Becky: I'm so excited today to introduce you to Aina McCallum. Aina is a hair and makeup artist (you can see her flawless work right there on Rock My Wedding!) who has also recently launched the Aina.M Academy. The academy is a place for hairstylists to broaden their knowledge of, or take the first step into learning how to care for and style afro and Black hair. Aina joins us today to talk all about hairstyles for Black brides. From crops to long flowing waves, there is something for everyone in this great roundup. Over to Aina.

Hairstyles for Black brides

Braids For Black Brides

Braids are a great wedding hairstyle to rock! They are normally seen as a quick and easy protective hairstyle, and a way to ease hair manipulation on a daily basis. I really think braids are being overlooked as a wedding hairstyle for Black brides. 

There are so many pros to having braids on your wedding day. For example; you don’t have to worry about humidity and sweating if you plan to turn up on the dance floor! Once the style is in place it will allow for a stress free day. Your hair will be looking just as good the morning after (and for your honeymoon), which is a bonus!

There are a number of different styles of braiding that are available to create wedding hairstyles for Black brides. You just have to take your pick and then get creative! You can choose from box braids, knotless braids, twist, Ghana braids, dreadlocks, Marley twist, Faux Locs, and micro braids (just to name a few). Most of these braids can be any length, depending on the type of hair you choose. The choice of hair will also provide a different texture to create a unique and beautiful bridal style.

Anyone with more than an inch in length of hair can have braids installed.  Once they are in, it is all about maintaining the braids. Looking after the scalp, and keeping the braids neat until your big day. If you are planning to do a bridal braid hairstyle, I would recommend them being installed no more than a week before you become a Mrs.

Bun Inspiration

A low or high bun is a beautiful & classic bridal hairstyle. This is a simple style that can be created with all types of natural hair. Hair extensions can be added for volume and length (or a weave if necessary). A parting can then be added to suit your face shape. To add a bit of flare to the hairstyle, some hair can be left out at the front! Framing your face with curls/coils or a beautiful timeless wave. This can be done using a finger wave technique. Use the end of the hair to connect it to the bun to marry both parts of the hairstyle together.  

There are options in regards to styling the bun; it can be a smooth slick bun or it can be decorated with curls and swirls. You will need a bit of time on the wedding day morning to curl the hair, and then let the curls set before putting the style together.

Cropped Hairstyles

This is the perfect style for those brave beautiful women who went in for the big chop and are now nourishing their hair, whilst slowly getting to know their hair again and reintroducing it to the world. You can not go wrong with this style! 

Although this is a low-maintenance wedding hairstyle for Black brides, a lot of behind-the-scenes hair work will go into getting your hair wedding-ready.  The focus during the lead-up to the big day will be on creating a great hair routine.

The routine can include; washing your hair once or twice a week depending on what your hair needs. Not forgetting to make time to deep condition your hair, this step is not to be missed as it will keep the hair hydrated as well as providing the much-needed nutrients for your hair. Find a good oil to use daily (or when needed) to lock in the moisture. It's also important to find a good hairdresser (that does not get scissor happy), who will listen to you when you ask for just a trim. 

Through looking after your hair in the lead-up to your wedding day, your curls/coils will be thriving and ready to be styled. A good curling pudding/gel or wax can be used with the help of a magic curl brush sponge. Or finger coiling to create quick and easy curls/coils and then using an afro pic to style to your liking. After telling yourself you are beautiful in the mirror, you will be good to go! 

Loose, Relaxed Hair & Wavy hairstyles

If you are a bride that envisions yourself with long flowing hair when walking down the aisle, but your natural hair is nowhere near this length, do not despair. Hair, especially afro hair, is so versatile and nothing is impossible.

Weaves and hair extensions have long confused your boss into thinking they have hired a new person, or fooled your work colleagues into thinking you just woke up like this.

If you want waves, but do not have the length, you will have to decide if you are going to go for a silk press, and work with the length you have. Then maybe add some clip-ins for volume! A silk press will straighten your hair using heat without permanently changing your curl pattern. The curls or waves are then created with tongs and set to be released and styled on the day. 

Natural HAirstyles

I absolutely love when a bride who has type 4 hair decides to go au naturel for her big day. It is such a huge statement! Anyone who has gone on a natural hair journey understands how big this is. Going natural on your wedding day needs confidence and self-love. I am totally here for it and personally salute you.  

You might like the idea of having natural hair at your wedding, but you may also be reluctant to do this as there will be a lot of variables on the day that does not allow you to throw caution to the wind. Help is at hand! You do not want to leave it all down to chance. So, there are some things you can do to ensure your Afro is popping. On the day, lightly stretch your hair, as you do not want to alter your curl pattern. Use products to help with humidity and give it a good hold. Trim your hair leading up to  your wedding day. Have regular hair treatments. Make sure your hair is detangled and well moisturised on the day. 

The main thing is understanding and knowing that your hair texture is not going to be exactly the same by the end of the night, and that is ok. Just adorn your hair of glory with a stunning hair piece, and walk around greeting your guest like the queen that you are.

Wedding Updos for afro and curly hair

I do love an updo, as this is the time you can get creative with, adding beautiful hair accessories or hair jewels to highlight the style.  An updo is also great if your dress is low-cut at the back. There are different types of updo’s you can go for. It could be a slick ponytail, adding a drama filled bun on the top using plaits, twists or lots of curls. A twist or plait can be used to create the updo, layering them to create something special. You can also use your natural textures and coils to create an updo, allowing your curls to frame and add a bit of dimension to the style.

Becky: We have received many messages in the past from brides to say that there simply aren't enough inspiration galleries for Black brides and we hope that this will be the first of many. We're excited to welcome Aina back again next month for tips on Black hair care in the run-up to your wedding so be sure to look out for that. Thanks so much to Aina for her time in contributing this article. Please make sure you give her a follow over on her Brides by Aina.M and Aina.M Academy social channels. And if you're a stylist who needs more guidance on caring for and styling afro and Black hair, please reach out to Aina to discuss joining the academy.

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