Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 129: 2-Month Countdown (!!!) + Wedding Hair Consultation

This is me, with an "updo".
It rocked for about 4 hours, when all the curls fell out. :(
Today is August 1st and it's exactly 2 months before my wedding.  (Gulp)  Let the countdown begin!

FYI, I'm back in Los Angeles for the next 6 weeks to teach two summer classes at UCLA.  I'm psyched to be teaching again (the most rewarding part of my job), and generally pleased to be in L.A., which still feels like home.  That said, being away from San Francisco for the final 2 months before the wedding is stressful!  Michael and I still have A LOT of work to do before October 1st.

For now, I'm please to have crossed off one more thing from my "Bridal Beauty: Countdown to Gorgeous" list: booking a hairstylist for my wedding day.  The specific instructions fell under two separate items in the "3-4 Months Before" category:

If you don't plan on using your regular hairdresser, make consultation appointments with potential candidates  Bring along pictures of hairstyles you like, even a picture of your veil and headpiece.  If you want to wear your hair in an updo, discuss with the hairdresser how long it will take to grow out your hair so it's the right length for your desired look.
Decide on a hairdresser and book him/her for your wedding date.  Set up a day-of-wedding schedule.

Meet Heidi!
Unlike my uninspiring makeup trial experience (after which I decided I would do a better job by myself, without using a mirror!), I feel 100% great about the hairstylist I've decided to work with.  Her name is Heidi Johnson (that's her, to the right), she works at Strada Salon and Day Spa in San Jose, and - by the looks of her portfolio - she can do pretty much ANYTHING when it comes to hair.  (Fantastic Yelp reviews too, which is how I found her!)

Anyway, I met Heidi in person last Friday afternoon, and - after awkwardly figuring out where both of us should sit so I couldn't look into any mirrors - we chatted about my wedding hair aspirations.  I knew one thing: I definitely want an updo. In addition to looking a bit more formal than hair-down styles, I plan on doing A LOT of dancing (and, therefore, sweating) at my wedding, so keeping my hair off my neck should help prevent overheating/meltdown.  I brought along pictures of several styles I like.   Here they are:
Option 1: Asymmetrical Reverse French Twist
Option 2: Something The Knot calls an "Oversized Chignon"
Option 3: Dramatic Top Knot  (FYI, I'm loving
the drama, but NOT the two-tone hair effect.)
I tried to be strategic and realistic.  For example, none of these styles require tight curls - something my hair refuses to do.  Sadly - all seem to require lots of hair, and much LONGer hair than what's currently growing out of my head.  I worried that Heidi would veto all of my picks, but she didn't bat an eyelash, and just recommended that I pick up some hair extensions before the trial.  (Somehow I don't think I'll have trouble finding hair extensions in L.A.!)  Then Heidi suggested that I buy "real" human hair.  Eew. The idea of wearing somebody else's hair on my head kind of weirds me out. (Who's hair?? Did he/she give permission?  Was he/she fairly compensated? Or was it a drive-by shearing situation??).  I guess I'll wait to see how I feel at the time of purchase.

What do you think about these styles? 

(P.S. - One more option is to re-make an updo I wore at a friends' wedding last March.  One photo is at the top of this post, and the back view is below.  I think it looked great, but the curls fell out by the end of the evening. More hairspray??)
Looks great now, but didn't last....
***Like this post?  Subscribe to Mirror, Mirror... OFF The Wall via RSS feed or Email or it!***


  1. Hey!

    The extensions i bought for my wedding are "real" hair. i would recommend them as well because they look a lot better and can be styled more freely. the hair is really healthy and was donated :) so it's not from dead people lol!

    anyway, i also love the one you already did! more pins and hairspray should do the trick :)


  2. Hallo Kjerstin - I like your hair in the fist picture ... your hair should be up and simple and elegant ...with some "decoration" do not know how to say this in English ... we say: Haarschmuck specially for weddings - I show you what Nati had in her hair - I shall send a photo - so you get an idea what I mean.

  3. I love YOUR hair in the UpDo. More hairspray and bobbypins! =)

  4. MIchael you're supposed to tell me WHICH up-do you're the MOST "down" with. :P

  5. Ah, I can see that I'm out of my element here. I like the photos of you. :) I agree with Paige, go for more bobbypins if necessary!

  6. I like the up-do you had earlier WAY better than any of the others you showed the hairstylist. It looks great on you, fits you well, and highlights your natural beauty. (Will it work with the veil you will wear?) Whatever it takes to make it stay put throughout the wedding - go for it! You will be a gorgeous bride!!!

  7. I like the last photo. You have such a beautiful face and this style keeps it swept away. Plus it gives you a beautiful design behind your head.

  8. Lindsay rickman DonnellyAugust 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    KJ, u have never known me to be without an opinion so here goes. I hate the reverse French twist. I like the picture of you in the up do, but there is nothing unique about it. Plus u have already rocked it once before. I like the "top knot". You could totally pull it off with extensions. Plus it will keep the sweaty hair off your beautiful face! Will u be tan for your wedding? I think a tan and bronzer to make your cheek bones stand out with a high up do like that are necessary. You will be stunning no matter what you choose!!

  9. My two cents: I love the asymetrical french twist. It's your wedding, go for the more intricate do. But the last one is lovely too. The top knot looks too Carrie Bradshaw to me - but that could just be the model.

  10. I like something that is a combination of option two and the recent updo picture you posted. I'm a little biased though because my wedding hair was a side part with long bangs, a moderate bump on top and low wavy updo in the back. I thought it looked great in pictures. The large top bun do is beautiful and modern, but I worry that in pictures 30 years from now it will look a bit odd.

  11. LOVE the updo! So classic, so classy. Also love the topknot, sort of retro-y and fun. As for making it stay: TONS of hairspray, tons of pins, and don't wash it the day-of if you can possibly help yourself.

  12. My favorite is the style that you have already tried if you want to wear it up. This updo will always be in style and Will look beautiful for years in your photos.

  13. I love the style you wore to your friend's wedding and I'm afraid that if I had to choose, I would avoid the extension, even in human hair.

  14. I just want to thank everyone for there comments and suggestions here! I'm overwhelmed by the response, and am so grateful to get feedback on these decisions. Worrying about how to wear my hair on one day of my (hopefully very long!) life seems so trivial, but somehow it isn't. I'm realizing that part of the "beauty" behind all of the wedding beauty fuss is that talking about these things has a way of bringing women together. I'm feeling very blessed to have you all in my life right now.

  15. here's one of several discussions about human hair & a prolific source. Women donate to the temple that sells it.

  16. I like the updo you already wore, and (sorry) don't like the other photos at all.

    You should be YOU on your wedding day, and you should try not to do something that will make you wince when you look at the photos years from now.

    Plus, Michael will want to feel like he's marrying the woman he knows and loves, not some movie star princess he doesn't recognize.

    Besides a full updo, have you thought about sweeping the front and sides up into a knot and letting the rest flow long and wavy? The look might be a bit less foreign than a full updo, and you can always pull it into a pony for the dancing. Less is more, I say.

    But it's your wedding, not mine! ;-)

  17. Kjerstin, I also like the one you had done for the wedding. But see what Heidi come up with your natural hair, before deciding on attaching extension piece. And less curl is better since the back of your dress is detail with lace already.

  18. For more info on human hair extensions watch Chris Rock's documentary "Good Hair". It's an unlikely source for a feminist perspective, but it is a fascinating look into the world of hair for women of color, and I thought his motivation and execution were impressive. And from reading your blog I think you would really enjoy it from a sociological angle.