MSN May 18, 2023



The 30 Prettiest Bridesmaid Hairstyle Ideas for Every Type of Wedding


From cool braids to slicked ponytails to retro waves, we've got your aesthetic covered. 

Your hair might not be the most important hair in the room on the day of the wedding (that honor is obviously reserved for the happy couple), but you’re about to be in approximately one thousand wedding photos… you’ll want to look good. Bridesmaid hairstyles shouldn’t be an afterthought. Even though it’s the couple’s special day, everyone deserves to feel great at a wedding.

That being said, as a member of the wedding party, it’s your responsibility to maintain the delicate balance between looking your best without pulling attention away from the people getting married.

"The number one rule for a bridesmaid is to not upstage the bride," New York City-based hairstylist Devin Toth confirms. "You can't wear more bling, look fancier, or have the same exact hairstyle as the bride does." But what you can do is experiment with your look. "When you're a bridesmaid, there's room to have fun with your hairstyle without taking yourself too seriously," Toth continues.

Even though it’s not your party, your look can (and should) feel a little bit special. The trademark of a great bridesmaid hairstyle is a look that’s low-effort and easy, but still elegant and on-brand for the wedding. For example, if your bride is going boho, a slicked-back French twist is going to look a little out of place — loose waves in a half-up bun would better fit the bill.

Most importantly, your bridesmaid hairstyle should feel like you. If you literally never wear your hair up, this is not the time to take risks. You should feel comfortable and confident so you can do what you were born to do (on this day, at least): Support the people tying the knot.

Whether you’re the bride-to-be, a member of the wedding party, or even just a guest, keep scrolling to get all the bridesmaid hair ideas you’ll need to start planning your look.

Meet the experts:

Devin Toth is a New York City-based hairstylist at Salon SCK.

Brittany Harrington is a hairstylist and founder of Salty Locks Hair Extensions.

Clariss Rubenstein is a Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist.

Lauren Berrones is a New York-based hairstylist and founder of the LaVera bridal styling team.

Amy Abramite is a Chicago-based hairstylist and creative director at Maxine Salon.


Pretty Ribbons

Amy Abramite, hairstylist and creative director at Maxine Salon, says large and ornate headbands are on their way out. A ribbon headband is a sweet, timeless alternative. “Sweep hair back with a wide ribbon for a soft adornment that matches your dress,” she says. “Tie the ribbon on top for a bow or underneath to hide the lengths.” Use textured ribbon for contrast or keep it subtle like Zendaya did.

Soft Ballerina Bun

Take your top knot to the next (slightly more timeless) level with a classic ballerina bun. “Clean ballerina buns are pinned closer to the head for a neater, more elegant look,” says Abramite. “The best placement is lined up straight back from the chin rather than on top of the head.” The result is a more balanced and softer style.

Unique Claw Clips

This classic ‘90s accessory has been clawing its way back into our hearts (and hair) thanks to models like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid for making them look so sophisticated and effortless. A claw clip twist is trendy, easy, and better for your hair than a style created with elastics or pins, which can pull and break your delicate strands. Abramite recommends finding a one-of-a-kind claw clip to add a little something special for a formal event.

Gloss to Matte

Elevate the classic slicked-back hairstyle by blending high shine and natural texture for a more glam look, Abramite recommends. “Side-part your hair and wet the top with water and hairspray. Slick it down with a comb and tuck it behind the ears for hold. Leave the rest of your hair natural through the ends.”

Bombshell Twist with Wispy ‘90s Bangs

Add this to the list of ‘90s trends that are making their way back (and, honestly, we wish they never left). This easy updo is meant to look a little messy and imperfect, making it a great choice for bridesmaids on the go. “Round brush your hair for a bombshell blowout with volume. Then twist and pile the ends up top for a loose, tousled updo, allowing pieces to fall out,” says Abramite. “Separate your bangs into delicate, wispy pieces to soften the forehead and frame the face.”

Jeweled Braids

“Award season has given us a great deal of inspiration,” says Lauren Berrones, a New York-based bridal hairstylist. “I love how Janelle kept her hair off her face and secured it with a sparkle. The simplicity of three on-the-scalp braids is beautifully balanced with fine jewelry for an extra special touch.”

