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How to Find the Right Hairstyle for Your Face Shape

Jaclyn is an avid reader and writer from New Jersey who loves life and indulges in all it has to offer.

Different face shapes, including Reese Witherspoon's famous heart shape, look best when paired with the right hair style.

Different face shapes, including Reese Witherspoon's famous heart shape, look best when paired with the right hair style.

Going to the hairdresser can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you aren't sure what you want. Ease your nerves by doing some research ahead of time. Browse through women's magazines or on the internet for examples of the style you're looking for. Don't be afraid to bring a few pictures into the salon with you. Sharing these pictures with the hairdresser will give him or her a visual idea of what type of cut you're interested in.

However, it's important to keep in mind that just because a particular haircut looks good on Jennifer Aniston does not mean it will look good on you. Different cuts are flattering for different face shapes. Determining what shape yours is can help guide you in the right direction.

Face Shapes Discussed in This Article

  1. Round Face
  2. Oval Shape
  3. Long Faces
  4. Square Shaped Faces
  5. Heart-Shaped Faces

How to Know What Shape Your Face Is

  • Tie your hair back in a ponytail and look straight ahead into a mirror.
  • Focusing mainly on your jawline, see if your face is round, oval, heart-shaped or square. According to famous hairstylist John Frieda, your jawline is the most important factor in deciding what length your new cut should be.
  • Look at your profile in the mirror. If you have a sharp angle where your jaw turns to meet your ear, you're lucky. You can pull off almost any length of hair.
  • If your jaw is long and sloping, avoid wearing your hair up or pulling it back, and stay away from really short styles as they will expose your jawline.

Before selecting a style, however, let the hairdresser know what type of routine you keep and how much time you have to spend on your hair each morning. Choppy, layered cuts, for example, require much more prep time than straight cuts. Very few women have exact, ideal proportions in their face, but read on and you'll learn ways you can use your hair as a frame to fool the eye into thinking you do.

Zoe Bell's round face looks best with curvy layers that fall the cheekbone.

Zoe Bell's round face looks best with curvy layers that fall the cheekbone.

1. Round Face

Soft, choppy styles such as layers that fall around the cheeks work best for round faces. Avoid pin-straight, flat, or sleek styles. Layers around the cheekbones cause the face to look more narrow. Volume on top of the crown adds height and thus elongates the roundness of the face. If you like bangs, keep them graduated and cut on an angle, so that they fall just around the cheeks. If your neck is also round, choppy layers that fall around the neckline will also downplay any plumpness.

Jessica Alba can wear just about any style because of her oval-shaped face. She might want to avoid super-short cuts in case her head isn't as perfectly shaped as her face.

Jessica Alba can wear just about any style because of her oval-shaped face. She might want to avoid super-short cuts in case her head isn't as perfectly shaped as her face.

2. Oval Shape

The oval is considered to be the "perfect" face shape, due to its versatility. This is the shape that all haircuts seek to achieve, and people who already have this shape can get away with almost any haircut. The only thing you'll want to be careful about is an uber-short look. Your face may be a "classic oval," but if your scalp isn't beautifully shaped, a short cut can look misshapen.

Sandra Bullock's long face shape looks great with wavy volume at ear-level.

Sandra Bullock's long face shape looks great with wavy volume at ear-level.

3. Long Faces

The solution for a long face is to make it look shorter. This can be achieved with wispy, see-through bangs and chin length cuts. Long, shapeless styles and straight bobs serve only to further elongate. If you do like long hair, keep it full and thick especially around the ears. In general, keep the volume low on the crown. If your chin is pointy, make sure your hair doesn't curve inwards and that it sweeps up and away instead.

Keira Knightley has a square-shaped face, which looks best with soft curves, asymmetrical cuts, and volume at the crown.

Keira Knightley has a square-shaped face, which looks best with soft curves, asymmetrical cuts, and volume at the crown.

4. Square Shaped Faces

Square faces look best with soft curves that soften the severity of the jawline. Avoid short crops, symmetry, or anything geometric which will enhance the squareness. If you can get a slightly voluminous at the crown, this will also detract from the square outline. Light, wispy, see-through bangs can also soften the features. Stay away from blunt cuts and hard, sleek lines.

Reese Witherspoon's famous heart-shaped face looks amazing with wispy curls that build volume and curl out, not in.

Reese Witherspoon's famous heart-shaped face looks amazing with wispy curls that build volume and curl out, not in.

