CUTTING EDGE HAIRSTYLES TO TRY IN 2019
What are your resolutions for the coming year? For most of us, diet and exercise are high on the list, generally driven by all the pigging out we did over the holidays. This desire for physical transformation often has another driver, though we rarely admit it out loud. End-year festivities meant we probably got together with friends and relatives we may not have seen in months, maybe even years. And seeing how good (or bad) they looked may have prompted us to review our own physique, and make necessary changes. It’s why gyms get so packed in January, but the energy usually peters off by March.
Of course not all make-overs involve sweat and shiny tools. Sometimes, you can give yourself an entirely new look just by changing your wardrobe, or your hair. The hair part is especially dramatic. Look at any celebrity and you’ll see how swapping their hairdo (or hairdresser) seems to turn them into a completely new person. It’s a trick you could attempt for yourself. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be a surprise. There are tons of phone apps that let you upload a selfie and try out new hairstyles on your virtual self. It’s not 100% accurate, but it gives you a fair visual estimate. So what are some hair do’s and don’ts you might experiment with?
Bang it up
Bangs are always a tricky subject. Probably because we all had that one nightmare haircut as kids/teens. It may have been a bowl cut during a particularly lean period. Or a scissory experiment in your teens. The beauty of those smartphone apps is we can test different lengths and iterations before we make the big snip. And remember, the secret to pretty bangs is to go longer. Short bangs can shift the shape of your face, so don’t risk micro-bangs at home – they’re almost impossible to fix (except through potentially expensive extensions.)
By having bangs long enough to completely cover your eyes, maybe even grazing your nose and cheek bones, you give yourself more styling options. You can side-sweep them, or pin them back when you want that bare-faced look. You can tie bits of them into a poof when you want them closer to your brow-line, or you can gather them into a loose pony. Plus, because they’re not stuck in a single position, they don’t need maintenance. Still, with all cuts – and especially bangs – have it done at a salon. That way, if it goes badly, extensions are on hand.
An interesting twist on long bangs is the elongated fringe. It’s a throwback to the Swinging Sixties, and the idea is to have layered bangs curled in different directions. Your forehead bangs can flow down to your brow line, while your side bangs can cup your face. Lower layers can curl around your neck and shoulders, leaving your longer tresses to lay where they may. And yet each of these banging locks can be tucked into a loose (or rigid) pony tail when you want to show a little more (facial) skin. And since high ponytails are in, it helps that your bangs and fringe are both so accommodating to slick elevation, top knots, or messy buns.
Crop and Chop
On the other hand, if you’re feeling a little scissor-happy, you could go all the way and get a short, choppy, elfin cut. It’s risqué, because you’re not quite sure how it will work with your head (and ear) shape. You could complete the drama with a change in hair colour. Work with your hairdresser on this one. Shorter hair can make you look younger, and if the edges are sharply chopped, it can draw attention to your jaw line. The upside is you barely need to brush or style it, so it’s the perfect Jan-worry hairstyle. A little gel and some finger-combing will do. It works especially well with dangly earrings.
Some hairdressers describe this look as a dual style. Because it’s so short, you can slick it back and have it flat against your scalp. Or you can spike it and spread it around, taking full advantage of its choppy, layered texture. Of course it doesn’t have to be quite so brief. You can retain the layering and sharp cuts but keep it longer, opting for a ‘cool girl bob’ or a blunter cut. The aim is to look ‘underdone’ so even your styling will be minimalistic. The target is a ‘woke up like dis’ effect. You want it to look off-hand, like you sawed it off by the fistful with a cleaver. But you want a professional to do it, so it looks chic instead of psycho.