What’s something I should know about booking a wedding hairstylist?

There are a few things I always tell someone when they start shopping for a hairstylist for their wedding day. Besides talent or experience, a BIG thing to consider is a personality match. This person will be there the day of your morning and around your friends and family – you don’t want to feel like you also have to “host” your stylist. Finding someone you would want to hang out with is a huge factor in how the vibe of your morning will go. Check out reviews, personal pages on Instagram, etc., before booking. Even if someone may be out of your budget, remember that you will have those memories and pictures forever. Spending the money on someone whose work you like and a personality you get along with is crucial.

How long before the wedding (or booking) should I do a trial session?

While not everyone opts to get a trial, as a stylist, I always recommend my client consider or do ’a trial session’ with me if possible. I always tell them that it’s similar to wedding dress shopping – nine times out of ten – what you think you wanted is not actually what you did or what you ended up with before shopping! But that’s okay! That is the purpose of a trial session to ensure those adjustments. This time is well spent and secures a stress-free wedding day for all! As far as scheduling them – a trial session before or after you officially booked with a vendor is usually a preference on your end. Some brides like to try out a stylist before officially booking, and some are okay with after! Within three months of your wedding date is usually most ideal for scheduling.

Wedding Hairstylist Tips
Wedding Hair Stylist

I heard my hair should be “dirty” for my stylist – Is that true?

While freshly washed hair IS usually harder to style – “dirty” hair isn’t ideal either. I always tell my clients that their hair should be “lived in, but not visibly oily.” This tip usually means your hair should be unwashed for about 10-15 hours before your stylist gets to it. (if you have very oily hair, that’s a different story, and I recommend asking your stylist!) Try this for both your trial session and wedding day unless your stylist notes otherwise for your particular style.

Why do some beauty vendors charge so much higher than others?

While it may seem like we’re charging you an arm and leg, your ovary, and firstborn to pay for it – I promise there’s a method to our madness. Higher prices usually indicate more experience, insurance, talent, promptness, professionalism, and a fully stocked kit. That’s in addition to our continued education, license fees, upkeep on business aspects, self-employment tax, car and travel fees, advertising, our time and our communication with a client, etc. We never get to just “pocket” that total price. We put a lot of time and effort into making your day perfect. Not to say that someone with lower prices doesn’t, but higher pricing is in place for a reason. Hiring a professional – rather than someone who does it as a hobby – will give you peace of mind on an already stressful day. 

Always worth it.

Wedding hairstylist

When should I get my hair cut and colored?

I recommend getting your haircut and colored the way you’d like to have it before your trial. This tip will give you the most accurate vision of what you’re going to look like on your wedding day. You can always get it freshened up again before the wedding to make sure it looks the same!

What do I bring to my trial?

Bringing your stylist inspiration pictures as well as any hairpieces you’d like to incorporate is perfect! When looking for inspiration pictures – this is crucial- find pictures of hair like yours. It’s always disheartening to a stylist when a client brings them inspiration photos, and we have to tell you that your hair won’t look like that because of the cut or color. We want to give you the best style possible, which means having realistic expectations. 

Wedding Hairstyle Inspiration
Wedding Hairstyle

Do you have realistic expectations going into your trial?

Having photos that look like your hair is a GREAT start—getting you both on the same page immediately! One thing I have to tell clients a lot, which is always disheartening to me (I don’t want to burst excitement bubbles – It’s the worst!!) is this: That Pinterest photo of the girl with the super-soft, romantic, wispy, just thrown up look? She’s not going dancing all night. She doesn’t have everyone she knows and loves hugging her constantly and messing up her hair. She’s going to sit in a chair while someone takes a photo. Her hair will not stay. Yours needs to be tighter to start so that it ends up like that after being tousled around by friends and family hugging you. Trust us; we want it to look like that just as much as you!

I found the wedding hairstylist of my dreams, but she’s more than I’d like to pay! Now what?

While I would never tell someone to go into debt for something they can’t justify – I will say this: Don’t hire someone who has a low price point and expect professional or Pinterest results. I’m sure there are times this has worked out in someone’s favor, but, In my experience – it will cost you more in the end. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a bride call me frantically looking for a last-minute stylist because they didn’t like the person they booked after a trial or their stylist canceled on them. Your dream stylist is worth every penny for not only the way you will look but the way you will feel with that look and the peace of mind that comes with knowing you hired someone worth it. I promise!

Wedding Hairstyle

Any other tips I should know for my wedding day to prep my hair?

The month of Sleep on a silk pillowcase! Get a trim! 

Week of: I recommend my clients do a clarifying shampoo and deep conditioner treatment about 7-9 days before your wedding! This tip helps eliminate any product or residue in the hair from weeks before.

The day before: When you wash your hair (12-15 hours before your style appointment), make sure you blow dry it and avoid putting it in a ponytail after. Eliminating any kinks in the hair helps ensure you’ll have the best style possible the next day when we get to you!

Hello, lovelies – I’m Christalee.
I’m a hairstylist and makeup artist servicing the Pittsburgh area for the last ten years. Although I do a ton of bridal, I also work in the Tv and film industry as a hair and makeup artist! On top of the awesome bridal clients, I’ve been allowed the privilege to work on shows and commercials for things such as “Dance Moms,” WGN’s “The Outsiders,” TLC” s “Return to Amish,” Disney Channel, FOX Sports, NIKE, Spotify, Facebook, Duolingo, Burberry, Pittsburgh’s “The ScareHouse” and more.

What do I do when I’m not dolling people up? You can find me unapologetically snuggling and squealing at my cat, listening to a true-crime podcast, searching for Halloween decorations I don’t need on Amazon, or finding some sort of aerial silks class to attend. Oh, and trying out allllll the coffee shops around. (I can’t live without my caffeine fix, ya know?)

I love what I do – not just because it allows me to make things “pretty” and pays the bills, but because I genuinely enjoy being around people and making you feel good about yourself. I love getting to know you and meeting your family and friends in the process. Some of my very best friends have been previous clients – and if that isn’t a great way to make some new BFFs, what is?!

Christalee Lema

Wild Child Fabrications