It's a question I often get. Being able to eye ball someone and in a matter of seconds pick the perfect style for them is a strange gift I've been given. ( I can also shoot water out of my tear duct, but that's a blog post for another day) If you were not given this strange gift, I'd love to share with you the Daniellestyle process for deciding on your style.
We use a 5 step elimination process.
1) Personal Preference
2) Face Shape
3) Hair Type
We work down this list and one by one eliminate options that won't work for our client.
We always start with inquiring into the clients' preferences. We ask if they have any ideas or thoughts on their style they want to share. Most people have a general idea of what they want. Or in some cases have a real good idea of what they DON'T want. And you also want to ask about "no no's". Such as, " I hate my ears so what ever we do I can't have my ears showing. Nothing is more annoying than finishing a style and your client saying, " I don't like it because my ears stick out." It's your responsibility as the stylist to ask those types of questions before you start.
So, let's say that this client doesn't know whether they want their hair up or down. But she does know that she hates her ears so no matter what her ears have to be covered.
Next is face shape and nailing this one is essential. There is the perfect shape for every face shape. No one will ever like a style if it doesn't flatter their face. Keep into consideration things like a large forehead, square jaw line, or round face. There is also nothing wrong with talking this out with your client. If you point out that their 5 head ( I have a huge forehead so I call it a 5 head:) would be better concealed with a soft swooping bang they will be thrilled to know that you are really paying close attention to their features and what will best flatter them.
Here's a couple basic face shapes and styles that flatter.
Round face: With this shape you want to use the hair to conceal the sides of the face. A middle part with a longer back swept bang is a really great shape. Stick with styles that help the face to appear longer instead of wider.
Square: With a square face you have the corners of the forehead and the chin to contend with. A middle or a side part with a sweeping bang of any length would give you the coverage you need. To soften the corners of the jawline, consider either a down style or softness around the face and ears.
Heart: A heart shaped face has the same corners to the hair line that the square face does so similar bangs or fringe would flatter well. You might want to stay away from styles such as a top knot. Making the face look longer can also sometimes accentuate the pointiness of the chin.
Long: Our goal is to make this face shape look more round. Try a style with volume on the sides and a deep, parted, side swept bang to shorten the forehead.
And if all that confuses you try thinking of it like this. The oval face shape is the most symmetrical and is what you are trying to create with the shape of the hair. Picture an oval face in your head and place it over the top of the clients face. Anything that is sticking out looks best when either softened with hair or contour make-up. Hope that helps.
Let's say that our client has a heart shaped face and a huge forehead.
Now we know that in addition to hating her ears, she has a heart shaped face and a 5 head that needs attention. So what ever style we choose it will need to conceal her ears and make the 5 head appear smaller. A side sweeping bang with soft fringe around the face would also work well.
Hair Type and Retainability: Next you will need to keep in consideration what God has given you to work with and how long the style you choose will need to last. Let's say our client has very fine hair and it has to last all day. Asking fine hair to hold a soft wave for 8 hours is asking too much. I would recommend that if the client wants it to look good for as long as possible that she wear her hair up.
Now we have widdled our choices down to a soft, loose style to conceal the ears. A side swept bang to soften the peaks of the heart shaped hair line and the 5 head.
Let's keep going.
3) Wardrobe: At this point you would ask what your client intends to wear. This is to make sure your style is both complimentary and doesn't interfere with the cut of the dress. One shouldered chiffon dress? Perfect! "Let's anchor the style on the opposite side of the shoulder strap."
And voila! Our process of elimination has covered every area of concern. We have both, together decided on an up style so that the hair will last as long as possible. Face framing fringe to contour the forehead and conceal the ears. And because of the shape of her dress we will shift the style to the side.
Talking this out with your clients is a great way to help them feel that you have explored every possibility and arrived at your decision not just by a whim, but by a strategic process of eliminating what won't work to end up with what will.
My best to you all,