5. Heart-Shaped Faces

Faces that are narrow at the bottom and wide at the top need a cut that hides the hairline with graduated bangs. Choppy styles that flip out on the ends can work too. When the hair turns outwards rather than inwards, it equalizes the face's shape by giving volume around the narrow bottom of the face. If, on the other hand, your face is an upside-down heart (narrow at the top, heavier at the jaw) make sure there is fullness at the top of the head instead, to balance out the chin.

Comments

Makenna on April 30, 2020:

You guys are the best

girl on April 19, 2019:

I feel like thees eare none of my face shape.. I am very confused!

Cathy Dube on August 27, 2018:

I want cute my hair shoet

Chloe on January 05, 2018:

I am a caucasin, female, and I have a heart-shaped face.I also have thin hair. For anyone else like me, I rock lobs (long bobs, basically the average hair style) with bangs. I haave color treated hair also. I am thinking about trying a new look though. Any ideas?

Laraine Parker on December 21, 2017:

I am a slim, seventy-year-old, but with a round face and short neck. Unable to find a realistic hairstyle that will suit my features and thick but fine hair.

Brianna on April 15, 2017:

My tan ponytail are beautiful. And Vanilla's brown braids are pretty. She's from Rockville Centre, OR. When the wins shines, she looks glamorous.

Hema on February 05, 2017:

My face is round. Will French cut/ straight short bangs will suit on my face?

Jules Peacocke from Sydney on June 16, 2016:

Great blog to use when talking to your stylist about changing your look.

If your looking for more info we have this info-graphic.

http://lilyjackson.com.au/picking-your-perfect-hai...

yashwi on October 07, 2012:

my face is too short, forehead is also small, long+oval shaped mix and ears are long plz suggest me a hairstyle

Jo Fox on May 21, 2012:

thanks for the info... it helps,,,somehow

prem jha on March 19, 2012:

i have white face and round shape head..i m male..which style is good for me??????

Allison on March 14, 2012:

Thanks for helping me find my face shape

jenniferg78 from Philadelphia, PA on March 11, 2012:

Thanks for the post. Great advice! I am due for a trip to the hair dressers.

missy on February 08, 2012:

I have quite a flatish face from side profile, but i want a fringe which style would be best?

kk on February 01, 2012:

Haha your comments are cracking me up!

fred on December 26, 2011:

i have square head and im a black male wat kind of hairstyle do i need

vanessa on December 26, 2011:

thank you

lucy45 on December 24, 2011:

thanks for the advice............merri xmas

edna sandford on December 07, 2011:

Can i buy your books in the shops everywhere or do i have to order it from you.

taufiq on December 06, 2011:

i like finge

chanchal on December 05, 2011:

hi my hair are very long, abd my face is of round shape. and still i want to keep length of the hair.. then please tell me which hair style is best according to my face. in which i will luk pretty.

nikita on November 27, 2011:

hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii actually my hairs are till neck n they are not growing what should i do n tell me the haircut which will suit my hairs n i want to dec. my volume

vidya on November 01, 2011:

i want a new hairstyle i have a heart shaped face, i got thick hair. so plz plz suggest me some ideas. b4 11th of nov

asma samar on October 24, 2011:

i still need help

Jade on October 19, 2011:

i have a haircut to my chin and i can't put it up help

fabiola on October 12, 2011:

i think this is amazing!!!!!!!i usually wonder if my face is round or oval.atleast now i kno wat to do no matter the shape of my face!!!! really,thank you

nishna on October 04, 2011:

my face is round in shape how can i make it oval? which haircut will help me for that

Kiana on September 21, 2011:

So im thinking of cutting my hair this weekend it's really long and thin and I wanted like the medium short Katy perry hair, but I don't know If it'll look good I have oval/circle face and my heads pretty big. My hair is very thin and fine and gets really greasy really fast what hair style would u suggest? Long? Short?medium? Side bangs? Bangs? No bangs? I've had bangs but I wanted to see it long but they are not working out well... Help?!!!!

sophiemaroni on September 15, 2011:

very good

Melody on September 15, 2011:

I have an in between face shape of oval and long, my hair is VERY thick, tangles vey easily and frizzes at the least bit of humidity. I live in Florida which makes it even worse. I usually just wear it up in a clip which is BORING, can't style it at all but want to what do I do? Also, I'm in my 50's and my neck and face is showing the "wrinkle factor". I'm at a loss...

Theresa on September 07, 2011:

Oblong face shape here but I have a sloped chin/neck area (baby weight has really put a damper on my face shape?) I would love a shorter cut...should I have it curve under my chin a bit?

