Flat-headed lady seeks cute haircut. Help?
June 29, 2017 6:25 AM   Subscribe

So… I like my face but not the way I look from the side. I have a -really- flat back of the head (due to my sleeping habits as a baby), a tall forehead and a small nose / mouth so from the side I look like all cheeks (having recently put on weight doesn't help). From the front, it's not bad but I cringe when I see pictures of myself taken from the side. I'd love to find a cute hairstyle to bring out the inner beauty that is currently kinda obscured ;)

My hair is thin and straight but there is quite a lot of it. Currently medium-length, low neck hairline. All the hair wants to fall on my face almost as if I had a back parting (I mean, not quite but I do wish there was a way to get at least part of the volume away from my face and onto the back of my head).
I have been getting the inverse bob for years and I'm bored. My stylist is not really helpful. I have been searching online but honestly, all the haircuts look almost identical to me, with slight variations in hair texture and anyway none of the models seem to have a similar head shape. I've searched for "flat head hairstyles women" and can't seem to find anything helpful.

It would be ideal to find a new stylist but I have been to several and they all kinda shrug ("you just have this difficult head shape, whatchagonnado"). It seems that I have the pick of bangs/no bangs and layers/no layers [hate bangs so it's basically down to two]. It's a shame because I like the color and feel of the hair and would love to have more options.

So, any tips / actual styles that you can think of? Big websites with hundreds of similarly-looking hairstyles make my eyes glaze over so please don't just tell me to look there. Unless there is a section for flat heads specifically, sigh.

Bonus points for more styling tips for flat eggheads with funny profiles ;)
posted by M. to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total)
This isn't a haircut, but can you try wearing your hair up? My hair has a lot of length and volume but I wear a bun pretty much every day (Asian, flat profile, lots of cheeks) and find it gives me control and consistency about where I can direct the fullness for flattering effect. I secure the updo (in my case with hairsticks, but you can use pins too) and then pull some of the surface hair partially loose to give a fluffier shape. There are also updos like the Gibson Tuck that play up that back-fullness and can be adjusted for front- or side- fullness too.

If you don't want to or can't wear your hair up, you could try a half-updo (pulling back the front/top part only while leaving the rest down, lots of examples on Google under "half updo" or "half up half down") with a pretty clip/barrette/band or curling the part that's up for extra volume. Twisting/rolling the sides you pull back (kind of like this) or flipping the half-up ponytail (like this) can also help create volume.

Hope these bonus tips help and I'm not completely missing the point of your question!
posted by spelunkingplato at 6:51 AM on June 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

It could be that you're dealing with a cowlick (or several cowlicks) that are keeping the volume away from the back of your head. In my experience, the best I've been able to do is work with the cowlicks rather than fight them. Do you have a budget for this where you could go to a big city pricey salon (even if just once) to get a personalized style from someone whose work you love?

FWIW, I love the inverse bob and have similar but not the same hair issues. For me, I've grown my hair past my shoulders and that has enabled me to wear my hair up a lot (at the point of lowest volume at the upper back of my head) and as my hair got longer the cowlicks (which was one of my main issues) became less powerful.

Another idea is to invest in extensions (either clip-in or salon), which I've toyed with myself.
posted by pammeke at 6:54 AM on June 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Are you comfortable posting a photo of yourself from the side? I'm pretty good at recommending hair cuts for people, but I'm having a really hard time picture what you look like in profile.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 7:16 AM on June 29, 2017

OK this is the closest I could get to taking a side pic of myself:


Thank you for all the suggestions so far :) I love them on the models, will have to try on my own self too.
posted by M. at 7:33 AM on June 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Another one:
posted by M. at 7:41 AM on June 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

My two cents: I think your current cut is very cute and flattering on you, and can tell you from experience that growing from that length to past your shoulders takes time and patience, but being able to do some of the cute updos that spelunkingpotato recommends has been worth it. And the ideas they give for pulling back some of the hair from the front and fastening it at the back can be done at the length you are now (and as you grow out).

With that said, eager to see other haircut ideas too!
posted by pammeke at 7:45 AM on June 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think you could go super aggressive on the inverse bob, which, as is, is a great look on you. I mean, chin length in the front angled to a super short stacked layer in back, which will give the back volume.

with the length left in the front, I'd do a side part and have a bit of assymetry on front, with the "smaller" part side about chin length, and the "bigger" side of your part about an inch below the chin.

The google search term is assymetrical inverted bob.
posted by slateyness at 8:02 AM on June 29, 2017 [6 favorites]

You are being too hard on yourself, you are much cuter than you realize.

