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straight hair updos

Wedding Hairstyles: Getting Your Wedding Hair Straight

Straight, shiny locks are a wedding day classic -- here's how to pull them off perfectly.

Photo: Alvaro Goveia

So you've decided to wear your hair superstraight on your wedding day. Well, as you know, achieving silky smooth tresses is not so easy, particularly if you've got a head full of curls. But it can be done! We asked stylist Stephen Knoll of NYC's Stephen Knoll Salon for his insider tips to help you get it straight.

Before the Wedding...

Keep your hair in top shape. "Have your cut shaped every 5 to 6 weeks or so -- just a trim to keep your ends fresh while maintaining your length," Knoll says. Your last cut should be about three weeks prior to the big day. Maintaining moisture is also essential (if your hair's already hydrated, it won't react as dramatically to humidity). "Do a conditioning treatment at least once -- more often if your hair is naturally coarse or has been processed." Ask your stylist to recommend a conditioner that's a match for your hair type.

rub it the right way

Or rather, don't rub -- blot your hair dry with a towel rather than rubbing it, which can encourage frizz.

The Morning Of...

No matter what your hair type, give your hair an extra treat while it's still wet. A smoothing lotion (Knoll recommends his own Stephen Knoll Super Smoothing Lotion, $23.50, StephenKnoll.com) will protect your locks from excessive wear and tear -- like the heat from your blow-dryer -- and will help you get faster results. Towel dry hair well before blow-drying -- it'll also cut your drying time down.

If Your Hair's Naturally Curly...

Working one small section at a time, dry your hair using a large, round-barreled brush. As you finish each section, wrap it around a very large (2 1/2" to 3" diameter) roller. "This will help you keep your hair organized! Each section will stay smooth, and it will give you a nice finished shape with plenty of volume," Knoll says. After all, straight shouldn't mean flat -- you want a little movement and lift at the root! Switch to a smaller size of round brush for any trouble spots and around the hairline.

If Your Hair's Naturally Straight...

Just using your hands, flip your hair upside down and blow-dry until your hair is about three-quarters dry. Next, using a medium-size (1 1/2" to 2" diameter) round brush, begin carefully drying hair one small section at a time. Use smaller Velcro rollers (about 2" diameter) to give your hair lift and volume. "If you really want your hair superstraight, don't roll it all the way up. Just place the roller at the bottom of the section, then pull and lay the section over the roller." You'll keep your hair stick-straight, but it won't lay absolutely flat against your scalp (a bit of lift looks much more natural).

Finishing Touches...

Let your hair cool off while your makeup's getting done or you have a cup of tea with your bridesmaids, then carefully unfurl the rollers. Use a dab of shine serum or smoothing gel to make sure every last inch is straight. To avoid going overboard, rub the serum or gel between your palms, then wipe them clean onto a brush. Use the brush gently on hair to distribute the product -- it'll be more light and even then if you'd just used your hands. Spray with a very light-hold hairspray, and you're aisle-ready!

Resource: Stephen Knoll, Stephen Knoll Salon, New York, NY, StephenKnoll.com

-- Kate Wood

See More: Wedding Hairstyles