Enamoured with a stunning veil or left free to tousle in the wind, your wedding day hairstyle is an embodiment of your flair and unique personality – framing your face and tying your look together. Confidence-enhancing and outfit-completing, ensuring your luscious locks remain at their spellbinding best for your day in white requires some careful forethought and preparation. To learn all things bridal hair and proper maintenance, Bethany Hayes sits down with 2021 Australian Hairdresser of the Year, and Schwartzkopf Professional National Ambassador, Dee Parker Attwood.

Wedding hair featureOPT


While the phrase ‘best in the business’ may seem like an overstatement to most, for Dee Parker Attwood, who is Australia’s Hairdresser of the Year for a second time, it could not be more accurate. An industry leader with ample experience under her tool belt, including being nominated for the award seven times before her first win, Ms Parker Attwood’s journey into hairdressing stems back to her formative years. “I got into hairdressing because my mother was a hairdresser, and I spent all my school holidays at her salon,” she recalls. “I feel in love with the transformation process of doing hair and making people feel great.”

Cutting hair from as young as fourteen years of age, the professional is no stranger to the process of creating healthy, strong hair – brimming with vitality. And in a day as special as your wedding, those strong foundations for nourished hair are particularly important. Healthy hair stems from regular visits to the salon which will help “keep the ends from damage”, even if you’re planning on letting that mane grow – which the expert flags can take up to a year, depending on your desired length. On the other hand, if you want to keep your hair as is, the hairdresser flags that ten days out from your wedding is the magic duration from that final pre-wedding hairdresser appointment. “If you’re keeping your hair in its current, shorter style, I recommend a cut and colour about ten days before the wedding, to allow time for any corrections and for the hair to settle,” she explains.

Caring for your hair also doesn’t just happen in the basin of your salon – Ms Parker Attwood stresses that proper home care is essential for brides-to-be. “Using professional products at home, like Schwarzkopf Professional, and regular weekly conditioning treatments are a must,” she affirms. If your hair is very hair thick, some of this care can mean potentially reducing the thickness before the big day, which can help your hair hold a curl for longer. “Have a great haircut, taking some of the thickness and weight out of it, so a beautiful blowout or waves sit better, and holds all day.”


Having recently worked alongside a talented team of professionals bringing the Schwarzkopf Professional Love In Full Colour campaign to life, Ms Parker Attwood is no stranger to delivering fiery red hues, shiny brunettes or a natural silver into fruition. And in her professional experience, the key to getting your colour right is to work with someone you trust, while using high-quality products that will care for your hair. “It’s really important to work with a hairdresser and colourist you trust, who uses quality products that will leave you with a beautiful, healthy and shiny look for your special day,” she says. “If you get your hair coloured, making sure it is coloured with a high-quality product is very important for the health of your hair. My favourite is IGORA Royal.”

As for Ms Parker Attwood’s personal colour preference – that is down to the individual, with the expert flagging that while balayage and hairline highlights are rightly very popular, different hair shades suit different skin tones and complexions. “Beautifully-coloured full head highlighted blondes also look amazing, as does the perfect, shiny brunette shades,” she notes. “It’s all about what suits the individual’s eye and skin tone.”


In terms of your wedding hairstyle itself, there is such a broad range of style options, it can be overwhelming to narrow it down to the exact look you’re after, let alone a few! Trial and error with your hairdresser is one of the most effective ways of seeing first-hand how a particular style works with your features, as well as if it complements your gowns’ neckline. “It’s all about the dress!” Ms Parker Attwood attests. “Once you have decided on the look and style you can make the decisions. For example, if you have a high neckline and you want to wear your hair up.”

When quizzed on the most popular hairstyles for a bride, Ms Parker Attwood flags waves as being a definite favourite. “I personally love a beautiful blow wave. Lots of volume and glamourised with a shine to finish.” This preference also rings true for brides-to-be. “The most popular [hairstyle] – a polished, full shiny head of glamour waves,” she affirms. Next: “A sleek, polished nape bun that always looks beautiful on every bride.” And finally, a classic choice for many brides: “a soft hairstyle – think volume with a soft, pretty shape. Pieces down around the ears and fringe, matched with either a ponytail or bun.”

Plus, if you’re really having trouble deciding, you can always opt for two looks during the wedding – potentially having your hair up during the ceremony and then transitioning it down for a rocking reception – or vice versa. “I think we will see a lot more of the two-hair and dress changes throughout the day,” the stylist agrees. “One look for the nuptials, and then a more fun look for the reception.”

If a ponytail is tickling your fancy – consider how you would like this style to frame your face, and if you want something softer and loser, or sleeker and tight, which the professional dubs a “facelift ponytail”. “For me, the best ponytails are about either volume in the ponytail itself, and where it is placed on the head.” Curating a vision board that shows some of the looks that inspire you is always a good place to begin, and will further help you refine your ideas. With lots of people associating a great deal of their identity to their hair, Ms Parker Attwood predicts that brides of the future will want exactly that – their style, but better. “My prediction is brides will less likely want a ‘do’ and just want an extension of their current style,” she explains, also flagging that hair extensions “used for volume and length” will continue to grow in popularity thanks to their easy-to-curl nature and style-holding longevity.

Above all else, perhaps Ms Parker Attwood’s most pivotal advice for brides-to-be as they enter the exciting world of wedding hair, is to fully trust their instincts. And while it may seem surprising, the hairdresser affirms that “we actually all know how we like to look”– and at the end of the day, it is up to us to trust that. “Don’t get too many opinions from family and friends,” she affirms. “You are the only one that needs to be happy, and feel beautiful on the day.”