Get to know featured stylist:
Get to know featured stylist:
Can you tell us a little more about you and your styling background?
Hi my name is Brianna Swain, I’m 31 & I have lived in Lexington, KY my entire life.
My grandmother & my two great aunts on my mom’s side are all hairstylists. My grandma owns a salon in Richmond, KY & has for about 30 years now. Once I got out of school I worked in her salon for a few years. She always & still continues to be one of my biggest supporters, she even made me an updo / styling station in her salon just for me. She always helped feed my passion for bridal styling even when I wasn’t doing it full time. She sets up all the magazines & articles I’ve been in on a cork board in her salon. I just adore her.
What bridal trends are you loving right now?
I’m absolutely obsessed with what I call ‘mermaid braids’ . I can do those all day. I try to talk every bride into doing them if they have the hair for it. Those are 1000% my favorite!
What new trends can we expect to see this season?
I really hope for more braids but you just never know. I’ve been doing a lot of Barbie ponies this year for bridesmaids & I feel like that’s going to eventually go into the bridal hair expectations too.
How do you stay inspired?
Honestly scrolling through all of my friends’ feeds. I have met so many wonderful people on this platform & I don’t think I’d be the stylist I am today without them. They give me so much inspiration daily it’s so easy to be mesmerized by all the hair photos that pop up on my feed.
I also tend to gravitate more towards stylists who are heavy braiders like Sara Vanderbilt of @svglamour – she’s my overall boho style goals. I could list a thousand people & we would be here til next Tuesday listing all of the people that inspire me lol!
What advice would you give to a bridal hairstylist just getting started?
Practice. Practice. Practice.
& then practice some more! I’m not even kidding. Buy that mannequin, take the classes, learn all the things. This industry is constantly changing. New trends are popping up daily & even for a more seasoned stylist like myself I get overwhelmed with some of the new trends. Definitely don’t get discouraged in the beginning, you have to start somewhere. Practice taking photos of your work & really pay attention to your backdrops in photos. If there is a ton of clutter in the background, move to another location, get that good lighting. Take the time to set up your shots & really think about what would ‘stop your scroll.’
Photos are everything on insta. Take the extra time to learn how to take photos of your work so it doesn’t go unnoticed. It’s so easy to get discouraged by seeing others’ Instagrams & their photos. But remember if they can do it, you can do it. Don’t let that stop you, let that fuel your fire to the best you!
Best advice to a bride regarding her hairstyle?
I could really write a novel for this one but I’m going to simply say pick a photo that is your hair color, your hair texture, & close to the length of your hair. It’s hard to tell sometimes lengthwise what a style looks like in an updo but if the model looks like she’s got hair to the floor & yours is around your collar bone then definitely pick another style. Also, extensions are a game changer, I’d really invest in them for almost any style. They just take the whole style to the next level. It makes our job so much easier & helps you give them closer to the goal of what they wanted their hair to look like for their day.
What is the one product/tool you can not live without?
Oh goodness! I’m just going to name my top 5 that would be easier.
- Paul Mitchell Neuro 1 inch wand
- Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Prima 3000 Straightener (god’s gift to the tool world)
- Sexy Hair Powder Play Lite
- Sexy Hair Avant Garde Heat Protectant Hair Spray
- Kenra Professional Texture Taffy
Best advice you have ever been given in the hair industry?
My grandmother told me a few things about running a business & how to keep it successful for so many years & I really learned a lot from her in my time working with her. One of the things that has stuck with me is a quote she used to repeat to me constantly when I was struggling to get done at a good pace,
She would say ‘What’s fast isn’t good, & what’s good isn’t fast.’ Which is what I say in my head constantly to this day. We all want to do a good job & be quicker but sometimes we get so consumed with time constraints that we forget this is an art & art takes time.
She would then follow with – ‘Take your time, do the job right & don’t worry about it getting done so quick. You’ll get faster as time goes on.’ I’ve always appreciated her wisdom & honesty about our industry. She really shaped me into the stylist I am today.
What do you love to do outside of work?
Photography, I’m a part time photographer in Kentucky. I’ve been practicing photography for about 5 or 6 years. I started learning & taking classes to get better at taking photos of my hair work & then it just evolved into passion over time. Now I do portrait photography throughout the year & I also second shoot weddings if I have a free weekend. This is something my husband and I do together so it’s really important to both of us because we absolutely love working with each other. He’s a full time charge nurse in a Neuro ICU, so photography is also an escape for him outside of the medical world. It’s just something fun & different for both of us!!
I absolutely will sit on the couch for hours playing video games with my husband. I play on my switch & he plays on his Xbox. We sit right next to each other & play different games all night but we are still hanging out. It’s a blast, we have been doing that since we started seeing each other in 2007 lol.
I also have a book problem. I read a lot, it’s how I calm down at night to go to bed. I could spend 24 hours in a Barnes & Noble & I would be content.