Face Shapes and Hair Styles . . . The Tutorial
How to measure and find your face shape, and even more importantly how to choose the right hair style to fit your face. Your facial shape is the starting point to choosing a new hair style. Your hair type is the next consideration. Is your hair naturally straight, wavy, curly or kinky? Is your hair texture fine, medium or thick? Lastly, take hair volume into consideration.
It’s hard to be objective about your own face shape, but here’s a sure-fire way to be sure your not letting bias influence your own analysis. Your hairdresser should be the final judge of your face shape, but if you need a little help try these tips.
There are lots of suggestions on how to figure out what shape you are. These include everything from outlining your face on a mirror with lipstick to draping your face shape with a towel and asking others to help you guess. But, there is actually a scientific way to find your face shape with great accuracy.
Measure it with a tape measure or ruler. You will take the following measurements:
- Measure your face across the top of your cheekbones. Write down the measurement on a piece of paper.
- Measure across your jaw line from the widest point to the widest point. Write down the measurement.
- Measure across your forehead at the widest point. Generally the widest point will be somewhere about halfway between your eyebrows and your hairline. Write down the measurement.
- Measure from the tip of your hairline to the bottom of your chin.
How To Determine What Face Shape You Are
- You are a Oval if: Length will be equal to one and a half times the width.
- You are a Round if: Your face is as wide as it is long. This may vary a little but generally the measurement is close.
- You are a Oblong if: Your face is longer than it is wide.
- You are a Heart if:Your face is narrow at jaw line, wide at cheekbones/and or forehead.
- You are a Square if: Your face is about as wide as it is long.
- You are a Triangular if: Your face is narrower at the temples and is wider at the jaw bone.
- You are a Diamond if: Your face is widest at cheekbones, and if narrow forehead and jaw line of about equal widths.
The Oval Face Shape
The oval-shaped face is only slightly narrower at the jaw line than at the temples, with a gently rounded hairline.
The oval can wear the widest variety of hair styles of any of the face shapes. Just about any hair shape looks good on you. Your “perfect” features allow you to wear a wider range of hair styles so have fun and experiment. Have you ever noticed that most models have oval face shapes? Have you noticed how many hair styles they can wear?
Ovals can wear short, medium and long hair styles. Your face shape is well-balanced, or in even proportion. You will look best when styling your hair off your face. Most ovals can wear slicked-backed looks as well.
Ovals should avoid hair styles that cover up your “perfect” features with heavy bangs, or too forward-directed hair styles.
In wearing your hair style on your face, you’ll lose your face shape behind the hair. This may seem to add weight to your face. I have an article dedicated solely to keeping hair off of the face you might want to check it out.
Celebrities with oval face shapes: Jennifer Aniston | Cameron Diaz | Mariah Carey | Cindy Crawford | Jewel | Heather Locklear | Sharon Stone | Uma Thurman | Julia Roberts | Courtney Cox Arquette | Elle MacPherson | Tyra Banks
The Oblong Face Shape
The oblong shaped face is long and slender, about the same width at forehead and just below cheekbones. Oblong faces may have a very narrow chin or a very high forehead.
If you have a oblong face you might want to try hair styles with short to medium lengths. Fullness at the sides of your face and wispy bangs soften the look of longer faces. You’ll want to balance the look of a long and slender face. Soft wispy bangs will shorten the visual appearance of the length. Fullness at the sides of your face will add width to the look of your oblong shape.
By cutting the your hair into a short or medium length, the outline of the hair cut will also shorten the look of the length of the face. Layers work great with oblong faces, as they will add softness to the straight lines in your face. Try side parts, and you may be able to wear straight back styles.
Oblong face shapes should avoid too much hair length . . . this will make your face will look even longer! Too much height lengthens your face. Center parts look great on people with a oblong face. When your hair grows past your shoulders, there is a good chance it is doing you more harm than good.
The models with oblong face shapes and long hair get by with it only because they have an “on call” hairdresser. This professional is at the models disposal and can usually be found busily primping and teasing, setting and styling to add fullness to the hair. Since most of us don’t have this luxury, my suggestion is keep it above shoulder length if you’ve got a oblong face shape.
The Round Face Shape
The round shaped face is full-looking face with a round chin and hairline. Widest point is at the cheeks and ears on women with round.
If you have a round face you’ll want to try hair styles with fullness and height at the crown. Off center parts help reduce the roundness of a round face. Short hair styles with a swept-back direction or hair styles that are longer than chin length will look good on you if you have a round face. By layering the top to create fullness and keeping the rest of the hair cut relatively close to the face, your round face shape will appear longer and narrower.
