When thinking about a new hair style or hair cut, it is important to consider what you want to achieve from your new look. Some people just want to look different and that’s great, but if you know the theory behind the choices a good hair stylist makes and why they might suggest certain things to you, it can help you to maintain a style at home that constantly flatters your looks, and hey, when you look like me you need to flatter… So if you are keen to put your best foot forward, read on!
In general, when working with our hair we want to be achieving a level of balance, or as some say, to create an oval shape. One simple way of explaining this in hair terms is to look at partings; a centre parting can remove width from a forehead, whilst a side parting can help to make the face appear wider. Look at your hair as design and consider the overall shape, weight, width and line. Now I’m not saying that if you want to style your hair you need to be a graphic artist and I’m not saying all hairdressers paint still life in their spare time, but it certainly helps to view hair in this way. When you get this concept down, you’ll be able to style your hair more confidently and play to the strengths of the hand you were dealt.
I wanted to keep it simple by just discussing four face shapes. If you’re worried that I’m missing out important shapes, consider that whilst you can find descriptions of diamond shapes, or dodecahedral foreheads or wah wah wah, in fact, when broken down, all these extra shapes are just combinations of three shapes: triangles, squares and circles. Even the ‘long’ shape here is more or less a mutation of the circle face shape, but it’s something of an outlier and so I’ve included it. By simplifying it in this way, you can view you or your clients face shape as a unique form and work in a more bespoke manner only needing a few fundamental, general guidelines. As we’ve established, the goal is to balance the shape, so if a person has a triangular jawline, the same principle of balance applies in reverse if it was upside down and they had a triangular forehead.
We all have areas of our face that we like and dislike, my face is pretty long and my chin is a bit of a Brucey special, but my eyebrows are not bad… this type of observation are our first steps when working out our face shape and what we want to do with it. You can then go on to decide, do you want to balance a feature out, complement it or accentuate it? The drawings below are just rough ideas, but you should be able to see similarities to yourself. Focus where the most narrow and wide areas of your face lie and consider which features are prominent, high cheek bones, strong jawline etc. Then check out the descriptions below to work out how to achieve what you’re after. Remember these are just general rules and there is equally nothing wrong with wanting to accentuate that massive Alpha chin. Well, you might not be after doing that, but I’m all for breaking the rules and working outside of the average norm. At least after reading through this post, you’ll have a good idea as to how to go about it!