Do you know what kind of face shape you have? I think we all have our own ideas of what we think we look like in the mirror. But Narcissus himself probably couldn't identify what kind of face shape he had. Because for years (all 35 of them) I'd convinced myself that I had a round face. This is partly due to having quite full cheeks, I’m sure, but when I spoke to George Northwood, owner of the eponymous salon and hairdresser to oh, just Alexa Chung, Rosie Hungtington-Whiteley and Meghan Markle, he said I had a long/oval-shaped face. Why does this matter? Well, for six months I hadn't had a haircut and I wanted to know which haircut was the best for my face shape. I asked George to chat with me about how I should get it cut because he’s a legend in his industry.
WHO WHAT WEAR
George Northwood and Elinor Block in a Zoom call
Days before I went for the cut, I spoke to George over Zoom. I quickly gave him the facts: I hadn’t had my haircut for over six months, I wanted to go short, but how short could I go? The reason for the short hair question was because I didn’t know when I’d have another chance of getting my haircut (hello, second wave) and I couldn’t face my hair getting so long again.
“Post-lockdown, everyone is desperate for a big change,” says George. “To get the look you’re after, you need to consider what you want to achieve and think about the different proportions.”
For me, George suggested that I can go short and even take it up to my jawline if I want, as I’ve got a longer face than I realise. So, by cutting the length, it won’t make my face look too round (as I personally didn’t want it to). Equally, he says, “If you don’t want anymore width to your face [if your face is round] then don’t go for a shorter bob and keep it long as that will help elongate your face.”
Ultimately, I learn that it’s all about working out what look you want to go for and then working out the length and shape from there. George also told me about hard and soft features, which can also impact the length of your hair and how short you go. For example, the beautiful Sarah Jessica Parker has a long face but she has arguably harder features so she opts for longer, wavier hair to soften her features. Whereas Halle Berry has gorgeous soft features and suits a really short crop.
He also goes by the rule of “the more height on top you have and the skinnier the hair the thinner the face will look,” he says. There are also features that people might want to make a priority, so they might opt for a grown-out fringe to highlight cheekbones.
Below, you can see my before and after looks, then keep scrolling to see my favourite haircare products.
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As you can see, this is over my shoulders. My hair was also incredibly full and harder to style—bear in mind this is after it has been blow-dried and straightened so it’s much harder to tame when curly.