Thanks?

ritta on September 05, 2011:

hi i have an oval face shape

but am scared to have a short hair cut and look fat!!:-(

what's the short hair cut that might still make my face thinner?

mother fuccker on August 29, 2011:

i hate this website lol

Ta on August 28, 2011:

I recently just got the Kimberly caldwell layered bob. I love it but it's been a week & it takes longer then I expected to style. It's a little past my chin. You have to blow-dry, straighten, brush , wax/gel, hairspray. Ugh. I'm. Going back to school in 3 days and I kind of want one of rihanna's bold cuts. It's like black has layerflipped over and has white streaks. Only I have browhair so it would be brown. I'm so afraid, what if I hate it? Not much t to grow out before school? And it seems easy. HELP!?

Sabrinabee63 on July 05, 2011:

Hey i think i have an oval shaped face but thats not the problem...! See my hair is half curly/half straight- ish... but it is impossible to find a nice bang i tried side,i tried short, i look weird with out some kind of bang... ive just been wearing my band up in a little poof thing. PLEASE HELP ANYONE!!!!!!

CountryCutie on June 15, 2011:

Hey so i cannot figure out what shape of face that i have and my mother says that i have a heart faced shape but i see a square one... How do i decide which is right?

XxMarinaRecklessxX on April 28, 2011:

I recommend the scene hair, that is if u r scene if u r not don't do it and try an act like sumin ur not!

Deisy on January 23, 2011:

What about for a person with BIG cheeks?

Is there any tips for that?

sunnay552 on September 01, 2010:

HELP! i can't find out if i have a heart shaped face or an oval one. my jawline is very sharp like the heart shaped face, but the rest of my face does not look like that of the heart shaped one.. i don't know what to do with my hair since they both have different suggestions. help please?

thanks a ton,

Tiffany

shaqina on August 07, 2010:

hahah i remember that zivana :b

louise c. datu on July 12, 2010:

your website is good i appreciate it..............................

"_

Hub Love from United States on June 30, 2010:

I always wondered what my face shape was.

zivana cummings on May 31, 2010:

idont know what to do my mum wont let me cut my hair and its dribbling down to my bum please help

kelly jillings on May 31, 2010:

great ,just fantastic:

iwill try these hairstyles next time

alyssa on May 13, 2010:

HELP! I have a perm and it didn't really take. I have almost every type of curling thing, and still doesn't work. And now I don't know whether or not to cut it short or not. I want a change.

sord87 on February 25, 2010:

I just wonder if we had a long shaped face with a little hair what would be the style!Is it the same as Arnold Schwarzennager in Terminator!

yogesh on February 10, 2010:

suggest with picture a hairstyle for my daughter who is 2 years old

messerc123 from El Paso, Texas on September 24, 2009:

Love this hub. Thanks for the information.

Research Analyst on July 30, 2009:

Its amazing how this one tip about finding the right hairstyle for your face shape will make all the difference in the world when it comes to achieving a flattering haircut of your favorite celebrity.

kelly on July 29, 2009:

i think all of you are stupid

holly on June 06, 2009:

hi im holly and i have a long face with a big forehead.im trying to grow my hair out but i kind of want short side bangs...should i get them?

Jenny Parker on March 09, 2009:

I have a heart shape face, a short neck and a flat head. What type of hair should I be looking for?

Thick dry hair help on February 19, 2009:

so i can't tell if my face shape is round or oval. i have really thick hair-it is wavy in some spots, straight in other spots and underneeth it is curly. My hair is also really dry. i recently got the cuticles layed down with a perm so i can wear it down. im thinking about getting a sort of drastic hair cut but i don't know what to get. you can not see my cheek bones but im not fat! I want to dye my hair purple underneath but would choppy layers look good with my face shape and how long should i cut my hair. please help me.!!!

hisham80 from malaysia on February 08, 2009:

r3r23r2edf

hair.com on January 23, 2009:

hi thr i am thinking about getting my hair cut but should i get a fringe i don't no please help

Moon Daisy from London on November 28, 2008:

That's an intersting hub. I always tend to stick to the same sort of hair cut/style, and I've never thought about whether it suits my face shape or not. Turns out that it doesn't! Well I've learnt something today, and will consider it next time I get my hair cut. Thanks.

Ellie 2 on November 24, 2008:

Thats amazing...I'm called Ellie and I'm wondering the exact same thing! Awesome! Sorry, just had to add that.

