The Updo Darling: Hairstylist Lindsay Griffin
Drawing on an arsenal of styling tools and a lifetime of experience, the hair guru brings the salon to you on your wedding day.
There was never any doubt what Lindsay Griffin would do when she grew up: At three years old, she gave her first haircut to a neighbor, and spent her formative years braiding, curling, and crimping her dolls’ hair. Flash forward a couple of decades, and the coiffeur, who now has her own salon in Somerville, specializes in giving brides the wedding look they’ve been dreaming of since they were little girls. “When they have their final hairstyle done and they look in the mirror, they either cry or hug me because they’re just so overjoyed with excitement,” Griffin says. “It makes me feel that much more incredible that I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.”
How would you describe your approach to bridal hairstyling?
I don’t have an approach; I have done everything from whimsical, soft updos to sleek buns. I would describe my style as more whimsical and organic—nothing too severe. You want to look like you on your wedding day, just slightly enhanced.
Do you recommend a trial prior to the wedding day?
Yes. A million yeses. When I book a trial, I book an hour and a half. I do two entirely different styles and take a gazillion photos. It’s one thing to look in the mirror at a salon, but when you have a photo taken of yourself, it may translate totally different. I always tell people, give it a good 24 hours before you open the pictures up and dissect them. All the time, brides will email me and say, “Lindsay, I’m so glad I did that, because I love that style now.” They also get to meet me and learn how I operate and how the day’s going to go.
What looks last the longest for weddings?
Every single style I do will last. It’s all about prepping it correctly, backcombing, and building a foundation. The only thing that’s tough is if someone wants it down and curled and her hair is thin, it might soften slightly.
Should weather play a role in choosing a style?
It can be a huge deciding factor. Brides who have pin-straight hair and want to wear it curled and down may not want to do that if it’s raining or extremely humid. Humidity is also tough if you have naturally curly hair and want a smooth blowout.
What’s trending in wedding hair right now?
Braids are still really, really big. This season especially, and trials I’m doing for next season already, it’s all over the map. I’m getting a good amount of down-dos, and a good amount of soft, effortless hair, but pulled up and styled. People still want to see a lot of texture in their hair. There are not too many severe Audrey Hepburn looks. A lot of brides aren’t doing that side-swept look anymore that was huge a few years ago. I always tell people, “You’re going to have these photos for the rest of your life.” I’m all for doing something funky, but 20 years later, when you look back at the photos, are you going say, “Why did I do that?” You want something that is going to be timeless.
Do you recommend hair extensions?
I use them a lot. Even for people who already have long hair, they’re not always necessarily for length. More times than not they’re for fullness, and no one can ever tell. I like the clip-in extensions: You can color them, cut them, bleach them, you name it, and they’re yours. And I always teach people how to put them in themselves.
How far in advance should you get your hair colored before the big day?
I think it’s important to have it done a week or two before the wedding, especially if you’re dramatically different from your natural hair color. I had a bride who did not book her hair color beforehand and she had black hair with gray roots growing out. We had to improvise with a Sharpie. But it was all good; her photos came out perfect.
How can brides incorporate hair accessories—veils, combs, fresh flowers—into their hairstyle?
Flowers are tricky: Whenever someone tells me they want to do fresh flowers, I tell them to talk to the florist. Some flowers may have a thicker stem and it’s harder to get a bobby pin around them, so some florists will wire wrap them. It’s always fun to add something, but it’s not 100 percent necessary. A bride may choose a unique hairstyle that has lots of texture and almost sort of looks like artwork on its own. Sometimes the hairstyle speaks better alone.
Why do you enjoy working with brides?
I love the craziness. Not that weddings are always craziness, but there’s definitely a lot more added pressure. I love the adrenaline rush and working in that atmosphere. It’s just fun to make someone feel good, especially on her wedding day.
106 Bristol Rd., Somerville, 617-625-0001, lindsaygriffin.com.
Lindsay Griffin recommends the best hairstyles for every face shape.
ROUND Whether you wear your hair up or down, a deep part will create length and drama. Pull it back in a sleek bun or rock a retro ’do for maximum impact.
OVAL These brides can wear almost any style, but soft waves add width and shape to the face. Just stay away from super-flat hair, which accentuates a longer visage.
SQUARE Whimsical (a.k.a. messy) hair is key! Try a softly pulled-back updo, which tempers an angular jawline—nothing too structured or perfect.
HEART Pulled-back braids impart a little texture, while a bit of height helps elongate the face.