Thursday, November 12, 2015

Your Perfect Hairstyle: 9 Key Factors to Consider

From the Expert Behind the Salon Chair 

What to Expect in a Hair Makeover and 9 Key Factors to Consider

You look in the mirror and with a heavy sigh realize that it's more than just another bad hair day. It’s time to really do something about that mop of a ‘do. That color and style has served you well, but it’s outdated. As hard as it is to admit, you have gotten older, your coloring and complexion has changed, and your hair is starting to get thinner and brittle. Yes, it’s time for a change. But this kind of change can be scary! Who can you trust to literally put your hair, your beauty, your image in their capable hands? To give you the hair color, cut, and style you were born to have? To create the best "you"?

There’s a reason Pat Alessi – Salon 1580’s tagline/motto is “Dedicated to Finding and Maintaining Your Right Style”!

Choosing the best possible hairstyle and color enhances your good features and distracts from the not-so-attractive ones. A big hairstyle faux pas is wearing the same style and color for years. Women often get stuck in this rut because they are creatures of habit, afraid of change, or because the men in their lives say that they like long hair. As a general rule, any lifestyle change that necessitates a new wardrobe also necessitates a new hairstyle (think career change, special events, changes in the seasons, or even a gym membership). A subtle transformation can yield as much impact as a total makeover — or is a good start for more dramatic changes in the future. If you are stuck in a style or color rut, you can always begin with baby steps, like face-framing highlights and soft, eye-grazing bangs. Or put on your big girl panties take the plunge.

"As a master cosmetologist, you must be a visionary artist, 
part magician, and part chemist." 
- Pat Alessi, Salon 1580

While designing a coiffure, I take many factors into consideration:

1.   Face Shape

Most importantly is the face type ... angular structures and shape of the face, neck length, eye size and spacing, forehead length, chin, mouth, etc. In preparation for a haircut and style, I envision the client’s face as a perfect oval. Anything outside the oval, I cut and style to de-emphasize, bringing the hair in to form the oval. If the oval needs to be expanded, I do the opposite, as well as use color to shorten or elongate the face and the width.

Is your face shape oval, long, heart, round, or square?

Oval – If you are blessed with an oval face – egg-shaped and balanced at the top and the bottom – then almost any hairstyle will suit you. (Think Megan Fox, Halle Berry and

Long/Diamond Shape – (Think Sarah Jessica Parker and Liv Tyler.) Choose a haircut to make a long face look shorter with an above-shoulder-length style. Long layers and a fringe works well on this face type. Try a side part instead of a center which will only elongate your face even more.

Heart – (Think Reese Witherspoon,
Jennifer Aniston, and Michelle Pfeiffer.) If you have a wide forehead that angles down to a small chin, then you have a heart-shaped face. Shoulder length hair with layers from the chin down will look great on you. You can curl these layers or flip them out to create a fuller bottom, which will balance out your small chin. You can also go for a chin-length bob, which works well on your face shape. Don't choose a style that is too full on the top and tapers down to wisps at the bottom, as this won't flatter the heart-shaped face.

Round –
(Think Drew Barrymore, Kirsten Dunst, and Emma Stone.) A round face is full with wide cheeks, small cheekbones and a small chin. You can elongate this face type with longer hair that extends below the chin. Layers at the top will add volume and height. If you want to narrow your face, then layers around the cheeks will do just that, but avoid fringe and chin-length styles, as they won't suit your face shape.

Square –
(Think Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock and Demi Moore.) A square face has a wide forehead, wide cheeks, and a more angular chin, so you will need to avoid sharp and straight lines, as this will be too severe. If your face is square, I suggest a curly style that softens your face shape. If you have a square face with a strong jaw line, choose a longer look that makes you look more feminine. Try face-framing layers around your jawline which will disguise a strong and angular chin.

2.   Hair Color and Your Facial Tones/Complexion

You aren’t always born with the hair color you were meant to have! And, as your hair, face, and age changes, it’s possible that your hair color should change, too. When choosing the perfect hair color for a client, I take into account skin tones and eye color. The right hair color can
help even out your skin tone and improve your overall appearance, as well as express your personality. I believe most women look their best with multi-dimensional color. Multiple colors – base color and highlights and/or low lights – add dimension to the hair, accentuating the texture and style, giving more natural-looking hair. Look closely at a child’s virgin hair. You’ll see many natural layers of color. That’s what we want to emulate.

Professional hair color is also assessed by other factors. Have you had a henna treatment? (
Read my blog post here as to why this impacts chemical processing.) What medications do you take? Some medications may affect hair’s receptivity to hair chemical processing (read my blog post here for more info). Also, timing of color application may be affected by other chemical processing like a perm or body wave or a keratin treatment.

3.   Hair Type

To achieve your right style, I consider your hair Texture (fine, medium, coarse), Density (thin, medium, thick), and Elasticity (straight, wavy, curly). Elasticity (the ability to stretch and return to its original length without breaking) represents or indicates the strength of the side bonds that hold individual hair fibers in place. Another factor I consider is Porosity, which is important when coloring your hair, maintaining style, and preserving the health of your hair. Porosity is the ability of the hair to absorb moisture and is directly related to the condition of the cuticle layer which is a compact layer of the hair that is naturally resistant to being penetrated by moisture.

