Planning your wedding day hair look can be quite the military operation – from getting hair into tip top condition to finding a wedding day hair stylist you click with and working in veils and hair accessories, there’s a lot to consider. This is particularly true for Black brides – Black British bridal hair specialists haven’t been championed nearly as much as they should have been and bridal guides often predominantly focus on Caucasian hair types.
African Hairstyle Aina from Brides By Aina.M who specialises in afro, kinky, curly and textured hair says, “When it comes to picking a bridal African Hairstyle as a natural or curly bride, it can be a mine field. Although it is slowly changing, there is still sadly a lack of bridal hair inspiration. Adding to that, you have an annoying voice in the back of your mind asking ‘should I straighten my hair for my wedding day?‘ – the clear answer to that is ‘no!‘. Natural hair is still finding its feet in a world that tells us that it is not so cute, so show the world how beautiful your kinks, coils and curls can look by embracing them and inviting them in all their glory to your wedding day.”
At Hitched we’re committed to celebrating incredible Black-owned wedding industry experts – if you’re seeking a Black hair stylist to create the ‘do of your dreams on the day, check out our directory of 100+ Black-owned UK wedding suppliers to follow and support. Bring the following ideas along for inspo or use them as a springboard for doing your own wedding hair – whatever works for you.
African Hairstyle Trends for Black Women
A great place to start when looking for inspiration for your wedding hairstyle is by taking a cue from what is trending. “Natural, afro, curls, coils and kinks are so versatile so do not be afraid to get creative, experimental, or make your own hair trends for 2022,” says Aina.
Need a little help? She gave us the low-down on the top 2022 hair trends for black women you need to know about.
1. Halo Braid with a Bun African Hairstyle
For a classic style that can work on any hair type, consider a halo braid with a bun. “The halo braid is a perfect bridal hairstyle as all your hair is tidy-up so you don’t have to worry about the texture of your hair changing throughout the day (this seems to be the number one concern of my natural brides),” shares Aina.
Unsure if your hair is long enough to pull off this look? “Do not worry if your hair has not reached the desired length or volume by the time your wedding day is here as you can add hair extensions to match the texture of your hair to create the actual braid, while your hair is slicked down underneath. Add some beautiful hair accessories and then ‘boom’ – a beautiful, romantic bridal hairstyle personalised by your hair texture,” says Aina.
2. Curly Low Bun
A curly bride can not go wrong with a loose low bun!
“Having natural curls means you are already in a great position because the texture and curl pattern is already there so all that needs to be done is for them to be defined to get the curls to look their best for their walk down the aisle. Allow some curls to frame your face and just like that you have a stunning, textured low bun,” explains Aina.
3. African Hairstyle Braids and Shells
“There are three parts to this style; you have the cornrows creating a gorgeous pattern, the volume in the back which can be created using your own hair or if you want the drama to continue you can add some tracks, crotchet braid or extensions, and then last but not least, those stunning shells are added to create a whole other dimension to this beautiful style,” says Aina.
4. Loose Curls African Hairstyle
Loose curls are a wedding hair trend that’ll never go out of of style so, “if you envision yourself on your wedding day with sleek, flowing curls then you can use a silk press, blow dry, or other non-invasive straightening methods for your hair on your wedding day,” suggests Aina.
“Remember, it is your day so natural or straight is a personal decision for you to make – the main thing is that you feel comfortable in how you wear your hair.”
“There are options such as clip-ins or to weave in a few tracks if you would like to create volume and length to give your African Hairstyle that wow-factor. Clip-ins can really transform the loose curls giving your style a bit of drama and body for when you’re strutting down the aisle. Make sure to use clip-ins that can take heat, use heat protector and also have a good hairspray to hand to lock in those gorgeous curls so you can dance the night away,” recommends Aina.
Hair Habits to Start Before Your Wedding Day
Healthy African Hairstyle is the ideal starting point for all wedding day hair looks, so how to nourish afro-textured and curly hair types that are often prone to dryness? Kash Bishop, stylist and afro specialist at Neville Hair & Beauty, shares his pre-wedding hair timeline and strategy:
“Begin weekly strengthening protein treatments at least two months prior to your wedding day. This will inject moisture back into the hair and is even more effective when combined with steaming to allow conditioning treatments to penetrate effectively.
If you’ve got time to steam hair (anywhere between 10 minutes to half an hour should do the trick) apply your mask or oil of choice in a hot, steamy bathroom and either wrap in a warm towel or invest in a hair steaming hood or cap. Alternatively lie back, relax and let the pros do the hard work by booking a series of pre-wedding steam treatments at your favourite salon (Kash offers them at Neville Hair & Beauty too if you’re a Londonder).