Advice on Hairstyles for Oval Faces
You ladies with oval face shapes are a very lucky crew. Oval is the most versatile face shape that can get away with almost anything in regards to styles and cuts!
Q&A with style creator, Brian Byrnes – Hairstylist @ Belle Sirène in La Jolla, CA
How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?
This is a classic long-layered cut with a long face frame. I often begin a face frame around the corner of the mouth so it can pop off the cheekbone when styled. This young lady wanted all her hair around the face to easily make it into a ponytail without any bits around the face dropping out.
The layering motif is my signature “triangulated layering technique”. I’ve developed a method of layering which is neither convex nor concave. By mirroring the profile of the hair above the occipital to the length below, the hair diffuses and collapses seamlessly into the length without weight lines.
Donovan Mills out of Beverly Hills was the first person I saw cutting hair this way. I spent a lot time with him discussing the nuances of the techniques and applying them on models. I’ve sort of made it my own.
What products do you recommend to maintain and recreate this look?
This girl has beautiful, healthy hair with no issues textural or otherwise. A great cut should require virtually no management or maintenance. That being said, I’m a reductionist when it comes to at-home product use by clients. If there are products they really like I totally support them buying them. Generally though, besides a good shampoo and conditioner, I really only send them home with a great leave-in conditioner.
My absolute favorite is Oi Milk by Davines. It’s the best I’ve ever worked with. It comes out in the perfect mist and does so many wonderful things. It displaces water which reduces dry time, it protects the hair from hot tools, detangles the hair, has UV protection, as well as many other functions. It’s suitable for absolutely every hair type.
In addition to walking the client through how to use any products they go home with, I like to leave them with a trick or two to recreate the style we finished the haircut with. Sometimes it’s how to stretch the root a bit to gain some lift and volume, or even how to marry some sections of hair together to create movement. The client often doesn’t have time to give themselves a full on blow dry or hot tool style, that’s why I help them maximize their efforts. My best tip is telling them to always start in front. This way if they get burnt out, the money pieces will always be done!
What type of client would you recommend this look for?
This look is perfect for absolutely any client. Triangulated layers are non problem-specific. That means there are no challenges in the hair that can’t be addressed in this manner. The texturing and customization after the shape is cut is up to the stylist and his or her client. External shape and internal texture are two completely different entities.
I tend to feel that when the geometry is sterling, the cut needs minimal texturizing. I can’t tell you how many times a client will show me different looks and I explain to them it’s often the same cut styled or provoked in different ways. The point is that every cut, no matter face shape or lifestyle, needs solid geometry and fundamentals. The geometry is customized to meet these criteria. It’s the styling and detailing that makes a cut bespoke for the individual client.