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Hair Style

Hair Styles and Face Shapes

Finding your perfect hairstyle can be more challenging than getting Beyoncé to accept your dinner invitation. I wish it were as simple as buying a pair of shoes, but for most of us, finding a hairstyle that truly compliments our individuality is a matter of trial and error. There are so many considerations to factor into the compatibility of head and hair that the search is often a long and tedious one.

Most of us realize the style limitations our hair’s quality and texture present; however, choosing an appropriate hairstyle that brings out our best goes beyond it being straight or curly, coarse or fine. Actually, the most flattering haircuts are contingent on face shape more than anything else.

Knowing your face shape and how to accentuate your greatest features, while downplaying the rest, is the first place to start when looking for your perfect style. Choosing a style that complements your face shape proves more successful than expecting your face to suit a hairstyle simply because you like it. Hair type is a huge consideration when selecting a suitable style, but facial shape is of greater importance because it is the foundation on which all else is built. And don’t worry about there being only one style per face shape – there are quite a few. Let’s take a look at the professional recommendations for each of the seven face shapes.


Face Shapes & Complementary Hair Styles

roundRound Face – Go for a style that offers dimension and balance. Avoid any style that emphasizes the round, full shape for they make the face appear rounder. An example is an Afro or head of curls that frame the face. Instead, keep the sides tight and the top higher, which will offset the roundness and add balance. Square hairstyles are a great choice, as are off-center parts and longer side swept bangs that break the fullness. By the way, round does not mean fat – it’s just the shape.
ovalOval Face – Lucky oval! This is considered the ideal face shape that can wear just about any style or length it wants. It is recommended to avoid heavy bangs or any style that covers the face. Take advantage of this great shape by not overwhelming or hiding it with hair.
squareSquare Face – Sharp angles and corners should be soften and rounded with styles that break up the square face. Layered styles that add length to the face and off-center parts can achieve this. Bangs can work for or against this shape depending on their positioning and length. If bangs are worn, brush them to the side, and keep them close to eye level, which will offset a square forehead.
heartHeart Face – This shape does best with longer styles that balance the face by adding fullness below the cheekbones. Avoid any style that draws attention to the upper face, or that makes the head appear top-heavy. Shorter styles and slicked back hair tend to cause this to happen. Parts can be centered or on the side. A side part adds dimension that offsets the heart shape.
oblongOblong Face – Very similar in shape to the oval, this longer face shape can be shortened up with styles that add volume to its width. Medium length or longer layered hairstyles that add hair to the sides of the face, along with a shorter top, and/or bangs that cover most of the forehead will balance this shape by offsetting its length.
triangleTriangle Face – Opposite the heart shape, this face is flattered by styles that add width and volume to the upper portion of the face, which is the narrowest part. Short to medium length hairstyles, with bangs that cover most of the forehead, lend balance by offsetting a wide jawline. Avoid styles that extend past the chin. Side parts are flattering.
diamondDiamond Face – With a narrow forehead and chin, this shape looks best with hairstyles that add width to the top and bottom of the face, while minimizing the wider cheekbones. Bangs can help achieve this, along with short or long layered hairstyles. Avoid styles that emphasis the widest part of the face (cheekbones), which can cause the ears to look like they protrude.

These guidelines are a place to start when searching for your perfect hairstyle. They not only give you direction, but they save time by narrowing your search. I recommend looking at hairstyles for your face shape online, printing photos of any style you like, and bringing them to your hairstylist for his or her opinion. The great thing about hair is it grows. So, if you choose a style you aren’t pleased with, it’s just a matter of waiting a month or two to try a new one.

Understanding how to maximize your face by working with its shape influences not only hairstyles, but eyeglass frames and facial hairstyles, as well. Learning about your face shape can open many doors that lead to improving your appearance and building greater confidence.

by Aaron Marino

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