An asymmetric cut is a haircut in which the hair is cut in such a way that the hair does not have left-right symmetry and one side is cut or appears to be longer than the other. It is a versatile hairstyle with many subvariations. Usually it is a combination of two separate styles, one for each side. An extreme variation is the "side shave", in which one side of the head is totally or partially shaved close.
Celebrities who have sported asymmetric hairstyles include Justin Bieber, January Jones, Milla Jovovich, Kim Kardashian, Cyndi Lauper, Rihanna, Phil Oakey, and Davey Havok of AFI. Reality television star Kate Gosselin became well known for her asymmetrical cut, which she has since changed.
Asymmetric cuts can confer an aesthetic property known to professional hairdressers and cosmetologists as "asymmetrical balance" when they balance asymmetrical facial features.:237–238,251:158,160 Hairdressers advise the use of an asymmetric cut for clients with asymmetrical features, such as a crooked nose, because symmetrical hairstyles draw attention to the facial asymmetries.:245 Experts on personal appearance management in business offer the same advice.:99 The asymmetry of the hairstyle should be opposite to that of the facial feature. Asymmetrical styles that show the ears can make the face look slimmer, and hence are advised for clients with round faces or wide-set eyes.:427:156 If the client wears eyeglasses, an asymmetric cut can distract attention from them.:156 Asymmetric cuts are often more "trendy" than symmetrical hairstyles.:237
Psychological experiments have shown that hairstyle asymmetries are helpful, although not necessary, in determining whether or not an image of a familiar face has been mirror-reversed.
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