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Do you ever notice during a haircut that the stylist often steps back to look at your face, sometimes tilting their head as if observing a painting at a museum? What they’re often doing is recognizing your facial shape so they can tailor the haircut accordingly. You may have selected your new do from a magazine, but the artistry and skill required from the beautician are to recreate that do fit your face shape.
Haircuts are suited to the length and width of your facial features including forehead, nose, eyes, lips, cheekbones, chin, and even ears. Or, if you simply request “help make my eyes pop!” a stylist can often adjust the cut to do just that.
Much like picking the perfect dress that compliments your body shape, here are the most flattering haircuts according to face shape.
Why Does Face Shape Matter for a Haircut?
Hairstylists are trained to cut hair using the face shape and features as a guideline. This ensures that your most beautiful features like eyes, lips, or cheekbones are highlighted. Additionally, if you want something minimized, your hairstylist has to return to the map of your face to determine the cut that will achieve such a result.
For example, a fringe bang is a bold look for anyone but often looks best on those with oblong or round face shapes and less wearable on those with a tiny forehead. Naturally, you can have any haircut and style you’d like, but using your face shape as a point of reference helps highlight your beautiful features and keeps everything looking proportional.
Every hair cut will highlight and diminish certain features, it’s up to you to choose what is hidden, sculpted, or highlighted.
What Shape is My Face?
Unless your facial features are uniquely prominent, it can be hard to pinpoint your exact face shape. Feel free to ask your hairstylist, they’ve got the magic eye as identifying facial structure happens to be an important part of their skill development.
For reference, here are a few familiar faces along with their shapes:
- Long/Oblong: Liv Tyler, Carrie Underwood, and Courteney Cox
- Round: Ginnifer Goodwin, Kelly Clarkson, and Mila Kunis
- Diamond: Jennifer Lopez, Rosario Dawson, and Tyra Banks
- Rectangle: Sarah Jessica Parker, Hilary Swank, and Angelina Jolie
- Square: Kate Moss, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Olivia Wilde
- Oval: Tina Fey, Kate Middleton, and Oprah
- Heart: Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, and Halle Berry
Makeup, like hair, can also contour and reshape the face making it harder to discern your own facial shape. So be sure to search for the least glamorized photos of these famous beauties to get the best idea of their facial shape to compare accordingly.
Haircuts for the Oblong-Shaped Face
With coveted forehead real estate, a long or oblong face shape can rock a bang or side-swoop like no other. Any length below the jawline is ideal for longer face shapes. It’s really in the other details of the do that can make or break a look.
Haircuts for a longer face include layers, texture, volume, and bangs of all sorts are never a bad idea. These haircuts help soften a prominent chin, jawline, and forehead and help eyes look bigger.
Shaggy Bob: If you’re going short, keep the length at least 4 inches from the bottom your earlobe and make sure the cut has texture and isn’t one dimensional.
Long Layers: Choppy, sleek, and long, let your layers fall past your shoulders with the shortest cut being below your collarbone.
Beachy Waves: Freshwater waves at any length look stunning on a long face. Voluminous and natural, wavy style and haircuts add dimension to the face to accentuate features like brows, nose, and cheek lines.
How to Style Hair on a Round Face
Common phrases you’ll hear from someone with a round face include “Carve my cheeks!” “Elongate my neck!” “Sharpen my chin!” “Make my eyes pop!” Well–we got you, girl. From regal updos to voluminous waves, here are the best haircuts for a round face.
Pixie/Faux Hawk: Whether you like it trim and dainty or sharp and edgy, a short haircut on a round face is for the bold beauty. Putting all your facial features front and center, this is no haircut to hide behind. No one can warmly embrace a short-do like a round face.
Sleek Bob With Side-Swept Bangs: Chic, sassy, and sophisticated a sleek pin-straight bob will elongate a round face and draw attention to sharper features like the point of your chin and nose.
Voluminous Long Waves: Like a beautifully fitted gown, long wavy, big hair wrap around the soft features of a round face and can hide any extra puff that may be carried in the cheeks and helping the eyes standout.
