The Insider Scoop

To extend, or not to extend – That is the question.

Bridal hair, unarguably one of the most arduous tasks that comes along with wedding planning. You’ll dedicate hours of searching for the perfect stylist, hours receiving one – or many – trials, and hours getting ready on your big day! As a bridal hair stylist and makeup artist, one of the top questions I get is “do I need hair extensions?” Which is right up there with “will this last all day?” Well, the answers are HELL YES, and ABSOLUTELY NOT respectively! Let’s get down to business though, you’ll trust me after you read this I swear.

Yes, I’m sure you have great hair. Or yes, I’m sure your hair will look great without extensions, but this is your wedding day, and you need them. Whether you choose clip in extensions, bonded, beaded, or wefts, you’ll want to make sure you have something to add to your natural tresses. Reason have your hair done all the time, you wear it up, you wear it down, you blow it out – straighten it – curl it etc…what will make your wedding look extra special? More hair! If you’re wearing your hair up, you’ll want extensions so create a level of fullness that couldn’t be achieved without them. If your hair will be down, you want them for length / volume! They don’t need to be waist length, but some extra hair really packs a nice punch. If your hair will be half up, a lot of your natural hair has to get used to create a beautiful half up style so the extensions will be essential to ensure that you still have hair left to fill the down portion.

Should you go the clip-in route (which is what I suggest to most brides who don’t want to make the commitment to a more permanent solution) you’ll want to consider your options. If you want a thick full Hollywood wave, you’ll likely need 2-3 sets of extensions depending on your hair and the extensions you choose. Some great brands are Luxy Hair (they have various types of extensions for all different thickness options,) Milani Hair (which is a great brand because they’ll send you a swatch ring and allow you to send it back once you’ve matched your hair up to a swatch with your stylist) and Bellami. You’ll want to steer clear of the cheaper options unless you’re wearing your hair all up. Cheaper hair generally has thinner ends, has more treatments done to it and can sometimes sizzle when we curl it. No matter what, make sure your extensions are 100% human hair, because synthetic hair isn’t suitable for this situation. Clip ins generally hold a curl better than your natural hair as well, because the hair has gone through so many treatment phases it has a stronger grip to it. Although there is no possible way for curls to stay curled all night long (as I mentioned before) a great way to keep your style for as long as physically possible (because…well…gravity pulls curls out and hairspray will only make it harder but will certainly not make curls hold) you’ll want extensions to support your style.

If you decide to go a more permanent route like bonded extensions, tape ins or wefts, you’ll want to consult your bridal stylist first and discuss what the absolute best choices are for your bridal hairstyle and find a qualified stylist to install the extensions. There are many more quality options with these methods and you’ll want to do your research regarding texture treatments, silicones, origin of the hair, ethical sourcing etc. One of the great things about these is that you can have them in for your Bachelorette, Bridal Shower, Wedding , and Honeymoon with little effort because you don’t take them out! The downside is the cost and time commitment, and if you’re using someone experienced and that person is using quality hair the prices can climb from $1000-$5000 as opposed to around $250-$500 for clip ins.

There are a few specific situations where I don’t recommend extensions, but out of the 100 weddings that we do a year, maybe 5 brides don’t need extensions. It’s your big day, take the plunge, get the extensions. No one ever regretted anything they did extra for themselves, only things they chose not to do.