Q: I am 51 years old and would like to know what styles for medium length hair are good for me. I am brunette, petite, with
straight, slightly coarse hair and a square face with wide set eyes. Thank you.
A: While itís extremely difficult to give specific hairstyle suggestions with just a description of a personís features, you do offer
enough information for me to give you some guidelines to follow. Choosing a hairstyle takes more than looking
at the overall shape of a personís face. You have to consider the individualís physical build, hair type, density and wave pattern, and
the balance of the facial features as well. Letís take the traits you mention one-by-one and the guidelines appropriate for each:
Square Face: With the square face, you want a hairstyle that has a softer, rounded silhouette. Choose
a style that features layers to allow for some volume on the sides, and possibly razoring on the ends to give a smooth curve to the
finish. Regardless of the overall length of the style, there should be layers toward the front which curve inward at the jaw line. Style
the hair using large rollers (or large-barreled curling iron) to give the fullness and roundness you need.
Wide-set Eyes: For wide-set eyes, you want to create a frame that draws the viewersí attention
inward. This is accomplished by choosing a hairstyle that features inwardly-swept sides or a long, curved bangs area. With the bangs option,
they should follow a rounded line starting just above the brows and curving steeply at the outer corners of the eyes to almost
ear-length. They can be textured to create a soft, wispy effect.
Petite Build: A common mistake often made when choosing a hairstyle is forgetting about the overall
balance of the hairstyle to the personís build. As a petite woman, you have to be careful in the amount of volume you use. You
definitely donít want ďbig hairĒ. For a good rule of thumb, take a look at yourself in the bathroom mirror. Use a bar of soap and draw
the outline of your face on the mirror. Next, make small marks to show the width of your body at the shoulders. Now, make new marks on
each side to show the halfway points between the sides of your face and your shoulders. Any hairstyle you choose should fall inside
these two inner markings to be in balance with your body.
Age and hair color are less of a factor in choosing a style. Hair color has very little impact on
what styles would look good for you, and age is less important than your lifestyle. There are women in their fifties who lead active and
vital lives, and their hairstyle should reflect that vitality, as well as being appropriate for the amount of time available for grooming and hair maintenance.