strategies that use facial structure to balance & enhance.
walk into a hair salon armed with a magazine picture of a truly "great"
haircut, only to leave an hour later looking ridiculous, even though the
style was exactly what you ordered? If you've ever had that experience
-- and many women have -- you may have fallen prey to a common misconception:
A haircut, is a haircut, is a haircut.
When it comes to individuals, nothing could be further from the truth.
Believing otherwise is like saying it's okay to put a picture of the Mona
Lisa in a 1960s, psychedelic frame.
While the wrong frame can prove disastrous, the right one can transform
a nondescript, simple picture into a refreshing piece of art and expound
and enhance even the most extraordinary of portraits or scenes.
In the world of beauty, hair serves much the same role as does a frame
-- it surrounds the picture, or face, and has the potential of illuminating
desirable features, downplaying less-than-desirable ones and creating
balance and symmetry.
Just as a frame should be chosen to complement a picture, a hairstyle
should be chosen to complement the face that it surrounds.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing the right
hairstyle is the shape -- or structure -- of the face.
Faces typically mirror one of eight shapes --oval, square, round, heart,
triangular, rectangular, diamond and pear -- and while each shape has
its own unique beauty, it takes the right hairstyle (or frame!) to create
the greatest degree of balance, symmetry and style.
When it comes
to wearing a variety of hairstyles, those born with an oval face must
have arrived under a lucky star.
This type of face -- which features a gently rounded hairline and a jawline
that is only slightly narrower than the temples -- is considered the "ideal"
shape because of its natural balance and symmetry. As such, it can pull-off
any hairstyle with flair.
It's no wonder that many of the world's most successful -- and chameleon-like
-- models have oval faces: They can switch hairstyles -- and looks --
with the greatest of ease.
Some people believe that the only thing a person with an oval face shouldn't
do is cover up their "perfect" features with heavy bangs or
too much "forward-brushed" hair.
of a square face is an equally square jawline and hairline -- two strong
facial features that can lend a look of quiet determination and character
to those who possess them.
The key to cultivating what many see as a look of nobility and mystique
with this interesting face shape is to introduce an element of softness.
Wispy bangs, flowing layers, angles cut around the face starting at the
cheekbone, and wavy or curly hair can all play a role in balancing the
square-shaped face and showcasing its strength and beauty.
One of the keys to properly framing a square face is to create an illusion
of length, which is one of the reasons why hair that's below the jawline
-- and even past the shoulders -- is especially suitable. If the hair
is to be worn above the jawline -- and some believe that it shouldn't
-- the illusion of length can be created by adding height at the crown.
Severe cuts and styles -- such as straight bobs, thick linear bangs and
even center bangs -- should be avoided with a square face, as they tend
to add severity to the look.
square face, this "full" face -- which features a round hairline
and chinline and marks its widest point at the cheeks -- benefits greatly
from the illusion of length.
dealing with a round face, it's best to create fullness and height at
the crown, while keeping the rest of the hair close to the face to avoid
adding any additional width to the sides of the cheeks.
Like the square face, those with round faces should avoid center parts
and linear bangs -- although bangs brushed to the side are flattering.
Haircuts that end at the chinline should also be avoided, as they will
only emphasize the roundness of the face.
of choosing a hairstyle for a heart-shaped face -- which is characterized
by a wide forehead and a small, delicate chin -- is to create an overall
balance by making the forehead seem narrower and the chin seem wider.
This is best accomplished with styles that add fullness to the lower part
of the face. Chin-length bobs are especially flattering to those with
heart-shaped faces, as are lots of full, wavy curls -- all of which create
an illusion of width at the lower part of the face.
Those with heart-shaped faces should avoid styles that emphasize the upper
part of their face, as doing so will only make them seem "top heavy."
Bangs, especially those that are brushed to one side, are ideal for helping
break up the wide forehead that's typical with the heart-shaped face.
As the exact
opposite of the heart-shaped face, the triangular face is most narrow
at the temples, slightly wider at the cheeks, and widest at the jawline.
The secret to flattering a triangular face is to create fullness at the
upper part of the face, while drawing attention away from the jawline.
One way to do this is by using lots of layers to create a top-heavy style
that tapers off as it approaches the lower part of the face.
rectangular face is long and slender, and as such requires a hairstyle
that's built around width and volume -- two features that can de-emphasize
the length of the face and create a more balanced look.
Rectangular faces look best in short- and medium-length hair, as opposed
to hair that falls below the shoulders and makes the face appear even
longer. Layers are also important for this shape of face, as they create
volume and counteract the shape's natural "straight" lines with
Side parts and bangs can help de-emphasize the overall length of the rectangular
face; and it goes without saying that height at the crown should be avoided.
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way to approach a diamond-shaped face -- which is known for its narrow
forehead and chin and very wide cheekline -- is to choose a hairstyle
that adds width to the top and bottom of the face and makes the middle
of the face, or cheekline, appear less prominent.
Wide, wispy bangs and a chin-length cut can help build width where it's
most needed. Volume should be avoided at the cheekline, as it will only
serve to emphasize the width of the face.
As its name
implies, the pear-shaped face features a narrow forehead and a wide jawline
and chinline. As such, it requires a hairstyle that draws attention to
the upper part of the face by building width and volume and deflects attention
from the middle-to-lower part of the face.
Full, layered looks that features height at the crown are ideal for the
pear-shaped face. A classic shag hairstyle is suitable for those with
faces, as is hair that's well past the jawline.
determine your face shape, simply take a few minutes to analyse it in
the mirror. Or, take this article or a few photos of models with faces
you think are shaped like yours to your next salon visit, to discuss with
the stylist. As the Greek philosopher, Aristotle so memorably said, "Know
Thyself". And you're on your way to getting a hairstyle that really makes
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