Before you experiment with a new haircut, ask yourself how much time you want to devote to your hair each day. Ten minutes to wash and walk out the door, or thirty minutes to curl or flat iron your hair? Hairstyle trends can be fun and can help update your look, but you need to figure out the basic cuts that’s right for you. Getting a haircut is not a good time to be impulsive. Plan ahead—do you wan a big change or a small one? If your making a major change—a dramatic cut or new style—before a big event, do it a week or two ahead so that you have time to play around and get comfortable with your new look (it’s crushing when you have your heart set on Rihanna’s new cut and walk out looking like a mistake from the ’80s). The importance of a good haircut can hardly be overstated. Whether or not you choose to color, curl or treat your hair is a matter of personal preference. But no one, no matter how beautiful, can look her best with a bad haircut.
Here the main things to consider before walking into the salon…
A good stylist will obviously want to accentuate your most beautiful features (high cheekbones, strong jaw lines), and play down less complimentary features. The shape of the face is underplayed by many stylist these days, but it’s a good way to establish general guidelines for a cut. If you don’t know the shape of your face, tie your hair back, stand up close to your bathroom mirror and trace your reflection with a lip pencil. Then step back and see which shape it most resembles: round, square, oval or heart.
Here are some styles that are most flattering to each…
Round: Cheeks are wide as your jaw and forehead, wide, full chin, no visible jawline
Style: A side part will make your face appear longer. So will a short pixie cut brushed toward the face, a short cut that tapers in above the ears and has lots of layers at the crown for height or long style that is layered around the face. Extra width or curl at the sides will make your face look fuller.
Square: Prominent, square-off jaw, wide forehead with square-off hairline, may have strong cheekbones
Style: To style the angular or shape, avoid blunt-edged jaw length cuts and straight bangs. Hair length is best above or below the jawline. Fringy, tapered bangs, side parts, off-centered layers and curling the ends of your hair under will all soften the line of your jaw. Adding height at the crown will elongate your face and make it look less square.
Oval: Somewhere between round and square high forehead, prominent jawline, long and narrow chin
Style: To widen a narrow face, go for a short or chin length haircut subtly layered at the bottom or full at the sides (not the top) and tapered in. Soft, side dipping bangs are good, as are face framing layers in the front; they de-emphasize the length of an oval face. Long straight hair with center part is not for you. Asymmetrical parts or cuts add width to a narrow face.
Heart: High cheekbones, delicate, pointy chin and wide forehead
Style: Avoid super short cuts or styles with center parts. Hair tucked behind ears; soft bangs; curly or wavy styles; short layers on top; hair that’s long on the neck and wispy at the bottom; flippy ends; and tousled layers will all nicely emphasize your bone structure and soften the effect of a point chin.