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Hair Helper: Choosing a Style for Your Headpiece

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Updated: 3/04/2004 12:50 pm

Amy Burrous - TheKnot.com

A headpiece that works well with your wedding outfit can be the icing on the cake. But choosing a headpiece to match your gown and your hair and your wedding itself can be a daunting experience.

Below, four steps to headpiece success:

SEEK EXPERT ADVICE
Before you set out on a headpiece shopping excursion, schedule an appointment with your hairstylist. "It's important to go for a consultation with your hairstylist first," says New York City stylist Erika Kaczmarek. "That way, you can talk about the type of headpiece you may want: tiara, headband, wreath, bun wrap, or crown." And you can ask your stylist which type is right for your hair, head size, and face shape.

CONSIDER YOUR OPTIONS
"Some brides buy the first headpiece that the salesperson puts on their head," says Erika. "And though it may go beautifully with the dress you have chosen, it might not be right for you or for the hairstyle you want." Instead, look around at different shops, trying on several different styles at each place. When you find the right one, you'll know it -- it's the one that makes you smile as soon as you pin it in place.

KNOW YOUR HAIR
Consider your hair texture and thickness: If you go for a bun wrap, will you have enough hair to fill it out? If the answer is no, and you have your heart set on a bun wrap, don't worry: "sewn-in extensions and hairpieces can fill out buns and updos beautifully and give thinner hair the extra volume and texture you need to pull off a more serious style," explains Erika. "And extra hair can have slight color variations to achieve highlight or lowlight effects without actually having your hair colored."

If the idea of sporting fake hair on your wedding day makes you want to call the whole thing off, find a way to work with what you've got. In other words, if you have really thick hair and a lot of it, make sure you get a headpiece that balances it in size and weight. You won't want to go with a really light, delicate wreath or it will end up looking like it's floating on your hair, not sitting on your head. Try a heavier crown or bun wrap. Likewise, if you have thin or short hair, go with something that can be easily secured. "A horseshoe-shaped headband or a tiara are best for short or thin hair," suggests Erika.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Once you think you've got the right headpiece and a hairstyle in mind, make a return visit to your stylist, even if you want to do your hair yourself, and tinker a bit. "Sometimes there are different angles and placements of the headpiece that work better on someone's head. And you can experiment with up or down styles, depending upon the length of your hair," says Erika. Bring along your veil, as well -- it can be attached to almost any headpiece, then detached later, if you'd rather not wear it for the reception.

One bride -- who has asked to remain nameless but shared her story in the name of brides everywhere -- didn't try on her veil with a stylist until the day of her wedding, only to discover the manufacturer of the veil sewed the clip on upside down. After a minor (read: major) panic, the stylist had to literally sew the veil into the bride's hair to keep it in place.

Copyright TheKnot.com 2003
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