Suffolk style: Happiness is hair

Fashion store owner and style consultant Emma Lloyd gives advice on how to make every day a good hair day.

Fashion store owner and style consultant Emma Lloyd gives advice on how to make every day a good hair day.

The latest study of happiness suggests that being married, healthy, social and living in East Anglia puts you at an advantage.

These were just four of the ten categories drawn up by behavioural economists and from next month, the Office for National Statistics will ask the nation to evaluate its happiness as a part of a drive to create the first official wellbeing index. David Cameron believes it will help people “build a better life”.

This got me thinking about what dampens my spirits. I consider myself a very happy person, content with my life and this was reaffirmed when I scored positively in nine out of the ten categories (aged 70-79 I am not, but hopefully that will come in time!)

I decided to dig a little deeper and speak to a number of friends and customers about this study.

A shortage of time to do everything we want in a day is a common challenge in our busy lives, but on a more superficial level it would seem that it’s a bad hair day that can cause a drop on the happiness barometer. No matter what clothes we are wearing or whether the children brushed teeth without being asked twenty times, bad hair can knock our confidence, mood and overall happiness. Conversely we all know how mood enhancing a great blow dry is.

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My hair saviour is the talented Sarah Rowland, manager of Michael Richards hair salon in Penshurst Road, Ipswich ( who has worked her magic on my hair for almost 10 years. Recently she convinced me to change my trademark blonde highlights for something more subtle.

Fearful of my hair becoming mousy and dull, I let her proceed with some trepidation. We are all aware of hair colours being stereotyped. If you are blonde you are dumb (ahem), brunettes can be boring, red heads have a temper, curly hair means you are wild. Is it all nonsense?

Sarah explained to me “as a client gets older it’s better to soften their haircut and complement this with great colour. Rather than applying a solid matt colour, consider a soft translucent one to help blend any grey. This is also so much more flattering than having unsightly roots after a few weeks”.

As an image consultant I have advised hundreds of ladies over the years about the importance of wearing the correct colour next to their face and what could be closer than our hair?

In my experience 95% of women enhance their hair colour to some extent – some more successfully than others. I am a firm believer that Mother Nature rarely gets it wrong and by ensuring our hair colour works in harmony with our skin tone and eye colour, flattering results will always be achieved.

For example, my cool skin tone that (disappointingly) does not tan easily and green eyes mean that dark brown hair will never work for me. I always opt for ash tones and keep my hair light. Similarly someone with a warm sallow complexion and naturally dark hair will rarely suit the high contrast that blonde hair would give them. Again Sarah explains: “By changing hair colour gently with beiged blondes or soft golden caramels it will complement the client’s skin tone and look much softer.”  Any hairdresser worth their salt will be able to advise you on the correct colour for your hair and if still in doubt, stay as close to your natural hair colour as possible.

But of course it’s not just the wrong hair colour that causes bad hair days. The wrong cut for our face shape can also be disastrous so here are a few tips to help guide you at your next appointment:

Round Face Shape (eg Cameron Diaz)

Aim to have less volume around your face to minimise the appearance of roundness and try haircuts that finish just below your chin to bring your cheeks in and your cheekbones out. Soft graduated layers are great as graduation will make your face appear slimmer. Fringes are flattering but should in most cases be longer and side swept. Always steer clear of one length blunt bobs and if you have curly hair, avoid taking it too short as it will definitely emphasise the roundness.

Square Face Shape (eg Gwyneth Paltrow)

The trick here is to play down the strong angular jaw line. Long hair is fine if not too layered around the face. A much better option is if your layers begin below the chin. A bob falling below the chin and having some graduation to shave off the appearance of the square shape is great. Steer clear of one length bobs and blunt fringes are also best avoided.

Oval Face Shape (eg Kate Hudson)

Lucky you, this is the most versatile face shape and can pull off almost any look – short, long, straight or curly. This face shape has the luxury to consider your best feature and highlight it. If you have great bone structure then consider a bob. Eyes your best feature? A fringe is your best bet. Just avoid shorter layers that add height to the top of your head as this will make your face appear long.

So, the chances are if you are reading this you already live in East Anglia and that’s one of the 10 happiness categories ticked. So with great hair and something gorgeous for your summer wardrobe from Marianna boutique you are well on your way to total contentment!

Marianna Boutique 33a St Peters Street, Ipswich IP1 1XF

Tel 01473 225666

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