Image: Kaspars Grinvalds /

November is a popular month for nuptials and you may have been called on for bridesmaid duty.

While that is a sign of the close friendship between you and the bride, the role comes with many responsibilities.

And the number one rule for bridesmaids, says Ms Joanna Ang of Sono Bello, which provides professional hair and make-up services, is never to steal the bride’s thunder, which includes taking note of how you wear your hair.

One way to ensure the bride stands out, for instance, is for the bridesmaid to wear her hair up if the bride is wearing it down – and vice versa.

Here are five looks Ms Ang, 44, suggests, including hairstyles to go with ethnic outfits.

Grecian Goddess

This asymmetrical style is feminine, romantic and perfect for traipsing around in the heat when you are gatecrashing or performing other duties in non-air-conditioned places, says Ms Ang.

First, use a heated iron and curl the ends of your hair. Spritz some hairspray for volume.

Take the front section of your hair and make a rope braid, braiding downwards and towards the back of your head. Secure with pins.

Separate the hair on the left side of your head into three or four sections, pull each section back towards the middle of your head, and secure it with pins.

Match a Kebaya

If you are wearing a traditional kebaya, you would want to show off its signature collar and neckline instead of hiding its details by leaving your hair down, Ms Ang says.

An updo gets the job done. Plus, it makes the outfit look far more polished.

Starting at the top right, make a Dutch braid, following the curve of your head until you reach the nape of your neck. Finish the tail of the braid off, then coil it up around itself and secure it with pins.


Match a Cheongsam

If the theme is Oriental chic, go for old-world glamour with faux finger waves.

You can create this effect by using a curling wand at a horizontal angle, curling the hair uniformly from the roots. Then, roll pieces of hair outwards and upwards, and pin them in place.

Match a Sari

Image: Jonathan Choo

Ms Ang suggests a half-updo with a trompe l’oeil braid. Starting at the top, take small sections of hair from each side of your head and tie them together with an elastic band.

Once you have done this three times and have three sections of hair, you can create what looks like a braid but really is not. Take two sections of hair in front of the third section and tie them together.

Repeat the process all the way down.

Fun Ponytail

For a playful yet polished look, nothing beats a ponytail, says Ms Ang.

Use a heated iron and curl your hair in a uniform direction. Braid the top half of your hair in a snaking pattern. Sweep the bottom half up into a ponytail and secure it in place with a hair tie.

Brush the ponytail out to create S-shaped waves. Then wrap the end of the braid around the hair tie and secure it with pins.


This story was first published in The Straits Times.