Berrones says the key to this hairstyle is to keep the jewelry thin and delicate. “It should be subtle with a whisper of personality,” she says.

Lived-in Texture

“Priyanaka’s multi-texture and multi-tone style is a go-to for any outdoor or beach wedding,” says Berrones. To achieve this look, “consider adding some hair extensions for length and fullness,” she says. (Just make sure the extensions have a natural blend of highlights and lowlights so the final look doesn't fall flat.) Build the texture by rough drying without a brush, then alternating between a flatiron and a curling iron. “The goal is to have an irregular, off-balanced, lived-in hairstyle,” says Berrones.

Soft Pixie

“The soft pixie is another beautiful style from the red carpet this year,” says Berrones. If you have very short hair, a soft pixie is a classic hairstyle that’s easy to create and maintain throughout a wedding. “Bridesmaids might feel like they need to do something extra to their hair, especially when it’s short,” Berrones explains, “but less is more in this case.”

To get this look, blow dry your hair straight down following your natural growth pattern. You want to avoid adding too much poof or volume to the sides of your head. Use a gel or gloss to sculpt your hair around your ears and add texture to the top. Finish off with a texture spray or light hold hairspray to tame any frizz or flyaways. Play with your hair throughout the night to keep it fresh and effortless!

Fountain Pony

Ponytails are a staple in the world of bridesmaid hairstyles. But Berrones says a fountain pony — one that flows upward then cascades cleanly down your back — brings a specific sort of glam. “It’s perfect for any wedding style and is attention-grabbing while staying within the lines of what is considered a typical bridesmaid hairstyle,” she explains. “Not only will it elongate your silhouette, it will also help balance the bouquet.”

Unconventional Finger Waves

This tousled finger wave style is stylish and modern — and it effortlessly transitions from wedding ceremony to dance floor. “For this hairstyle, it’s best to start out with your natural curl pattern to form a finger wave,” Berrones says. “Set it in a way that enhances your natural hair texture and then comb it out using a wide-tooth to soften the look.”

Behind the Ears Hair Tuck Trick

“This hair tuck trick is quite honestly one of the best looks for a bridesmaid,” says Berrones. “It’s the perfect way to get your hair off your face while still wearing an all-down style.” Start with a classic blowout with big, bouncy curls. “To keep your hair tucked [behind your ears], either secure the sides with bobby pins or tie the two front sections into a low, hidden ponytail beneath the rest of the hair,” she says. Your hair will stay perfectly tucked all night — no matter what happens on the dance floor.

Volume and Texture

"One classic bridesmaid hairstyle that will never go out of style is loose waves with the hair pulled halfway up, with a little volume in the crown," Brittany Harrington, hairstylist and founder of Salty Locks Hair Extensions, explains. To create that bump of volume, simply push up the section of hair you're securing before you clip it in place.

High and Slick

There's nothing more timeless than a cinched, high pony. "My favorite style to do for bridesmaids are high slicked-back ponytail," Harrington says. "You don't have to worry about bangs in your face or curls falling, or sweat making the style fall." Plus, it'll keep the hair off your neck and shoulders to help stay cool throughout a long night of dancing. "Everyone can pull off a chic high ponytail, and it stands the test of overheating," she adds.

If you want a more dramatic high ponytail, this is a good opportunity to add extensions to your look. It adds length and density for a truly stunning finish.

Loose Wisps

Sometimes bridesmaids don't have a choice when it comes to their hairstyle. If you're being asked to wear your hair up and that's not a look you'd usually go for, try making it work for you with a rational compromise. "If you feel uncomfortable wearing everything up, you can let down a tiny section of hair on each side of your center part," Toth says. Even if you change your mind or are asked to wear a more uniform look for photos, he points out that you can always easily tuck them behind your ear.

Soft and Classic

If you want something that will never go out of style, Clariss Rubenstein confirms that you can't go wrong with soft waves. "Your photos will never be dated with this hairstyle," she says. This look is just slight step down from the more contrived variation of old Hollywood waves.

