Friday, November 4, 2011

Cutting and Coloring: It’s the Shape of Your Face That Matters Most

Emma Stone/Oval shape
Do you know the shape of your face? And do you know if the cut and color you wear are right for it? 

Believe it or not, there is an art to matching cut and color to the shape of a woman’s face. Being an expert on recognizing how to give the perfect cut and color for a certain facial shape, I can tell you that when it is done right, it can bring out the very best in your features. 

Elle Fanning/Round shape
And I can also tell you that you can get the most beautiful cut and color but if it is wrong for your facial shape, it can actually distort features or make you look awkward.

Now, there is no right or wrong facial shape.

Having the knowledge of facial shapes helps a stylist/colorist select the right cut and color for you. The only “wrong” in the equation is the wrong cut or color for you.

There are four basic facial shapes:

  • Oval/round
  • Rectangular/oblong
  • Square
  • Triangular or heart-shaped
Anne Hathaway/Oblong shape
The facial shape that can sport the most variety of looks and styles is the oval/round shape. The oval/round face has equal dimensions; therefore hair can be worn in many variations on or off the face. To best enhance this type of facial shape, I would add volume on top, and comb any fringe to one side or the other. When coloring for this face shape, I would create deeper shadows at the temple area with lighter accents behind them to create an elongating effect.

Selma Blair/Rectangular shape
When working with a rectangular/oblong face, I like to create a style that makes the face seem more rounded. I do this by creating volume in the lateral areas with layers that create movement throughout the hair. On those clients that prefer bangs, I will cut a layered fringe combed to one side to soften the features. With this face shape, I prefer to darken the top part for the illusion of shortening the face, and then highlighting the area around the cheekbones and the middle of the face -- it actually creates a more oval effect.

Sandra Bullock/Square shape
With a square face, I create movement to cover the frontal area and soften the facial angles. The reason I do that is to minimize the sharp corners by cutting softness around the fringe area and the jawline, therefore creating a rounder face shape. When coloring, I would place highlights around the cheekbones, with deeper framing around the outer corners.

Amanda Seyfried/Heart-shaped
A triangular or heart-shaped face is characterized by a much broader forehead and a narrow or pointed chin. To balance the top portion of the face, I would cut a heavy bang to give the illusion of a more round face. And to balance it, I would create or cut volume at the jawline. As far as color goes, I would add shadows around the entire hairline, at the same time adding highlights just above the corners of the bang area.

Rosie Huntington-Whitley/Heart-shaped
So, the next time you visit your stylist, ask him or her to tell you about your face shape, and whether your cut and color are designed to bring out the best in that shape. Learn all you can in that next consultation, and if you are going to a stylist for the first time, ask these questions!

If you have any questions for me about this topic, post them to the Wall on our Facebook page, or leave a comment.

Until next week, ciao!

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