When it comes to your hairstyle, your face shape is a key factor in creating the most flattering look for you. Should you opt for long waves or a close-cut crop? What about going gamine gorgeous? This requires a little thought for most of us to ensure the style makes the most of our face shape. From center parts to side parts to taking the plunge with a new set of bangs: How do you know if the style you want for 2021 is right for you? It’s all about starting with your face type.
3 Things to Determine Your Face Shape:
To get a basic sense of your face shape, you’ll want to look at three key criteria.
#1. Start with the widest part of your face: your forehead, cheeks and jaw.
#2. Is your jawline round, square or pointy?
#3. The length of your face—is it short or long? There’s more information in the breakdown below.
I’ve also asked some of our favorite hairstylists to comment on various hairstyles to determine how they flatter the six common different face shapes and why.
The Diamond Face Shape
How to know if your face is diamond-shaped? Here’s how one checks. If you were to draw lines connecting the center point of your hairline to your cheekbones and then down to your chin, it would create a diamond shape. The hallmarks of those with diamond faces are a pointed chin and high cheekbones. It differs from a heart-shaped face in the hairline. Those with a diamond-shaped face have narrower hairlines than those with a heart-shaped face.
Celebs with your face shape: Jennifer Lopez, Megan Fox
Best Hairstyles for Diamond Face Shapes:
Sally Hershberger NOMAD hairstylist Scott Fabian recommends that those with a diamond shape and long hair “try rocking a middle part or playing with curtain bangs it helps give the illusion of a wider forehead.” Diamond face shapes have a more narrow forehead, he explains. For those with medium-length hair, “definitely add layers as well to show off the cheekbones and open up the face in all the right spots,” Fabian notes. This provides the look of a more broad forehead, as well. If you opt for short hair, Fabian recommends chin-length bobs or an angled textured pixie with a longer fringe.
Serge Normant John Frieda hair stylist Matt Fugate says that diamond-shaped faces are a bit more rare. “They’re like oval and round, and are less tricky, but what you are trying to do is build strength at the jaw so you make the face look less ‘pointed’.” For long hair, Fugate says to choose a cut with some facial framing right at the jaw. “A crisp, sharp smart bob like Lucy Hale’s can make the jawline look more powerful, even if the client lacks a defined one,” he explains.
Heart Face Shape
Those with a heart-shaped face have a pointed chin with a wider forehead. Some people may have a widow’s peak at the hairline, however, you can still have a heart-shaped face without one. Think of an inverted triangle if the heart isn’t an exact match.
Best Hairstyles for Heart Face Shapes:
Fabian’s advice for heart-shaped faces is to show off those cheekbones! “If you have longer hair, try adding soft, sexy shorter layers to extenuate those cheekbones,” he says. If your hair is medium to short, Fabian suggests having fun with your hair by adding piecey texture and movement, “like Miley’s new mullet look.”
Fugate says that most often, heart or oval face shapes are most flattering to the eye. “It is the most symmetrical, and therefore usually can fit every haircut,” He explains. Those with these face shapes already have a leg up, as Fugate notes that for all other face shapes, he tries “to create a haircut that gives the illusion of symmetry.”
The Oval Face Shape
Those with oval faces have foreheads that are only a bit wider than their curved chin. Think of an egg placed upside down. If you have a tall forehead, your cheekbones are the widest part of your face, and your face is longer than it is wide, your face is probably oval-shaped.
Best Hairstyles for Oval Face Shapes:
Fabian suggests that those with long hair and an oval face shape add face-framing layers to really show off their bone structure. “Oval face shapes can handle pretty much any hairstyle, but the longer the layers, the more of a possibility that the long layers can drag your face down,” he explains. “A medium-length hairstyle is a perfect length for an oval face,” he says.
The Round Face Shape
A round face is somewhat like a square-shaped face, but it has softer angles. The sides of your face curve slightly in an outward direction instead of being perfectly straight. For those with round faces, your chin is rounded, and your cheekbones represent the widest part of your face.
Best Hairstyles for Round Face Shapes:
Fabian says that for those with round faces and long hair, it’s all about keeping the layers on the longer side. “This will allow the illusion of a longer face to balance the roundness,” Fabian explains. For medium and short hair, Fabian advises a sexy side part. “If you want to try bangs, keep the face-framing layers longer to help slim down the face,” he advises.
Fugate notes that for round faces, you “want to slim the face a little, so leaving strands longer can help, as the length creates a nice vertical line to draw the focus.” Fugate notes that bobs are a great hairstyle for those with round face shapes. He also likes lobs and long, flowing layers for this crowd. “Just try to avoid the short face framing layers unless they start below the jaw,” he says.
The Square Face Shape
Wondering if you have a square face? This face shape is characterized by the sides of your face being straight, with a jawline that is slightly angled with a minimal curve. Your face is nearly as wide as it is long. In other words, your features are sharper and more angular, including a defined jawline.
Best Hairstyles for Square Face Shapes:
Fabian says that this face shape is very versatile. For example, Zoe Kravitz and Taraji P. Henson have worn many different looks and looked great. For those with a square face shape, Fabian says long hair with shorter textured layers or a collarbone-length bob with a side-swept bang or a short and sexy pixie with edgy texture is the way to go.
Fugate says that for square faces, you “want to soften and add lots of layers, so the movement actually hides the hides the bone structure a little.” He adds that “anything choppy and loose, like curtain bangs with soft tendrils or whisps can be great, as are shags for sexy, tousled movement.” Think Freja Beha Erichsen’s look. “There is something really stunning about the combination of defined cheekbones and jawlines and delicate, flowing layers,” Fugate says.
Rectangular Face Shape
Rectangular faces are similar to square-shaped faces, but are longer than they are wide. Your cheeks, forehead and jawline are about the same width and your chin has a slight curve to it. Rectangular face shapes may also be referred to as oblong face shapes.
Best Hairstyles for Rectangular Face Shapes:
This face shape tends to be longer, with sharper cheekbones, Fabian says. “At any length having more of a full fringe can help soften the angles for long to medium hair,” Fabian notes. “I would definitely recommend adding layers to add movement and help lift the face so it doesn’t appear as long,” he adds.
Fugate says that the rectangular face shape typically “goes hand-in-hand with a larger forehead, so [his] go-to style is always bangs.” He specifies that you want the kind of bangs that are a bit more fun and versatile for this face length. “They can be totally Brooklyn vibes-blunt, or longer, eyelash ticklers, but as long as they create the illusion of a smaller, slimmer face, it all works.”
Those with rectangular facial features can add any style to the haircut at that point, once you have figured out the bangs, he explains. “Even a super-long look, a jawline bob or anything in between can work once you set in place a beautiful focal point over the eyes,” Fugate says.