A lot of bridal hairstyles tend to be whimsical and oh so romantic, especially for summer weddings. However, if you're a bride who wants something edgier for her big day, fear not, because there are a lot of effortlessly cool, on-trend looks you can explore with nary a princess tendril in sight! For all the inspiration you need, check out the our favorite alternative bridal hairstyles below.
1. Textured bob with bangs
Whether you're a huge Pulp Fiction fan, or you just love a geometric cut, a textured bob hairstyle with bangs is a short 'do that requires no embellishment, even for your wedding! The blunt cut fringe draws attention to your eyes and cheeks for an effortlessly chic look.
Banish frizz by applying a protective product like Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Frizz Vanisher Cream before blow drying your hair. To get a subtly undone texture, rough dry using your hands instead of a hairbrush to guide your hair.
2. Messy ponytail
A messy ponytail definitely isn't an obvious choice for a bridal hairstyle, but when styled right, it looks beautiful without even trying, and you can dress it up with a barrette, headband or, of course, a veil! The trick is to make it all look deliberate, rather than haphazard.
Before securing your ponytail, shake some pieces loose at the front and sides to soften the look. To loosen the whole style afterwards, gently slide your fingers under the hair on top and slowly lift them upwards a little.
3. Faux-hawk pomp
If you want a bridal updo with attitude, try a faux-hawk pompadour. It creates the illusion of a much shorter hairstyle, and constructs an interesting silhouette thanks to all the volume. This unforgettable hairstyle can be done with everything from a short bob to long tresses.
Products like Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Volume Inject Mousse really help to lift your hair and build height before your hair is even dry. Make sure you apply it evenly throughout, then flip your head upside down when your hair is almost dry to blast the roots and add even more volume.
4. Wet look French twist
Wet look hair is definitely not for the fainthearted, but it does look awesome with a French twist. The elegance of the updo balances the edginess of the high-fashion texture, creating an interesting and sophisticated bridal look.
Only use the bare minimum when applying gel to your hair. You want to create a subtle sheen, not a gunky oil slick.
5. Braided pomp
Another high volume wedding hairstyle, this braided pomp has plenty of detail and will definitely help make you the center of attention... as if being the bride wasn't enough! It's a rock and roll updo that can be done with bobs, mid-length haircuts and even long tresses.
Before braiding the hair at the sides of your head, spray it with dry shampoo to add grip. The powdery formula helps the strands to bind together, which makes the whole braiding process much easier.
6. Sleek, straight side ponytail
A sharp side part, stick straight strands and a low side ponytail combine to make one of our favorite minimalist wedding hairstyles. It's perfect for tying an understated bridal look together, or for balancing a detailed gown or bold makeup look.
After straightening your hair, protect it from frizz with a high-shine finishing spray like Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Strand Smoother Serum Spray. It creates a protective barrier between your hair and any moisture that might be lurking in the air.
7. Reverse French braid updo
If you like the idea of a braided updo for your wedding, but don't want a really traditional look, try a reverse French braided updo. You may need to get someone to help you with it when road testing the look ahead of your big day, but the extra effort is totally worth it! The detail at the back combined with the messy chignon on top create a really memorable style that will look great in your wedding photos!
Before securing the hair on top of your head, spray your bobby pins with dry shampoo to make them grippier and thus capable of holding more hair in place for longer.
8. Low messy braid
For a laid back, on-trend bridal beauty look, weave your crowning glory into a low, textured braid. It totally subverts the idea that wedding hairstyles need to be intricate and/or perfectly polished, and it's the kind of 'do that works really well with hair accessories, tiaras and veils.
To get the texture just right, use a texturizing spray like Advanced Hairstyle TXT IT Tousle Waves Spray on either dry or damp hair, then blow-dry in twisted sections. Hold each piece of hair by the ends as you dry it, then shake it all out when you're done. To help break up the waves a bit, scrunch some more spray though the lengths and ends before braiding.
9. Choppy pixie cut
As short hair options go, a choppy, textured pixie cut will showcase your makeup and neckline beautifully. You want to wear it ruffled, but not spiky or overly disheveled to keep it chic, and make sure you take care of any unwanted tufts that might pop up at the back by tacking them down with some product.
Use a product that won't set hard such as Advanced Hairstyle TXT IT Deconstructing Gum to twist and tousle your hair. When you're happy with the texture, use your fingers to rake it into place.
10. Asymmetrical braid
With all of the hair braided across the top of the head and down one side, this asymmetrical hairstyle is a quirky option for anyone who loves braids, but isn't so keen on a regular side braid. The loose pieces that escape all over this style create a soft finish that looks flattering on just about everyone, and adds a little romance to the look... which is certainly appropriate for a wedding!
The easiest way to add texture to this hairstyle is after braiding it. You can gently pull some pieces of hair loose with your fingers, or use a toothbrush covered in hairspray to soften the look.
11. Crimped low ponytail
If you want a hairstyle that's playful, but still appropriately grown up for someone about to commit to another person for the rest of their life, a crimped low ponytail strikes a good balance. The low ponytail placement demonstrates a certain amount of elegance, while the crimped detail keeps it from looking too serious. It's also a really easy look to style, and it's so simple it'll look gorgeous with whatever you decide to wear for your big day.
Make sure you don't frazzle your hair when crimping by applying a thermal protectant spray beforehand. Products like Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray help to lock in your style while creating a protective barrier between your strands and the heat tools you're using.
12. Messy chignon updo
Like a bun but slightly fancier, a messy chignon updo is a great way to wear thick hair for an unconventional wedding look. You can rock it with a subtle wet look sheen, or style it with a matte, tousled finish. It's totally up to you! As with all chignons, this updo will keep your hair off your face and neck, helping to showcase your makeup and keep that all-important dress center stage.
For an easy-to-style texture with plenty of grip, gently tease your hair before putting it up. Depending on how tight you want to wear the top and sides, you may also want to tie your hair into a ponytail before creating the chignon.
13. Slicked back bob
Bob haircuts are THE trend of the moment, and when worn slicked back, they're impossibly cool. You don't need much product, just enough to hold the hair back without looking overloaded. This hairstyle isn't for everyone, but it does do great job of showcasing a statement makeup look and bold bridal ensemble.
Instead of gel, try using a flexible hold putty to slick your hair back. You'll need to use less to get the same amount of hold, and it'll create a subtle sheen as opposed to a high-shine finish.
14. Textured waves
Another huge beauty trend, textured wavy hair is perfect for the low-key bride who wants her hair to look good, but doesn't want to fuss over it. Tousled waves with a glossy finish look styled, but they never seem overdone. Just make sure the style is full-bodied all over, so check the back for any flat areas.
When curling your hair, use a 1" curling iron to get loose waves, and make sure to alternate the direction you curl in. This will keep the waves as natural-looking as possible. When working on the hair near your face, make sure to curl outwards to create a flattering frame for your eyes and cheekbones.