For starters, do an at-home evaluation. After your next shampoo, look at the crown of your hair with the aid of mirrors. You’ll see a circular pattern that’s the way your hair grows. Once you’re aware of its natural movement, you can choose a style that makes the most of it. A snip of the scissors in the right place can perk up limp hair, tame unruly curls or coax thick hair into shape.
- Have hair cut in the direction of growth;
- Consider a fringe – limp hair tends to lie flattest around the face. Fringes also help disguise thinness on top, which is noticeable with fine hair. Fringes should be cut well into the temples and then graduated into the cheekbones;
- Keep in mind that over-conditioning weighs hair down;
- Use mousse or gel at the roots when hair is nearly dry to boost its body. Hair spray can be helpful for fine, limp hair, but use it just to stiffen hair slightly. Over spraying can leave hair so stiff, it will have no movement at all.
THICK, COARSE HAIR should not be cut with a razor or thinning shears; these only take the bulk out temporarily. As soon as the hair starts to grow again, it loses shape and becomes unruly. Probably the best option for thick hair is an all-one-length blunt cut or a layered style, cut with scissors. Shorter hair should be blunted so it has better form.
- Finger-comb hair into shape.
- Curly hair should always be layered.
- If curls are unruly, apply hair spray to palms and smooth over hair’s surface.
- If hair is long or very curly, you can ‘straighten it’ with a large round or paddle brush, some straightening balm and a blower.
The Best Length:
Long, short or in-between – what’s the most flattering length?
- LONG HAIR can be wonderful – but it can also look flat. Layer long hair on top and keep the rest all one length. Short layers around the face ‘blend in’ to give the illusion of a one-length style, but add movement and volume. The shorter top layers can be pulled up and scrunched for easy styling.
- SHORT HAIR is a great way to emphasize eyes and other facial features. Wear short hair cropped at the back with longer, full layers on top, all cut in the direction of hair growth. To style, scrunch the top with both hands while hair is drying. Keep finger-combing against the natural wave to get more body at the roots. “Pushing” against the direction of growth adds fullness and lift.
- Layering: creates ‘tiers’ of hair around the shape of the head to add texture and curves. It’s a good alternative to perming.
- Texturizing : thins lower portion of hair (or just the very ends) almost strand by strand for a softer, lighter look with lots of movement.
- Undercutting or pointing : makes hair livelier and fuller by cutting underneath layers shorter than top ones. This creates a ‘support’ structure for hair, giving the illusion of body.
To Check Your Cut:
A good cut should pass five tests – and if your hairstylist is doing his/her job, your hair should be tested as it is cut. You can do the same at home on just-washed hair.
- Layering should be even at sides and back.
- Grasp two strands of side hair closest to the face and pull towards the chin. They should be even.
- Part hair from either side and down the middle. There should be no rogue strands.
- Grasp hair behind each ear and scrunch. You should feel the same ‘bulk’.
- When dried, hair should fall into place. If your cut doesn’t measure up, go back to the salon. Most styling mistakes can be corrected.
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