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Hairstyles And Haircuts Based On Areas Of The Head

In cosmetology school one of the basic principles taught are the areas of the head.  It's important for hairdressers to understand the different areas of the head for the purposes of cutting and styling hair.

Since every hair cut and hairstyle is based upon a series of lines and angles, its so important to understand all the different areas of the head.

Areas Of The Human Head

Consumers should become acquainted with the areas of the head in order to be able to recreate various hairstyles they might see on the Web or in popular hair magazines.

With that goal in mind I have listed the different areas of the human head:

1.  Top Of The Head

The top of the head is defined by the parietal ridge which is defined as the widest area of the head, starting at the temples and ending at the bottom of the crown. This area is found by placing a comb flat on the top of the head at the sides.  Where the head starts to curve away is the parietal ridge.  This is also often referred to as the crest area.

By locating the parietal ridge you can identify which hair grows on the top of the head.  The hair that grows here "lies" on the head.

Hair that grows below the parietal ridge or the crest of the head "hangs" rather than "lies".  Hair on the very top of the head behaves differently than hair on the sides and the back.

The very top of the head can be precisely defined by using a comb to part the hair right at the parietal ridge and following the ridge all the way around the head in a circular form.  The top of the head is encircled by the parietal ridge.

The Apex is the highest point on the top of the head.  To find the apex place a comb flat on the top of the head and the comb will rest at the highest point.

2.  Front Of The Head

The hair that falls naturally in front of the ear and grows towards the front of the face versus the hair that falls naturally in the back of the ear and towards the back of the head is the defining point for the front of the head.

To be more precise, if you use a long comb and make a part starting at the apex or the highest point of the head taking the part to the back of the ear on either side of the head you will be able to determine the hair that naturally falls in front of the ear versus the hair that falls in the back.

3.  Sides Of The Head

The sides can be located easily.  They include all the hair from the back of the ear forward and below the parietal ridge.

4,  Crown

The crown is the area between the apex and the back of the parietal ridge.  On many people the crown is actually flat and is often the site of cowlicks or whorls due to the shape of the crown.  it's extremely important to pay extra attention to his area when performing any hair cutting service or hair styling.

High ponytails, buns and hair twists may actually have a base that rests right at the crown of the head.

5.  Nape

The nape area of the human head is located at the back part of the neck.  It consists of the area where the hair falls below the occipital bone.  The nape can be located by taking a horizontal parting or making a horizontal line across the back of the head at the occipital bone.

Sometimes buns are referred to as nestling into the nape of the neck which means the base of the bun is placed under the occipital bone.  Also, ponytails which are low on the head may have the base resting right at on under the occipal bone.

It's important to remember that the occipital bone protrudes at the base of the skull.  To find the occipital bone simply feel the skull with your fingertips until you find a bone which protrudes, even slightly.  Or place a regular comb flat against the nape area and observe where the comb leaves the head.

6.  Back Of Head

By making a parting or drawing of a line from the apex to the back of the ear, you can locate the back of the head, which consists of all the hair  that falls naturally behind the ear.  In essence once you define the front you have defined the back.

7.  Fringe

The fringe or bang area of the head is a triangular section that begins at the apex or highest point of the head and ends at the front corner of the hairline.  Some hairdressers define the fringe area as extending to the four corners of the head.  This area can be located by placing a comb on the top of the head so that the middle of the comb is balanced on the apex.

The point at which the comb leaves the head in front of the apex is where the fringe area actually begins. The fringe area when combed into its natural falling position falls no further than the outer corners of the eyes.

Reference Points Of The Head

To help hairdressers define the true shape of a head, ensure balance to haircuts, hairstyles and updos and determine how the hair grows they depend on the following four reference points:

1.  Parietal Ridge - Widest area of the head starting at the temples and ending at the bottom of the crown.

2.  Occipital Bone - Bone that protrudes at the base of the scalp.

3.  Apex - The very highest point of the head.

4.  Four Corners - The location of the four corners on the head signal the four outside points of the head.  They also signal a change in the shape of the head from flat to round.  Yes it's true.  Not all heads are perfectly round and not all heads are the same shape.

Although it's helpful to understand the areas of your head, when discussing a potential hair cut or hairstyle with your hairdresser its still best to take photos for them to see.

Hairdressers are visual and often are better able to provide you with a perfect hair cut or style if you can show them actual examples.

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