I love sharing hair tips with others. It's amazing the difference a good hair day can make!
As a teenager, I set routine to follow every time I decided to get a new hair cut. First, I would buy the newest hairstyle magazines and pour over them. Next, I would surf the web for hours reading every article on hairstyles I could possibly find. Finally, I would copy pictures that I liked and fold down all the pages of the magazine with the hairstyles I wanted. Then the elimination process began.
Finding the right style for you can be extremely time-consuming. I will say that all the research paid off when my stylist told me, "You know, a lot of girls and women come in with pictures of what they want that will never look good with their hair, but you are really good at picking the right style for you."
It's a gift—a natural talent. Either that or I spent way too much time reading fashion and hair magazines. Either way, I learned some great tips and found a good method for choosing the right style. I've condensed what I've learned into four steps, each of which is detailed below.
Step 1: Find Out What Your Hair Type Is
Hair type is a combination of three things: the natural shape of your hair (straight, wavy, or curly), the texture of your hair, and the amount of hair you have. The shape or flow of your hair is the easiest to determine. What does your hair do naturally? I've found that the best thing for me to do is go with my natural hair flow. It's straight with a small wave, if dried naturally. I've learned that either using a straight iron or trying for some nice waves is personally the best for me. Trying to make pretty little spiral curls in my hair will just make me angry. Just go with the flow y'all!
Hair texture describes each strand of hair. Most people's hair falls into one of three general categories:
- Fine: People with fine hair have very soft and thin individual strands. Fine hair tends to be fly-away and hard to curl. It can take well to chemicals, but gets damaged easily, especially if overly processed.
- Medium: Medium textured hair is also described as normal texture. If your hair is normal textured, it generally takes perms and curls well. It is the most manageable and the most common texture in hair type.
- Coarse: Coarse hair strands are very thick and somewhat wiry feeling. The best part about this hair texture is that it's very strong. This means it doesn't damage easily. The not-so-great thing about this hair is that it requires a longer time to process and doesn't take well to chemical treatments.
Amount of Hair
The amount of hair you have can be determined in many ways. The simplest is the pony tail test. Take a regular sized elastic band and sweep your hair up into a pony tail. Now count the number of times the band wraps around the hair.
- 3+ times = Fine hair
- 2-3 times = Medium hair
- 1 time = Thick hair
How can I control my life when I can't control my hair?
Step 2: Find Out What Your Face Shape Is
Now that you've figured out your hair type, the next thing you'll need to figure out is your face shape. There are also a lot of different ways people use to figure this out. One way is to tie your hair back from your face completely (pin up those bangs if you have 'em), and look into the mirror. Now, take a bar of soap and outline your face to determine what shape it is.
The method I prefer is a little more scientific. Another way to find out the shape of your face is to take some measurements with a tape measure or ruler. Take and write down the following measurements:
- Measure your face across the top of your cheekbones.
- Measure across your jaw line from the widest point to the widest point.
- Measure across your forehead at the widest point. Generally the widest point will be somewhere about halfway between your eyebrows and your hairline.
- Measure from the tip of your hairline to the bottom of your chin.
- Oval: The length of the face is one and a half times the width. Your forehead measurement is wider than your chin. Usually oval faces have prominent cheek bones. Oval faces can theoretically wear any hairstyle.
- Round: Round faces are about or just as wide as they are long. This face shape is the widest at the cheeks.
- Oblong: Oblong faces are longer than they are wide. Their forehead, cheek bones, and jaw line are about the same width. Oblong faces tend to have a prominent chin.
- Heart: Heart shaped faces are similar to an oval. They have wide cheek bones and forehead, and a narrow chin. The chin tapers to a smaller point than in an oval though.
- Square: Like a round face, your face is about as wide as it is long. Cheek bones, forehead, and jawline measurements are about the same. The biggest factor in a square face shape is the jawline is very angular and squared.
- Diamond: The cheekbone measurements are the widest. Forehead and jawline will be smaller and about equal widths.
- Triangle: Triangle faces are the reverse of the heart-shaped face. The jawline is the widest, with narrower cheekbones and forehead measurements.
Step 3: Find a Match
Now, with the info I've gathered from the first two tips, I like to find someone (preferably an actress) with similar attributes. For example, I'm either an oval or a heart. I've heard both, so the first thing I'll do is search online for actresses with heart-shaped faces. We'll go with that because they are less common. One of the names that came up was Michelle Pheiffer. Now, I'm going to search for Michelle Pheiffer's hair type. I'm in luck because Michelle Pfeiffer is reported to have fine textured hair like mine. Now I can search different hair styles of Michelle Pfeiffer and find a ton of new hairstyles to try.
You can find several actresses with your face shape and hair type until you find one with a style you like and want to try. Another thing to look at when looking at a style match is facial features. I love Meg Ryan's short shag from back in the day, but my facial features aren't as cute as hers (i.e., my nose), so I try to stick with longer styles to soften that particular feature.
Layering is a good way to make you best features stand out. If people say you have a nice smile, get face-framing layers starting at mouth level. If you get compliments on your eyes, try some bangs to add emphasis there. After you find some styles you like, you can look for variations of those styles in different hairstyle finders online for even more choices.
