Wedding Planning

Bridal Hairstylist Maricruz Polito Shares Secrets for a Wedding-Worthy Look

Armed with bobby pins, frizz-fighting hairsprays, and years of training, Maricruz Polito creates ’dos for brides of all hair types.


maricruz polito

Photo by Leah Fasten

At her salon job in the early aughts, Maricruz Polito often found herself curling loose waves and pinning intricate updos for brides whose hairstylist canceled on them the morning of their wedding. “No one at the salon that I worked at wanted to do their hair because the brides were running late and they were crying,” Polito says. “It’s terrible when a stylist cancels, so I took those clients and, in the end, the brides loved their hair.” After years of impromptu bridal coiffing, Polito opened her own Boston-based salon in 2017 to focus solely on wedding hair—a specialty she came to love. The best part of the job? Hearing from happy clients after the celebration. “I think [my] favorite part is getting the pictures from the bride after the wedding,” she says. “[It’s rewarding] when they reach out to say, ‘I love my hair. My pictures look amazing. I’m so grateful that you were part of my day.’”

Why should a bride book a trial with a hairstylist?

It’s important to see the personality of the hairstylist. The hairstylist and the makeup artist are the two vendors that spend the most time working directly with the bridal party on the wedding day. You better be sure that the stylist has a calming presence rather than a hectic one. It’s also important to see a stylist’s work firsthand. Social media is an amazing tool, but pictures translate differently to reality.

Should you bring photos of your wedding dress and accessories to the trial?

I actually prefer that. It’s helpful to see the style that you’re going for. What is your vision? Is the dress elegant? Is it simple? If the dress is heavy and has a lot of texture, you would want to go a bit simpler. You don’t want to see a bride overwhelmed with texture everywhere. All the details have to go with each other.

Which styles do you receive the most requests for?

Oh my God, the low messy bun. You see it on Pinterest, Instagram, everywhere. Also, I do Hollywood waves a lot. I find that the brides who are more classic and elegant go for Hollywood waves with a little hair pinned to the side, and brides that have an outdoor wedding and are a bit more practical go for a messy bun.

Does hair color affect which hairstyle a bride should choose?

Absolutely. Dark hair reflects the light and texture differently. I get a lot of brides that fall in love with the texture of blonde hairstyles. If she has dark brown hair and wants a simple messy bun, you’ll only see the shape of it when you look from a distance. You won’t see the texture. With blonde hair, you can see the tiniest details. So brunettes look best with classic hairstyles that have clean lines and shapes. Redheads are the perfect medium between blonde and brunette. Their hair shows the texture, a braid, anything.

What advice do you have for women with thin hair?

I think hair extensions are life changing. A lot of brides have never worked with extensions because their biggest fear is looking fake. But I think if brides keep an open mind, they could find that using extensions or root fillers gives hair the right amount of fullness and thickness without looking fake. If the bride has very dark hair, usually the scalp tends to be shiny and you can see through it. But if you use one of those root touch-up sprays, it camouflages the shininess and the lightness of the scalp and makes hair look fuller.

Should a bride carry any tools to fix her hair throughout the night?

Nowadays, hair doesn’t have to be perfect. Brides like what we call the “perfect imperfect.” With all the messy buns and the beach waves, if one strand of hair comes undone, it looks good. It’s not going to [ruin] the day. I’m not going to ask her to carry anything or give her bobby pins. After you do your work as a vendor, it should be about the bride enjoying the day, not giving her work to do.

200 High St., Boston, 617-938-7523, maricruzhairstyles.com.

Tips

Whip your locks into shape for the big day with Maricruz Polito’s foolproof prewedding timeline.

6–12 months before the wedding: Once you’ve done your research and think you’ve found the right bridal hairstylist, book the trial so you have time to see if he or she is a good fit. Be sure to sign a contract with your bridal hair professional, too.

2–3 weeks before the wedding: Get a trim or a haircut. Overgrown hair can be cumbersome depending on your chosen hairstyle. Talk to your bridal hairstylist to find the right hair length for your style.

10 days before the wedding: If you’re adding highlights or chemical treatments to your hair for the first time, do it a minimum of 10 days before the wedding so there’s time to change it if you are not 100 percent satisfied.

The day before (or morning of) the wedding: Wash your hair! It’s a myth that dirty hair is better for styling. I can always make the hair dirty with products, but I can never make the hair clean.

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