Learn about Life in the 1920s

Selecting a Hairstyle to Suit Your Face Type

There are simple ways of making ourselves better to look at and ways that do not exact a great toll of energy either. There is, for example, the simple matter of arranging the hair becomingly and thus providing a better frame for the face. As a rule, it takes not an ounce more energy to comb the hair becomingly than unbecomingly; and what a vast difference such an item makes, we have only to experiment a little to realize.

FOR most of the women who have not bobbed their hair, the vital question is to bob or not to bob. One woman, handling this question, put into words just the thought I would have struggled to express if I had been asked to tell what I thought of bobbed hair. "Bobbed locks," she said, "adopted with distressing enthusiasm by all sorts of women, are appropriate for certain types; in general, for women with small features, and short enough and slim enough to suggest that piquant grown-up child for whom bobbed hair seems to have been expressly made."

Doesn't that put it rather well? Bobbed hair, with its delightful suggestion of youthfulness and careless freedom, is altogether attractive for the young girl and for many younger women of the athletic or grown-up child type. But for the overtall or for the heavy, settled-looking woman, never!

THE ROUND FACE One feels as though there should be an age limit, too. To be sure, one sometimes sees a very good-looking head of bobbed white hair, but one wonders whether long hair would not have been just as attractive. And somehow, even though it may be only our foolish clinging to established ideas, there has been lost for us a certain quality of dignity that we are wont to find attractive in elderly women.

BUT whether arranging short or long hair, a woman's first thought should be for individual becomingness. She should get into the habit of seeing herself, rather than some one else, when she studies hair arrangements. And she should not, if she values becomingness, attempt to follow every whim of Fashion. She should realize that, with due respect to convention, distinction means appropriateness rather than conformity in every detail to any particular mode.

There are, roughly speaking, four types of faces; the round, the square-jawed angular, the type with broad forehead and pointed chin, and the oval. The round face may be lengthened and slenderized by parting the hair in the middle or slightly to one side, and bringing it well forward so that it breaks the inner line about the face. Observe how well defined the parting is on the figure at the left of the two round-faced types illustrated on this page. This is in contrast to the other illustrations, most of which show merely the suggestion of a side part.

TYPE WITH SQUARE JAW THE other round-faced figure illustrates how to give height to the face by a horizontal part placed well back on the forehead, the bangs sparsely arranged below. By bringing the hair up tightly at the sides and back, the line of the neck is made to appear longer, while the high roll at the back adds height.

As illustrated, the effect of angularity in the type with the square jaw may be pleasingly modified by curves of not too studied regularity.

In case of the type with broad forehead and pointed chin, the width at the top of the head may be made less apparent by arranging the hair so that it partly covers the forehead, giving it new lines, as in the illustrations shown. In one of these, the desired effect is secured by heavy bangs; in the other, by bringing the hair loosely over the forehead. The slightly puffed arrangement, at the sides, helps also to balance the width of the upper portion of the head.

The woman with an oval face and well-shaped head, as shown in the illustrations at the upper right of the page, has a simple problem. For her, the simplest arrangement is usually the most beautiful, displaying the line of the head which, in a woman of her type, is usually very lovely.

BROAD FOREHEAD AND POINTED CHIN And right here is a piece of advice—if you have pretty ears, a well-shaped head, a beautiful hair line, or any other charm, play it up, studying the contour of the head from the front, the back, and the sides. Too many women give only a hasty glance at the front of their hair, quite forgetting that the back and the sides are as much exposed to inspection even though not so apparent to themselves.

IN planning a suitable and becoming style of hair dressing, remember that the kind of hair you have makes a great deal of difference. Suppose you are the one woman in a hundred with features perfect enough and head shaped well enough to wear a perfectly plain, severe coiffure. The question then is, Have you the hair for it—hair that is glossy and with sufficient life and abundance to lie smooth and sleek without breaks and stringiness? You may be able to increase its glossiness with the use of brilliantine—a few drops poured into the palm of the hand and rubbed on the hair brush, never directly on the brush itself. But unless you have the hair for it, the severe mode is generally best avoided.

A gentler mode is nearly always more becoming. And almost every face gains from a bit of wave in the hair. If you must secure it by artificial means, experiment until you can obtain a big, loose, natural-looking wave.

If you are fortunate enough to have hair that curls naturally, even the tiniest bit, be very careful how you treat it, avoiding absolutely the use of hot curling irons. If you wake up some winter morning to find the air cold and dry and your hair too straight, try coaxing it to curl by steaming it. You can do so in one of several ways.

THE OVAL FACE One means is by folding a newspaper, cornucopia fashion, placing the smaller end in the spout of a steaming teakettle, and holding your head in the steam as it escapes from the larger end. Another means is to saturate a Turkish towel with water, fold it and place it on a hot radiator, and then bury your head between the folds. But the simplest means of all is just to dip a wash cloth in very hot water and, without wringing it out, hold it up against the hair where the warmth and dampness can penetrate.

A hair net is usually desirable, for neatness is much to be preferred to wisps of hair stringing about the face or down the back of the neck. In putting on the net, pin it with invisible pins, one over each temple and behind each ear, tucking the extra amount of net under the hair at the back. But be careful that you do not draw it tight enough to give the hair a set, flat look, remembering that it has more light and beauty if softly, and some-what loosely, arranged. After the net is adjusted, take a strong hairpin and lift the hair a little to give it a less fixed, a more natural, appearance.

Source: Selecting a Hairstyle - Inspiration Magazine, December 1925



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