Step 4: Determine Whether Your Hairstyle Fits Your Lifestyle
Look in the mirror and ask yourself, "Is she high maintenance?" When you are narrowing down hairstyles, ask your stylist how high maintenance each style is. If you have a busy life and not much time or money to keep up with a style or color, don't do it. It will just end up driving you crazy. Choose a style that fits who you are. If you're sporty and always on the go, pick something cute and easy over something trendy. If you think that funky new do is cute, but you are shy and reserved, you may end up later regretting doing something "totally different". Ask your good friends, your mom, your husband, and/or boyfriend for their cheap two cents. Hopefully, these tips and tools will help you figure out some great hairstyles to try that will look gorgeous on you. Good luck!
greeneyedblondie on February 15, 2014:
Okay so my cheekbone measurment is 4 1/2 inches and everything else is 8 1/2 inches. What does that mean? I've always considered myself oval shaped face but now I'm not sure.
MissE (author) from Texas on May 22, 2013:
Glad to be of service!
Allulla on May 17, 2013:
thanks!!!.I have learnt more about my hair style and my face cut.It will be useful for further move.
flowerbraids on December 30, 2012:
i've been surfing the net for haircuts for hours! i am getting my hair cut tomorrow, i need a hairstyle that doesn't change my hair drastically but does show change, any opinions???
MissE (author) from Texas on August 20, 2012:
Sorry I just saw this! I've been on vaca. It's hard to say since i can't see you......have you thought about wearing it halfway up? Another idea is to have a friend or hairdresser curl soft curls around your head and leave it down and pin your bangs or the front section of your hair to the side. Most importantly...don't worry about the other girls. Try to look YOUR best and remember...he asked you. Don't make any drastic changes for one night. Do your best, relax, and be yourself. :)
Emxyyyy on August 13, 2012:
I need a hair style for my school formal coming up and I am more then lucky to be going with my crush (omgggg) and because it's so special I obviously want to look my best, I don't want to make my crush regret bringing me or start to not like me and I know a lot of girls are going out of their way for the night, like cutting their hair and I was going to do the same but I don't want to get something that doesn't suit me because that would be more then a disaster!!!!!
I have thin hair and a heart or oval head shape. Can't tell :( and I was thinking to go like Dianna agron with the blond short hair with the simple and classy curls... But my ears poke through my hair sometimes and it's totally embarrassing and omfg i can't do that :( for this reason, I also can't wear my hair up because I look like a freak showww!! There's just no hope for me :( I also have broad shoulders so short hair with staps on the dress will look funny.. There's no hope for me omfggggggggg. He's going to dump me that night I just know it. If you have any ideas. PLEASE TELL ME.
precious on May 18, 2012:
i have a soft golden long hair and am thinking of putting dye so as to make it black.isn't going to spoil it or not
Jiesele on April 20, 2012:
I have short thick straight hair and i want to have it curl does it fit me and what kind of curl should i do?
saima on April 19, 2012:
actually i wanted to curl my hair but in a natural way..could you please help me out???????????
MissE (author) from Texas on November 13, 2011:
AWESOME! So glad it was helpful!
Cymerick on November 13, 2011:
Thank you, I found this article very helpful. I'd never before read about meauring your facial features to determine the shape of your face, or outlining your reflection with soap for that matter. Also the ponytail test was new to me. No more lying to myself, time to face the music ;)
MissE (author) from Texas on September 09, 2011:
MzPolished1 from California on September 07, 2011:
I love this page!!!!
fashion on July 15, 2011:
Informative hub.Hair style can change your overall look so be careful when have a cut.
MissE (author) from Texas on February 18, 2011:
Thanks! It's true. Your hairstyle can really make a difference.
mysisters on February 17, 2011:
Great Hub. Its amazing how different you can look with your hair cut or styled differently. Another thing to take into consideration is how much you are wanting to style your hair in the morning. Do you want a hair cut that's fast and ready set go or one that you can style a bunch of different ways?
MissE (author) from Texas on September 13, 2010:
msms - I have thought about writing an article for men. I don't think many would be down with what I have to say! :D I'm not hot on A LOT of the hair choices made by many men and teenagers right now! :D We shall see. I will have to think it over!
msms on September 13, 2010:
MissE This you wrote for the fairer nice looking females.... When would you write about us (male)
MissE (author) from Texas on September 02, 2010:
VaLuptuous on September 02, 2010:
love it great help for people!
MissE (author) from Texas on July 23, 2010:
Good! Now go get that cute new do! :)
Carolyn Jung on July 22, 2010:
The rubber band test is so interesting. I had never heard of that before. And the tips are so great. I'm looking at my hair in a whole new light now. ;)
MissE (author) from Texas on July 21, 2010:
So true. I had shorter hair until I got married, then I slowly started growing it out. At my reunion some people said I look totally different, but the only thing that has changed in ten years is the length of my hair! Funny.
Research Analyst on July 21, 2010:
Its hard to know which hairstyle will look best, but with careful study of photo and looking at various haircuts one can easily match the right hairstyle for the face. It is amazing how someone can look so different with short hair compared to when they were long hair.
MissE (author) from Texas on July 20, 2010:
I'm glad it helped you out!
brandyBachmann on July 20, 2010:
I now know how to determine what shape my face is. Informative. keep it up :)
laptop batteries battery computer dell laptop on July 08, 2010:
Your explanation is so detailed that I can't help to collect it. Well, I have learned more about my hair style. It's better to get an appropriate one than a fashionable one.
MissE (author) from Texas on June 05, 2010:
Thanks for the input! Maybe I should add more pics!
sally smith on June 04, 2010:
hi , just looked at your website, it was sort of hel[ful but i was looking for something with a little less writing and more pictures of hairstyles! Keep up the good work though! x