Interior of GA Salon

Bridal hair: The best pre-wedding treatments and hairdressers

Get your locks looking tip top in the run up to the big day, with our pick of the best salons and treatments.

So you’ve chosen your wedding hairdresser, you’ve picked the style. What else is there to think about? Well, in the same way getting regular facials will ensure your skin is glowing when you’re a bride, getting your hair cut and treated in the run up to the big day is another way to safe-guard looking your best.

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Heading to the salon for a simple trim a few days beforehand is fine. But getting a dramatic new ‘do’ a few days before you say “I do” is probably not a good idea. Even if you get overexcited and want a completely new cut or colour – there’s no point risking it and ending up with a disaster you’re unhappy with (and won’t feel like ‘you’ walking down the aisle).

Any drastic changes should be attempted a good few months in advance to give you enough time to reverse them if you’re unhappy. And if you do want to go slightly shorter, or try a different shape – the best time is three or four weeks beforehand, so the hair can ‘settle’ into the new style and you have time to adjust to a different look.

Another good tip is to get a deep conditioning treatment a week before the day, so your locks are at their most shiny and you feel a million dollars! With that in mind, we’ve road-tested the best salons and treatments to entrust your hair to before your wedding day.

Mayfive, Chiswick

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Best for: A precision cut – and hair care advice

Hannah at Y&YW says:

I want a trim. I’m growing my hair at the moment, so I want the minimum amount taken off, with a bit of shaping around my face. This means I am very nervous when I make my first visit to new salon Mayfive; as anyone who’s ever tried to grow their hair will know, it’s amazing how many hairdressers interpret “trim” as “go ahead and take off a few inches”. However, I needn’t have worried. Senior Stylist Emma greets me warmly, and sits me down for a thorough consultation. She understands exactly what I want, and makes no attempt to persuade me to go for a more extensive cut. Instead, she carefully examines my hair, then makes some suggestions for what she can do to give it more of a style – at the moment, it’s just kind of hanging there – without losing the length. After a wash with some heavenly Davines products (paraben- and sulphate-free, with a strong brand emphasis on sustainability), Emma gets to work. I have a rather frizzy section at the back of my head, and she suggests I swap my usual hairbands for hair rings (try Invisibobble), as these won’t damage my hair fibres. She also gently points out that my current method of tying up my hair is a bit, well, harsh, and can cause traction alopecia – I was three days from my last hair wash and walked into the salon with my hair scraped back in the tightest bun I could manage. Loose, messy buns for me, from now on. In fact, these work rather beautifully well for weddings – check out our edit of the best ‘messy’ updos for brides. The finished cut is perfect. It’s still long, but Emma has shaped it perfectly.

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Hannah’s beautiful new haircut

She finishes with the kind of blow dry that makes me wish I had evening plans. As I’m leaving, salon founder Katie Allan comes over with the star of the show: Ralphie the sausage dog. He is so utterly delightful that I suspect Katie slightly regrets introducing us, as they need to close the salon and go home but I can’t stop cuddling him. Eventually, however, I put him down and head into the London evening with my newly swishy hair. Book at Mayfive

GA Hair Salon, Notting Hill

Interior of GA Salon

Best for: In-depth hair SOS

Hannah at Y&YW says: My first impression was that this was a chic but very friendly salon. I won’t name names, but when I’ve walked into some leading London salons, the greeting has been of a chilliness not seen since the Ice Age. Not so at GA Salon in Notting Hill, where I was welcomed warmly. As I was led through the invitingly styled space, I noticed that all the other customers were chatting happily to their stylists. A good sign – and an even better sign was that all of these customers had staggeringly beautiful hair.

Owner Gennaro Dell’Aquila listened carefully to everything I said about my hair. That, as I’m sure many other women know, can be surprisingly rare. My three main points were: I didn’t want to lose too much length; I definitely didn’t want lots of layers; and I wanted a style that worked for me when I wore my hair both straight and natural. He examined my hair carefully, then, with the precision of a surgeon, got to work. If you’re after a quick in-and-out treatment, this is not the place for you. Gennaro considered every cut, pausing to inspect his work every so often, tweaking the style, until it was perfect. And I mean perfect – a truly bespoke style that took into account both everything I’d asked for and the exact condition of my hair, but which was also shaped by his expert eye. He even showed me different ways to blow dry my hair, so I could change up the look. I genuinely didn’t realise my hair could look quite this good. But as I sat admiring myself in the mirror, I discovered that this was not the end of the experience. Book at GA Hair Salon

Blush & Blow, Fulham

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Best for: A gloss-giving blow dry for pre/post-wedding events

Molly at Y&YW says: The hair industry has been buzzing about Olaplex for some time now. The treatment is supposed to transform brittle hair into healthy, swishy, shiny locks, so I was keen to try it. After a thorough hair wash, the Olaplex treatment was massaged into my hair then I was led to the styling chair. My consultant was very patient, talking through different techniques the salon adopted to create the perfect curly blow. From loose tonged waves to classic bouncy curls created with a bristle brush, my stylist offered me plenty of options to choose from. I opted for something in between – with the bristle brush used to create volume and the tongs brought in at a later stage to give my hair a more ‘wavy’ than curly look.

The results? Glossy locks with just the right amount of bounce, that framed my face in a soft and flattering way. Teaming the blow dry with an Olaplex treatment is definitely something I would indulge in again – in the space of an hour (and without the use of any toners/dyes) my hair was less brassy and more shiny.

Better yet, it took three days (!) before my hair needed a wash or restyle, making it the perfect treatment for your wedding day (and the after party, and the first day of honeymoon…). It’s also a lovely pre-hen party treat to save you time when celebrating with your girl squad. Book at Blush and Blow.

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Want a flawless complexion to match your hair? Read our pick of the best pre-wedding facials.