I want to start off this post by saying that I'm not a bride; not now, not in the near or even the far future (sorry Mum!). In fact I'm so far from a relationship, let alone marriage, that the only time I say the words "how about we take this to the bedroom?" is when I whisper them to my snacks.
But if you think that's going to stop me from signing up to be a Bridal Hair Model for the day, then you've got another thing coming!
I'm purely in it for having my hair played with for hours on end.
Now I'm having several inches of my hair chopped off in a couple of days so I can best survive the oncoming summer heat (because 20 degrees is considered HOT here in the UK) so when I saw that Thomas J. William Hair and Beauty Design in Dorchester were looking for people with longer hair for their stylists to practice for the day, I decided it would be one last hurrah for my mermaid hair before it waltzes off into the sunset. At least until it all decides to grow back in three months time...
So I headed off to Brewery Square (which, by the way, has exploded in the last few years - I swear it used to be just the Odeon and a couple of restaurants before I left for the Southern Hemisphere) and was greeted by this massive store front that was floor to second storey ceiling glass windows, save for the beautifully elegant sign and drop chandeliers twinkling through, inviting you inside.
The interior is various shades of white and grey - please leave all Christian and Anastasia jokes at the door - sleek and simple, letting the character come through in the ornate detailing of the spiral staircase and pops of colour from the Redkin product display wall. I was greeted with a smile, a cup of tea and a comfy leather sofa; I knew I was going to like it here.
We were soon placed in the hands of the lovely ladies who were learning how to do various different types of wedding hairstyles by their educator Jodie (@peachystylist on Instagram) and there was a brilliant variety of hair types in the room to work with; curly, short, thick, thin, the works! I immediately felt confident with my two stylists, Ellie and Tiggy, as they seemed to know exactly what they wanted to do to best practice their skills. Which was brilliant, because their seemed to be several models who were up-and-coming brides who knew what they were after whilst muggins here just had a free day and was, naturally, unprepared. Oops!
Undeterred, Ellie and Tiggy set to work with the sea salt spray and the barrel curlers, crafting my hair into beautiful textured waves in preparation for the first look - dutch braids into a low, flower-like updo in the back. Unfortunately for them my hair is long, straight and fine, which is a recipe for disaster as they REFUSE to hold a curl without a butt-load of product in it. Trust me, I've spent YEARS trying to create the perfect beach wave only for it to fall out two minutes later. I felt so sorry for them when they turned away for a split second and all their hard work proceeded to drop out!
But nonetheless they persevered, and on Jodie's recommendation switched up to a smaller curler and each worked on opposite sides of my head, together making a fantastic team. Needless to say, after much more product (and a quick demonstration on the difference between french and dutch braids) later, I think the first look was a roaring success:
Braids seemed to be the theme of the day with our team; as the afternoon was still young and I had no where else to be, this beautiful construction was dismantled to make way for look number 2: waterfall braids!
Now whenever I've seen waterfall braid tutorials online I've always imagined that you need a third, maybe even a fourth hand available in order to create such a complex design. But not only did stylist Ellie manage to pull of ONE waterfall braid, but she somehow (only the hairstyle gods know how) did a SECOND braid underneath, connecting it to the top one in such a way that it created this gorgeous ladder effect between them. I've always admired hair dressers and stylists on their talent to create beautiful hair, and between Ellie's dexterous ability to finish the design off with a plait made up of three plaits and Tiggy's exquisitely crafted fishtail braid with the remaining half of my hair, I was in utter awe at the final products.
I've also decided that if I ever do find someone mad enough to marry me, I really, really, REALLY want these little white flowers somewhere in my hair.
Far too quickly it was time for us to go, and the girls very sweetly offered to put my hair up into french plaits to see me off home (I was willing to rock the half waterfall/half fishtail look through Dorchester high street, but I digress). Overall the whole day was a wonderful experience, and a massive shout out to all the guys and gals there for such a brilliant day!
To any soon-to-be brides out there looking for a hairstylist I would highly recommend checking out Thomas J. William for your big day! They also do some incredible work with colour, so feel free to check out their Instagram page for the full transformations.
*This post is NOT sponsored - I just had a really, really good time and wanted to document the adventure. Also all opinions expressed are my own*