultaneously) make sure that time is scheduled into your wedding day itinerary. Knots for Me charges an average of $100 for wedding hair styling, $85-$125 for wedding makeup, or $150 for wedding hair and makeup together. This represents anywhere from $35 to $75 in savings.
Trusting your wedding hair to another person doesn't require a leap of faith. Follow these simple steps to ensure your hair is picture perfect on your big day.
- Review portfolios: Start your search by scanning Instagram accounts and online portfolios of local hairstylists. Many advertise wedding hair services. Look for someone with an aesthetic you love — whether that's formal, fierce or fabulously bohemian. Look for someone with experience styling your type and texture of hair.
- Read reviews: Make sure previous clients had positive experiences. Look for red flags like frequent tardiness, unfriendly attitude or no-shows. You want a hairstylist who is as reliable and friendly as they are talented.
- Talk money: Determine what services will be provided at what cost. Ask about group discounts if your bridal party gets their hair or makeup done, too.
- Check availability. There's no use falling in love with a hairstylist if they're booked on your big day.
- Put down a deposit: Wedding season means big demand. Secure your hairdresser with a deposit and written contract.
- Sign a contract: Outline the day, timeframe, services, number of hairdressers who will be onsite, any additional services such as makeup, and a breakdown of cost in a written document you both sign.
- Make a timeline: Determine how long it will take to get your hair ready, and consult with your wedding planner and stylist on the ideal time to get your hair done. You'll also want to create a written schedule that shows when each bridesmaid and bridal party member will get hair and makeup done, to keep preparations running on time.
- Schedule a trial: Most hairdressers urge clients to take this opportunity. Many offer a trial run of the style in the weeks prior to your wedding at a reduced rate, often up to 50 percent of their standard wedding hair pricing. This allows you both to tweak your look to perfection, so the day of is nothing but seamless execution. The day of your trial, wear a top with a similar neckline to your gown, and bring the jewelry and hair accessories you'll wear for the wedding. Be prepared to share a Pinterest board or photos of wedding hairstyles you love.
- Calculate travel into your wedding hair budget. Many stylists charge a travel fee or a mileage rate to account for the time and expense of travel. Ashley Sedmak Hair and Makeup offers hair styling in the salon, but if one of their stylists travels to you, there is a travel fee of 57 cents per mile.
- Read client reviews and follow up with references to make sure you're choosing the right hair stylist for your project. For more, check out our tips for smart hiring.