Had some free time at work so decided to start on this post instead of burning my brain and working even harder than I already am.
In my last post about kimono hair, I talked about face shapes and hinted about how hair texture was going to play an equally important part in getting that hairstyle right. Again, I’m putting up the disclaimer that I really am not a professional and I’m just sharing tips that I’ve gathered from talking to friends and my own hairstylists (God knows I’ve been through a few of them.)
There are many types of hair. Even if you’re not going to do an updo anytime soon, knowing what type of hair you have is a good thing so you’d know how to care for it better on a day-to-day basis. I spent years buying the wrong sort of shampoo. It took two stylists, a few friends and a website to point me in the right direction.
If you’re unsure as to what’s your hair type, you can try this link at naturallycurly.com.
Once you have your hair type down pat, you can decide whether or not you want to go for that sleek smooth look when you’ve got ringlets. You might also wish to consider long beautiful straight hair can be worn half-up and half-down, in a classic manner.
Texture also dictates the kind of kanzashis you can put in your hair. Generally speaking, thicker, straight hair like Plum’s can benefit from thicker plastic combs that tend to be a little heavier and require little grip to keep it in place. The same type of comb isn’t going to stay in my hair – which is fine but in rather voluminous ringlets. Instead, I’d go for a light wire comb that has enough teeth to get a grip.
Generally, the rule for kanzashis and hair accessories (based on my trial and error) is as such…
-thick and straight hair benefit from clips that have a thicker or stronger hold e.g. butterfly clips, crocodile clips, hair sticks and barettes. Thicker hair can go for larger more spectacular pieces that tend to be heavier. These can be placed at the side of the head e.g. above or behind the ear because the hair is strong enough to support the weight.
– fine hair can support finer, lighter pieces of hair jewellery e.g. those attached to wire combs, mini-butterfly clips. Crocodile clips will hold but in my personal opinion, the damage done by the teeth to the hair shaft is just not worth it. It leads to breakages and more problems down the road. If you do wish to wear a larger and heavier piece, you might wish to support with bobbypins or position it at the base of the bun, ponytail where there’s more hair gathered to support it.
– curly hair; depending on your curls, different pieces will work. Fine, curly hair would look good with the smaller hair jewels. Thick curly hair would be able to support the heavier pieces that act as a sleek accent to the piled waves or ringlets. Its hard to say what would work because there’s a tendency for curls to overwhelm the pieces that actually hold the style together. So you really have to experiment
For examples of hair jewellery or accessories, here are some great examples I came across and more examples of how you can wear them. I won’t comment much on the whole ‘dirty your hair up a bit’ because I’ve got an oily scalp and most of the time I’ve got enough sebum-goodness to coat my curls.
– Afro-textured hair: Only after watching a few shows like Tyra (yes, I watch rubbish sometimes, even judgmental supermodels) and catching snippets of Chris Rock’s Good Hair, did I become aware of the entirely unique and different hair fibre that is afro-textured hair. I don’t have any personal experience with Afro-textured hair so I’m not going to dispense any advice on an area I don’t know about. What I do know is that, judging by the intricate cornrows, braids and patterns I’ve seen people do with Afro-textured hair, there shouldn’t be a problem with incorporating the neat, beautiful aesthetics of kimono hair. Granted, it would look different but hell, it’d still be pretty if you do it right. So if you have afro-textured hair and still want to wear a kimono, go ahead and work it.
The most popular way to wear your hair, due to the crisp and smart collar of the kimono, is to have a bun worn high at the back of the head. The same formal effect can be faked with extensions and fake hair pieces. If you wish to wear your short hair as naturally as you can, you could fluff it up and to emphasise the curls, while smoothing down the fringe for a more formal appearance.
I’d really suggest browsing through the Japanese books section of your local bookstore, if you’re lucky enough to have a Kinokuniya or Sasuga near you for guides like these. Even if you can’t understand the language, the pictorial guides are enough for you to figure out the basics.
Now that we have the texture and length out of the way, I can talk about the sort of kanzashis you want to consider. Generally speaking, floral patterns are the way to go. While most kanzashis are expensive, there are affordable pieces available on Etsy.com. This is one seller I love to bookmark. So there isn’t any need to fork out hundreds of dollars for a piece that while authentic and super traditional, its one that you won’t/can’t wear with anything else other than your kimono.