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Hair Stylists on Face Shapes and Hairstyles

Hair Stylist Expert Barb Quinn Doing Hair Style Analysis
Face Shapes and hairstyles . . . hairdressers need to spend more time with clients on the issue

As this article points out, cosmetology and beauty schools spend time now teaching students about the relationship of face shapes and hairstyles. The result is that the typical hair stylist should be competent at designing a hairstyle that is compatible with the clients face shape. So why is it then that I see so many women who have a face shape and hair style mismatch?

Here is how I think it goes. The client walks into the appointment with a photo of a celebrity or model and says to the stylist “that’s what I want to look like”. (Clients don’t typically have training on the balance of face shape and hairstyle but rather just know what they like.) The hairdresser, not wanting to shatter the clients dream, cuts the hair like the picture, disregarding what they know, or else they never did understand the concept of balancing face shape and hairdo to begin with.

So, if the hair stylist relents and gives the client just what she wants, it’s a pretty big failing on the their part, wouldn’t you say? Don’t you pay your hair salon to keep you from making face shape and haircut faux pas?

Can you imagine walking into your doctors office, asking for a procedure you read about and having her do it, only to see later it was terribly wrong for you? Your doctor would refuse to perform the procedure, or at least you would expect her to, if he knew it wasn’t right for you. Shouldn’t your hairdresser be doing the same?

Anyway, thanks to the Minneapolis Star comes this nicely done piece that explains some hair design principles, so you can arm yourself with some of the do’s and don’ts about matching face shape and hair styles.

Look to the stars’ face shapes and haircut do’s and don’ts
By Allie Shah

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Thinking of getting a sleek new Sienna Miller haircut this summer? If your face shape is oblong like Sarah Jessica Parker’s, you might want to reconsider.

What’s becoming on a heart face shape may not flatter a woman with an oblong or square face shape. A perfect oval face may be able to pull off many different hair lengths and styles, but a soft-featured, round face shape looks most pleasing in longer hair.

Knowing the contours of your face shape and what compliments it is the key to choosing a haircut that’s not only in style but also looks right on you. “It’s one of the first things we look at,” said Shane, owner of Mask Hair Designs and Day Spa in Minnetonka, Minn., and Plymouth, Minn. “It’s such an instinctive thing for us that I guess we don’t speak about it out in the world.”

So important is face shape in determining how to cut hair, she says, that many cosmetology schools devote two days to the study of face shapes and hairstyles.

Lyndon Barsten, an educator at Aveda Institute in Minneapolis, wrote a chapter on face shapes for a textbook that’s used to train students. In the book, called “Introduction to Styling Hair,” he identifies seven face shapes and advises which hair styles best suit each one.

The heart face shape, diamond face shape, round face shape, pear face shape, oval face shape, square face shape and oblong face shape— are meant to serve as guidelines, he says, as some people have a combination of face shapes. For example, a person may have an oval forehead and central area where the cheekbones are located, but a square jaw line.

A good way to determine your face shape is to pull all your hair back away from your face, look in the mirror and trace your face with a soap bar or lipstick.

Many consider the oval face shape ideal because almost any hairstyle and length is flattering. Heart face shapes are marked by wider foreheads and a pointed chin. Their most flattering hairstyles include medium to short lengths and wispy bangs.

People with square face shapes have a square hairline and strong jaw line. Curls soften the edges of the face. Parker is a perfect example of an oblong face shape. Bangs swept over the forehead help make the face look more oval, and people with this face shape should avoid too-short or too-long haircuts.

Round face shape are wide across the cheekbone area and round at the chin. Hair that falls to the shoulders is ideal as it helps to create a longer, less round look. “Feathered” and longer layers are also flattering.

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Read the entire article, Look to the stars’ face shapes for haircut do’s and don’ts. For more hairstyles that might make your face look thinner check out our Pinterest Hairstyles for Round Face Board.

 

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