Most of us choose a haircut because it looks hot on someone else - usually a celebrity who can afford to have his or her hair done every day, or a model who spends hours getting it just right. Rarely do we understand the anatomy dynamics of a hair style, and too few people who cut hair professionally know the art and science of how to frame the face with hair in a flattering way, based on individual face shape and bone structure. But the more you pay attention to the way the hair works with the rest of your head, the better your cut will look.
Think about the last time you picked out a hat to buy, or a pair of sunglasses. You probably tried on lots of styles and colors until one of them clicked. You may not know why it looked right, but you just had an intuition or a feeling that it was the best for you.
Haircuts should be chosen the same way. Problem is, we can't try them on and off like we do cheap sunglasses or caps. But we can learn a few basics about anatomy and the visual effects of hair around the face, to help you decide. Here are five tips to help you get started on the path of looking at your haircut as part of your greater physical appearance and unique identity, instead of an off-the-shelf item you pick out because it fits somebody else. 1) Ears - in or out? If you like your ears, then show the world. But if you have ears that you think stick out too much, don't accentuate the look by having a close cut.
Tell your stylist to leave your hair thick behind the ears, down toward the level of the jaw line or earlobe. This will create the illusion that your ears are closer to your head. If you have shorter hair, but you keep it sufficiently thick, you can just comb it back behind the ears (so it wraps around the way the ends of eyeglasses do) and suddenly your ears look perfect.
2) Does long hair shorten your neck? Hide your pretty face? Long hair is feminine and fabulous, but if you have long hair, you also have tons of sexy options. You can cut it in layers around your face, to frame your face with playful curls or waves. Or you can cut it at various lengths all over, to add texture and depth. By cutting long hair in such a way that it no longer hangs around your face like a veil, you can often accentuate your face more.
Cut layers and you can boost the volume - add some contrasting low or high lights and you can pump up the texture. Sometimes, depending on your body shape and size, covering the neckline with hair can make you look shorter and can make your neck look compressed (like a football player). To get the opposite look, experiment with leaving hair away from the sides of your face, so that it doesn't cover and hide your jaw line, cheeks, and neck. This can flatter the face, and if you are blessed with a lovely neck, this kind of cut makes you look taller and more elegant. 3) Men and balding: Lots of men go to great lengths (no pun intended) to fight the fact that their natural allotment of hair doesn't cover the entire real estate of their head.
But some have figured out that shaving it all off is a simple way to win the receding hairline game. Shave it off for a youthful and masculine look, if you like the shape of your head and can handle parting with those few strands that are holding on for dear life. Many guys are doing it themselves and keeping it cue ball slick by using the new kinds of "headblade" razors that fit over your finger like a ring and are more comfortable for shaving the head.
4) Bangs can add a sharp look to a high forehead. If you have a high waist, then you probably buy jeans that are cut and designed to make your figure look better. If you have a high forehead, why not do the same thing? Straight-across bangs that fall down over the eyebrows are not only sexy, they can help you change the way your face looks and give it a more angular appearance.
5) Color: It's not just hair color. One inside secret that the best colorists know is that the color of your hair can help to determine the color of your skin. Yeah, we all know that it's popular to go dark for winter and then beach blonde for summer, but the trend has purpose. If you have very fair skin, and you choose a very light hair color - light blonde for instance - it can make your whole face look washed-out and pale (too much light on light going on).
If you add a little contrast, it not only frames your face nicely; it can add color when you are waiting for summer to arrive. When the tropical skin tone returns, you can go as light as you want, for the same contrasting effect. Discuss how cuts will shape your face with your stylist - they will appreciate the fact that you have some insight into how it all works.
Then pick a cut that flatters your face, and don't forget to smile while the world tries to figure out "what is it about her new haircut that looks so fantastic?".
Hairstyles are a passion for John Williams. From his website he keeps up with the latest celebrity hairstyles, and offers free tips on how to style and cut hair.