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( Originally Published 1963 )
YES YOU CAN DO SOMETHING WITH IT
What fortunate women we are.
We live in a time when no one hairstyle can be considered the fashion of the day. Hairdos that run the gamut of possibility fill our magazine pages and the rules that once ran our thinking about hair have become increasingly passe. We no longer consider it an unshakable truth that a face to be beautiful must be oval and that all hairstyles should try to create that effect. It is no longer an indisputable error for a girl with a long face to wear long hair. And a girl with strong features may choose a hairstyle to bring out the character of her face, not to hide it.
Movies are filled with beautiful women (Juliette Greco, Shirley MacLaine, Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Mary Ure, Simone Signoret) who accentuate their originality, rather than minimize it. And the top, most highly paid models are hired to sell fabulously priced clothes because of their offbeat looks which they studiously stress in the way they wear their hair.
A WORLD OF HAIRSTYLES
This world, grown so much smaller in these last years, has made us very conscious of our once foreign neighbors. Our new sophistication has broadened our ideas of beauty as well. We no longer laugh at differences or think them peculiar. We can see loveliness in a Chinese girl, in an Indian girl, in an African girl and appreciate their brand of beauty along with our own. And our hairstyles have become supra-national too. We've borrowed them from every corner of the globe-at the same time much of the world has to some degree Americanized their own ways of wearing their hair. But while we in the U.S.A. continue to want our hairdos to be modern in the sense that they should fit in with the quick busy tempos of our lives, we also want them to be feminine, classic and romantic.
THE RIGHT HAIRSTYLE FOR YOU
Sine ulla dubitatione (means "without a doubt," according to my high school Latin)-hair is the most important changeable feature you have. Every Hollywood make-up department considers finding the right hairstyle for a starlet or an actress their number one task. Hair can do an enormous amount for you-not only for your face, but for all of you. The way you wear your hair can make you look taller, or shorter if that's your aim. A hairstyle can de-emphasize a too bosomy bosom, can call attention to a swan-like neck or distract the eye from a too-short neck, can add length to the waist, can balance narrow shoulders. And so on.
I refuse to use the term "corrective" hair styling. It always makes me think of those bulky ugly shoes they used to sell to "correct" bad feet. And, as I said at the beginning of this chapter, "defects" may be a source of individual looks and beauty that very definitely ought not to be "corrected." This does not mean that I think no aesthetic improvements can be made for a woman through the way she wears her hair, or that she ought to emphasize her most unattractive features. Of course, you want to be as beautiful as you can, and you want to bring your features into their most harmonious whole.
HAIRSTYLES THAT REPROPORTION YOUR FACE AND FEATURES
There are some very simple rules for selecting a hairstyle that can compensate for what are called facial irregularities. (Remember that every great beauty has had at least one facial irregularity.) These rules, which follow basic laws and principles of proportion known to all artists, can be applied to many many faces with great success. It seems logical enough, after all, to assume that if your forehead is low, a hairstyle that is high in the crown will create the impression of better balance for your face, or that hair swept back from a thin face can seem to add fullness to the face, or that hair built out in back can balance a sharp profile.
FIND YOUR OWN HAIRDO
It's impossible, of course, to talk about all the varieties of facial problems a hairstyle may be called upon to solve. The number of combinations possible on this small area we call the human face is infinite. There really is no such thing as two identical people. There are many subtle differences on the most identical of identical twins that make it easy for people who know them well to tell them apart. And because faces are so individual with subtle differences of feature making the most enormous changes in the over-all look of you-I think you should be wary before adopting anybody's rules completely. Become sensitive to your own face, observant to other faces. Know what the rules are, select which ones seem true for you, ignore the ones that don't. Then eventually-make your own rules.
But please, please, please, don't pick a fad hairdo. Don't wear a beehive hairdo because everyone else seems to be wearing a beehive hairdo. Don't put the latest fad on your head unless it looks right there. And, even then, try somehow to vary it so that none of your friends can say-"Tsk, tsk-didn't Angela look lovely in Jackie Kennedy's hairstyle."
I dare you to say you're uninspired. Our magazines dish up heapfuls of inspiration weekly. Leaf through them. There are a few magazines on the stands now that are devoted exclusively to hair, and a recent issue of one of them showed forty-four different currently popular hairstyles. Included among them were: pageboys-short and longish ones, some with the hair parted on the side, others in the middle, others without any part at all;short helmet cuts-with the hair shaping down close over the ears and swept far forward onto the face; the gamin cut-a short feathered nape, curved kiss curls at the sides, irregular shaggy poetic bangs;the Vamp-with ultra-femine spit curls, a Theda Bara-ish sweep forward effect;chignons-shown with high piled waved hair; long hair-swept into French rolls or buns, long hair hidden beneath "beehives";short feathery cuts-with sideburns;the Greek-look-short curly hair with high crowns;short bobs a l'Italienne-simple turned under short short hair with high brushed crowns.
In many modern styles, the part has gone quite mad. Hairdressers often ignore them or allow them to zig zag, circle the crown, dip diagonally, anything at all as long as the results are attractive and individual.
Your hair should become, not only the most important way for you to present and be the loveliest you possible, but a symbol of your identity, an inseparable part of you. My hair has become such a part of my identity that I am able to wear sunglasses and a total disguise, but if I don't change my hair everybody knows me. And vice versa. If I do change my hairstyle nobody knows me. When I wore a hat to a fashion show recently I was asked to take it off so that people would recognize me. And last year when I changed to "wings" people pleaded with me to go back to my Polly-cut.
THE ART OF HAIRCUTTING
Hairstyling comes pretty close to being an art. It's certainly related to sculpture. A good hairstylist gets and deserves high respect. Taking such factors as the texture of your hair, the shape of your head, your features, your natural partings into consideration he knows which of several cutting techniques to use to arrive at the effect you and he want. He may blunt-cut (a straight across cut), taper or slither your hair so that it falls in layers, cut it sopping wet, slightly damp or dry. Ernie Adler cuts my hair when its been towel dried only.
While I am not advising any woman to try cutting her own hair as a general rule I do know several women who have done amazingly good styling jobs on their own heads. These are women who are always being asked-"Who does your hair?", and I must admit their haircuts have a wonderfully original yet professional look about them. The mere idea of taking scissor to one's own head is enough to give most women including me the shivers but should you ever feel the urge and courage to try I would like to encourage you by saying-after all it will always grow back. Begin modestly trimming perhaps the hair that's grown back from your last cut. But don't become too brave too quickly. It can have disastrous effects. Unless you're just looking for an excuse to make your husband buy you one of the new perruques or wigs.
IF YOU WANT LOVELY, HEALTHY HAIR
Every hairdresser I've ever known is infinitely grateful to the woman who arrives for her beauty parlor appointment with lustrous healthy well-brushed, well-nourished hair. The health of your hair is dependent of course on the health of your entire body. But because each and every strand of hair is composed completely of protein it is only logical to assume that the health of your hair will reflect the amount of protein you feed it. Most of the high-protein foods are rich in vitamin B's which also seem to be essential to hair beauty, and one package of gelatin a day (pure protein) taken in a glass of tomato juice not only quenches your desire for too much food but helps your scalp, your hair and your nails. Vitamins A and D (sunlight, cod-liver oil, fish foods and butter) also play vital roles in hair health.