Best bridesmaids hairstyles—21+ ideas for special occasion hair

Get inspired by these pretty, modern bridesmaids hairstyles for every hair type

collage of three bridesmaids hairstyles to try, a flower crown, side parting glamorous wave and messy bun with flowers
(Image credit: Future/Getty images)

Bridesmaids' hairstyles may not be the first thing to spring to mind when we think about wedding planning, but they shouldn't be overlooked. Whether you're organizing your own big day or assisting with a friend or family's wedding, bridesmaids' hairstyles are the next biggest beauty decision after the bride's hair and make-up.

It goes without saying that these looks should complement, not overshadow, the woman of the hour's 'do. Bridesmaids' hairstyles should be elegant yet unfussy and in keeping with the bride's chosen aesthetic. Whether you go for hair up styles or half up half down hairstyles, a simple yet special look will ensure a stress-free wedding day for all—and gorgeous photos afterward. 

Take one of the most iconic weddings in history, for example, Prince William and Kate Middleton's big day in 2011. To complement the royal bride's hair, maid of honor Pippa Middleton's hair was also worn in a half-up hairstyle, accessorized with flowers alongside the now Duchess of Cambridge's tiara and veil combo. What's more, both she and the Duchess of Sussex chose flower crowns for their group of bridesmaids—a particularly popular and sweet choice if those carrying out this special role are younger children.

Kate Middleton and Pippa Middleton on kate's wedding day

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How to choose the best bridesmaids hairstyles

Possibly the most important factor when it comes to wedding hairstyles is booking a trial with a hairstylist so that you can work out any kinks. The last thing you want to do is decide on a hairstyle without trying it until the morning of the wedding, only to discover it doesn't look how you'd hoped. 

"When I am consulting a bridal party, the first thing I would ask is to see their dresses," says Sian Quinn, artistic ambassador for Headmasters. “The neckline is so important; if the bridesmaids are wearing a dress with a high neckline or any detailing, then I would talk about putting all the hair up. I love braids for this, they are elegant but still young and fun. If the dress is more open around the décolletage, then my favorite look on a bridesmaid is a really simple half up half down," she adds. "Creating a bit of height at the crown and a soft wave throughout is classic and timeless."

Kerry Washington's half up half down hairstyle at the oscars

Kerry Washington with an elegant half up half down hairstyle

(Image credit: Getty images)

Half up half down styles aren't just timeless bridesmaids hairstyles', they're also flattering on almost any face shape—a huge bonus for bridesmaids' hairstyles which generally need to work on several people. "You get that feeling that the hair is pulled off the face so that you can see the eyes, but the bottom of the hair is down and soft," explains ghd Editorial Ambassador Zoë Irwin. "You get that fullness that gives women confidence. But you've got that little bit of detail, perhaps with a clip at the back—something simple."

Best bridesmaids hairstyles: our expert edit 

From short hairstyles with accessories to long hairstyles (that can also be faked if you learn which hair extensions are best) these beautiful and timeless ideas suit all hair lengths and types. Screenshot your favorite and take it along to your hair trial for the best results!

1. The classic bouncy blow dry

2. The vintage-inspired blow dry

3. The accessorized natural hair

4. The embellished long waves

5. The embellished corkscrew curls

6. The partially braided style

7. The vintage wave

8. The accessorized short pixie

9. The embellished short Afro

10. The accessorized blunt bob

11. The twisted half up hairstyle

12. The half up hairstyle with added height

13. The embellished half up hairstyle

14. The shorter half up 'do

15. The half up ponytail style

16. The classic ponytail

17. The undone bun

18. The coily updo with bangs

19. The lived-in ponytail

20. The chunky braided updo

21. The messy bun

22. The partially braided bun

woman&home thanks hairstylists Sian Quinn of Headmasters (opens in new tab) salons and ghd (opens in new tab) ambassador Zoë Irwin for their time and expertise

Lucy is a UK-based beauty journalist who has written for the likes of Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, OK!, Women's Health and more, as well as contributing to woman&home. Her work covers everything from expert skin and haircare tips to the latest product launches and the show-stopping beauty looks spotted backstage at London Fashion Week. During her career she's interviewed some seriously famous faces, from Little Mix to Drag Race royalty The Vivienne, as well as chatting to the industry's leading hairdressers, dermatologists and make-up artists.