This blog is part of a series we here at HDS Medallion Designer CarryAll Bags for Mobility Devices call The Art of Self Expression. Over time, we’ll cover a range of topics regarding different styles, helpful tips, and anything else we think assist our customers and visitors in their self expression especially related to their mobility devices and accessories like our stylish mobility bags.
Overview of Face Shapes & Hair Styles
Every face shape – oval, round, square, oblong or heart – has haircuts and styles that look best as well as some that just aren’t as flattering. According to “About Style”, “the key to a flattering hairstyle is one that creates the illusion that you have a perfectly oval face. There are cuts that help make a round face appear longer, a long face appear wider, a square jaw appear softer,”and so on.
The first step is determining what your face shape is. Pull your hair back flat and compare the shape of your face to these pictures. Shapes aren’t always perfect, but generally fall in these categories.
Oval: viewed as the best shape that has the most flexibility in terms of hair styles. If your face is oval, you are lucky and you can look good in practically any hair style. One of the most popular now is the chin length bob. But ovals can wear hair short or long. No matter the length of the hair, if you have an oval face highlight your best facial feature such as eyes, cheekbones, lips or chin by layering the hair nearest that area.
Square: like round faces, women with square faces look gorgeous with the long hair that softens the edges of the “square”. Side bangs work well at cutting down the square. Pay attention to the top of the head adding a center part and/or producing lift and volume there all of which automatically lengthens the square.
Round: long hair is gorgeous on round faces because it lengthens the face. If you have a round face, your best cuts will fall a few inches below the chin or longer with long, choppy layers. The shortest layer should never be above your earlobe and ideally should fall at your chin. Too-short layers make a hairstyle appear dated and will add volume to the sides of the face, making it appear even rounder. A very short haircut may help lengthen the face if the bulk of the hair is lifted above the face similar to the picture.
You can also use side-swept bangs to create more angles on a round face and a center part can help lengthen the face as well. Another technique to soften and redirect the eye is to use gentle waves especially if you have natural wave in your hair. You can scrunch wet hair as it dries or use a large curling iron to produce them. The waves should not be dominant at the widest part of the round face.
Oblong: Long faces are basically faces that are quite a bit longer than they are wide. Overall you must avoid any style that lengthens the face’s appearance. Long, straight hair is the worst style. Instead, concentrate on gaining width. That’s your overall goal. Like the round face, the very best way to shorten the face is with waves around the face that add width.
The most suitable haircut on a long face shape is shoulder-length. It's the perfect length (somewhere between chin and shoulders). A bonus is that this cut is one of this year’s trends! If you also have a long forehead, consider bangs of almost any shape (blunt, box or side swept). Pay attention to where you part your hair. The currently trendy center part will make your face appear longer, but a side part makes it appear wider which is what you want.
Heart: this shape can often be improved by shoulder-length bobs, waves toward the bottom of the face or below, but one thing should be in all styles - side-swept bangs. They cut down the width of the top of the heart. If your heart shaped face is long, then pay attention to the styles that look good on an oblong face. Any width needed should be added at the chin level or lower to widen the bottom of the heart.
There are other things to consider when choosing a hair style, like hair texture, your personality, your lifestyle and even your body type. This influences which tips you follow. For example, if you have a square face and you are a little edgy, then spiked hair at the top may be your best bet in raising the top of the square!
Tips for everyone:
- Stay away from dated hairstyles. If you haven't changed your style in a decade or more, find a photo you like (and maybe a new stylist) and change your hair. A bad hairstyle can age you by years. We’ve all seen those relatives who wear teased French Twists for 40 years.
- Don't fight your natural hair texture. You can straighten curly hair, but it takes time and money. Why not invest in a good haircut for your curly hair instead? If you have super thin hair, long hair is probably impractical in that your hair will be lifeless and flat, no matter how much product you put in it. Instead, cut in layers and keep the length above your shoulders.
- Pick a style that suits your personality and lifestyle. If you are quirky or whimsical and proud of it, get a funky haircut and/or color(s). If you're edgy, a pompadour may be a great bet. If you're a busy mom, cut your hair so it's stylish, yet doesn't require 15 minutes a day of styling. But keep your hair trimmed. If you’re an executive, consider not having hair below your collarbone. Lean toward more sophisticated styles and subtle hair colors in the corporate world.
- Make sure you can take care of the style you choose. It’s one thing to look good walking out of the salon; another to replicate the look yourself. A good stylist will work with you explaining how to dry your hair or shape it as it dries or when and how to use a curling iron, etc. Some salons, such as Milano’s (discussed in Part 1 of this series), will have a hair drying and styling bootcamp you can attend to learn techniques.
For more details, definitely check out About Style. They have all kinds of articles, blogs and links you can explore to better understand how your face shape and other hair factors can become a major asset in self expression. If you live in the Hartford area, try Milano’s. And remember to accessorize with an HDS Medallion designer mobility bag which complements your style including hair!
Be sure to check out Part One of this analysis, featuring a great interview with master stylist Sergio Gurciullo of Milano's Salon and Day Spa, Bloomfield, CT!