When you called your hair salon last week, you had a powerful vision: You, with Kim Hee Sun’s beachy waves or even Anne Hathaway’s daring pixie. But now, with your hair appointment just a day away, you’re having second thoughts. Maybe you should just fall back on your no-surprises layered hairstyle … again.
Don’t do it! Mixing things up with a new hairstyle can give you a serious boost of confidence — and make you happier, sexier and younger-looking. You don’t even have to try anything extreme to reap the benefits. Chances are, your next most flattering style is somewhere between a glamorous trend and your regular go-to ’do. Consider these five factors to find a cut and style you’ll love sporting this season.
1. The Weather
In more tropical and humid climates, short and sexy always looks good and is easy to manage, says Henri Leong, director of CINQ Salon in Singapore. But long styles can make for really great updos, so if you’re going to be putting your hair up a lot this season, consider going longer. Layers in long hair can add a nice amount of ventilation for the scalp, says Leong.
2. Your Face Shape
A cut that works well with your face structure can add sophistication. Here are a few styles the experts recommend for each face shape:
- Heart: Heart shapes tend to be wider at the top, so long, side-swept bangs can balance out the face and look great.
- Oval: Choices abound for this face shape, from blunt-cut bangs to soft layers at the chin.
- Square: Try something long, soft and wavy.
3. Daily Maintenance
The confidence that comes with a style change is one thing; the work it takes to maintain it every day is entirely another. Be sure the style you choose works with your schedule and lifestyle. Bangs require more time to style every day, but short styles are easy to maintain and quick to dry, says Michael Duenas, founder of Hair Room Service salons in Los Angeles and New York.
4. Current Trends
Your favorite stars may hold the answer to your best, most “in” look ever. Duenas — who has tended to the tresses of Lady Gaga, Reese Witherspoon and Padma Lakshmi — says that clients these days are asking for Michelle Obama’s or Zooey Deschanel’s bangs. Also popular: Michelle Williams’ and Anne Hathaway’s cropped style. Flip through magazines and bring cutouts of your favorite styles to show your stylist. Then she can personalize the style to make it right for you.
5. Your Stylist
A good stylist, thanks to her trained eye for beauty, can be a great resource for style advice. Work together with her the way Duenas runs his business: If a client has long hair and is thinking of chopping it all off, Duenas puts the hair up in a style that looks short, like a faux bob, for them to get a sense of how it will look. Similarly, if they want to grow out their hair, he will go as far as to get them a wig or tape on a few extensions, so they can play with lengthier locks.
You can also try an online hair makeover tool, such as Modiface, which lets you upload your picture and virtually try out different hairstyles. Print out pictures of your favorites and bring them along to your hair appointment. Be sure to discuss your lifestyle and personality with your stylist too to get her best recommendations.
A brand-new change in length, colour and style can completely alter someone’s outlook and self-perception, says Leong. Trust your stylist and your instincts, and get ready for a fabulous makeover!