You may have heard hair described as an art form, but what you may not know is that the principles of design taught to painters and architects are the same ones used to create flattering cuts and updos. Line, form, shape and proportion can alter and enhance both the shape of the face and the balance of the features. A high chignon can elongate the cheekbones and chin, a geometric bob can give the illusion of a perfect jaw line. a cascade of curls can deemphasize a large nose or a pointy chin. The size and form of the frame surrounding the face is just as important as the internal outline of the shape. A few weeks ago we brought you a detailed look at the use of negative space; now we’ll look at how to use line and volume to get the most out of your ‘do. Read on for more details about getting the right silhouette and celebrity examples of the principle at work. –– Laura Martin 


For delicate features like Halle Berry’s sleek is the way to go, as shown on the images on the right. Whether short or long, too much hair overwhelms her face (seen in the photos on the left). Tighter silhouettes emphasize her bone structure and flatter her tiny frame, while big hair makes give a matronly look.


Bold featured ladies like Penelope Cruz are flattered by soft lines and bouncy volume, as shown in the images on the right. Flat, solid shapes can be too severe and tend to over emphasize full lips or a strong nose, see pictures on the left. Wave, volume and movement will create balance and contrast when paired with angular features.


Maggie Gyllenhaal has small features that are widely spaced. Straight silhouettes and sleek updos draw emphasis to the wide planes of her cheeks, while styles with too much fullness overwhelm her. Thankfully, her signature style, which combines subtle waves and soft volume, suites her perfectly.


Special thanks to Laura Martin, senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, for sharing professional hairstyling advice with Style Noted 

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