Great website, lots of help. Thanks!

ellie on November 18, 2008:

umm i can't tell if my face is round or oval. i need some advice please!!!

thanx

Krisha on August 23, 2008:

your website is great! thank you for your tips...I Learn a lot...thank you

helphair on July 25, 2008:

HELP! i have extremely thick hair that is kind of wavy, but there are random straight pieces! whenever i blow dry it, it just frizzes up and i cannot do anything with it after. I have been wearing ponytails with my hair for years and i sometimes straighten it but it takes about an hour to do it! what should i do?

my-hair-tools from Ohio on July 08, 2008:

thats one of the most helpful things ive read! ive always wondered how people choose and there it is, very helpful

bixi on July 06, 2008:

I'am turkey live and works i want to marry.I am looking for girlfriend to get married my adress : bixi_75@hotmail.com

First Eagle on June 10, 2008:

Nice hub. I understand I have a lot to learn, thank you.

First Eagle, Thor Einar

Ann Martin on June 02, 2008:

Great tips, i loved the pictures!

Laura on June 02, 2008:

This website is good. I know I have a long face with a big 4head, however my face is slim too so is even worse! I hate it. I have long curly hair and a full fringe/bang. I also have quite a soft jaw and chin so I'm not very defined and have no visable cheekbones! I hate having a fringe but it's the best thing for my face shape I know, I'd like to have a side swept fringe but it makes my face look thinner and longer! What hair cut can I have to make my face look shorter? Help!

MayOnaise on May 31, 2008:

This website looks absolutely amazing and I have really wanted a new haircut for this special occasion! I have a hard time adjusting to new things and finding a New type of hairstyle will be awesome. I am tired of the same old same old!

nashomega on May 17, 2008:

Thanks For the wonderful Tips.. I will tell my hair dresser to cut Accordingly. By the way i was curious are you a hair dresser?

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on January 29, 2008:

I just had to read this. I find it really hard to find the right hairstyle for my face shape..esp. when my hair is kinda limp. Thanks for the info. Hmmm will now try to analyze my face. :-)

scottie on December 06, 2007:

Just like to make a comment that Michael Jacksons nose has nothing to with hair color or shape so for that matter, just beat it.

becauseilive (author) from N.J. on November 14, 2007:

Hey Megan, the only real difference between a square face and an oval face is that square faces basically have a more defined, squarer jaw and jawline. Oval faces tend to be slimmer in the jaw and cheeks, if that helps you at all.

As for your haircut, layers in the front are NOT the same as side bangs; they're just layers. You'd have to specify to the stylist that you want sideswept bangs (either to the left or the right). Try doing a Google Image search for "side swept bangs" and you'll see a billion pics that you could bring with you to show the stylist. Good luck!

megan on November 11, 2007:

HELP! I still can't figure out my faceshape, im debating between square and oval! i recently got my hair trimed and i want the whole bangs to the side but i can't figure out whether to get layers in the front that angle my face. pleasehelp!

becauseilive (author) from N.J. on October 22, 2007:

Hey Emma, I feel your pain, trust me. It took me years to figure it all out. There are two options for someone with long, wavy hair who can't afford a straightening iron.

First of all, STOP BRUSHING IT. Curly-haired girls should NEVER take a hairbrush to their hair, it just increases the frizz. If you are trying to blow dry it straight however, you can use a flat, vented, plastic bristle brush to get it straight, but this will only kinda work.

Your other option is to embrace your curls. When you get out of the shower, run gel through your hair to keep it under control and let it dry naturally.

Actually, these hubs might be a huge help to you: https://hubpages.com/style/How_to_Control_Curly_Fr...

https://hubpages.com/style/How_to_Straighten_Curly...

becauseilive (author) from N.J. on October 22, 2007:

Emma on October 22, 2007:

Hey, my hair is long and wavy but most of the time it gets really tangled even after I had brushed it, then it gets frizzy and poofy! I can't control it! I run out of hairstyles (even though I use ponytails, let my hair down, put at the side, french braid.)! So what can I do? How can I straighten it? I don't have a lot of money so I can't really buy a straightener tool! So what can I do?

Vivienne on September 27, 2007:

Ask your hairstylist to accentuate special features like your eyes; this can be done by say adding bangs. If you know your face shape you cannot go wrong in selecting a hairstyle.Great article and illustrations.

becauseilive (author) from N.J. on July 24, 2007:

Your welcome, I've been needing a new style myself. As you can see in my profile pic, my hair has gotten way too long. I need a style that is easy to manage but still looks good curly.

ChristineRitter from Ohio on July 24, 2007:

I've been thinking about a new style. Thanks, for the information.