Diamond Face Haircuts
One of the most prominent features of a diamond face shape is the wide-cut jaw and a chin that is prominent but soft. The following haircuts for a diamond face shape are meant to smooth the outermost edges of the jawline and give the illusion of a fuller upper cheek.
Long, Messy Look: Diamond-shaped faces have so much structure, that the hair shouldn’t have to. Take that “just rolled out of bed” look and make it fashion!
Loose Curls: At any length wide, loose curls are a great way to show off your sharp, angular edges in the most feminine way.
Long Wavy Layers: Length and drama are great themes to stick to and long wavy layers are no exception. Add as much curly texture, length, and volume as you can handle.
Haircuts for a Rectangle-Shaped Face
A rectangle-shaped faces are the perfect canvas for the most romantic hairdos. To soften your jaw and forehead, the haircuts and styles will elongate your face in the most flattering ways.
Chignons: This french-inspired low-bun is for long hair to be twirled and pinned and the nape of the neck. Often used in weddings are nights out, rectangular faces benefit most from this romantic style.
Shoulder Length Waves: Volume, texture, and just a little bit of length paired with a central part is the best everyday look for this face shape.
Fringe: Soft-rounded bangs or a blunt fringe wears best with a defined jawline like yours. Even something as bold as a blowout paired with fringe is the perfect combination of Hollywood and grunge.
How to Style Hair on an Oval Face
Often considered the most proportional face, oval shapes can pretty much get away with any cut. Depending on which of your well-balanced features you’d like to highlight, here are the cuts and styles for you.
Emphasize the Eyes: Want your baby blues (or browns) to be front and center? A short bob or pixie cut is going to draw all the attention to your eyes.
Say Cheese!: If you favor your beaming smiling, stick with length just past the shoulder and keep the volume at the bottom by adding a little curl or texture.
Avoid Too much Layering: An oval-shaped face is well-balanced and too much choppiness or layers kind of throws things off a bit. Keep cuts and styles as uniform as possible.
Haircuts for Heart-Shaped Faces
A heart-shaped face means the forehead and cheekbones are broad while the jawline and chin are narrow. Haircuts for this face shape are meant to balance out the face structure so the chin doesn’t look weak and the foreheads not getting all the attention.
Dramatic Side Part: Remember when “emo bangs” were a thing? Well, they still are but instead of representing teen angst they’re chic and mysterious and perfect for this face shape. But, it all starts with a dramatic par being created a few inches from the center of the head creating a luxurious swoop of hair that will cascade down the side of one part of the face. Oddly enough, this helps create the illusion of a longer, fuller jaw.
Bangs: Keep bangs long and scooped to the side. If they fall front and center it will tighten this small face shape causing your features to look pinched. Long bangs are easier to handle and help balance a wider forehead with a narrow chin.
The Classic Bob: The bob comes in all sorts of lengths, shapes, and textures these days but the classic bob is timeless and tailors perfectly to the back of the head with the slightest angle toward the front. With romance and sophistication, this style hugs beautifully around a heart-shaped face.
Best Haircuts for Square Face
Jennifer Aniston’s hair always seems to look flawless. Even her candid messy bun looks picture perfect. Her angle cuts, graduated layers, and loose waves are truly the poster child for every square-faced queen. Here are a few additional tips to perfectly pair your cut and style with those high cheekbones and beautifully defined jawline.
Volume at the Top: Besides very short hairstyles, avoid letting the top of your do go flat. Whether your tszujing frequently or using natural dry shampoo for a little added height, keep that volume near your roots up!
Long Wispy Curls: That’s right! We’re talking ringlets from the top to the bottom. We’re talking Judy Garland from Oz but with so much more sass! You don’t have to be Beyonce to have her hairdo, but having a square sure does help.
Straight, Long Bob: Each face shape has its ideal description for this famous haircut. For a square-shaped face, the bob should slightly scoop the jawline just a few inches below the longest part of the face, usually the chin. Pass on on bangs or keep them long enough to be off the forehead.
Blowouts, bobs, and everything in between, your face shape deserves the perfect cut. Do you have a do that we left off the list? Let us know your face shape and what’s worked best for you!