One of the most common questions I hear as a stylist is “how do I know what style will look
good on me?” The truth is that the best way to find a flattering style is to look at yourself objectively and base your decisions based
on the styles you see sported by celebrities and others who share your physical characteristics. This time around we’re taking a look
at celebrity Jamie Lee Curtis who is probably best known for her gamine-short signature style.
Curtis has the fine-boned features from her mother, Janet Leigh and has a lean, athletic
build, a long neck and well-proportioned features. Her face is slightly long and her forehead is slightly squared. The short,
heavily-textured cut allows for volume at the top of the head which combines with the curved fringe to hide the “corners” of the
forehead, shorten the face, and create the fully-oval appearance that is considered the ideal.
This cut is great for similar women – those who have somewhat rectangular faces with slim or
athletic builds. This is NOT, however, a good choice for you if you have a round face, a square face, prominent features (large or
overlong nose, chin or mouth) or have a heavy build. It is also not suited to very curly or sparse hair types.
Making the Cut:
To achieve this cut, the steps are simple. If the hair is long enough, section it into the
standard seven section parting and leave a half-inch down all around the perimeter. Cut a guide length in the fringe area (at the front)
and cut the fringe as desired using a curving line from the center to the sides. Once the fringe is cut move to the nape of the neck
and repeat the process. Start in the center back with a guide cut, then work from side to side and cut the perimeter as desired. For
most women, you should curve the neckline rather than squaring it off. Furthermore, you should cut the hair into a wedge shape which
angles down from the top of the ear rather than into a squared-off sideburn.
The body of the cut is made using vertical cutting lines that angle away from the scalp to
create shorter lengths at the lower portions of the head and longer lengths at the parietal ridge. Start at the back of the head and
work your way from side to side cutting carefully. The longest lengths in this cut will be at the top and crown of the head. The rest
of the hair is cut to create a contoured effect.
Depending on the texture of the hair, this will result in a bit of flip and play in the style.
Once the back and sides are layered begin layering in the top using a travelling guide and move around the top of the head and through
the crown area as well. The goal here is to create a dome shape at the top of the head to give rounded volume at the top of the style.
After the base cut is complete, go back over the head taking thin slices and removing small
notches of hair using the point-cutting technique. The “points” created should be between one-quarter and one-half inches wide and
one-half inch deep (measuring from the ends of the longest lengths). This will add some visual interest to the style and can be
enhanced through the use of styling gel or pomade for extra hold.
About the Look:
This cut becomes a truly ‘wash and wear’ style, since it can be shampooed, then towel-dried,
plied with product and styled with the fingers without the need for extra drying. However, some additional styling can be beneficial if
you wish to ‘dress up’ the look for special occasions.
Aside from the physical requirements for this style to be suitable for a given individual,
there seems to be an attitude that accompanies the wearing of the gamine cut. There’s definitely an ‘aggressive’ quality, but only
insofar as being self-assured, outgoing and bold are often masculine traits. It is not a hairstyle for the timid or those too caught
up on traditional ideas of femininity. This is the hairstyle of the confident woman who finally knows who she is and what she wants in
her life. This is perhaps why many older women begin to gravitate toward shorter hairstyles.