Friday, June 24, 2011

Head Wraps and Turbans to Flatter Your Face Shape

A fashion solution for a bad hair day or hair loss are colorful head wraps, turbans and layered scarves, which can be worn indoors or out, from casual to formal looks.

If you think you don’t look good in the latest head wraps or turbans, maybe you haven’t found the right style for your face shape. Just like choosing a hairstyle, your goal is to accentuate the positive and balance the shape of your face.

Remember this is an accessory - part of an outfit. A little planning can turn a plain outfit into a fashion statement!

What is Your Face Shape?

A quick trick is to stand in front of a mirror, smooth your hair away from your face and draw an outline of your reflection on the mirror with a soft eyeliner pencil or old lipstick.

1. Notice the overall length and width of your face.
2. Compare the width of your face in three places:
  • Across your forehead just above your eyebrows
  • Across the top of your cheekbones
  • Across your jaw line and chin

An oval face is about 1-1/2 times longer than it is wide and the most balanced shape. Whether or not you have hair loss, you can wear just about any style of head covering.

If the length and width of your face are fairly equal, you have a round face and will want to embellish the flat outline of the basic turban or head wrap. Add height by layering with a twisted band or scarf. You can further soften lines with a bow, half bow or silk flower on one side just above your ear.
A square face is about the same width across the forehead and the jaw line. Add height with a twisted band as described above. To soften your jaw line, tie the band just behind your ear, with full ends flowing in front of your collarbone. Or tie a large bow above or behind your ear.

A heart-shaped  face is widest across the forehead and/or cheekbones, with a small, narrow jaw line or chin. The edge of the wrap can be a little lower on your forehead, with the knot behind your ear and the tie ends hanging long in front or back.

For you, scarf ends that are square or rounded will look better than pointed ones, which can exaggerate a pronounced chin. A full bow towards the top of your head will accentuate your eyes.

For all face shapes, first bring the edges of the piece around your natural hair line to cover the tops of your ears, and play with twisting, wrapping and tying the end in knots, bows or half bows (only one loop).

If the turban completely covers or replaces your hair, you can balance the look even more with earrings that are larger than you may normally wear.

With the increasing number of women every year that undergo chemotherapy, almost everyone has someone close that has to deal with the side effect of complete hair loss, known as alopecia. As our population ages, many women experience thinning hair from thyroid problems and other medical conditions. In normal circumstances, simply having a bad hair day is aggravating, but hair loss compounds the devastating effects of greater health challenges.

It is not shallow vanity to want to improve our appearance. As visual creatures, we instinctively want to decorate ourselves to relate to others and display our need for connection. Even through illness, you will be more encouraged be around people if you know your unique beauty still reflects from the inside out. Being around those who love and support you is one of the best natural medicines you can find.

Experiment with tying the knot on one side and then the other, with tail ends hanging down. Spread the fabric of the bow for maximum fullness, and position it in different areas around your head. What is your best look?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Healing Wardrobe - 5 Tips for Using Color to Lift Your Spirit

For better or worse, color has a significant impact on our emotions. It may not surprise you to know the way each of us perceives color is unique. Bright colors that lift one person´s mood can be overwhelming or garish to someone else. Pastels that aim to soothe the spirit may be too dreary for a bubbly personality.

The colors you wear not only affect your mood, but also communicate something about your personality. The effect of color in our lives can be mystical, psychological and even functional.

During meditation, feelings of well being are enhanced with visualization of color that has specific meaning to the person. Deep breathing exercises that use a sense of color being directed at different areas of the body can help patients cope and better manage the stress and fear related to their illness.

The influence of color had never been so obvious to me until I was faced with hair loss during chemo. With a bald head, I looked - and felt - absolutely drained unless I wore flattering colors.

With the other side effects of chemo, the stress of a chronic illness or alopecia, we need all the cheering up we can get. Our hair is such a significant part of our self image that sudden, complete hair loss often has a deep impact on our identity and confidence.

Each year, thousands of women have chemo hair loss or alopecia from other medical treatments. And at some point in their lives, another 4.5 million people in the US will be affected with baldness from other causes.

But we can face this change by using our favorite colors to our advantage.

Before you choose a cancer hat, tie a head wrap scarf or turban, here are 5 tips for selecting your best colors:

1. Grab a pad & pen. Go through your closet and write the top 3 colors that look best on you. If you´re not sure, hold it near your face in front of the mirror.

2. Add to the list one or two colors that get you compliments when you wear them.

3. List 1 color you purposely avoid wearing (you may or may own that color).

4. Write down one emotion you connect with each color, whether positive or negative. For example: red (exciting, irritating or?); blue (healing or boring?); black (sophisticated or gloomy?).

5. If you don´t own at least 3 colors that make you feel good, fill in your list with the colors you need to add to your wardrobe - and the positive feeling each one gives you.

By consciously making this list, not only will you be drawn to your healing colors, but you will "anchor" that good feeling. Every time you wear these colors, it will reinforce the memory of the positive emotion.

You don´t have to buy a new wardrobe.
An accessory worn near your face, such as earrings, or a colorful necklace, can change the whole mood of your appearance.

Is that gray sweater depressing? It can be a beautiful background for a head wrap of fuchsia, purple,turquoise, elegant black, crisp white or an animal print.

For those that unfortunate folks that are stuck with having to deal with their hair every day, dyeing it to match each outfit is not a sensible option. But without hair, you can look elegant with a scarf, turban, head wrap or hat that is a proud statement of your colorful spirit.