3 Gorgeous Wedding Hairstyles For Short-Haired Brides

News flash: Despite what all the magazines say, you don't need long hair to be a beautiful bride.
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Publish date:
May 29, 2014
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short hair, weddings, bridal hair, brides, short hair styles

I'm going to try to get through this with a minimal amount of misplaced outrage, as I am not a bride, have never been a bride, and am not planning to be a bride at any point in the near future. That said: It drives. Me. BANANAS. when bridal magazines or brides themselves spout things like "How To Make Your Hair Grow In Time For Your Wedding" or "I really want to cut my hair into a pixie, but I have to wait until after my wedding."

Um, can we not? I'm not sure where everyone got the idea in their head that a bride = long hair. Possibly they got it from the same place where they erroneously decided that a white gown equals purity, when it was actually just Queen Victoria trying to be a special snowflake. (Personally, I'm going to try to start a black wedding dress trend.)

Anyway, needless to say, you actually don't have to have a specific amount of hair on your head to look gorgeous on your wedding day. As adorable as pixie cuts are, a bride with a pixie cut has to be about the most adorable thing ever. Sadly, I almost never see pictures of brides sporting pixie cuts. Anne Hathaway had the chance to be a short-haired icon for Brides but she opted to wear a massive tea cozy over her cute haircut. Way to drop the ball, Anne.

So, I thought I'd take matters into my own hands in case any short-haired brides-to-be are looking for hair inspiration for their special day.

The nice thing about pixie cuts is that they're already pretty styled just by virtue of being a pixie cut, but I understand wanting to put a little extra into your appearance for your wedding day. I came up with three bridal hairstyles that are pretty enough so people won't think you just woke up and dashed to the church, but not so complicated that you can't do it yourself at home in less than 30 minutes.

For The Boho Bride

This hairstyle is for the bride getting married in some random field somewhere or, like, barefoot on the beach. Her dress is very likely from BHLDN (I love their dresses as much as I hate their dumb name) and she's into the dewy, fresh-faced makeup look. Obviously, braids and flowers were called for here.

This hairstyle was very simple and easy to do, especially since I keep my hair pretty long in the front. I took a good chunk of my fringe and did a simple braid, tying it and then using a bobby pin to fasten it to the side of my head. I did a smaller braid on the other side of my part as well, and then stuck some flowers on top.

If you need a slightly more in-depth explanation, you can check out the braid tutorial I did recently here.

I really think this hairstyle would look amazing on those with lighter-colored hair, since the braids would stand out much more than they did with my dark hair. Of course, you could also make (or buy) a much bigger flower crown--they aren't really my thing, so I kept it small, but it is an easy way to add a lot of impact to your wedding hairstyle.

Things you'll need for this hairstyle: bobby pins, clear elastics or elastics that match your hair color, flowers or a flower crown, and more bobby pins on hand to hold everything down. Make sure your hair is a bit dirty--I find that my just-washed hair is too slippery to stay in braids. I wouldn't worry too much about hairspray and the like; this hairstyle gets prettier the more the wind plays with it.

For The Traditional Bride

This next hairstyle is for the girl who's going for the whole nine yards: the beaded gown with the long train, the packed church, the intricate updo... Oh wait. Those insanely intricate updos are for people with crazy amounts of hair and spare time. And people going to prom. For those short on time and hair (no pun intended), here's a simple hairstyle that will still have a big impact: loose, romantic waves. Yes, you can do this with most pixie cuts. All you'll need is a mini straightener and a few basic styling products.

I used two of my favorite styling products right now: Bumble and Bumble Styling Creme (a small amount smoothed through wet hair helps a ton with every kind of style) in conjunction with their Styling Lotion (which I spray on towel-dried hair before using heat).

Then I used my mini straight iron to make gentle waves, slightly curling medium-sized sections of hair at a time and using my fingers to loosen and style the curls as I went.

Depending on the length, you may not have to worry about doing the back of your hair. I usually keep the back too close cropped for that, but I was able to do a few waves there this time. If you're concerned about the back of your pixie being too short to curl, I suggest sticking a massive veil on it and calling it a day. Problem solved!

For the last step, I sprayed a ton of hairspray (Aussie Sun-Touched Shine Hairspray) all over my head to give it some hold.

Don't get so enthusiastic with the hair spray that you spray your photographer directly in the eyes--it's bad luck for a wedding, you know. Luckily, he recovered enough to go to the church with me and take photos in front of some very curious people watching from their cars. Ah, romance.

You kind of have to imagine a giant bouquet of flowers in my hands and a dramatic veil on my head to complete the picture, but you get the general idea. I think this hairstyle would look gorgeous and completely appropriate for a more formal wedding, especially once you start piling on the accessories like those bobby pins with pearls attached or a tiara or whatever.

The best part about this hairstyle is that it gets better as the day goes on. I went home and took a long, sweaty nap after taking photos, and when I woke up, my hair looked AMAZING. So do this early in the day, and as the hours pass, the waves will get messier and softer and you'll look effortlessly gorgeous.

For The City Hall Bride

All the onlookers stuck at the traffic light while I was shooting photos for the above hairstyle were rewarded for their nosiness when we finished and I stood up, wriggled out of that massive dress, and threw it over my shoulder as we set off for the courthouse. (I mean, I was wearing a romper underneath, so it wasn't that spectacular as far as rewards go.)

This was my third time getting married in one day, so I was ready to take things in a low-key direction. Yeah, you know what that means, fellow pixie cut ladies: time for a headband.

There's nothing like a glitzy headband to quickly take a pixie cut to the next level. It gives you maximum impact with minimal effort, which is ideal for the modern bride who elects for a no-fuss elopement at City Hall (yeah, I admit that would be me).

Of course, you probably don't want to just stick it on and hope for the best. Personally, I find that this hairstyle looks best with some volume. Luckily, I had just curled the living daylights out of my hair, so I simply teased it upward and back with a Tangle Teezer (but you can probably use any brush or even just your fingers) before securing it with the headband. I also like to push the headband forward a bit to get a nice bump of volume in the front. Maybe pull out a few face-framing tendrils, and you're all set!

Throw on a pair of sunglasses to add an even more casual, devil-may-care attitude to your elopement pictures if you really want to piss your parents off. Just a friendly tip!

Would you consider doing any of these hairstyles for your wedding? Have any of you ever experienced pressure to change your hair, or any aspect of your appearance, before getting married? I want to hear all about it in the comments, and of course I'd love to see how YOU styled (or will style) your hair for your wedding--long or short!

All photos by Joshua Kirby