Let’s start by making one thing clear—you do you. If you’ve got your heart set on a particular hairstyle, go for it, face shape or otherwise, and flaunt it confidently! As long as you’re feeling and looking your best, nothing else matters.
However, sometimes, it so happens that a new hairdo that you want to try has you feeling a little unsure about getting it. Is that wavy bob going to look as stunning on you as it does on Zendaya? Is that wolf cut best left to Camilla Cabello?
It can be nerve-wracking walking up to the salon with your favorite celebrity’s photo and mustering the courage to get that cut, only to find that said style just doesn’t have the same aesthetic impact on you that it did on said celebrity.
In such cases, it makes complete sense to go with the tried and tested—hairstyles that we know flatter our facial shapes. Sure—these celebrities have millions of dollars and 17,831 people working behind the scenes to keep them looking their best, but they also very wisely choose styles that they know they’re going to rock.
So, while confidence is undeniably the main factor in flaunting a new cut, there’s nothing wrong with considering your face shape when picking out your new style.
Here’s everything you need to know about the best hairstyles for different face shapes.
Different Face Shapes and Figuring Out Yours
Before you figure out what style to get, you need to figure out your face shape! Many people simply believe that they have round or oval faces—unless you’re a trained artist, those are probably the only shapes you’ve used to draw faces, right from elementary school.
However, there’s more to face shapes than just these two figures. It’s not just about the shape of your head (which is invariably going to be either oval or round) but also about the angle of your jawline, the length and width of your face, and how high your hairline is.
Your face can be one of eight types:
- Oval: Oval faces are characterized by the length of the face being longer than its width. The hairline is slightly rounded and the jawline is slightly narrower than the hairline. On the whole, oval faces won’t feature prominent angles or points.
- Round: Round shapes, also usually called “baby faces”, have no prominent corners or angles and are typically the same length and width throughout.
- Long: Long faces are long, oval faces. That means they have all the features of an oval face but are noticeably longer than the face’s width.
- Square: Wide faces with the jawline, cheekbones, and forehead all sharing nearly the same width characterize square faces. This face type typically has a prominent, strong jawline.
- Diamond: Diamond-shaped faces (resembling the geometric figure and not the gem) are characterized by the jawline and the forehead sharing the same width, a narrow chin, and the cheekbones being the widest part.
- Heart: As the term suggests, heart-shaped faces look like the hearts we’re used to drawing—a narrow, small, gently pointed chin that extends into wider temples and a hairline. People with heart-shaped faces usually have to-die-for cheekbones and a pretty prominent forehead.
- Triangle: Triangular or V-shaped faces are often confused with heart-shaped faces, as they both are widest at the forehead and taper into a narrow chin and jaw; however, the former features a more angular chin and jaw, while the latter is softer.
- Rectangle: Rectangular faces are a combination of square and oval/long faces. The length of the face is longer than its width, while the jaw, cheekbones, and forehead appear to be the same width.
To figure out which one you’re blessed with, tie your hair back (make sure you’re pulling it back enough to define your face), stand in front of a mirror, and trace the shape of your face on the mirror with a lip pencil or eyeliner.
Step back and assess your artwork, paying attention to and comparing the width of your jawline, cheekbones, and brow and the chin-to-forehead length, and the shape of your face should now be clear to you!
Alternatively, you could take a photo of yourself and trace the face of your shape on it.
Hairstyles for Your Face Shape
Here are the dos and don’ts for the different face shapes.
Those with oval faces (think Bella Hadid, Kim Kardashian, and Rihanna) are among the luckiest—this versatile face shape can pull off almost any hairstyle, thanks to the even, well-balanced proportions.
When picking out haircuts or hairstyles for an oval face, you want to avoid picking a style that further appears to elongate the face. Oval faces are already long and hairstyles that are of one length can make the face appear unnaturally long.
If you want a short haircut, try a cut that frames your face and is above shoulder length, such as a blunt bob. Otherwise, you could go for gentle, shoulder-length layers that will also add volume while framing your face—no more hair falling flat!
If you want to wear your hair long, give side-swept bangs a chance as these frame oval faces extremely well and balance out the length of your hair and face without the need to cut the former. Minimal layers, curls, and waves also look gorgeous on oval-faced folks; they also keep long hair from elongating the face.
Oval-shaped faces also look good with slicked-back hairstyles and are easy to create since you don’t have to worry about softening or focusing on certain features.
Oval faces look best with hairstyles that don’t crowd the face, so try to avoid hairstyles that fall on your face. You want to expose the balanced features that you’re blessed with, so stay away from bangs.
If you’re letting your hair down, don’t cover your cheekbones or ears; instead, tuck your hair behind your ears on one or both sides to show off your features.
Given their baby faces, people with round faces look young and can sport youthful hairstyles.
The ideal hairstyle for a round face elongates it and gives it the illusion of appearing more oval.
Short hair looks great on round faces, especially when styled right. Trendy lobs are an excellent idea, with a deep side part that creates more angles. To elongate the face, try pulled-back hairstyles, such as ponytails and half-ups.
For those who don’t mind chopping it all off, a pixie cut, with volume at the top, will subtly add angles and texture and flatter your face shape.
Other styles to consider include bold or side-swept bangs and medium-length hair with face-framing and long bangs to keep the texture sleek and smooth.
Pro-tip—on one side of your face, simply leave a bit of hair untucked to shorten your face’s width and give the illusion of narrowness.
While it can be tempting to hide behind your locks (we’ve all done it at some point!), doing so can be counterproductive for round-faced folks as it can end up accentuating the already significant width of the face.
Stay away from wispy, soft bangs as these will only enhance the softness of your features.
