After our last article about bridal hair and makeup, we realized it was time for a new Q & A sesh! This month, we sit down with Lauren Vears, a hairdresser at Mitchell John Salon in Boston, who has done her share of weddings! As you can see here – she really knows her stuff. Tons of tips for what to do when you’re getting your hair done by a professional, and much more…
Bridesmaiding: Thanks for meeting with us, Lauren! Can you estimate how many weddings you work a year?
Lauren: I have done hair for 27 weddings. 7 a year, maybe?
Bridesmaiding: Clearly you do this in addition to your many hours working with your own clients in a hair salon. What do you like about working these additional wedding events?
Lauren: Well, because I work in a busy salon full time, all of the weddings I have done have been my own clients. I love being a part of their big day and putting them at ease that their hair is in capable hands. I really like the excitement and vibe of everyone getting ready. I’ve been told I should be a wedding coordinator on the side. [She smiles]
Bridesmaiding: Do a lot of the stylists in your salon do weddings as well?
Lauren: Out of the 12 stylists at Mitchell John, 5 of us do formal designs. Because a lot of it has to do with creativity and understanding shapes and proportions, lots of hairstylist do not excel in it.
Bridesmaiding: I assume you typically do the Bride, Mother of the Bride, and Bridesmaids. Do you like it when the ladies bring in a photo of a specific hair style to show you?
Lauren: Yes! I’ve done all of that plus flower girls and grandmothers. Anyone you want beautified. Usually, the most I can do by myself without bringing a second stylist is 9 people.
Yes – please bring pictures! Show me pictures on your iPhone – it is 2011! When looking for pictures, search for girls who have similar hair textures and length as you do. Having a few different styles is ok too. A good stylist will be able to tell you if the half up or all up is a beter idea. Also, be realistic when looking for pictures. If your pin straight locks don’t hold a curl normally – they won’t on your wedding day either.
Bridesmaiding: Which do you prefer: the girls who are very specific about what they want? Or the ones who say “you can do whatever you want?”
Lauren: I like when girls know what direction they want to go in. Someone who says “I want my hair low and to the side and loose” and then lets me create something for them is my favorite kind of client.
Bridesmaiding: Any nightmares? Bridesmaids or Brides who burst into tears? (Like I have!)
Lauren: I have never had a crier on my hands but I have seen my fair share of craziness. Sewing girls into dresses because someone got it altered a bit too tight and the zipper blew (whoops!); I have seen a lot of issues with botched makeup jobs; girls upset that they look overdone… Once, I had a wedding party go to a makeup counter and they gave all the girls black smokey eyes. The bride was livid.
Bridesmaiding: What are some of your favorite wedding hair memories from behind the scenes?
Lauren: [At] some of the weddings I have done, the bride has actually been my client’s new fiancé. So I have known the guy forever but maybe am just meeting the bride for the first time. I have seen many “first glances” and I think that’s when I love my job the most – when I make EVERYONE happy!
Bridesmaiding: This is a big one for first-time bridesmaids: Do you have any tips for girls who are getting their hair professionally done for a wedding for the first time? You’re not supposed to wash your hair if you’re getting an updo, right? What do you do if you’re just getting it blown out? Anything else?
Lauren: Day dirty hair is best for Updos. I usually recommend blow-drying your hair the afternoon before the big day. The natural oils in your hair create hold and add natural texture. If you’re a washaholic, don’t fret. Even the finest of hair textures can be de-oiled with dry shampoos.
If you’re getting a blow out, you will be most likely prompted to shower when your stylist is ready to do your hair (if shes doing the hair at the hotel.)
If you’re having a trial done [before the wedding day], bring your veil or any hair clips or gems you would like to try to add to your hairstyle. One of my favorite things is when brides add flowers to their hairstyles. Often, you can work with your florist to bring extra flowers for your hair!
From the Expert! Tips for Bridesmaids Getting their Hair Done:
- Bring pictures! From a magazine or even on your phone!
Search for girls who have similar hair textures and length as you do.
Be realistic when looking for pictures. If your pin straight locks don’t hold a curl normally – they won’t on a wedding day either.
- Day dirty hair is best for Updos. I usually recommend blow-drying your hair the afternoon before the big day.
- If you’re getting a blow out, you will be most likely prompted to shower when your stylist is ready to do your hair (if she’s doing the hair at the hotel.)
- If you’re having a trial done [before the wedding day], bring your veil or any hair clips or gems you would like to try to add to your hairstyle.
- Commit ahead of time to having your hair done or not. Don’t change your mind the day-of, as this is tough on the hairdresser, and the scheduling for the day.
- If you’re doing your own hair, bring the supplies you will need (curling iron, flat iron, hairspray, bobby pins, etc.)
Bridesmaiding: We recently wrote an article about how a Bridesmaid should decide if she should get her hair and makeup done or not (if given the decision.) Do you have an opinion on whether all of the bridesmaids should get their hair and makeup done? Or do you think it doesn’t matter?
Lauren: I think that the choice should be the bridesmaids’. Some people are truly talented at doing their own hair and, as a stylist, I am not offended when there’s a rogue bridesmaid not getting her hair done. What is annoying on my side is when people change their mind last minute. You should commit to having it done or not. I’ve actually had an unprepared bridesmaid (who turned down hair services) ask if she could borrow some hairpins and my curling iron so she could do her own hair.
Bridesmaiding: You’re located out of Boston. What is the farthest you’ve had to travel to do hair in a wedding?
Lauren: Kennebunkport Maine was the farthest.
Bridesmaiding: How many times have you, yourself, been a bridesmaid?
Lauren: 3 times. I always do my own hair. [She smiles]
Bridesmaiding: Do all of your friends ask you to do their hair all the time? Is that ok or frustrating? We won’t tell!
Lauren: Most of my friends are pretty respectful that this is my way of making a living. I’m always honored when a friend asks to have me do her hair for her wedding, or even in general. The only thing that can be frustrating is finding time to fit in people like my family and my boyfriend.
Bridesmaiding: The readers should know that you are my very own hair stylist extraordinaire and although I have lived in NYC for over a year, I continue to come back to Boston just to sit down with you to get my herrrrs cut! Do you have other customers who travel like that? (Or am I your favorite? This is not a trick question.)
Lauren: I do actually have a handful of people who do not call Boston their home and come to see me when they can. I have a male client who lives in Florida but does a lot of business in Boston, so he makes an appointment any time he is in town. I also have a client takes the Nor’easter train down from Maine to see me every three months. And, of course, you Rachel who so loyally has stayed with me for almost 5 years now!! I know that finding a stylist you like is like finding a diamond in the rough. I have been the client as well. It’s not just about the haircut it’s about the experience as well.
Bridesmaiding: Thanks so much for taking the time to share your knowledge, lady!
Contact our Expert!
- Book your Hair Trial with Lauren at Mitchell John Salon: Mjsalon.com
- Have a bridal party interested in getting made over at the Salon on the wedding day? Mitchel John does that often. Call to make an inquiry!
- See List of Lauren’s Wedding Day Hair Tips here!