Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Curly Hair & Round Face

Q: I have very thick, naturally curly hair. I have kept it relatively long (3/4 inches past my shoulders when wet, shoulder-length when curly) for many years now. In the past I have just gone to plain, cheap hair-cut places, and I haven't had any layering or anything but just a straight cut. However, I'm getting bored with my style and I want to try something new, like layers or bangs. I have a very round face, though, and many styles suggested for curly hair are advised for other face-shapes. Do you have any ideas?
I have another question: I have been reading on your site about how to straighten/loosen tighter curls. While my curls are not extremely tight, they are not often uniform. I am looking into a wide-rod perm for this reason; also because the back of my hair tends to flatten out - whether it's due to the follicles of my hair or due to sleeping on it all the time, I couldn't say, but it's one thing I really hate about my hair.
The reason I mention this is that I have kept my hair very healthy (no treatments, colorings, whatsoever, and I only ever blow-dry or flat-iron my hair a few times a year), and I'd like to keep it that way. Are there options for perms that don't hurt your hair's quality? If not/even so, are there any suggestions you have for keeping the hair healthy after a chemical treatment like that?

A: Okay to take your first question: with choosing any hairstyle, the object is to create the impression of an oval face. This means that you want to select a style with elements that will compensate for whatever needs your face has. For an individual with a round face, this means that you want a style that features volume at the top of the head, with less volume on the sides and possibly length. You want to avoid horizontal lines and styling that creates width in the hair.
Many women with rounded face shapes and curly hair find that a long-layered cut helps to evenly distribute the hair's volume and additional thinning can make the sides less bulky. Bangs are not prohibited but must be considered carefully and you need to avoid blunt cut bangs that are cut straight across. Longer bangs with a curved cutting line can be a good choice.
Without being able to actually see you, and therefore make an assessment of your specific features, the only suggestions I can make are general. I suggest you take a look at different hair and beauty magazines for women who have similar face shape and hair type to your own to gather some ideas of hairstyles you are interested in, and then consult with your stylist about what look would suit you best.
As for the idea of using a perm service to restructure your varying curls into more uniform curls you should know that this is a common use for perming services. In fact, this type of service often can help to make otherwise unruly curls more manageable.
If you're concerned about the possibility of damage to your otherwise virgin hair, you should speak to your stylist about the more gentler types of perm: Acid Perms and Acid-Balanced waves. Permanent Wave formulas come in many different varieties and you can find one for virtually any specific situation.
After-care for a perm service is generally simple. Once you've passed the waiting period, use a gentle shampoo and a hydrating conditioner with a leave-in spray conditioner for added moisture replacement. The one thing most perms do is to leave the hair more porous, which means that you need to make an effort to keep the hair conditioned, and therefore, healthy.
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Curly hair and hairstyles
Hairstyles for a round face
Permanent waves and perming hair