Which comes first, the dress or the hair?

Hi, I’m Charlie Darlow, a mobile hairdresser and bridal hair specialist. Over the last 14 years, I’ve seen fashion trends come and go, especially within occasion hair and dressing.

However, there’s one issue which I experience regularly and it’s the simple question of:
“Should I pick the dress first or the hairstyle?”

My answer is that you must have an outfit, or at least have the ideal neckline in mind, before you decide on the hairstyle you want.
The reason for this is that some dress styles suit hair down, others are more suited to having the hair in an up-do; some even look best with hair styled to the side.
I would always advise clients to take along a hair-clip with them when they’re trying on dresses, whether they’re bridal, bridesmaid, prom or even another occasion where a beautiful dress is needed.

Try on the dress with your hair down first. Then clip up half your hair to create a “half up, half down” style. Finally, take all of your hair up off your neck and it will instantly change the look of the entire outfit.

You might find that your hair is hiding the neckline of the dress and having it up will elongate the back area, giving a more classic frame from the top of the head to the bust.
However, a strapless dress with a long open back might be more suited to a down do to provide some cover and softness to the style.

So, to sum up, always take a clip with you when you’re trying on dresses. By pinning back just some of your hair, the entire look can be transformed and you might end up getting a dress you didn’t think you’d even look at, simply because you’ve changed your hair.

Always choose the dress before the hairstyle.