The ideal hairstyle for this face type makes the face appear wider so that there’s a better balance between the length of the face and its width.
Long-faced folks should consider curls as these can open up/widen the face shape. Loose waves and curls are ideal, especially if the widest part of the waves sits around your cheekbone area. This can create the illusion of a face that’s wider.
Waves/curls are easy to achieve with both curling wands and flat irons, though the latter is better suited for the kind of waves we’re talking about here. When you start curling, start closer to the root.
If you’re not a fan of curls and waves, a salon-style blowout is also a simple, quick, and effective way to achieve volume and width.
Avoid getting hairstyles that lengthen the face. You’re looking for wider and not longer, so hairdos that are too long, super-sleek styles, and one-length hairdos should be avoided.
As mentioned earlier, square-shaped faces have strong jawlines. For a square face, the hairstyle that works best is one that accentuates the square shape of your face or one that softens the prominent jawline. Square shapes do especially well with volume on either side, especially if there’s perfect symmetry between the hair and face (such as in a short bob).
If you want to soften the square shape of your face, opt for wispy, soft bangs that flow down the sides of your face and create diagonal lines. This will also soften up your face’s lines. You could also opt for long, straight hair cut into layers to lengthen your face.
If you’re a fan of bangs, subtle, short bangs that highlight your cheekbones are a good idea.
Dramatically slicked-back, curly, and blunt hairstyles should be avoided as these can further enhance the angularity of your face instead of softening its shape. Curls widen the face, so straight hair or loose waves are a better option.
Some of the most diamond-shaped faces include Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Ciara, and Halle Berry.
Many folks look at diamond-shaped faces with longing because of their perfect symmetry and balance. The hairstyle that works best is one that accentuates the elegance of your face shape and not one that balances or neutralizes it.
Highlight your cheekbones with long, side-swept bangs coupled with long layers; if you want to keep it short, go for a textured lob.
Long hair also looks great when it’s parted sleekly down the middle and the hair is tucked behind the ears on either side or pulled back into a high, sleek ponytail that highlights the bone structure.
Though diamond-shaped faces can rock pretty much any style, styles that shorten the face and make it look smaller than it actually is, such as rounded, heavy bangs, should be avoided. Straight bangs are a no-go as well, as these make an already narrow chin appear even narrower by accentuating the face’s widest part.
Some of the most beautiful heart-shaped faces are flaunted by Tyra Banks, Reese Witherspoon, and Kourtney Kardashian.
People with heart-shaped faces should opt for styles that either balance out their proportions or accentuate the taper of the face.
If you want to balance out the shape of your face, opt for hairstyles that widen the bottom half of your face. If you want to accentuate the shape of your face (and we completely get why you would want to!), go for high, slicked-back ponytails or a top knot worn high.
If you like wearing your hair short, a lob that just touches your shoulders is a great idea to add some width to the jawline. Shoulder-length hair introduces volume to the area around the face’s bottom, which makes the jawline appear wider.
For fans of long hair, loose waves that erupt at the collarbone, with a deep part in the side, will draw away attention from the forehead.
Heart-shaped faces typically have a very prominent widow’s peak at the hairline. Try to avoid styles that part your hair down the middle; the widow’s peak means that you’ll probably have a side that behaves and parts as you’d like it to and one that behaves as it wants!
Instead, opt for a parting that’s slightly off-center, with the hair falling to the side of the widow’s peak that it naturally tends to fall on. Avoid short bangs, as these can cause your chin to look even narrower than it already is.
If you’ve got a rectangular face, the aim of your hairstyle should be to soften your prominent forehead and sharp jaw while not lengthening your face any further. Sporting such hairstyles is exactly what keeps Jade Jagger, Gisele Bundchen, and Angelina Jolie looking like a million bucks at all times!
To soften your features, opt for subtle layers that accentuate the cheekbones and draw focus away from the face’s corners. Curls, waves, and blowouts are all great ideas if you want to wear your hair long—these will add volume on the horizontal plane while softening your face’s sharp angles.
If you want to wear your hair up, go for romantic, soft chignons instead of high top knots, as the former can add a sleekness and length that will accentuate your strong jawline.
For all the rectangle-faced “bangs” fans in the house, curtain bangs and rounded, soft bangs are great options.
Avoid hairstyles that are long, as these can make your face seem longer than it is. This also means opting for short hair instead of long locks.
Think of triangle faces, and you think of the gorgeous Billie Piper, Geena Davis, and Bette Midler. These ladies rocked their angular faces, strong jawlines, and flat/square chins with hairdos that balance out the bottom-heaviness of the face.
For our triangle-faced friends, a hairstyle that balances out the jaws is essential. Therefore, cuts with layers that soften the face’s prominent features or draw attention away from the jaw, such as cuts that finish around the collarbone, cheekbones, and eyes instead of at the chin, are ideal.
Similarly, stay away from straight bobs, as these will further accentuate the jaw; if you want to wear your hair short, a choppy pixie cut is a better idea. If you’re looking for bangs, opt for light, wispy bangs or short, side-swept ones to highlight the right features.
Stay away from long side bangs and full bangs as these make the jaw seem even more angular.
Many people don’t take into consideration the shape of their face when opting for a hairstyle, which is probably why that new ‘do isn’t turning out to be everything that they dreamed of. Figuring out the shape of your face and then choosing a hairstyle that suits it is a foolproof way to keep those good hair days—and face days—coming!
Having said that, though, don’t be afraid to experiment with styles that aren’t traditionally deemed suitable for your face type. Confidence is the best accessory you can wear, and if you’re wearing enough of it, you can rest assured that you’ll rock any hairdo you wish to wear!