Dying Hair for Wedding
Credit: Juliane Rietzsch/EyeEm/Getty

Planning for your wedding can be a total process, and even after everything seems to be all set, another issue that needs to be dealt with arises. The chaotic environment can make it easy to forget about essential tasks, like getting your hair and makeup team in order.

Luckily, celebrity hairstylist Riawna Capri of NineZeroOne Salon in Los Angeles has the entire guideline to coloring your strands figured out. The pro is responsible for the baby blonde hue Julianne Hough worked at her own wedding, and as a matter of fact, the final step in the process took place only a few days before the star's big day.

Credit: riawna/Instagram

"We always knew that instead of doing an immaculate hairstyle for her wedding, we'd be focused on making that perfect color," Capri tells InStyle. "Julianne legit brought me pictures from when she was 5 to 10 years old and was like, I want this color, so going back to her perfect, baby blonde roots was the end goal." After a series of appointments, the duo arrived at their desired hue, and Capri graciously helped us put together a guideline of all the steps you need to keep in mind when you're dyeing your hair before your own wedding. "Even if you're fine with your brunette color, the slightest hint of caramel highlights will photograph a lot better than a one color gloss all over, especially if you want anything textured or curled," she adds.

Read on for your complete guide to dyeing your hair before the big day, from the importance of finding a stylist, to how often you should schedule your color appointments.

Find Your Hairstylist Early

Make finding your hairstylist the next priority to picking a dress and hunting down a venue. "Yes, it is about finding a stylist who does great hair, but it's also about finding a compatible human you want to spend time with. When I'm doing a wedding, I am right there at one of the most important days in my client's life—I'm in all the photos, I'm helping to get the dress together, helping them get their shoes or a Band-Aid. You want a friend, not just a hairstylist," she says. "I did a wedding last year, and no joke, the bride lost her phone the day before the wedding, so I called up my assistant, had her go get her credit card, and figured it out so that we could go buy her a new phone so that she had one." Even if your current stylist is only doing your cut and color, Capri recommends asking them if they know someone in the salon who could do what you're after so that you could form that relationship early.

Get Regular Trims

We get it—you want those longer layers to make all of your Pinterest updo dreams come true, but the fact is, if you don't get regular trims, your hair won't eventually reach the length you're after. "A lot of people feel like their hair is stuck at a certain length, but that's because your ends are breaking," Capri says. "If you don't trim off the split ends, the split will continue to go higher up the hair shaft. I'm talking trimming the tiniest amount, like ¼ of an inch, which we call a dusting." Capri recommends getting your ends dusted every 8 to 10 weeks, and starting the process a year prior to your wedding.

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Start Coloring 6 Months Prior

It took two long appointment to get Hough to her baby blonde state, and according to Capri, most people will need two to four appointments before their wedding depending on the color they want to achieve. "Start six months prior, then go back in two months later, and two months after that so you're gradually getting the color by the time the wedding rolls around," Capri says. The slow and steady process ensures that the color won't damage your hair, whether you're going lighter or darker, and the final appointment should be scheduled as close to your wedding as possible. "Anywhere from 3 to 12 days before the ceremony is a good range," Capri adds. "You don't want to do it the day of or the day before, but you should make sure it's done within a week or two of your photos. A balayage situation where the root is showing can probably go for two weeks and look fine, but if you're getting highlights all over and you can't have the root showing, try to do your color closer to the day, especially if your hair grows fast."

Condition Heavily

Even if you aren't making a super-drastic change, you'll want to make a nourishing hair mask part of your routine to keep your hair in optimal health. This will make the coloring process that much easier, not to mention, will look stunning on your big day. "When Julianne was on her Move Beyond tour, she would wear a wig for her shows and we'd wrap her hair underneath in a Joico K-Pak Mask ($20; to keep her hair healthy prior to bleaching it," Capri explains. "We went three months without any color, so there was a lot of fresh, healthy hair by the time we were ready to color."