How to Find the Right Hairstyle for Your Face Shape

Updated on March 5, 2016
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. | Source

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.

Round Face

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. | Source

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.

Oval Shape

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. | Source

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.

Long Faces

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. | Source

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

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. | Source

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.

Heart-Shaped Faces

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. | Source

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.

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Chloe 3 months ago

        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?

      • profile image

        Laraine Parker 4 months ago

        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.

      • profile image

        Brianna 12 months ago

        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.

      • profile image

        Hema 14 months ago

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

      • Jules Peacocke profile image

        Jules Peacocke 22 months ago from Sydney

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

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

      • profile image

        yashwi 5 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Jo Fox 5 years ago

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

      • profile image

        prem jha 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Allison 6 years ago

        Thanks for helping me find my face shape

      • jenniferg78 profile image

        jenniferg78 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

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

      • profile image

        missy 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        kk 6 years ago

        Haha your comments are cracking me up!

      • profile image

        fred 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        vanessa 6 years ago

        thank you

      • profile image

        lucy45 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        edna sandford 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        taufiq 6 years ago

        i like finge

      • profile image

        chanchal 6 years ago

        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.

      • profile image

        nikita 6 years ago

        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

      • profile image

        vidya 6 years ago

        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

      • profile image

        asma samar 6 years ago

        i still need help

      • profile image

        Jade 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        fabiola 6 years ago

        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

      • profile image

        nishna 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Kiana 6 years ago

        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?!!!!

      • profile image

        sophiemaroni 6 years ago

        very good

      • profile image

        Melody 6 years ago

        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...

      • profile image

        Theresa 6 years ago

        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?


      • profile image

        ritta 6 years ago

        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?

      • profile image

        mother fuccker 6 years ago

        i hate this website lol

      • profile image

        Ta 6 years ago

        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!?

      • profile image

        Sabrinabee63 6 years ago

        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!!!!!!

      • profile image

        CountryCutie 6 years ago

        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?

      • profile image

        XxMarinaRecklessxX 6 years ago

        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!

      • profile image

        Deisy 7 years ago

        What about for a person with BIG cheeks?

        Is there any tips for that?

      • profile image

        sunnay552 7 years ago

        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,


      • profile image

        shaqina 7 years ago

        hahah i remember that zivana :b

      • profile image

        louise c. datu 7 years ago

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


      • Hub Love profile image

        Hub Love 7 years ago from United States

        I always wondered what my face shape was.

      • profile image

        zivana cummings 7 years ago

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

      • profile image

        kelly jillings 7 years ago

        great ,just fantastic:

        iwill try these hairstyles next time

      • profile image

        alyssa 7 years ago

        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.

      • profile image

        sord87 8 years ago

        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!

      • profile image

        yogesh 8 years ago

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

      • messerc123 profile image

        messerc123 8 years ago from El Paso, Texas

        Love this hub. Thanks for the information.

      • Research Analyst profile image

        Research Analyst 8 years ago

        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.

      • profile image

        kelly 8 years ago

        i think all of you are stupid

      • profile image

        holly 8 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Jenny Parker 9 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Thick dry hair help 9 years ago

        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.!!!

      • profile image

        hisham80 9 years ago from malaysia


      • profile image 9 years ago

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

      • Moon Daisy profile image

        Moon Daisy 9 years ago from London

        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.

      • profile image

        Ellie 2 9 years ago

        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!

      • profile image

        ellie 9 years ago

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


      • profile image

        Krisha 9 years ago

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

      • profile image

        helphair 9 years ago

        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 profile image

        my-hair-tools 9 years ago from Ohio

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

      • profile image

        bixi 9 years ago

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

      • First Eagle profile image

        First Eagle 9 years ago

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

        First Eagle, Thor Einar

      • Annette Rozen profile image

        Ann Martin 9 years ago

        Great tips, i loved the pictures!

      • profile image

        Laura 9 years ago

        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!

      • profile image

        MayOnaise 9 years ago

        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 profile image

        nashomega 9 years ago

        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?

      • ripplemaker profile image

        Michelle Simtoco 10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

        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. :-)

      • profile image

        scottie 10 years ago

        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 profile image

        becauseilive 10 years ago from N.J.

        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!

      • profile image

        megan 10 years ago

        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 profile image

        becauseilive 10 years ago from N.J.

        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:

      • becauseilive profile image

        becauseilive 10 years ago from N.J.

      • profile image

        Emma 10 years ago

        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?

      • profile image

        Vivienne 10 years ago

        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 profile image

        becauseilive 10 years ago from N.J.

        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 profile image

        ChristineRitter 10 years ago from Ohio

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