A SENSE OF OCCASION | Pocketmags.com
Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty

5 mins


From weddings and christenings to garden parties and race festivals, there are plenty of occasions for creative updos at this time of year

Even with the unpredictable Irish weather, the summer months are synonymous with special occasions and a rise in demand for on-trend updos.

“I’m seeing a lot of nods to the ’90s this year,” says freelance stylist Tanya Costello, who owns Hair by Tanya, which is based in Kilkenny. “There’s a trend towards higher placements of updos, which is a modern take on the classic French twist. I’m also seeing some snatched sleek buns and ponytails. Hollywood waves are here to stay, but lots of clients are opting for a softer version of this look.”

“Half-updos are on trend this summer, as well as various braids, which beautifully showcase natural hair,” says Bozena Sarek, owner of Bozena Sarek Hairdressing in Navan, Co Meath.

“The messy chignon continues to be popular,” says bridal hair specialist Mags O’Brien, who owns Drogheda-based Upstyle Funk Hair. “Sleek buns are also in, with a focus on enhancing the bride’s facial features. These styles are a continuation of last year’s trends – they offer a fresh take on a look, while always maintaining a sense of timeless elegance.”

Speaking of timeless, are there any styles that never go out of fashion? “A low and slightly textured updo is a look that is consistently requested, whether it is from brides, bridesmaids or clients attending a special occasion,” says O’Brien.

“The low bun will always be a popular choice, especially as there are so many variations of it,” agrees Costello. “It’s such an elegant style and easy to wear, whether the client has thick or thin hair, or straight or curly hair. It also suits lots of different face shapes as the front can be tweaked to match each individual. Trends and fashion will change from year to year – I think it’s very important for clients to stay true to their own style and wear their hair in a way that makes them feel comfortable and looking their best. Simple and elegant styles will never date or go out of fashion.”

Of course styles are often dictated by celebrities.“Looks can be influenced by what’s trending in pop culture,” notes O'Brien. “The current mob wife aesthetic has extended into hairstyles. For example, voluminous curls and healthy, shiny hair evoke a sense of power and luxury, mirroring the fashion trends of that period. The mob wife era was an iconic time in history when women were not afraid to relish in a luxurious look for any special occasion.”

“The mob wife trend has influenced the current bouncy blow-dry look,” adds Costello. “Volume is making a comeback, but not in the form of backcombing – it is more naturally achieved with a blow-dry or rollers.”

“Jennifer Lopez or Zendaya are also influencing the ponytail extensions trend, which is big this year,” adds Sarek.

Consultation first

As always, consultation is key when it comes to creating an updo for a special occasion, particularly to see if the client’s request is attainable. “Clients often take their inspo pictures from social media platfroms such as Pinterest,” says O’Brien. “And while many of these styles are fantastic, they are often used on models with hair extensions. During the consultation, I examine my client’s hair first because it is important to be honest about what is achievable, and to manage the client’s expectations. I ask them what they like or dislike about a style, then we discuss environmental issues such as the weather, and how the hair may hold.”

“Things to look at during the consultation include the client’s face shape, along with their hair type and thickness,” says Costello. “If my client is a bride, I ask her about the style and neckline of the dress, if she is planning to wear a veil or hair accessory, and if she has ever worn her hair up for a previous event. You need to make sure her hairstyle will suit her whole look.”

“It's important to match a client’s updo with their vision and needs,” says Sarek. “Good communication and asking the right questions are key to success. Discuss the client’s outfit and make-up with them, and find out how long the updo needs to last, and whether the event they are attending is indoors or outdoors.”

‘A low and slightly textured updo is a look that is consistently requested, whether it is from brides, bridesmaids or clients attending a special occasion’

Kitbag essentials

Preparation and products are also crucial when creating a hairstyle for a special occasion, as is a well-stocked kitbag. “I make sure I have my hot tools, hair pins, padding, brushes, combs, rollers and my tool belt,” says Costello. “My go-to products are L’Oreal Professionnel Paris’s Tecni.Art Pli Shaper to prep, along with a good volume powder such as Alfaparf Milano Professional’s Style Stories Vintage Volume Powder. I also use Matrix’s Builder Wax Spray, Moroccanoil Dry Texture Spray and a good dry shampoo – I love Schwarzkopf Professional’s Osis Refresh Dust Bodifying Dry Shampoo.”

O’Brien says she also uses Tecni.Art Pli Shaper. “I cannot be without it. It is thermo-activated to create hold in the hair and can be applied before blowdrying or on dry hair before curling. I also love Alfaparf Milano Professional’s Style Stories Thermal Protector. KYK Hair’s Magic Dust Hair Volume Powder is a must to create lift and volume, and Sam McKnight’s Cool Girl Superlift Volumising Spray is another great addition to my kit.”

“To create an updo I need a tail comb, hair pins and hairspray,” says Sarek. “A ghd straightener, texture spray, elastic bands and a lot of creative imagination are also essential. Revlon Professional’s Style Masters Photo Finisher Hairspray is a must-have for me, and I also rely on Eleven Australia’s Dry Finish Texture Spray.”

Meanwhile, being equipped to meet clients’ updo requests is a great way to boost your salon business. “I have specialised in bridal hair for nearly seven years now,” says Costello. “It has taken time to build my business, but I haven’t looked back and each year has been busier. I think it’s hugely profitable for salons to offer a good dry-styling service for clients attending special occasions. There is a huge demand for this, so it is definitely worthwhile to have a stylist train and specialise in it.”

“While bridal hair is undoubtedly one of the most popular requests, there are plenty of other occasions that keep us updo specialists busy throughout the year,” says O’Brien. “Whether it’s adding a touch of glamour to ladies’ day at the races or elevating a look for a formal dinner, there is always a demand for our services.”

This article appears in the MAY/JUNE 2024 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland

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This article appears in the MAY/JUNE 2024 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland