As someone who has been genetically endowed with a face round as pie, my younger years and especially the rather plumpy era of my freshman 15 (that lasted way longer than freshman year), were a tough time for hair. Every short cut I wanted was deemed way too unflattering for my face shape. I’d scour magazines and the Internet for stories outlining exactly which short hairstyles would be appropriate for my round face, none of which particularly appealed to me.
My first issue had to do with the approach and the jargon. Every hairstyle flattering for round faces aims to “slenderize” and basically hide half your face under some big ol’ side swept bangs. Everything involved intricate layering, bangs, and what is referred to as a “full top” to create a more oval effect. All of this sounded like a recipe for soccer mom hair. (In general, I do not favor side-swept bangs for myself. Although they can be sexy at times, they're very annoying.) Basically, if you have a round face no beauty magazine is going to give you the green light to get anything edgy, blunt, and short. Well F that.
With my newly shorn nape, I was high on the open prospect of finally being able to get the blunt bob of my dreams sans fear of extreme triangulation. I’d been cutting my own hair since I got it bleached back in February, but I wanted something a bit more drastic which would require the expertise of an actual hairdresser.
With nothing other than IT’S WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND I FEEL ALIVE, I walked into a local neighborhood salon--one I had heard decent things about and wasn’t crazy-expensive. Through a bit of a language barrier, my very hip Japanese haircutter, Shoko, took no time at all lopping off a good three inches of my hair--nary wincing at all when I mentioned I wanted a blunt chin-length bob. She did just that, slicing delicately into the ends to layer them just the slightest bit for texture. All in all, I was out of there in less than an hour, feeling pretty high on spontaneous living (but also $80 broker).
And you know what? A blunt bob looks pretty good on my round face. I don’t hate it at all, seeing as it appears I have vehemently disregarded all rules for “flattering” my face shape. While I’m sure some may make a case for layers, I’m really digging the power statement a blunt cut makes.
Round faces can be considered cute, not necessarily sexy, which is possibly the misconception responsible for this aversion. That’s total BS though. Look at Kirsten Dunst, Cameron Diaz, Ginnifer Goodwin, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence--all card-carrying members of the Bob-High Club (it is entirely possible blunt bobs are “having a moment” now, as I am informed by fashion pubs). In my opinion eyebrows are much more facially defining than where the ends of your hair fall anyway.
That said, I certainly don’t want to court any hairstyle that will liken my entire head to a sphere. It seems that the concern with short cuts is that the ends will cradle your jawline, creating a helmet effect. That’s why I stayed away from angled layers. My high school senior yearbook photo features me in the most awkward half-pixie cut because I decided I wanted Mandy Moore’s pixie cut circa her film, How To Deal. Those struggle days were a perfect example of what happens when you don’t work with your hair texture and face shape. And no, you cannot see my high school yearbook photo.
Ultimately, knowing your hair texture and how it dries and falls on its own (unless you want to commit to styling time every time you shower) is your biggest aid in doing a short cut justice. My hair is fairly straight and thick (the bleach scared it straight--literally), so I know that it’ll fall pretty much the same way air-drying. I do prefer some texture and movement, though, so I twist sections with a heavy-duty pomade once my hair is halfway air-dried and that does the trick. I’ll finger-dry it set if I’m feeling extra ambitious. I’m currently pilfering dollops of my boyfriend’s Bumble & Bumble Sumotech--a little goes a long way, since it’s basically a creamy wax.
All in all, short haircuts are pretty freeing when you consider how opening up your face makes playing up your features even easier. There is seemingly less to do because the focus is already on your face; so dramatic looks become all the more striking, and a bare face makes a bolder statement in and of itself. Removing hair from the chin down also elongates your neck, and everyone knows that necks are the sexiest parts above the boobs.
Have any of you done a short chop-chop? Did the breeze on your clavicles feel amazing? I’ll bet it did. Throw some pics in the comments because I’m basically obsessed with short hair now!