Round faces should avoid chin length hair with a rounded line that mirrors your round face. Center parts tend to stress roundness, so stay away from them if possible. Also avoid hair styles with short-short crops, or straight “chopped” bangs. Fullness at side of ears also accentuates the round face shape.
A rounded hair cut ending at the chin will certainly add weight to your already round face. Because the widest part of your face is at the cheeks and ears, you need to avoid having the fullness of the cut here, as it will make your face seem wider. I’ve written more about round face shapes in my articles Round Face Shapes can be Slimmed, Hairstyles a round shape and Hairstyles for Round Face Shapes. For more hairstyles that might make your face look thinner check out our Pinterest Hairstyles for Round Face Board.
The Square Face Shape
A square-shaped face is strong, square jaw line and usually an equally square hairline.
If you have a square face shape you’ll want to try short-to-medium length hair, especially with wave or roundness around the face. Wispy bangs will soften your angular square face. Off-center parts with height at the crown look great on you. You want to soften the square look of your face with layers and wispy looks around the face. Height at the crown will elongate your symmetrical shape. If your hair is straight, you may want to consider a body wave perm, as some curl or wavy hair will create a nice balance to the straight features of your face.
If you have a square face shape you’ll want to avoid long straight hair styles that stress the square jawbone. “Linear” straight bangs or center parts aren’t the best choice for a square face. A straight bobbed hairstyle ending at the jaw line is the wrong thing to do for your square face shape. You can wear a layered bob hair style, however it should end above or below the jaw line, not at the jaw. Make sure in styling that you create some roundness to the shape and some height at the crown or bangs, and you will be on the right track. For more pictures see my article hair styles for square face.
The Heart Face Shape
The heart-shaped face is wide at the temples and hairline, narrowing to a small delicate chin.
If you have a heart-shaped face you’ll want to consider chin-length or longer hair styles, they will work well with a heart-shaped face.
Other hair styles to try: side-parted hair styles or swept-forward layers around the upper face, with gently wispy bangs. A chin length bobbed hairstyle is great on your face shape! This creates a balanced look by giving fullness where you need it. You can wear shorter hair styles; however, if you are a dramatic heart you need to leave weight in the back nape area. This will create more balance between your dramatic cheekbones and more narrow chin.
Heart faces should avoid short, full styles that emphasize the upper face. Stay away from hair styles with too much height at the crown. Severe, slicked back looks are too harsh for you too. If you are a dramatic heart, the short, full hair styles with tapered necklines, which emphasize the upper face will make you look top-heavy. Too much height at the crown will give the appearance of a longer and narrower chin. Just remember if you have a dramatic heart face shape, you have great cheekbones to emphasize! Don’t miss the boat by getting a hair cut which is too top-heavy.
The Triangular Face Shape
The triangular-shaped face is the reverse of the heart-shape . . . a dominant jaw line with narrowing at the cheek bone and temples.
If you have a triangular-shaped face you’ll want to try shorter hair that balances your prominent jaw line. Hair styles that are full at the temples and taper at the jaw are perfect for triangular shapes. Off center parts, wedges and shags look great on you, too. You need lots of layers to achieve fullness through the upper part of your face. By wearing hair styles which are full at the temples and taper at the jaw line, you create a balance that can be striking in accenting features otherwise understated. Try tucking your hair behind your ears, as this will draw attention to your eyes and add the illusion of width in this area.
Triangular faces should avoid long, full hair styles that draw attention to jaw line. Center parts—off-center is more flattering to triangular-shaped faces. Stay away from hair styles with too much height at the crown. You also want to avoid putting most of the weight of a hair cut at the jaw line and below. This will give the appearance of added weight to the face. If you’re going with long hair, it should be kept tight at the nape.
A celebrity with a triangular-shaped face: Kathy Ireland
The Diamond Face Shape
The diamond-shaped face is a cross between heart and a dramatic oval face shape. A diamond face is widest at the cheekbones, and narrow equally at the forehead and jaw line. A diamond face is balanced and dramatic.
If you have a diamond-shaped face you’ll want to experiment with a variety of hair styles. Almost everything works with your face (as long as you are a true diamond face shape . . . the most misread of the face shapes). You can wear shorter hair styles. However, if you are a dramatic diamond, you need to leave weight in the back nape area like someone with a heart face shape. This will create more balance between your dramatic cheekbones and more delicate chin line.
Diamond faces should try not to wear too much hair on your face, thereby hiding your great features.
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