How to Choose the Perfect Haircut for Your Face Shape?

How to Choose the Perfect Haircut for Your Face Shape?

The Six Main Face Shapes

Before diving into haircuts based on your face shape, you'll want to identify your face shape. The determining factors for this will be your forehead, cheekbones, and jaw. 


Beyonce on the red carpet, viewed close up, hand on her hair

If you have an oval-shaped face, the length of your face is usually a bit more than the width, with the forehead being your widest part.


A headshot of the actor Margot Robbie on the red carpet

In square faces, the length to width is nearly one to one, equal horizontally and vertically with a strong, angled jaw and minimal curve at the chin.


Selena Gomez on the red carpet, viewed in close up

In round faces, the length and width ratio is about equal. The features are soft and rounded, with flatter cheekbones that stand out as the widest part of the face. Think of it as similar to a square face shape but with softer angles. 


Actor Stephanie Hsu on the red carpet, viewed in close up

The heart-shaped face is characterized by a pointed, slim chin and wider forehead. It could also be considered an inverted triangle.


Model Bella Hadid at the 2022 Prince's Trust Gala

When the width of the forehead, cheeks, and jawline are nearly the same—or the distance from forehead to chin is a bit longer than the distance ear to ear—you've got an oblong/rectangular-shaped face.


The actor Keke Palmer in close up at the 2023 Met Gala

Diamond-shaped faces are usually defined by high cheekbones, a pointy chin, and a narrower forehead.

Your Best Cuts, According to Face Shape

When it comes to the actual cut, both experts agree there isn't one definitive way to go—rather, there are a few flattering and standard tips to accentuate some features and, as Pollack says, "move the eye away from other points of the face."

Remember: You're allowed to break the rules. You're not taking an oath here. It's all about finding your balance.


Close up of actor Tessa Thompson with a blunt, slightly bent bob haircut

Oval face shapes can wear almost any style, but according to Papanikolas, the most flattering tend to be long layers, shoulder-length waves, full fringe, a layered bob, or a side-swept pixie. Pollack is partial to a strong, square bob, which brings focus to your balanced jawline. 


Zendaya close up, with bouncy, softly waved hair

Square face shapes may consider softening the edges around the forehead and strong jawlines; if that's what you're after, wavy shags with wispy fringe, soft side-swept bangs, or long layers with fringe work best. If you want to go short, Papanikolas recommends creating softer angles.


Chrissy Teigen at the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party, viewed in close up

Pollack says round face shapes work well with a long bob, which draws the eyes down to visually lengthen the face. Papanikolas echos this, saying round faces do well with cuts that elongate, like long straight hair, long voluminous waves, shaggy bobs, and swoopy bangs with cropped sides.


Ana de Armas on the red carpet with a blunt bob and bangs

Heart-shaped faces look best with blunt bangs and wavy layers or a chin-length bob with bangs. Soft angles in the front that start below the face help balance out the forehead, Pollack says. The key, according to Papanikolas, is to keep bangs narrow so that you can create the illusion of less width at the top.


Riley Keough at the Cannes Film Festival with bangs and waves

Oblong/rectangular face shapes can take a similar approach to square faces: Soften the edges and strong jawlines with layers, volume, and side-swept or feathered fringe. Long layers and angles add movement and texture to the hair. 


Jennifer Lopez with face-framing layers on the red carpet

Diamond shapes can show off their high cheekbones with short-cropped hair or keep it long with face-framing layers. Bangs that hit around the cheekbone also accentuate this shape.


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