If your hair texture is fine, then a longer hairstyle might make it flat and difficult to manage so a shorter cut will add more body and volume. If your density is thick hair, it will be more suited to soft and textured layers. Wavy hair can sport some bounce and chunky layers. If your hair is coarse and/or wiry or unruly (or chemically dry or damaged), I would encourage a GKhair Keratin Hair-Taming Treatment. My clients vow that these are life-changing treatments. Formerly called Global Keratin, they improve the health of any hair type, last 3-5 months based on the type of treatment you choose, and make hair smooth, silky, soft, and manageable, and cut your drying/styling time in half. For the scoop on these treatments, read my blog post HERE.

4.   Lifestyle

What works best for your lifestyle? What type of fashions do you wear on a day-to-day basis? How much time are you willing to devote to hair care and styling?
If you are choosing a style that will require you to spend time styling it every morning, consider your proficiency at self-styling: are you able to use a blow dryer, hair straightening iron, styling brushes, or curling iron with ease? Does your job or other personal demands require you to be out the door quickly in the mornings? Are you a regular user of your gym membership? Your responses may prompt you to choose a style with minimal home care requirements.

5.   Current Trends

You don’t want to be stuck with a hairstyle that is dated and old-fashioned. No matter how much you loved the Farrah Fawcett look, you would look silly with that hairstyle today. When choosing your perfect style, consider the current trends, while keeping in mind your age and personality.

6.   Your Personality

Your hair should reflect your personality. Unless you feel totally comfortable in your own skin and hair, you may not be able to carry off your haircut, color, and/or style.

7.   Highlighting Your Best Features and Disguising Flaws

Ultimately a haircut or hairstyle should make you feel confident and attractive, so use it to your advantage. A good haircut should direct attention to the things you like about yourself. This is where a talented stylist can use her skills of illusion. To draw attention to your eyes, get brow-skimming bangs that make your eyes pop. If you love the length of your neck, try a short haircut or a high updo to show off your neck. The right haircut can help you hide or downplay features you don't like as much. If you have wide ears, avoid a cut that's too short as well as severe ponytails and buns (or, for men, wear the sides a little longer to create the illusion of comparable width around the ears). If you have a broad, deep forehead, you can cover it up with bangs. If you dislike the length of your neck, hide it with long layers.

8.   Your Age

Yes, we can create styles that make you look younger! For age-defying hairstyles, your best friends are bangs, layers, and highlights. A choppy cut with long bangs and bold, sunny streaks are immediate de-agers. If you’re thinking red, go blonde; red hair, unless it’s natural, is tough on mature skin tones. Red hair can expose and exaggerate blotchiness, brown spots, or sallow undertones, but a honey blond with golden tones works every time. For more tips on age-defying hairstyles, read my blog post
HERE. For hairstyle tips for each age group, read my blog post HERE (scroll down to “What hair colors and styles are best for women in their 30s?” and continue reading for 40s, and 50s and beyond).

9.   Other Factors

Other factors to consider when selecting your perfect style: Do you wear glasses? Do you have balding hair? Growth patterns (do you have cowlicks in the front area or a double crown)? A large nose? Also consider the pH levels required for your hair type for proper hair care products. 

It’s time for a new you! If you are in the Atlanta area, call today for a consultation or appointment! 678-361-4247

Pat Alessi - Salon 1580 was pleased to be the featured salon for Liz Magazine's Style Takeover in their October issue. To see what you might expect in a hairstyle makeover, follow us on this virtual journey:

Prior to makeover day for CinderSusan (she says her “Style Takeover” experience made her feel like Cinderella!), we gave her a GKhair Keratin Hair-Taming Treatment. Her “Resistant” hair smoothing treatment, which lasts up to three months, accentuated the sleek lines of Susan’s upcoming new cut and eliminated frizz. For the scoop on these treatments, read my blog post HERE.


I used Rusk Deep Shine Advanced Marine Therapy Color for Susan's light brown, level seven, base color. For multi-dimensional hues perfect for Fall, I gave Susan light, warm coppery lowlights, with glitzes of shimmering blonde highlights.

I styled Susan with side-swept bangs and soft layers, lightly feathering them across her cheeks. Her new color, cut, and style was an overall enhancement of Susan's features, accentuating her eyes, facial structure and cheekbones (face type: round).

I applied GKhair leave-in conditioner and smoothing serum, and finished with GKhair hair spray. I'm very happy with Susan's results, and she is, too!

We had so much fun doing Susan’s hair makeover and glam makeup with facial contouring at my salon (by Phillip Washington and his YBLimited Mobile Glam Squad), and her injectables, dermaplaning facial, and eyebrow tinting at The Graivier Center & MedSpa

Click here to read all about her Style Takeover, and HERE for more pictures and info of Susan getting her Graivier treatments and glam makeover.

It’s time for a new you! If you are in the Atlanta area, call today for a consultation or appointment! 678-361-4247



Salon Lofts   |   Lofts #11 & #13
Roswell Marketplace   |   10800 Alpharetta Hwy., Suite 240
Roswell, GA 30076 |  678-361-4247  |

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