It’s a common problem for many women and a question asked of every stylist at some point in their careers: what’s a good hairstyle for a heavy-set woman? You have to understand, they don’t just want a style that looks
good. It can’t just look “pretty”. The hairstyle has to make them look slimmer (or at least feel like they look slimmer). Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks that will make this a reality.
Darn-near everything can have an impact on the way we look. From the clothes we wear to the way we cut and style our hair. The trick is to understand the needs of our particular look and how different styles can
meet those needs. If we have features that are out of proportion to the rest of our face, we need a hairstyle that will divert the focus of attention away from the disproportionate features.
When it comes to the heavy-set woman, we have to remember that we not only need to keep the proportion of the facial features in mind, but the proportions of the whole body as well. The hair needs to find a balance
between helping to create the “oval ideal” of the face shape, and keeping an aesthetic balance with the dimensions of the body. To get some ideas on what we may need to consider, let’s talk about the two most
common body shapes: apple and pear.
Apples and Pears
The two common body types are called apples and pears because these are the fruits they most commonly resemble. Those individuals who are prone to gaining weight in the upper body and belly are generally referred to
as “apples” because they bring to mind images of apples on sticks. The majority of the weight is carried in the upper body and belly areas and the legs tend to be slimmer than expected. This effect is exaggerated in
those individuals who are petite or have a shorter torso.
“Pears” are those individuals who are referred to as “full-figured”. They tend to have a voluptuous build with exaggerated curviness. The weight they carry is usually found more in the lower body (in the hips and
thighs). Many pear-shaped women tend to also be long-waisted and may be taller than average.
With these different body types, the needs they impose on the decision-making process (for a new hairstyle) are fairly specific. Because apple body types have broader upper body structure, the head often appears
diminished in size already. Therefore, shorter hairstyles do nothing to help this. However, a hairstyle that is too big will not be helpful either, when the style is so large as to add to the already bulky upper body mass.
Pear shapes are often lumped into the same basket as apples when it comes to hairstyle choices. They do have the same needs for balance in the overall proportions of the hair to the body, but the upper body is
usually smaller than in an “apple” body type of the same weight range. Because of this, pear shapes generally appear less overweight from the mid-torso up. This means that the hairstyle choices can be wider in
range, and you can even go shorter than you would for an individual with an “apple” body shape.
With any overweight individual, you want to add volume and height in the top portions of the style and keep the horizontal volume low. This keeps the overall focus on the vertical and helps to make the face appear
more oval. If the individual wants to have bangs, avoid a blunt-cut fringe and opt for angled or side-swept versions. The horizontal line of blunt-cut bangs makes faces seem wider, which defeats the purpose.