Another great post from Rachael Gibson HJi, to help us see all the career opportunities available to us
A women’s wedding day is the most special day of her life and one where she wants to look at her very best. It’s a combination that makes working as a bridal hairdresser one of the most rewarding, but also most pressurised jobs you can have in the hairdressing industry.
Bridal specialist Andrew Miniark reveals the pleasures and perils of wedding work.
“Looking back, my hairdressing education feels like it was in double speed. I was doing a salon apprenticeship at Mario Hairdressing in Market Harborough; day release at Leicester Southfields College, where I completed my City & Guilds and Advanced City & Guild; and two evenings a week training in my mother’s salon.
“My mother was an amazing mentor. She passed on all the skills she had picked up in the 1960s – so I had a great foundation of classic and glamorous styling. Learning from her, I found that I was at my best and most creative working with long hair. So I started to enter avant-garde and evening hair styling categories at the NHF competitions around the country and did really well.
“Shortly after I qualified, my mother and I entered a bridal and bridesmaid styling competition and we ended up winning, which cemented my love of wedding and big event hair.
“Being a bridal specialist is far more than being a hairdresser and encompasses many roles. Firstly it’s about creating fabulous hair. I tend to have one or two trials to work through ideas and eliminate any styles that make the bride feel uncomfortable.
“More than hair though, I’ll help plan out makeup, give advice on dresses, and I can often end up as a confidante and help a bride work out problems in the run up to the big day.
“On the actual day, the most important quality you can have is a calm temperament! Things can go wrong, the bride can get emotional and you might have to change timings; so the ability to work under pressure and to short deadlines while meeting the highest of personal expectations is essential.
“This is a job that has taken me all over the world and it is such a pleasure to share someone’s celebrations. If there is a downside, it is that you always have to work weekends, but that is hardly a negative when you are around so much excitement and joy.
“If you think that bridal hairdressing could be for you than the most important skills you will need are personal ones. Be calm and organised and plan meticulously.
“My biggest tip for budding bridal stylists is to hide all the pins and grips, as having one on show ruins the perfect look. You also need to be true to yourself. Never big yourself up and say you can do something that you’re not sure how to do. Honesty keeps you positive and relaxed.
“Also never show nerves. When a bride starts to panic, always remember that a hairstyle can be changed in an instant.”