I'd like to start by saying that having a big forehead does not equal being less beautiful. I mean, obviously. But it is true that we all have features we'd rather minimize, and others we'd like to accentuate. I've had an arguably large forehead my entire life and chosen to completely disregard all the rules—I've never had bangs, I wear my hair parted down the middle, and I slick it back into a bun on most weekend mornings. I am, however, intrigued by the idea that your haircut can change the balance of your face.
I talked to Wes Sharpton about his thoughts on the subject.
Meet the Expert
Wes Sharpton is the lead hairstylist at Hairstory Studio located in Union Square, NYC. His work and expertise have been featured in publications such as Allure, Coveteur, Elle, and Man Repeller.
"I rarely ever talk about haircuts in terms of what I don't like about someone. I think it's important to address what makes us unique as opposed to trying to hide imperfections. If something bothers you, you can acknowledge it, but I don't think that's the most important thing to focus on. Instead, I like asking people what they like about themselves, eyes, eyebrows, cheekbones, etc. I think picking a haircut should show off something great about you.
"I also think it's important to be open to the idea that what you don't think looks good about you could be what people find attractive. For example, even Tyra Banks has been told that her forehead was 'too big,' and most people would describe her as beautiful. Nova, a former Hairstory employee, used to tell me that she couldn't wear short hair because her whole head was too big. When I finally convinced her to cut it, it ended up looking really striking. Ultimately, if you're self-conscious about your forehead, it's probably going to come down to a conversation on bangs, bangs with long hair, short hair, a mod look, or something of the like."
Never rule out a short cut just because you're self-conscious, but rather, go for it, because your defining features are your best assets. Or have your long hair styled in such a way to keep all your proportions in check. Below, Sharpton explains some of his favorite cuts that do just that.
The '60s Icon
"Lara has a really classic, long-haired look that I think a lot of women are after. We decided to add a longer bang that covers the eyebrow for a more sexy '60s look. As the bang gets away from her eyes, it rounds out to accentuate her cheekbone. Great references to show your stylist are Jane Birkin or Lou Doillon."
The Curly Bang
"This cut is great because it's a curlier bang but not a full-on fringe. It's not dense, so you still see the forehead but it breaks up the shape a little bit. With curlier hair, the hairdresser should cut a smaller section, because once dry, curly hair will expand."
The Non-Traditional Bob
Often women assume a short cut won't look good on them, but that's pretty much never the case. It's all about understanding your angles. "If you want a deep bang, ask that your stylist cut it all really softly with a razor and graduate it slightly in the back, suggests Sharpton.
The Loose Bob
"For this look, it's about creating a little transparency through the bang so we still see the forehead, but it's softened. I blew out her natural curls, then flat-ironed it, cut a traditional bob shape, and broke up that shape all over where I wanted to see separation."
"The thing that I really like about this cut is that it's a more modern take on a bob. It's a little longer in the back, and even though you're covering up the forehead, it's really loose and fluid. From a cut perspective, I would start with a traditional bob and add more framing around the face to really break it out of the box so it doesn't look too traditional. Cutting the layers in a more forward direction creates a looser look that will just flow right into these light bangs."
Regardless of how you actually cut your hair, you don't have to avoid styling it.
"Don’t hide it! Show it off by building more volume at the top."
The Grown-Out Pixie
"Break the shape with a long, sexy bang."
The Shaggy Bob
"Go short but add soft separation."
The Winona Ryder
"Or go with a long soft bang with a middle part."
The Textured Long Pixie
"A heavier bang with soft ends is also a nice option."
"So don’t hide that gorgeous forehead of yours! The great thing about a larger forehead is that we get to see more of the face. Creating strong, short square bangs helps to break up the shape of the forehead without hiding it."
Now that you have your cut down, read all about what NOT to do when getting your hair done.