How to Describe Hairstyles and Hair Movement?

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Thread: How to Describe Hairstyles and Hair Movement?

  1. #1

    How to Describe Hairstyles and Hair Movement?

    I am wondering how best to describe certain hairstyles in my stories. I have Googled some things, but have not found anything concrete regarding this. This is important to me because I want to 'show' rather then 'tell' about my characters. If someone is a musician, I don't want to tell my readers about them. I want to show them.

    Take a look at this:
    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_md...ib2oo1_500.jpg

    How would you describe her hairstyle in a way that would 'show' her character? You can tell a lot about a person by just knowing how they do their hair.

    Please help with any advice. Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    If you have to describe hair, you might just want to keep it simple. Shoulder length, chin length, wavy, spiked curly etc. Or you could use simile if you can think of something that sounds original or not too obtrusive.

    This is one of the few bits I've written that includes a description of hair:

    Cameron first saw Tilda on the train at the Five Points station, early Sunday morning after the clubs had closed. She was all arms, legs and sharp angles with skin whiter than bone and dyed red-purple hair cut like a boy’s. Another black-clad, pseudo-bohemian, he thought. Maybe an art student.

    Oh, here's another one:

    Before she proceeds down the aisle arm-in-arm with her proud and beaming father, both Jamey and Kip remark that she’s gained weight. Good and much needed weight. She’s still winter-pale, but with skin now glowing like polished Carrera marble. It occurs to me I’ve never seen her natural hair color, and I believe that’s what I’m looking at now. A dark reddish-brown, cut into a thick wedge that perfectly frames an angelic and radiant expression that is completely new to me. I see that she is happy.

    In both examples it seemed important -- the first to give a first impression of the who the character was in the eyes of the MC -- or what he thought she was. The second was about a big change that's taken place, not only in appearance, but in the character's life. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't mention it. With people in bands -- the hair is often part of the persona or look -- and can even say something about what kind of music they play -- so I can see where it might be important.
    Last edited by JosephB; May 12th, 2013 at 04:44 PM.

  3. #3
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    Pink is a start. Hot pink; stand out pink; eye catching pink; a waterfall of hot pink to either side of her head, landing on black leather. The part is not well defined. You see the hair goes to either side, but the scalp doesn't show in the part. Almost like a spray of hair in a fountain that's stuck on hot pink.

    Notice I'm mostly describing the color. I love color and that type of non-conformity is hot in my eyes.
    Last edited by Robert_S; May 12th, 2013 at 04:39 PM.

  4. #4
    She had a surprisingly plain face. Then again, her hair looked like David Bowie's dipped in pink paint, so perhaps it did steal away the flair a bit.

  5. #5
    With a head of flashy pink hair , I wasn't sure if she meant for the style, or the wind had picked up only in her section of the world.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outiboros View Post
    She had a surprisingly plain face. Then again, her hair looked like David Bowie's dipped in pink paint, so perhaps it did steal away the flair a bit.
    It looks like she doesn't use a lot of makeup. I can see a few blemishes that makeup would hide. Many celebs are surprisingly plain without makeup. And I also thought of Bowie when I looked closer at her hair style, but I didn't know how to describe without referencing Bowie.

  7. #7
    You don't have to show everything. In fact, trying to show everything would be virtually impossible. Just say she had shoulder-length pink hair, frizzled at the top. It's best not to over-think these things.
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  8. #8
    Wow! Awesome responses everyone! Thank you! One of the things I've been struggling with is how to "show" hair properly. With one of my most important characters having a rockstar persona, I think it will be important that I 'show' her hair right without overdoing every little detail of her face. Musicians tend to wear a certain look(s) and that hairstyle does convey who they are. I am very familiar with concerts (I go to many of them every year), so I know what the 'look' is.

  9. #9
    “[she's] JAFH—just another flamenco head—bright pink and skinny as a starving bird, peppering the music scene.”
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. Steven Wright

  10. #10
    Gosh, I didn't think she was "plain" -- I think she's pretty cute.

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