To save you having to go to your next hair appointment not knowing what to ask for, we spoke to Kumi Nagae about the best hairstyles for different face shapes. Nagae is the director and owner of Hair Xavier, and was trained in Japan and London before starting her hairdressing career in Hong Kong in 1991. Fluent in Japanese, Cantonese and English, she has a diverse clientele, and so has cut hair for a wide range of face shapes.
"Go with a graduation bob - that's one that's shorter at the back and longer at the front," says Nagae. "Soft layers will also look good if you're not a fan of a sleek bob look." Either way, the longer layers around your face will give the illusion of a slimmer face, and it'll help emphasise your features.
Oval and almond-shaped faces
Lucky you! Nagae says there's almost no hairstyle that can look bad on you! So have fun and experiment with different cuts. "Avoid a heavy full fringe though," says Nagae. That will cut off your face in a way that makes it look much smaller. Not good.
Square faces with a strong jawline
To soften the strong angles of your face, cut a long fringe to frame your face and disguise some of the harshness. Long layers are another good idea, to give your hair movement and draw attention away from the angles.
To balance out your face shape you need to cover up part of your forehead. Nagae recommends trying a short cut with a fringe, such as a pixie cut.
But be careful. "When people have a fringe, they tend to touch it a lot," Nagae explains, and this can increase oiliness, which in turn can cause your fringe to separate, drawing attention right back where you don't want it.
Get whatever cut suits your face shape, but if that involves a fringe, make sure it's short enough that it doesn't touch or rest on the top of your glasses frames. Bear in mind you'll have to go for regular trims, or opt for a longer fringe that can be swept to the side.
Kumi's top hair tips
- Never just pick a hairstyle because it's in fashion. The latest trend may not work on everyone, so get your hair cut according to what looks good on you, and what makes you feel most confident
- Find pictures of your favourite hairstyles, or looks you want to try and bring them to the salon to show your hairdresser
- Consult your hairdresser for advice, and ask them what they think will suit you
- When you go to the hairdresser, dress the way you normally dress, so you'll be sure your haircut looks good on you every day.
"I've seen some people come in dressed in a special or fancy outfit, and that doesn't really help," Nagae says
- Brush your hair every day with a brush that will gently massage your scalp. This will increase circulation and keep your scalp and hair healthy
- Choose the right shampoo and conditioner for your needs and keep your hair clean
- Don't dry your hair by rubbing it with a towel - the friction can cause damage to the cuticles, which will result in split ends. Pat and squeeze it dry, and blow dry it when necessary
- Don't sleep with wet hair