Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Hairstyle Lengths

We hairdressers are always asked what types of hairstyles are appropriate to various face shapes and such, but let’s take a look at the subject from a different perspective. I want to explore hairstyle lengths and discuss the issues that people need to consider regarding these particular hair lengths.
To break down the categories of hair length, let’s look at five typical categories of hair length: gamine (boyishly short), ear-length (above and over the ears), chin length, shoulder length, and very long (below the shoulder). We will discuss the pros and cons of each as they pertain to individuals and what specific individuals need to be concerned with when considering these lengths.
gamine and ear-length hairstyles
chin-length and shoulder-length hairstyles
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The word “gamine” literally means “boyish” and is used to describe hairstyles that are extremely short-cropped all over. Some notable gamine hairstyles are that of Halle Berry and Morena Baccarin who both are unquestionably feminine in spite of their super-short haircuts. In fact, many women enjoy the gamine cut specifically for its juxtaposition of boyish tradition on a feminine form. Having a haircut that traditionally has been worn more by men requires the viewer to focus on other characteristics that display gender.
It also typically draws a great deal of attention to the face – and specifically to the upper half of the face. Very short haircuts are ideal to draw attention to the eyes since having the hair restricted to the upper portion of the skull generates visual focus in that area. Depending upon traits such as longer fringe and texturing, you can easily balance prominent foreheads and create either symmetry or asymmetry as desired.
  • Halle Berry with gamine short hair
  • Halle Berry's pixie cut - Side view
  • Morena Baccarin with very short hair
  • Morena Baccarin's pixie haircut
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Such short hairstyles are often popular among women who have a lot of wave or curl to their hair, since having the super short lengths can help to create a flattering style that doesn’t run the risk of being overly voluminous. Such hair types also can help to make the styling easier as the volume can be used to create angles and planes that are otherwise difficult to achieve with straighter and limper hair types.
However, it should be noted that persons of larger stature and those who have heavier features may want to avoid the gamine lengths since it can result in a lack of proportional balance and can make one appear heavier as a result of the loss of balance in the overall silhouette. Gamine haircuts are perfect for those with delicate angular features, or who might otherwise be called “waifish” and “impish”.
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