Q: I love Kate Gosselin’s short hairstyle. Can you tell me more about it? What face shapes would it suit and would I have to spend a lot of time and money on maintenance if I get my hair cut in this style?
A: This hairstyle appears to have its origins as an exaggeration of previously-popular, yet more-classic styles, such as the stacked bob, and the “swing” cut. Both of these styles feature a longer forward section with
shorter lengths and tapering in the back.
The hairstyle has been called a cross between a “reverse-mullet” (for its dramatically long forward locks paired with the very short back sections) and a bob (because of the
blunt finish to those forward locks). This is a reasonable comparison, although it’s not as new as might initially be assumed. In the late 80s and early 90s, during the “New Wave” movement, many hairstyles emerged that
elongated the planes and angles of classic hairstyles. Kate Gosselin’s look is simply another such mutation.
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Personally, I’m not a fan of this hairstyle for Ms. Gosselin as it doesn’t seem to fill any needs for her face. Ms. Gosselin has a basically oval face shape, whose features
seem to be well-proportioned. Typically, a hairstyle like this, with very asymmetrical elements (namely the off-set parting and the imbalanced dominant and passive divisions) are indicated for persons who have prominent
features such as pointed or jutting chins and hawkish or overlarge noses.
The style is perfect for someone whose face is angular or with a broad forehead or other imbalanced feature. And there are other considerations to choosing a style such as
this one. A major consideration is personality. This isn’t a look for someone who wants to keep a low-key profile. This is a style that says “notice me” and does it in a loud voice. The impact of this style can also be
mitigated or jacked up through the use of color and highlighting.
Be aware that while this style isn’t particularly difficult to construct or restyle at home, it may mean you’ll need to visit your salon for maintenance cuts more frequently
than if you typically wear a longer hairstyle. Because the back and crown sections are cut into short layers, and at some points are VERY short, the re-growth may appear to happen fairly quick. This is simply a matter of relativity.
The average person’s hair grows at a rate of half-an-inch per month, and if your hair is around 5 inches long all over your head that half-inch represents an increase of 10% of the length. In other words, it
seems a fairly slow change in appearance. But when, certain areas of the hair are cut to half-an-inch or less in length, a month’s growth means that the hair in those sections literally doubles in length, and that
doubling of the length may mean you need to get a trim much more often than you did with other styles.
This will also be adjusted based on the texture of your hair. Your hair may be coarse enough to look good with this style (it is NOT good for those with fine, or
very wavy/curly hair) but it may “wilt” with even a little added length, and need frequent maintenance trims to keep it looking sharp. Just be aware and discuss the maintenance schedule with your stylist to make sure
you can afford it before you make the cut.