Springtime, with the summer just ahead, is a typical time when women want a new hairstyle–something to give a lift to their looks. Questions include, “Where should I look for ideas?” and “What style will be right for me?”
If you’re among this number, start looking through all types of magazines and newspapers. Pull out any and all pictures of hairstyles that appeal to you. You may like the entire hairdo or possibly just a portion–such as the part position, the bangs, or the style at the sides. Make a note on each picture of what you like for later evaluation.
Regardless of how well you like a pictured style, don’t automatically decide to have your hair done exactly like the model. It’s an easy mistake to make, but you’re a different person with different needs. It may look great on Victoria Principal, Brooke Shields or Barbara Walters, but not on you. So, consider the following factors:
Consider your hair and its texture. Is it long, medium or short? Is it thick or thin? Is it curly, wavy or straight? Do you have any cowlicks? Is your hair permed, straightened or coloured? What you want and what your hair will actually do may be two entirely different things. Be realistic.
For example, if your hair is short, don’t expect a stylist to create a new hairstyle that is longer! Straight hair does not become curly with a snip of the shears and fine hair stays fine, although a cut may give it more body.
Discard any styles you recognize won’t work for your hair. Clip together those styles you’re not sure about and consult a stylist for further advice.
Consider your body height, weight and silhouette. If you’re shorter, very long or bouffant hair will only weigh you down. If you’re slim, a short, closely cropped style can look terrific. Larger figures are usually flattered by slightly fuller styles.
Consider your head, your face and features. More important than labelling yourself with a square, round, triangular, diamond or pear-shaped face, is the ability to identify areas that vary from an oval, the so-called “ideal.”
Pull your hair away from your face and secure it with a band or wrap it in a scarf or towel. Look in the mirror and study the shape of your face. Draw its outline on the mirror with soap if necessary. Then compare it to an oval. Look for hairstyles with the ability to fill in or fill out those areas where you wish to create an illusion about your face.
Discard any hairstyles that do not frame your face or features attractively or balance with your body. Select only what works for you or combine and adapt styles and proportions to meet your needs. Generally, you can wear any style you like. It’s a matter of re-arranging the length and width in proportion with your face.
Consider your age. If you’re over 40, curls cascading onto your shoulders tend to fight with those fine-line creases that may be on your face. Soft and slightly controlled styles are generally more flattering.
Consider your personality traits and moods to determine the degree of softness and movement. Are you a bubbly, fun loving, spontaneous person? If so, you likely will prefer a free and easy, casual hairstyle. Leave the more controlled styles to the woman who feels more reserved, with a preference for order. Gracefully feminine women may prefer the softness of full curls and waves.
Consider your values. Are current trends important to you? How much time and money do you want to spend on your hair? Do your value variety and versatility? If so, you’ll become bored with cuts that are so short and geometric that hair can be styled only one way.
Consider your lifestyle. Where do you go and what do you do during your day? Do you like to dress up for evening occasions? Women with small children may prefer short hair. Longer hair will allow more versatility and potential for elegant occasions.
Do you engage in regular sports activities that require an easy care hair style? Are there hair style requirements for your job? If conservative business is the order of the day, you’ll probably want a more dignified, efficient looking hairstyle. Those in more creative business fields can generally afford to be more adventurous with hairstyle.
Consider your ability to work with your hair. If you’re all thumbs, it’s wise to seek a simple, less complicated hairstyle that you can take care of on a daily basis and seek the services of a stylist for a weekly do or regular cut. If you’re good with your hair and the tools of the trade, you’ll have more styling options.
Having considered these factors, it’s final decision-making time. Discard pictures of all styles that likely won’t work for you. You’ll be left with a picture–or two or three–that could become the basis of your new hairstyle. You may, instead, have several pictures with parts and portions put together to create your personal style.
Review your hairstyle file periodically. Update and discard as desired. In time, you’ll acquire a file of pictures you can take to the hairdresser whenever you feel the need for a change. Your pictures will be an excellent aid to the communication between you and your stylist.