Looking After your Hair Accessories
I hope that you will be able to wear your bridal hair accessories and jewellery long after your wedding day. I think there really ought to be more every day crown wearing going on! However, for the days when you won't be wearing a crown, here are some tips for how to look after your headdress:
1) Keep you hair accessory in the box when it's not in use. My boxes are strong and designed to keep delicate hair accessories safe from damage and dust. Alternatively, your headpiece would look beautiful displayed under a glass dome but please keep out of direct sunlight. Naturally dyed silks will fade and some glass beads can discolour especially if left in sunlight.
2) I use a variety of metals from non tarnish raw brass, non tarnish silver plated wire, raw brass, copper and recycled sterling silver and gold. Tarnish is a natural process and will occur when metals are exposed to oxygen. Even non tarnish metals will eventually tarnish over time (depending on levels of humidity) if left out on display and especially when exposed to hair stylist products. The best way to prevent tarnish is to keep your headdress in an air tight box when not in use. I include anti tarnish patches with all my accessories which provides a level of protection for a short period or time - these can be replaced. Natural metals such as copper, raw brass and sterling silver will all tarnish over time and develop a richer, deeper patina. If you do not want this to occur, the best option is to put your headdress into its box and then put the box into an air tight container.
Important Note about Hair Spray and Styling Products
Please, please ask your stylist to position your hair accessories last and not to spray them with any hair spray. Styling products - especially hair sprays - will tarnish the metals used on my hair accessories and can dull and damage the coatings used on glass pearls and crystals. Even natural stones and pearls will be dulled by exposure to styling products as will precious metals. I use a non-tarnish silver plated wire for my silver beaded pieces and this will especially be damaged by styling products: hairspray will discolour the silver wire work and if the headpiece is sprayed with hair spray, it will erode the silver plating on the wire to leave the copper wire underneath the plating exposed.
I use natural, unplated brass wire for my gold coloured designs as I found that gold plated designs were coming back from styled shoots with very discoloured and tarnished wire work. The natural brass is slower to tarnish as it is not plated however, please don't expose any hair accessories or jewellery to styling products. I have tried nearly every silver plated wire known to human kind and I cannot find one that isn't discoloured by hair products so unless you have it in your budget to have a headpiece made from pure silver wire, please, please be very careful to avoid getting hair spray on the wire work on your headdress. There's no reason why a silver plated headpiece won't look beautiful in fifty years time but please take care to avoid exposing it to styling products and, when not in use, keep it safely in a box or airtight display case.
Can I Clean my Headdress or Hair Accessories?
This is a tricky one as most of my designs are incredibly intricate and fairly delicate so it would be difficult to clean an intricate headdress in the same way you might clean jewellery. With care, your headdress will last a life time and it is made to be passed to future generations but it does need to be cared for in the same way as you might care for precious jewellery or a delicate veil. Always keep your headdress in its box or in a display case. Avoid exposure to air for long periods of time to reduce the risk of tarnishing. If your headdress becomes dusty then use a soft artists' paintbrush to gently remove any dust. Avoid exposure to any chemicals as these can and will damage the delicate stones, pearls, crystals and glass beads used. Hairspray can do untold damage to precious stones, pearls and the coating on many glass beads and it can rapidly accelerate tarnish and discolouration on natural and plated metals. It is vital to ensure that you hair accessory is positioned after hairspray and styling products have been used to avoid damage and disclouration. Please also avoid getting your headpiece wet - water shouldn't damage your headpiece but please do not immerse in water especially if any fabrics are used such as silk.