Face shapes play a major role when deciding on a new haircut or hairstyle. Oftentimes, the look on-trend won’t flatter your face, but how would you know? Before running to the salon to ask for the hottest new shag or crop, take time to examine your facial outline to determine what look will suit you best. Read on for a few tips and tricks on discovering and working with your face shape.
How to Determine Your Face Shape
It might sound silly, but the best way to determine your shape is to start by outlining your face. Grab a tube of lipstick, washable marker, or eyeliner pencil and step in front of the mirror. Trace the perimeter of your face in the mirror and step back to take a look. Doing this will help you look at the shape more objectively, rather than focusing on all the nuances of your face. Face shapes are not going to be rigid or exact, so open your mind a bit when examining your outline.
Once you have your outline, look for the most obvious points. Do the lines of your jaw come to a point? What about your cheekbones? Your forehead? Are the sides of your face noticeably longer than the lines of your forehead and chin, creating more of an oval or angular shape? Keep these things in mind as you compare your outline to the most common face shapes: diamond, round, heart, square, and oval.
Examples of a diamond-shaped face include Issa Rae, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, and Elizabeth Hurley. If you have determined that you are also a “diamond girl,” avoid middle parts, heavy bangs, and voluminous pixie cuts. Styles like these will draw attention to all the wrong areas. Side-swept bangs, soft and wavy textures, and cuts that sit at the shoulder or longer are typically best for diamond-shaped faces. These cut and style features will help soften the harsh points of your face and keep your chin from looking too narrow. Keep in mind: these are just guidelines. Sometimes, a chin-length bob can look absolutely stunning on a diamond-shaped face.
Selena Gomez, Drew Barrymore, Mila Kunis. These celebrities all feature a round face shape and sure know how to work with what they got. If you have a round face shape (like me), you know that center parts typically are not our friend. Round faces should also avoid chin-length bobs, blunt, straight across bangs, and super-tight curls. Anything blunt or rigid has a tendency to draw attention to the roundness of our cheekbones and chin. Round face shapes will find side-swept, soft bangs, and longer styles to be much more flattering.
Looking for a heart-shaped face? Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, and Naomi Campbell are all great examples. Heart-shaped faces are considered one of the “most desired face shapes” (next to oval) though there are still cuts and styles to avoid. Essentially, you want to avoid drawing attention to your forehead. Slicked back styles will put the wider parts of your face on display and heavy, straight across bangs will create somewhat of an upside-down triangle look. The key here is to balance the wider forehead and eye area with the more narrow chin. Try heavily textured chin-length styles, blended, side-swept bangs, and a little bit of volume on top.
Angelina Jolie, Rosario Dawson, and Jennifer Anniston are great examples of square face shapes. If square is your shape, avoid anything blunt and angular, overly heavy, or straight across. Middle parts are also not recommended, but that’s not to say they couldn’t work. Styles with wispy hair around the forehead and jawline, volume at the crown of your head, and side-swept bangs will suit squared faces best. Length wise, any length can work, just avoid crops that are too short and cut at your jawline or above.
The oval face shape is considered the “most desired” face shape due to its versatility when it comes to styling. Examples of an oval face shape include Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, Tyra Banks, and Cindy Crawford. The biggest “don’t” for an oval face is to avoid cuts that cover up your features: overly heavy bangs, super chunky face-framing, or bangs that are too long. Alternatively, it is smart to avoid super long, one-length styles that expose too much of the forehead. Blended fringe and volume around the neck are the typical recommendations for an oval face, but due to this shape’s versatility, nearly any hairstyle can work.
Regardless of what your face shape may be, remember that these are just guidelines. Not everyone is made the same, and at the end of the day, if you like your look then that is all that matters!
Thinking about getting bangs? Not sure which fringe is the most flattering? HERE are the best bottleneck bangs for your face shape and hair type!