Have you ever had your hair styled for a formal event, then thought to yourself…

“Hmm, this doesn’t look like the photo I showed my stylist…”


"Why did my hair fall so quickly, I just got it curled!?”

You scour the internet for hours looking for an immaculate hairstyle for your wedding or event to attend, then feel bummed that your hair doesn’t look like the image…or it does at first, then it falls apart.

Well, I’m here to help you understand your hair better!

To help bridge the gap between expectations and reality, I’ve listed the 3 most common issues that often leads to feeling underwhelmed with your hairstyle:

1. You’ve searched for an image that looks nothing like your current hair colour, texture, length, cut etc.

This happens all the time. I have a client come in with long, fine, straight, one-length, one-colour, brown hair and they show me images like the below…

Hair by Elstile

Hair by Elstile

Hair by Elstile

Hair by Elstile

I get it. The above hairstyles beautiful: big and full, great texture and volume and photograph well. Let’s be realistic though. If your hair isn’t blonde, has no highlights/low lights, is one length, and/or is fine - your hair will not look like these.

These styles can take 1.5-2.5 hours to complete and often requires hair padding and extensions to be styled and installed, just like the rest of these. A similar style may be possible if you are willing to properly prepare your hair. For this you must invest extra time and money for cut/colour services, hair extensions, and also set aside additional styling time for your event.

Below are the steps and appx. costs to create this hairstyle:

a) Get your hair highlighted to add texture and dimension. Hair without highlights will appear flat (image left) because the light that hits it is mostly being absorbed. Highlighted hair causes light to both bounce and be absorbed, which gives hair the texture you see in image on the right. (Appx. cost of colour $70-$150)

One colour brown hair with limited texture. Looks flat.

One colour brown hair with limited texture. Looks flat.

Multicoloured brown hair with highlights. Looks dimensional.

Multicoloured brown hair with highlights. Looks dimensional.

b) Get long layers cut into your hair and also ask for layers that frame and flatter your face. If you want the soft look with loose pieces around your face, you need to have varying lengths of hair in that area. I’m a firm believer that a hairstyle should not look like our daily ponytail from the front. These layers prevent that, as well as the long, stringy looking 90’s bangs. (Appx. cost of haircut $50-$70)

Face-framing layers with shortest layers cut  just  below cheek bone.

Face-framing layers with shortest layers cut just below cheek bone.

Face-framing layers with shortest layers cut  just  below the chin.

Face-framing layers with shortest layers cut just below the chin.

c) If necessary, purchase hair extensions. Your hair extensions have to be real hair, so they can be coloured and heat styled. You can either purchase the hair extensions first, and have your stylist match your hair colour to them OR buy them, then get them coloured to match your hair colour. (Appx. cost of hair extensions, and colour match $200-$350)

Total additional investment: $320-$570

2. The weather wasn’t considered when choosing your hairstyle.

Images online are taken the moment the style is completed and every strand of hair is placed perfectly on the model, so we can’t expect a hairstyle (especially a down-do) to look exactly the same for the entire day. Hair is not static, and the best hairstylist in the world cannot make a down-style last through wind, rain and high heat. If you’re attending an outdoor event, seriously consider having your hair put in an up-do.

There are some exceptions to this, as we all have that one friend whose hair seems to stay perfect all night long. Make sure to take a closer look at your friend next time, because I bet you your friend has: shoulder/medium length hair with layers, colour treated hair (highlights/low lights) and pre-existing hair knowledge.

The longevity of a hairstyle depends a lot on hair texture. Some hair textures just hold better than others, and some people are just better at maintaining their styles. Which brings us to issue #3…

3. Your hairstyle wasn’t maintained properly throughout the day.

I always make it a priority to advise my clients on the proper way to maintain their hairstyle throughout the day. Just like your makeup requires minor touch-up’s, your hair may require some spray or a gentile comb during the day.

Here are a few things you can do to maintain your hairstyle:

a) Whether an up-do or down-do, avoid touching or pressing your hair. If you have a down-do avoid sitting against your hair when seated, instead put your hair over the back of your chair. If you have an up-do, avoid touching any loose pieces of hair around your face. Doing this will soak up oils and moisturizers on your hands, and cause the pieces to go limp.

b) Learn to maneuver your hair properly. If you have to move your down-do in photos, lift and lay the hair gently from one shoulder to the other, or lean back and gently swing your hair from left to right. If you have an up-do with loose pieces of hair, move them out of the way with the tail end of a comb.

c) Touch it up! A medium hold, dry texture hairspray is the best for touch-ups throughout the day. It will keep your hair in place without weighing it down or making it crunchy. If your ends start to curl into each other, just take a comb and lightly comb the ends to separate them, then give them a spray.

d) Keep some distance. I always tell my brides to “Hug like a princess, and kiss like a snob.” Meaning, show your guests love as much as possible, but also assume everyone has an incurable zombie apocalyptic disease.

Needless to say, it’s my job to let you know if your current hair can be styled according to your preferred image. I will always do the best I can and provide you with proper hair advice, no matter the occasion! :)

If you have any other questions, feel free to post them below in the comments section.

May all your hair dreams come true ❤️

xo Gracie Myers