A Half-Up Bun

"A half-up half-down style is such an easy and natural choice for bridesmaids because it feels so familiar," Toth explains. "It's just a little more elegant than wearing your hair down as you normally would on a day to day basis." It's also ideal for keeping your hair out of your face for photos. 

A High-Shine Bun 

A soft ballerina bun is timeless, but adding a sharp center part and making the hair that's pulled back look extra sleek can add some elegant edge. Use a high-shine gel and a brush to set an extra tight bun, which won't budge while you dance and pose for pictures. 

Sleek and Chic

"Bridesmaids are going with straight hair again, which I absolutely love," Rubenstein explains. "It was big in the '70s and '90s, then the style took a break for about 20 years while waves and textures took over. Now, I'm seeing bridal parties opting for more long, sleek, and straight styles. It's so chic!"

To keep the hairs in place throughout the night, keep a small toothbrush and travel-sized hairspray in your bag and touch up flyaways whenever necessary.

A Subtle Tuck

If you're going for classic waves, try tucking the hair behind the ear to add a touch of sophistication. "I will always love their hair just down with one side tucked behind an ear," says Toth. To give the look a little more oomph, you can create a deep side part. This will help draw even more attention to that subtle hair tuck.

An Effortless High Chignon

As elegant as it is edgy, this cool chignon is guaranteed to turn heads. Plus, it's a great pick for those who might be growing out their hair or bangs. You'll want to make sure you leave some pieces out all around because, once again, it's the carefully contrived messiness that's key to this look's success.

A Snatched Barbie Pony

It's not quite as high as the previously mentioned pony, but this look is just as sleek. "It's super chic and looks good on anyone, with any face shape," Harrington says. "You can also easily apply this look on someone with shorter hair by simply adding in a clip-in ponytail." If you want something a little more effortless, add a bit of texture to the length of the pony. The combination of the slicked-back do with wavy ends creates a flawless balance.

A Single, Simple Bend

Another one of Rubenstein's favorites is the single-bend wave. "[I love] a slight wave with more of a bend and center part, tucked behind the ear." Though she likes to leave a few pieces out in front of the ear, if you want a cleaner, more striking look, you can keep all the strands behind the ear.

A Center Part and Lots of Volume

There's no denying that this look is flirty, fun, and totally achievable. As much as we love pairing a center part with straight hair, the volume in these curls give off playful, sexy vibes that will look flawless on camera.

A Pony With Personality

Red carpets have made it clear that sleek ponytails are the trendy favorites, especially over the past few years. But for warm-weather weddings where there will be more humidity, we're partial to the messy, textured variety that can disguise flyaways. And if you've got curtain bangs, this might be your new go-to, nuptials or not. 

A Messy Low Chignon

The perfect mix between classical elegance and it-girl chicness, this chignon was made for bridesmaids. For touch-ups throughout the night, you can just pin any pieces that fall out back into the bun, making it a great wedding day-long 'do.

A Classic Top Knot

If you're looking to show off your décolletage or some stand-out jewelry (or maybe even both!), this bridesmaid hair is the look for you. It's sophisticated without being stuffy, and it'll definitely last all night long with some carefully-placed bobby pins and a bit of hairspray.

A Slim, Glittery Headband

For a bit of pizzazz that's not distracting, add a shimmery headband to a messy updo. The contrast between the elegance of the accessory and edginess of the style creates a modern style we absolutely love.

Low and Leisurely

Another deviation of the high, slick pony, this low 'do is just as flattering for all hair textures and face shapes. To maintain its laid-back appeal, leave the part either in the center or towards the side to keep it from looking too severe.

Textured Volume

If you have wavy hair, like Taylor Swift, choosing a style that allows for some of your natural texture to come through is a safer bet for a night of dancing. After your blowout, you can coax a light curl pattern back via a flat iron bend and some texturizing spray. As the night goes on, any additional waves that make an appearance due to sweat or humidity will only add to the effect. 

A Twisted, Sophisticated Updo

Another great updo for the more elegant weddings, this classy option is anything but boring. Between the intricate twists within the bun and the slicked-back hair revealing a sharp center part, this stunning style is perfect for high-neck gowns and statement earrings.