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wavy hairstyles

Wedding Hairstyles: Creating Perfect Wedding Hair Curls

Curly wedding hairstyles are more popular than ever. Here's how to create your perfect curly wedding look.

Photo: Fabrice Trombert

Cascading curls and loose waves are everywhere these days, from the fashion runways to, well, a wedding near you! We consulted expert stylist Paul Labrecque of NYC's Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa for tips on getting the look.

Before the Wedding...

Treat your hair right! Hair that's healthy will naturally have less frizz and more shine. Get a trim a few weeks before the wedding just to shape your cut and remove dead ends. About five weeks before the wedding, Labrecque recommends doing a deep conditioning treatment (an absolute must if your hair is naturally coarse or if it's been heavily processed or colored). The day before, wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo to clear out any product buildup, then condition well. "If your hair's fine, stay away from the roots, but if your hair's thick and coarse, let the conditioner sit a few minutes so it can soak in from roots to ends," Labrecque says.

a little help from your friends

Creating curls yourself can be straining on your arms. Enlist a bridesmaid or two to take turns at the curling iron.

The Morning Of...

Hold your head upside down and dry your hair using a blow-dryer with a diffuser. ("You can take advantage of the natural root lift and body this way," Labrecque says). To get the most out of you curls, many stylists recommend blowing hair straight first (even if your hair is naturally curly). Either way, once you're prepped it's time to heat up your curling iron.

The Nitty-Gritty

Beginning at the nape of the neck, pick up a small section of hair. Hang on to the ends of the hair and wrap the section around the outside of the curling iron (don't clamp down on it). Hold for a few seconds, then gently let go. As you work your way around your head, be sure to alternate the direction of your curl and also the size of the sections you're picking up (it will look much more natural that way). Curling can definitely be time-consuming -- if your arms are aching, have your MOH come give you a hand.

Finishing Touches

Labrecque prefers spray shine to hair spray ("I like the curls to be able to move freely," he explains). After a brief spritzing, carefully run your fingers through your curls to separate them and make them look a bit more natural. Ta-da! You're wedding-ready.

Resource: Paul Labrecque, Paul Labrecque Salon + Spa, New York, NY, PaulLabrecque.com

-- Kate Wood

See More: Wedding Hairstyles