Salute To Bangs! – 2013 Hair Trends

Ever since the First Lady, Michelle Obama, showed up with bangs last week , the media has gone wild! The truth is that all it it takes is something as simple as one very  highly visible person to modify their appearance for a trend to slowly take hold. On the other hand, this style change was more like the “Shot Heard Around The World.” Every program, every channel was asking the burning question, “What do you think of the First Lady’s bangs?” For a brief moment, there was no debt ceiling, no fiscal cliff and no gun control ….. just bangs. In honor of Mrs. Obama, here is my salute to bangs- of all lengths and kinds!

Long bangs – Defined as long bits of hair  that frame the face but come to the middle of the eye …at least! Long bangs look great with layered hair . It all  frames the face at the same time and is very slimming.

Long Bangs  look equally great with short hair.

Side bangs – Any length of bangs that are swept  to one side. Side bangs are great if you have a cowlick in the front of your hairline and they are soft and flattering to the face.

Pixie Bangs –  This is what my bangs looked like when I cut them myself as a young girl and also the last time I got my haircut and wanted to strangle the hairdresser. Really great on small faces or with short, wispy hair… not on me!


Blunt Bangs are cut straight across with no feathering. Blunt bangs are difficult to wear for some and absolutely perfect on others. Bunt pixie bangs are an odd choice but, there is something for everyone.

Amelia Lowe Short Haircut with Blunt Bangs


Which brings us to the most popular style, the current style worn by the first  lady, the Curved Bangs. Curved bangs frame the face on the sides and look really flattering on almost everyone.

They are tapered into layered or blunt cut hair.

Most importantly, they are long enough  to be incorporated into the hair or slicked back  if necessary but, no so long that they obscure your eyesight.

The right bangs will make you look and feel 10 years younger. Be careful, though and DON’T Experiment with bangs unless you have a solid 3 months to completely grow out any mistakes!! My advice: Start early if you are feeling the ‘urge to splurge’ on bangs!


-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Bridal Hair – Do’s and Don’t’s

You’ve found the  perfect dress and the perfect headpiece. All you need to complete your look is  the perfect hairstyle. After seeing 30 years of weddings and witnessing first-hand their successes and disasters, I can tell you it is very easy to overlook this one tiny thing and regret it later.

Remember, you will be photographed more times in this one day than you can imagine and you will want your hair to compliment the gown, the headpiece and your face. Keep these tips in mind when you begin to think about hairstyles so you don’t wind up with pictures you can’t bear to look at because you didn’t plan ahead.


Schedule your first appointment a few months before your wedding.  Be very clear about what the appointment will entail. Is this a consultation or an actual trial run?

Pick a Hairdresser you trust. This is not the time to try out a new stylist – make sure you have someone who’s work you like.

Take tons of photos with you. You cannot imagine how hard it is to describe a haircut. Take a ton of pictures with you so you can describe in great detail what you like and don’t like.

Keep the headpiece and the gown in mind. Don’t overpower a simple gown with a giant hairdo or confuse an already busy gown with too much going on.

Get a deep conditioning treatment a month or so before so your locks will be luscious.


Don’t make  drastic changes. One month (or God Forbid, one day )before your wedding is not the time to decide you want to go blond or cut all your hair off. You will be scrambling for a solution. There are solutions to everything but, they can be costly.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with a hairstyle you like but think won’t work. There are extensions, hairpieces, lifts, all kinds of things to make your hair thicker and fuller looking.

Don’t forget to take your headpiece to your hair appointment. It is vital to the overall look.

Don’t  be afraid to ask questions. You will never be sorry.

Don’t try to look like someone else. You will, and you won’t like it.

Don’t get  stuck in a  time warp. The big bangs and over-permed hair looked great in the 80’s. I know, I had it. Today’s brides have a more natural and sophisticated look. Stay current!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Veils Are Back!!

Just a few years ago women were ditching the veils to go with a simple ribbon headband adorned with crystals of some sort. Although beautiful and perfectly acceptable, there is nothing (including your gown) that will make you feel  more like a bride than the perfect veil. Not the big, poofy veils you may remember ( or have seen in photos from the 1920’s, 1950’s or last seen in the 1980’s, but a more toned down version featuring details from the gown that frame the face to make your wedding ensemble  picture perfect.

Yes, ladies – veils are back and they are modern, sophisticated and you should definitely have one.

Instead of buying two gowns, purchase a long veil that has detail on the train – maybe even longer than the gown itself.  Then, after the ceremony when you remove the veil, it will be an entirely different look.

Try layers of shorter veiling for a flirty, retro look.

Fingertip veiling with exquisite detailing makes a very elegant statement.

The style of veil is up to you. Keep in mind the style of the wedding, your gown and your headpiece. Whether you are going for Art Deco, Old Hollywood, Retro Chic, Vintage or Ultra Modern, the right veil will not only help complete the overall look but, also transform the  woman in a  white dress into a bride.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Hair – What’s Hot and Hip for 2012 Brides

Perfect for walking down the aisle, sleek  hair is hot for 2012.  Extensions are out and natural-looking, smooth, shiny hair is in. Whether it is a smooth pixie or extra shiny waves, anyone can rock the sleek trend this year.  The chignon is hotter than ever and brides are also mixing it up a bit by smoothing the front and having large bouncy curls in the back.  Have fun with this trend! 2012 is about taming down the hair  just a little bit  to softer, more touchable styles. The good news is that incorporating your headpiece into one of these styles is easier than ever with a beautiful headband or a sparkly side comb. 

