How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love My Giant Forehead

OK, maybe I don't LOVE it, but I've learned to live with it, thanks to 8 tips anyone with a "fivehead" can use to look less like a dolphin.
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Publish date:
May 23, 2013
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hair, makeup, bangs, headbands, highlighters, bronzers, blotting papers, camoflauge, forehead

I'd had bangs for a full 10 years--from age 3 to 13--when I'd finally had enough.

My forehead was a minefield of zits; my bangs would flip and part whenever I'd sweat, and they pretty much extended from the top of my head to my eyebrows. One summer, I decided to STOP THE INSANITY and grow them out. I thought I was finally in the clear.

But I had only released the beast: my forehead. Or fivehead, as Tyra would say.

Yeah, it's pretty large, and I realize my parents likely gave me bangs as a toddler for that very reason. It didn't help that, during a subsequent tomboy phase, I would pull all my hair back into a tight knot and basically look bald.

However, I'm happy to say that I've been bangs-free for almost 17 years, and I've finally learned to live with my big forehead.

Beyond telling myself that my brain is abnormally large, I've developed some hair and makeup sleights of hand that make me a bit less self-conscious.

  • Highlighter fans recommend swiping some across your forehead--in addition to your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, etc.--to bring more light and dimension into the face. However, if you have a big forehead, feel free to highlight everywhere

    else, skipping your forehead. Light reflecting off this already broad expanse will only make it look larger and draw more attention to it.

  • Following that same principal, make sure to keep your forehead as shine-free as possible. Depending on your skin, that could mean always carrying oil-blotting sheets (or rolling papers) or using an oil-free moisturizer. It could also mean opting for a more matte foundation versus a dewy or mineral-based formula.
  • Now try the opposite of highlighting: Take a bit of bronzer or contouring powder and apply lightly to the temples, thus minimizing them and seemingly reducing the width of your forehead.
  • Fill in your brows. Again, this visually limits the total area of your forehead, which, with weak brows, could seem to extend to your actual eyes. A strong brow will frame and define the face and make you look less like a dolphin.
  • Bangs are the obvious answer for their camouflaging function, but many of us have already experienced enough fringe-induced trauma in our lifetimes. The alternative is to have your hairstylist cut some shorter, wispy pieces on either side of your face. The point isn't to cover your forehead but to distract from it by breaking up the surface and framing your face. These pieces are especially useful when hair is pulled back to prevent the aforementioned "bald" look.
  • Encourage volume at the root of your hair to make your forehead look smaller, or at least more proportionate. When hair hangs limply, the forehead becomes your most prominent feature. I'm pretty much a wash-and-wear girl during the week, but I will take a minute to flip my head over and blast my damp roots with a blow-dryer to add some lift. When I put my hair up, I do it imperfectly, so that some strands of hair aren't lying flat against the scalp but sort of sticking out messily. Kind of that "maybe-I-just-had-sex-wouldn't-you-like-to-know" look.
  • Do headbands right. Don't use them to push all hair back and away from your face; this looks severe and unflattering. Instead, part your hair as you normally would (preferably not down the middle), and tuck the sections on either side of your face behind your ears, leaving one or two short wisps out in front. Then simply place the headband on, a few inches back from the hairline, tucking ends behind ears.
  • Also, HATS!

Do you have a fivehead? What are your tricks? Is there one hairstyle that works best?