Ch. 14: Principles of Hair Design


Where one of the best sources of inspiration can be found

Hair design

Usually follows fashion trends to create the total look


Defines form and space. Create the shape, design, and movement of a hairstyle. The eye follows these in a design

Horizontal lines

Create width in hair design. They extend in the same direction and maintain a constant distance apart from the floor or horizon.

Vertical lines

Create length and height in hair design

Diagonal lines

Are positioned between horizontal and vertical lines. They are often used to emphasize or minimize facial features.

Diagonal lines

Are positioned between horizontal and vertical lines. They are often used to emphasize or minimize facial features.

Curved lines

Lines moving in a circular or semi circular direction, soften a design.

Single lines

An example is the one length hairstyle. Best for clients requiring the lowers maintenance when styling their hair. Requires minimal care.

Parallel lines

Are repeating lines in a hairstyle. Can be straight or curved. The repetition of lines creates more interest in the design.

Finger wave

Is an example of a style using curved, parallel lines.

Contrasting lines

Are horizontal and vertical lines that meet at a 90 degree angle.

Transitional lines

Are usually curved lines that are used to blend and soften horizontal or vertical lines.

Directional lines

Are lines with a definite forward or backward movement.


Is the mass or general outline of a hairstyle. May also be called volume. The silhouette is usually the part of the overall design that a client will respond to first.


Is the area surrounding the form or the area the hairstyle occupies.

Design texture

Refers to wave patterns that must be taken into consideration when designing a style for your client. All hair has a natural wave pattern--straight, wavy, curly, or extremely curly.

Curly and Extremely curly

Do not reflect much light and can be coarse to the touch.


Can be created temporarily with the use of heat and/or wet styling techniques.

Crimping irons

Are used to create interesting and unusual wave patterns like zigzags.

Chemical wave pattern

Considered permanent. They last until the new growth of hair is long enough to alter the design.

Smooth wave patterns

Accent the face and are particularly useful when you wish to narrow a round head shape.

Curly wave patterns

Take attention away from the face and can be used to soften square or rectangular features.


Can be used to make app or part of the design appear larger or smaller. Can help define texture and line, and it Can tie design elements together.

Light and warm colors

Create the illusion of volume

Dark and cool colors

Recede or move in toward the head, creating the illusion of less volume


Is the comparative relationship of one thing to another


Is establishing equal or appropriate proportions to create symmetry. Can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Can be the proportion of height to width.

Symmetrical balance

Occurs when an imaginary line is drawn through the center of the face and the two resulting halves form a mirror image of one another. Both sides of the hairstyle are the same distance from the center, the same length, and have the same volume when viewed

Asymmetrical balance

Is established when the two imaginary halves of a hairstyle have an equal visual weight, but are positioned unevenly. Opposite sides of the hairstyle are different lengths or have a different volume. Can be horizontal or diagonal.


Is a regular pulsation or recurrent pattern of movement in a design.

Emphasis or focus

Is what draws the eye first, before it travels to the rest of the design.


Is the creation of unity in a design and is the most important of the art principles. Holds all the elements of the design together

Fine straight hair

This combination usually hugs the head shape due to the fact that there is no body or volume

Straight medium hair

This type of hair offers versatility in styling.

Straight coarse hair

This hair is hard to curl and carries more volume than the previous two types.

Wavy fine hair

This type of hair can appear fuller with the appropriate haircut and style

Wavy medium hair

This type of hair offers the most versatility in styling

Wavy coarse hair

This hair type can produce a silhouette that is very wide, and the hair can appear unruly if it is not shaped properly.

Curly fine hair

When this hair type is worn long, it often separates, revealing the clients scalp unless the hair is thick in density

Curly medium hair

This hair type creates a wide silhouette

Curly coarse hair

This hair needs heavy styling products to weigh it down

Very curly fine hair

The most flattering shape for the client must be determined before you begin styling

Extremely curly medium hair

This silhouette can get very wide, because the hair can look wider rather than longer as it grows

Extremely curly coarse hair

This silhouette will be extremely wide

Facial shape

Is determined by the position and prominence of the facial bones. A good way to determine this is to pull all of the clients hair completely off the face so you can better observe just the clients face.

Oval face

About one and a half times longer than its width across the brow. Considered ideal

Round face

Contour: round hairline and round chin line, wide face
Objective: to create the illusion of length to the face, since this will make the face appear slimmer

Square face

Contour: Wide at the temples, narrow at the middle third of the face, squared off at jaw
Objective: to offset or round out the square features

Triangular or Pear shaped

Contour: narrow forehead, wide jaw and chin line
Objective: to create the illusion of width in the forehead

Oblong face

Contour: long, narrow face with hallow cheeks
Objective: to make the face appear shorter and wider

Diamond face

Narrow forehead, extreme width through the cheekbones, and narrow chin
Objective: to reduce the width across the cheekbone line

Inverted triangle face

Contour: wide forehead and narrow chin line
Objective: to decrease the width of the forehead and increase the width in the lower part of the face


The outline of the face, head, or figure seen in a side view

Straight profile

Considered the ideal

Convex profile

Has a receding forehead and chin

Concave profile

Has a prominent forehead and chin, with other features receded inward

Receding forehead

Direct the bangs over the forehead with an outwardly directed volume

Close set eyes

Usually found on long, narrow faces. Direct hair back and away from the face and the temples. A slight lightening of the hair at the corner of the eyes will give the illusion of width

Wide set eyes

Usually found on round of square faces. Use a higher half bang to create length in the face. The hair should be slightly darker at the sides than the top

Bang area

Is the triangular section that begins at the apex, or high point of the head, and ends at the front corners

Center partings

Are classic. Used for an oval face, but also give an oval illusion to wide and round faces

Side partings

Are used to direct hair across the top of the head. Help develop height on top and make thin hair appear fuller

Diagonal back partings

Are used to create the illusion of width or height in a hairstyle. Gives height to a round or square face and width to a long, thin face