How to guarantee your hair looks perfect on your wedding day:

– Schedule an appointment with your hairdresser as soon as you have your headpiece.

– Make sure you take realistic examples, from magazines or the internet of how you want your hair to look to the appointment.

-Also take a trusted famiy member or friend with you to this appointment. They can take some digital pictures for you to see close-ups and how the hair looks from all sides.

– Purchase any products you may need (like anti-frizz potions) and experiment with them at home to be safe.

– Book the same (professional) hairdresser for your wedding day.

-Always have a back up plan in case of emergency on your wedding day.

-DO NOT (under any circumstances) experiment with a new color, highlights or major hairstyle change within 2 weeks of your wedding.

For 2012, say “YES” to beautiful bouncy hair and “NO” to stiff, rigid locks that require multiple cans of aqua net, hair that says “touch me”, hair that is reminiscent of another hot bridal trend – “Old Hollywood”!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Veils, veils and more veils!

Considering the average bride spends $275 on her wedding veil and headpiece, it only seems natural that we examine how bridal head-wear has evolved in the last 100 years.

In the 1920’s it was the cloche hat with a long, heavy lace edged veil attached.

In the early 1930’s it was an even longer veil with little or no lace edge but still attached to a smaller version of the cloche.

In the late 1930’s it evolved to a larger headpiece (not a hat at all) usually paired with a smaller, fingertip veil and no lace edge at all.

In the 1940’s the veil became less significant as women were wearing hats – decorative, embellished and grandiose!

The early 1950’s saw the return of the veil, mostly fingertip or even shorter along with a small hat (of course) and the latter part of the 1950’s was dominated by the return of the lace edge, thanks to Jacqueline Kennedy.

Along comes the 1960’s and the re-invention of the veil. BIG and short and long and wide, along with a pillbox hat or all by itself – the veil was back!

The most popular headpiece throughout the 1970’s was called a Juliet cap which sat on the back of the head with any and all kinds of veil, short or long.

The 1980’s was veil paradise – long veils embellished with sequins and the famous “pouf” which came in layers attached to the back of a headband that usually came to a point in the middle of the forehead, sometimes with a giant teardrop in the center. Or a huge bow on the back of your head with an even huger veil attached. Everything over-embellished bend your imagination.

The 1990’s brought an end to the era of big is better and more is not enough. The headpieces were streamlined just like the gowns and most of the time you would see a woman with nothing more than a silk or some kind of embellished flower on the side of her hair, low in the back with a long simple veil.

At the turn of the century, Tiaras were the headpiece of choice and veils were attached to them in  various ways, almost always so they could be removed after the ceremony and you could wear the headpiece without the veil for the reception.

The current trend in headpieces is crystal headbands and hair ornaments. Most are worn with some sort of detachable veil, some are worn without any kind of veil at all.

The veil has gone through many different changes and stood up to dozens of trends. However, brides across the board seem to agree on one thing: the veil is very important to the overall look and most don’t feel completely dressed for their wedding without it.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Bridal Headpieces – Trend Alert

No conversation about bridal headpieces would be complete without first discussing you hair. Decide if you want your hair up or down or somewhere in between. Will this be a casual or formal look? Make all hair decisions first since your headpiece choice is based not only on your gown but, also on the style of your coiffure.

Headpieces are such a seemingly small wedding detail it often gets overlooked and overpowered by the gown choice. Historically headpieces consisted of a simple piece of  cloth to cover the brides face until she is unveiled to the groom. The headpiece was merely to hold the veil in place. Today they can stand alone and many brides opt for no veil at all.

I have put together a list of the latest trends in bridal headpieces to make things simple for you.

#1 Headband. Hands down, this simple look is taking brides across the continent by storm. You see it everywhere, and it loks great on just about everyone. It can be incorporated into an up-do and it looks smashing when added to flowing locks. You can’t go wrong with a headband. This is not your typical headband, though. These are swarovski-crystal encrusted, silk-ribbon tied masterpieces.

#2- Cage veil. A cage veil is named such because its shape resembles a birdcage.  However, some cage veils don’t even touch the face, they merely skim around the edge of the forehead, which accents the face beautifully in photos.  The cage veil is always made of English or French netting – the kind of netting that has large openings and sometimes little dots at the intersections. No cage veil would be complete without decoration of some kind; dramatic flowers, tufts of ostrich feathers, crystals and (hold your breath) COLOR!

#3 – Scattered Hairpins – Adorned with porcelain flowers, sparkling crystals or a simple pearls, these  brilliant accents are the is the perfect way to adorn a loose up-do. Definitely a more casual look but, there is always the option of adding a longer veil in the back to dress it up for the ceremony.  This is my personal favorite for a destination or outdoor venue. 

#4 – Embellished barrettes, combs, clips or ties.  If you decide to do a long ponytail to one side, if you decide to have your hair swept up on one side ala Veronica Lake (I’ll wait while you google that one), or if you decide on a side part with your long bangs gently pulled to one side; jeweled combs and barrettes are right up your alley. The sparklier, the better.

Whatever your style is, you can find all of the latest trends for your headpiece and veil choice at Bridal Expo. We host dozens of bridal and accessory salons and showcase them every Sunday at our couture runway fashion show. Please call 847-428-3320 to get tickets to a show in your area.

We look forward to seeing you in Wisconsin at the Brookfield Sheraton this Sunday March 6, 2011. Doors open at 10:30, fashion show begins at 2:00 pm.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago