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Hairstyle for a Heavy Set Male

Q: My male friend is rather heavy set, and he wants me to cut his hair, (I just graduated from Empire), I am not really sure what would be the best cut for him. I know in general for females, if you're heavier you want more body to balance weight and if you're thin you don't want 'big' hair, because it could swallow you. However, 'big' hair for men isn't really all that desirable. If you have any suggestions as to a good hair cut for heavy set men, I would greatly appreciate it. (He's about 5'7" and has somewhere between a round and oval face shape I believe). Thank you.
 
A: Unfortunately, it is impossible to offer a specific style suggestion based on so little information. In fact, as you continue to learn and hone your craft working with clients, you will discover that you almost always need to look the client in the face to really get a sense of what would look best on him or her. Choosing the right style is about finding the best way to balance the features, and create the appearance of the ideal shape.
 
       The goal in creating a hairstyle for any client is to create the appearance of an “oval face”, which is the ideal. For those individuals who already have an oval face, this simply means that virtually any style will look equally flattering. However, most times, there are going to be features that need to be taken into account even when the face is oval. When you find features that are out of balance with the rest of the face, you find ways to either mask or camouflage them or ways to maximize their appearance, which ever is needed more.
 
       For example: your friend is heavy set, with a face shape that falls between round and oval. This would indicate that it is in need of some means to make the face appear more oval. A style that is close on the sides, with fullness on top would be a good way to balance this and create the truly oval shape. But what about the other features? Is his forehead high or wide? If so, perhaps the style needs to include fringe (bangs) to balance the face.
 
       Are the ears large or protruding? If so, you may want to leave some length on the sides to mask them or partially camouflage them. Does he have a large nose? If so, perhaps your chosen style needs to have an off-center parting and angled fringe to break up the symmetry of the style and prevent the nose from appearing so prominent in the face.
 
       There are many different tricks to help balance and flatter any face, regardless of the imbalance of features or perceived challenges. As with any individual, you have to consider scale and balance. Men and women may be different in specifics, but the theory is the same. Larger men generally need slightly longer, fuller styles, but that may mean a difference in length as small as ¼ to ½ an inch.
 
       Be sure to discuss with your friend everything he wants from the style, and any potential areas of concern he would like to have taken into consideration as you work on creating the style for him. Be sure you are clear about what you plan to do before you begin cutting, and always err on the side of caution. If you cut it a little too long, you can always trim a little more off, but if you cut it too short, he is the one who has to suffer through it while it re-grows. I assure you, he won’t thank you for that.
 
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