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How to Choose the Best Haircut: All Face Shapes & Styles

Choosing a great haircut can seem like an arduous task, especially if you have had bad haircuts in the past.

Your face shape will help you determine what will equal one of your best haircuts compared to one of your worst. While face shape is important, you also need to consider your personal style and preferred length. Your hair-type will also play a role in deciding the best haircut for you.

Additionally, taking your location and lifestyle into consideration is also essential. If you are very active, you will likely want to be able to pull your hair up, unless you want to cut it super short, so it’s off of your neck and face. In areas with excessive heat, the same thing may come into play when deciding what the best haircut option is going to be.

Lastly, some haircuts will require more work than others. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to spend much time doing your hair, then you will want to go with a simple style. On the contrary, if spending time to get ready is part of your daily life, a hairstyle that requires more work may be no problem at all.

Why Face Shape Matters

Hairstylist deciding with the young female customer what haircut to do in hairdressing parlor. Two pretty blondes discussing a new hairstyle

The shape of your face is typically pretty easy to figure out and will fall into one of five general categories. These categories are long, oval, round, square, and heart-shaped. Each of these shapes will make your hair fall and look a certain way. Some haircuts will look more natural than others, depending on face shape.

Realistically, you can wear any hairstyle you prefer, and more often than not, you can find one in that preferred style that will look good on your face shape. However, those that wear an extremely short pixie may realize the longer version of this cut may be more fitting as it starts to grow in. Learning your face shape can help you recognize this before chopping off your locks.

Most people will be able to tell their face shape by merely looking in the mirror. If you’re still unsure after giving yourself a hard look, don’t fret – there’s a way to measure your face to help you decide which category you fall into.

How to measure your face to determine face shape:

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  • You will want to start by pulling your hair back and away from your forehead. This will allow you to see your entire face easily.
  • You will need to use a cloth measuring tape to achieve the most accurate measurements. However, even a decent estimate will make determining your face shape easier.
  • Now you’re going to measure four different spaces on your face.
  • Begin by measuring the width of your forehead. You will go from hairline to hairline on the broadest part of your forehead. Jot this measurement down.
  • Next, you will move down your face to your cheekbones. You will want to start at your hairline just above your cheekbone. Stretch the measuring tape in a straight line to the same point on the opposite side of your face. Then jot your cheekbone measurement down.
  • Now that you have your cheekbone measurement, it’s time to measure the width of your jawline. Starting just below the ears, measure how long your jawline is from the starting point to the middle of your chin. You can then multiply by two or measure the other side and add them together (this is the most accurate way). Jot this measurement down.
  • Lastly, measure the length of your face. Bring the tape up to the center of your hairline and measure down to the bottom of your chin. This will be the last measurement that you’ll need to write down.
  • After measuring, you should take a few moments to think about your particular face’s features and characteristics. A round jawline tends to be part of round face shape, whereas pointed chins and widow peaks tend to be part of a heart-shaped face. You should also pay attention to whether your face has sharper angles or softer ones. These characteristics will play a role in helping you figure out which face shape category you fall into.

5 Face Shape Categories

Now that you have taken your facial measurements, it is time to look through the different face shapes and characteristics. Doing so will allow you to determine which face shape category you belong in quickly. Once you know your face shape, picking the perfect hair cut will be exponentially simpler.

1. Long

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If you have a long face, know that the longer your hair is, the longer your face will look. It exaggerates the length of your face. Many people that have long faces prefer to wear shorter hairstyles, and often bangs are involved. Bangs can help make your face look a bit shorter. The extra volume in your hair can also take away from the length of your face. Long-faced people tend to have smooth jawlines and larger chins.

Frequently, long faces are also quite lean, which means they’ll work well with haircuts that add volume to the sides of the hair. Adding curls or waves is advantageous to those with long faces. If you have a broad forehead, adding bangs is a great choice. Not only will bangs make your face look shorter, but they will also bring attention to your eyes.

If your face is oblong (flatter with a long oval shape), haircuts that add volume near the cheekbones will work well. They distract from the facial length. Long, side-swept bangs are also a great addition to help shorten your face.

Long or oblong face shapes look best with styles that are between cheekbone and shoulder length. It’s easy to add waves or curls to add width on the sides of the face. Many haircuts can be achieved in this length zone and with this face shape.

2. Oval

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If you have an oval shape, you’re in luck. Pretty much every hairstyle option is going to be flattering. Following trends won’t be hard for those with oval faces. They can rock everything from a short pixie to an invert, all the way down to hair that reaches the middle of their back with layers built-in.

The problem with solving which haircut is going to fit perfectly with an oval face is the fact that there are multiple options. To narrow it down, you should consider the texture of your hair, style, and your lifestyle. Thinking about these things can make it easier to pick which of the many haircut options is going to make you feel great about your new look.

Oval faces have more versatility than most other face shapes. Long layers will provide the wearer with excellent movement. This is especially true when you’re dealing with waves or curls. If you want to add some width to your face, you can pump up the volume near the sides of your face.

3. Round

Beautiful model girl with elegant hairstyle and fashionable leaf

Round faces can be a bit of a challenge, and most feel that cuts that are below the chin are ideal. If you have waves or curls and you sport a short style, you may end up adding extra width to your face, which may not look so great. If you’re wearing a short style with a round face, you will want to add volume to the top of your head. When you make your hair taller, it’s going to make your face look longer.

More often than not, those with round faces want to find a way to make their face seem longer and leaner. The optimal way to handle this is with height and length. Longer styles with layers will make a round face look slimmer. Long bobs and center parts work well for round faces.

If you have a round face, you will likely want to avoid tight curls, angular cuts, and thick bangs. These things are going to shorten the look of your face and can make it look rounder than ever. With that being said, you can have short hair with a round face. Pixie cuts that offer a lot of top volume can look stellar with round faces.

4. Square

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If your face shape is square, you likely have a strong jawline. Additionally, this may mean that you want to downplay this feature. Texture in your hair is going to do an excellent job of drawing attention away from the jawline. Curls and choppy cuts are excellent at doing this.

Bangs that sweep to the side with medium length locks are also great for those with square faces. It helps round the look out. Tousled bobs also work well because they take away from the squareness of the face by emphasizing layers. This cut also helps to soften a broad forehead and jawline.

People who have the strong angular shape of square faces should try and soften the edges of their features with layers. This can be wispy layers or side-sweeping fringe. Either way, it’s going to soften your look. Additionally, adding some volume near the crown of your head can help soften the angular shape of a square face.

5. Heart-Shaped

Portrait of natural sensual woman with long straight hair isolated over gray background

As noted, if you have a heart-shaped face, your chin is likely a bit pointier, and you probably rock some sort of widow’s peak. Drawing attention to your cheekbones and eyes will help to make your face look less heart-shaped. This can be accomplished with bangs and by adding volume on the sides of your face.

Many people with heart-shaped faces will have fantastic bone structure. Finding a haircut that looks natural with this face shape is not too difficult. It’s another of the most versatile face shapes out there because the features of those with heart-shaped faces do not tend to be overly harsh or soft.

If you have a heart-shaped face and your forehead is wider than average, you should try framing your face with layers. Adding bangs can also help distract from a broader forehead, and they look great with face-framing layers. On top of that, curling your hair can help reduce the look of a wider than average forehead.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the haircut that makes you feel good about how you look is the one that fits you best. Most hairstyles can be tweaked to suit your specific style no matter what the shape of your face is. You should also remember that your hair will always grow back, so rolling the dice and trying something new and away from the standard can be a fun adventure. If it doesn’t end up so great, simply let it grow back and don’t go for that haircut again in the future.

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