But if you want a different cut, ask people. I have asked complete strangers who I think have cute hair cuts who did it for them, there is someone in your area who can cut hair. You just need to find them.
posted by chocolatetiara at 8:12 AM on June 29, 2017 [4 favorites]

I think your inverse bob is very flattering and might just need a little refreshing. Also, you have a lovely facial profile with very proportional features, and an entirely unremarkable back of the head profile. If someone had asked me to criticize your head shape from the photos shown, I very honestly, as an internet stranger with no emotional connection to you, would have been hard pressed to come up with anything to say let alone excessive flatness. I'm not a doctor but you could have a touch of body dysmorphia going on. Sending big hugs!
posted by defreckled at 8:24 AM on June 29, 2017 [10 favorites]

Yeah, I think your cut is cute on you! In fact, I have similar hair right now, with similar hair texture. My head isn't "flat in the back" but it is *tiny.* A lot of haircuts make me look like a pinhead.

I would freshen up your current cut and spend a few more minutes styling it—it's made all the difference for me.

Here's what I do:

+ Cut the asymmetrical part off so that it's blunt. The weight in the front might actually be adding to the challenge rather than detracting from it.

+ After you wash your hair, towel dry it and spray in a ton of sea salt spray. More than the bottle recommends. Then re-towel it and blow it dry. This should give you a ton of texture and volume.

+ After it's dry, run a flat iron through it (quickly)! No need for perfection.

+ Wash your hair only like once or twice a week. Rely on volumizing dry shampoo for the in-between times. I find that our haircut, styled in this way, looks *best* after about 3 days.

+ Don't worry about where your part lays. This is a "flippy" haircut, in which you can run your hand through it and let it hang naturally, and the cowlicks actually help.

Have fun!
posted by functionequalsform at 8:57 AM on June 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Looking at the side of one's own head is like listening to a recording of one's own voice: unfamiliar and often awkward at first.

This internet stranger says you have a perfectly fine side head silhouette.

I'm a guy but with a similar shape and cheek structure, and when my hair was about your length I found that the reason it didn't work as well for me was the length of it was pulling my hair flatter in front. Switching to razor cut short in back and fuller on top changed the profile and was a nice look.
posted by zippy at 10:04 AM on June 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

On review the cut slateyness describes: you would rock that.
posted by zippy at 10:06 AM on June 29, 2017

You are super cute and I think that tucking your hair behind your ears like you did in the first photo you shared = most flattering. But you have a very normal and lovely profile, and your head shape is just fine to this Internet stranger too. :)
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:42 AM on June 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Would you consider going super short? I think you could do a razored and stacked short cut really well. I'm thinking something like this or this. Admittedly these sort of have bangs, ish, but they can be so long they don't read as bangs. I do think it's a shame you don't like bangs since that's one thing that can give short hair some dimension.

I have hair just like yours and am interested in the other ideas, too. I'm currently growing it out long and it's taking tremendous patience, because it doesn't look great - too flat. But I'm hoping it will give me more options once it's longer, like the updos shown above.
posted by Miko at 11:03 AM on June 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

I agree with Miko, a short cut would look great on you! You truly have wonderful and defined cheekbones, despite what you may see when you look in the mirror :-) I have super round and pudgy cheeks, and a hairstylist convinced me that the shorter and more defined my hair is, the more defined my cheeks are — and it's true! I know you're thinking of hiding behind some hair, but that generally adds more width and less definition to your face.

If you don't want to go drastically shorter (like this!), removing some of the bulk from your hair and adding more texture would be my suggestion. That will allow you to gain volume at the top and taper in against the sides of your head to elongate your profile.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 11:26 AM on June 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Wow, thanks everyone! I love the suggestions. Not sure if I could pull off all of them but I like 'em all.

I have made an appointment with a hairstylist for tomorrow! Am taking the downloaded pictures with me - wish me luck :)
I might update the thread tomorrow with a current pic ;)
posted by M. at 11:38 AM on June 29, 2017 [5 favorites]

Pictures here:

I showed the pictures to the stylist and we had a little back and forth before we agreed on what was possible. Thanks everyone for the suggestions and encouragement!
posted by M. at 9:58 AM on June 30, 2017

Wow! Adorable! I was popping in to say that it isn't as noticeable to outsiders as it is to you... I really didn't think it looked flat. But a little bit of teasing there would probably fluff it out enough for you to be happy with it.

But seriously, the new cut looks very, very cute! I'd say problem solved.
posted by mulcahy at 12:34 PM on June 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Really, really great! Love those loose wavy strands, great shape.
posted by Miko at 2:35 PM on June 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

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