The big hair and beauty news is the discovery of what has been dubbed "the new golden ratio" which has been linked to the faces of Caucasian women when viewed by a group of students.
Four experiments published in Vision Research focused on finding "an ideal facial feature arrangement."
How was the ideal facial feature determined? US and Canadian researchers asked students to compare color photographs of the same woman's face, in which the vertical distance between the eyes and mouth, and horizontal distance between the eyes, had been doctored using software program Photoshop.
Defining Maximally Attractive Face
Each subject's features which included the eyes, mouth, nose, contour and hair remained the same and a woman's face was only compared to her own, never to another's
The results? In all four of the experiments, the students selected faces with specific proportions researchers have dubbed the "new golden ratio."
Two of the experiments tested for the ideal distance between the eyes and mouth as compared to total face length, measured from the hairline to the chin. Both came up with 36 percent as the golden ratio for "the maximally attractive face."
Golden Ratio Corresponds To Average Faces
The other two experiments measured both the ideal length and width ratios.
They both confirmed 36 percent as the golden ratio for the length of the maximally attractive face, and 46 percent as the ideal width ratio where the distance between the eyes is 46 percent of total face width, measured between the inner edges of the ears.
Luckily, the 36/46 percent ratios "correspond with those of an average face," the study said, meaning there's no pressing need to get out the measuring tape and calculator or to rush to the plastic surgeon.
Change Your Hairstyle To Be Maximally Attractive
Kang Lee, a professor at the University of Toronto and one of the lead authors of the study pointed out "our study explains why sometimes an attractive person looks unattractive or vice versa after a haircut."
Why? "Because hairdos change the ratios."
Although many hairstylists may not be aware of the research study determining the new golden ratio for the maximally attractive face they do understand the importance of designing hairstyles which maximize the best features of the face.
The vertical distance between the eyes and the mouth as well as the horizontal distance between the eyes can definitely be altered with the addition of a forehead fringe cut to either shorten or lengthen the distance on both fronts.
Total face length was also evaluated measuring from the hairline to the chin. Again, forehead fringes can be easily applied to give the appearance of a shorter or longer distance between those two points.
Other Hairstyle Tricks?
Other known hairstyle tricks? Adding height right at the hairline to increase the perceived distance between the two points. The creation of baby bangs which fall above the eyebrows can also alter the perceived total face length.
Since the beginning of hairdressers they have been helping their clients to maximize their attractiveness to lengthen, shorten, widen or slim perceived facial dimensions whether real of imagined.
Of course we can't forget make-up and redirecting visual focus through the use of add-on eyelashes and even add-on hair which can alter the natural hair volume changing the perceived view of the face.
Celebrities With Golden Ratio For Maximally Attractive Faces
The University of Toronto study to find maximally attractive faces also studied faces of a few popular celebrities.
Megan Fox has the perfect golden ratio as does Canadian pop star Shania Twain with both the length and the width ratios. Megan and Shania, according to the study, have maximally attractive faces.
Surprisingly Angelina Jolie does not have golden length and width ratios for her face. British beauty Elizabeth Hurly has the golden ratio for her face length but does not make the width ratio by one percent.
The study looked only at Caucasian women and did not rate women of color.
More research is needed to determine if the golden ratios for men's faces, the faces of people of other races, and children's faces, are the same as for the women's faces in the study.
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Original Publication Date: Original Publication Date: 12/19/09 - Revised: 12/20/09