Want a hairstyle that’s uniquely you? Let your facial structure help
determine the right ’do.
By Tracy Lange, Salon Papillon
During the week I spent creating looks for the models in the 2007 Pageantry and PromTime Fashion Showcase photo shoot, one of the keys to creating an effective hairstyle was taking measure of each model’s face shape. That simple single strategy will be a key to your getting a complementary hairstyle for your prom or other special occasion, too, and it’s very easy to figure out. All you need is a mirror and a non-permanent marker. Follow along as I show you how to map out your facial shape and what hairstyling techniques to consider for each type. To find your facial shape, follow these simple steps:
1. Mark the length Stand directly in front of a mirror with a non-permanent marker, so you can see your entire face and hairline. Remain perfectly still for accurate measurements. First, place a dot onto the mirror at the uppermost point where your hair meets your forehead. Next, place a dot on the mirror at the bottom of your chin. Now you have the length done.
2. Mark the width There are three points of width to measure. First, place a dot on each side of your jawline at the widest point. Next, place a dot along the side of the top each cheekbone. Last, place a dot on each side of your forehead at the widest point.(Generally this will be halfway between your eyebrows and your hairline.)
3. Connect the dots Draw a smooth line from dot to dot to reveal your facial shape! (For more precise results, make more measurements and add dots to both sides of the length and width.)
4. Determine your shape Using the following guidelines, decide which shape description most closely matches your own, and follow the advice for your best results. Before moving on, though, consider this: No matter which style you choose, it will look best when you keep the hair off your face. As a rule of thumb, when styling hair to go with any face shape, professional stylists try to make every facial shape appear to be oval! The secret is simply in shaping and placing the hair in such a way so as to hide or bring out width, narrowness, and length in the face.
OVAL Length is equal to one-and-one-half times the width. This is the most balanced of all the facial shapes. You can wear a variety of styles. Most anything looks good on you, which is why you can wear more styles than any other facial shape. Wear it down, straight, or curly, half up or a full up-do—you can even wear slicked-backed looks.
OBLONG Length is more than one-and-one-half times the width. If you have an oblong face, you definitely want to avoid too much height in your hairstyle. Fullness on the sides will add width to balance your look. Another great idea is to create bangs that are a little wispy, which will reduce the appearance of too long a face.
SQUARE Your face is as wide as it is long, and the width of your forehead and your jawline is close to equal. If you have a square face, you want to soften the square look or straight features Try plenty of wave or curl, or add lots of wispy layers around you face and bang. Add height to the crown and place parts off-center.
TRIANGLE Reverse the heart shape. Dominant jawline with narrowing at the cheekbone and temples. Styles that are fuller at the temples are best, and hair tucked back works well. Up-do’s are great for this shape, as long as you keep it full around the temple area.
ROUND Your face is as wide as it is long, or your length is shorter than average. Amber has a round face and has an extroverted personality, so I gave her a little funkier hairstyle. First, you zigzag part the hair into four sections. The front section is placed more to the side. Put a large roller in each section, being sure to spray each section first. Set for at least 20 minutes, then take each roller out, smooth, and attach an elastic band to each section. Tease each section lightly, then gently make a loop and pin. Pick up ends left out and spray them so they sprout out somewhat. If you have a round face, you want to give height to the top and stay away from fullness on the sides. Amber’s bangs were left down on both sides of her face to give her a more oval appearance.
HEART Narrow at the jawline, wide at the cheekbones and/or forehead. Kaysie has a heart-shaped face. I left her hair half-down to draw away from her slightly narrow chin. First, I roller-set her with medium and large rollers. When I took the rollers out, I lightly fingered through the curls in the back. She has a few braids and zulu knots. Just take a couple spots on the top of the head and make simple three-strand braids. Attach clear elastic bands to the ends, which are easier to hide. Next, pin curls and weave the braids between them. Zulu knots are simply a small section of hair that is twisted until it coils up. After it coils, you just pin it into place. I left a bang with a side part to balance Kaysie’s face.
DIAMOND Your face is widest at the cheekbones, with a narrow forehead and jawline of approximately equal widths. Britney has a diamond face and is somewhat conservative, so I gave her a sophisticated up-do. First I set her hair with large rollers, spraying each section just before rolling and leaving in for at least 20 minutes. After removing, be sure not to brush the curls out. Instead, pull the hair to the top of the head, pinning each curl into place, one at a time, starting from the front center. Britney’s long bangs offset the narrowness of her forehead and give her a more oval appearance.
Tracy Lange is the owner and operator of Salon Papillon in Bradenton, Florida. She served as one of the hair and makeup stylists at the 2007 Pageantry and PromTime Fashion Showcase photo shoot.
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