How to Find the Right Hairstyle for Your Face Shape
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.
What Shape Is Your Face?
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.