MORE THAN ANY other factors, the texture, bend and amount of your hair must govern your choice of a hairdo. I emphasize this point because in my experience the failure to understand it is a leading cause of women's dissatisfaction with their hair, and their hairdressers. Great hair styles depend on a proper analysis of your hair.
The woman who is trying to work against nature must spend endless hours fussing with her hair and gets no better results than the one who has chosen an easily cared-for hairdo. A successful hairdo is one where the hair will spring easily back into place. Any other kind means you have to force the hair to do something that is not natural to it. If you choose one of the latter, a great deal more hair care will be required, and satisfactory results are questionable.
First you must examine your hair with a cold and impersonal eye. Study it as it actually is, not as you would like it to be or as it used to be. How fine or coarse is your hair? How thick or thin? Finally, and one of the most important questions, how much bend (natural wave or curl) does it have?
To answer these questions, first wash your hair. While it is wet, begin manipulating it with your fingers. Examine the top, back and sides by sections. By doing so you will be able to determine the amount of bend in your hair. This bend will help you decide on the style. When you locate a natural bend, if there is any, you can utilize it for a style that will be practicable for you.
It is possible that some sections will have more bend, some less, some none. The bend which can be utilized best is that found at the temples, the sideburns, and the top of the hair. You will realize, of course, that the amount of bend will vary with the length of the strand of hair. If your hair is long and shows no bend, this is what to do: isolate several sections of your hair, each section containing between one dozen or two dozen hairs.
Cut these sections shorter and shorter till you get them down to one inch in length. At each cutting manipulate them with your fingers and comb, to test them for bend. When you find the length at which one or all the sections respond, you should use that length as a measuring stick for the rest of the hair.
As I have said, it often happens that one section will have bend, the other none, so common sense will tell you to use the bend for movement or variation of line, and leave the rest as straight as possible.
When you discover one section with bend you must search carefully along its outer edges, to see how far it goes.
While on this subject, I must make it clear that finding bend in the hair applies to curly as well as straight hair, because even curly hair has some straighter sections which can be utilized for their straightness. Great hair styles will take account of these variations.
Once you have decided on the amount of bend your hair possesses, then you must think in terms of hairdos and whether you want to utilize all of the bend or just some of it.
Your next step is to begin thinking about the texture (fine, medium or coarse).
Fine hair has a tendency to frizz when curled too tightly. It looks its best when allowed to fall softly and naturally, with a minimum of curling.
Coarse hair will hold a curl or wave if you don't curl it too tightly or wave it too much.
Medium hair is the most pliable and can assume many shapes.
Thin hair must be made to look thicker. One of the best ways is to wash it frequently and keep it free from oil. When hair is freshly washed it looks twice as thick.
Thick hair can always be thinned if necessary to assume a shape in conformity with your hairdo.
There are an enormous number of great hair styles from which you can choose. Once you truly understand the qualities of your hair, you can decide on the appropriate style.