A few days ago I was talking to Victoria Wurdinger, a highly respected professional and consumer hair industry expert, writer, long time contributor to Modern Salon Magazine and an esteemed editor for Harris Publications Consumer Hair Guides.
Victoria and I have been in the "hair trenches" together over the past five years while we both worked in the world of consumer hair writing and editing.
While Victoria straddles the fence of professional and consumer hair issues, I have focused more on the Internet and contributing to consumer magazines.
One of the many things I love and respect about Victoria is that she tells it like it is. When it comes to writing about short hair styles it is always refreshing to hear her input which I always value and appreciate.
In our very recent chat we were discussing short hair selection and why some short hair styles look great on some consumers but not others. Victoria always thinks outside the box and she reminded me of some important considerations that are not always considered when consumers and their hair dressers select a short hair cut.
Factors To Weigh With Short Hair Styles
While many consumer hair experts will advise consumers to focus on:
1. Face shape & structure 2. Shape of head 3. Body shape 4. Skin, eye and hair tones 5. Hair Type & Textures 6. Height, weight 7. Lifestyle 8. Personality
the experts skip over some of the other issues that have key importance.
Some of the issues that hairdressers may not discuss with their consumer clients who are picking out a new short hair style include the following:
1. Age appropriateness for desired style 2. Unusual features such as too large or small nose, forehead, eyes and chin. 3. Overall face profile. 4. Skin quality. 5. Customer's unreasonable style expectations 6. Long term styling challenges 7. Friends and family desires 8. Image ramifications
How To Really Choose The Right Cut
Yes its definitely true that you should always consider your face shape, bone structures, shape of your head, body shape, height and weight. A very tall woman with large bones and a prominent face would probably not look good in a short sexy pixie like Alyssa Milano wore on Charmed.
While there are always exceptions to every short hair style selection rule, there are also basic life realities.
I am always the first to encourage people to break the rules and step outside of the box but I also want to provide all the necessary information for consumers to make well informed decisions.
The reality of the situation is that many hairdressers want to advise a client of the very best short cut for them. When push comes to shove there is also the belief that the customers is always right.
While an honorable hairdresser might advice a very tall, large boned woman to pass on a very short and fragile looking pixie short style, if the client becomes unhappy, upset or angry, a good hairdresser will not wish to lose a good customer.
Yes I can hear you professional hairdressers out there disagreeing with me. Unfortunately over the past ten years writing for HairBoutique.com and other consumer hair magazines, I receive many emails from frantic consumers who just received the worst short cut of their lives. The sad thing is that they demanded it.
Again, there are always exceptions to every single rule in the hair world but it is important to give thought to all the possibilities.
Outline Your Short Cut Options
While its great to take some time before going to the salon for a major chop to evaluate what you might like, its also great to take pencil to paper and list what you want in a short cut and what you don't. My dad used to always make me draw a line down the center of a piece of paper and write Pros & Cons over the top.
Then I had to list all the reasons why and why not I should do something.
The same exercise would prove most useful when selecting a short hair cut I would advise you to take all the factors I have listed and work through them one by one.
Remember to be brutally honest. If you are stumped for any of the answers such as how you might look in a super short cut, ask a really good friend that you trust. Don't ask your spouse since it may not net you the real answers you seek.
Try It Before You Buy It
With the throngs of software available that allows you to try on short hairstyles before you have them created in real time, you have the option to try one of those programs.
Why spend the money when you can get the same results for free? One trick is to find a magazine with life size images of models that have short hairstyles you might like. Remove the page from the magazine - after you buy it of course - and then carefully cut a hole to remove the model's face.
Carefully place your face into the newly cut out model and see what you think. It is actually fun, like playing with paper dolls and it will give you a great idea of how you might look. Plus it will say you money on buying software or a service.
There are also free services available to do the same thing with a computer simulation.
More.com (one of my favorite sites) offers Free Hairstyler Imaging. Yep, totally free. All you have to do is sign up. Visit http://www.more.com/hairstyles/member/. I have used the program and it works just great.
Try It Before You Cut It Options
Other options to view yourself with short hair before taking the plunge:
1. Go with a friend and try on wigs. Some stores will let you try them on to see if you like a style before you buy it. Be sure not to order wigs online and try then and send them back. Many companies will not accept returns if wigs have been tried on. However, there are wig stores and large department stores that offer samples for your free trial. 2. Wear your hair pinned up so that it simulates a short hair style and wear it for several days to see how you feel.
3. Book a paid consultation with an image consultation whose job is to help you redesign your image. A paid image consultation does not involve hair cutting. When in doubt ask first. 4. Take a short class at a Fun Education or Extension Course in Image consulting or Makeup Makeovers. This will give you a chance for a small investment to get great feedback on what might work better for you in terms of a hair style. 5. Tuck your hair under a baseball, newsboy, tam or other type of hat that exposes only your face. This will give you an additional prospective. 6. Ask a friend to spend a few hours going through the latest hair magazines with you. Pick up styles that you like and get their honest feedback. Promise in advance that you won't get upset at the feedback. 7. Visit the HairBoutique.com online galleries and print out the images you like. Cut the faces out and try them over the top of a photo that has a clear view of your face. 8. Have a make-up party and ask for suggestions on what might be a new short hair cut for you.
When it comes to selecting the right hair cut for you the very best rule to follow is to take your time and pay serious consideration to your options.
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