The Ultimate Guide to Face Shapes and Hair Styles

Face Shapes

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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:

  1. Measure your face across the top of your cheekbones. Write down the measurement on a piece of paper.
  2. Measure across your jaw line from the widest point to the widest point. Write down the measurement.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Hairstyle Face Shape

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

 

Hairstyle Face Shape

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.

Celebrities with oblong faces: Gwyneth Paltrow | Kirstie Alley Janet Jackson | Gabrielle Reece | Niki Taylor | Stephanie Seymour

Hairstyle 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.

Celebrities with round face shapes: Ingrid Bergman | Roseanne Barr | Kate Winslet | Natalie Merchant | Drew Barrymore | Christina Ricci | Charlotte Church

Hairstyle Face Shape

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.

Celebrities with square face shapes: Kristin Scott Thomas | Holly Marie Combs | Sandra Bullock | Demi Moore | Isabella Rosellini

Hairstyle Face Shape

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.

Celebrities with heart-shaped faces: Michelle Pfeiffer | Ashley Judd | Jennifer Love Hewitt | Claudia Schiffer | Emmanuaell Beart | Juliette Binoche | Lisa Kudrow | Lucy Lawless | Naomi Campbell

Hairstyle Face Shape

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


Hairstyle Face Shape
 

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.

Celebrities with diamond-shaped faces: Katherine Hepburn | Linda Evangelista | Sophia Loren

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61 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Face Shapes and Hair Styles

  1. Hi there, i have long thick hair and an oval face shape but i can never keep my hair off my face. Whether i wear it in a center or off-center part, the sides would never stay away from my face. What should i do to let it stay straight at the sides without pinning or anything? I always see how some girls with center parts have their hair fall straight down the sides of their face naturally but its almost impossible for me. What can i do to keep it off my face?

    • Hi Amelia,
      The weight of your long thick hair is most likely the problem. If your styling attempts aren’t working consider having long face framing layers cut in. This will lighten up the weight so curling the sides away from the face may have the effect you’re looking for. Another possibility is that you may have a low hairline which forces hair to fall into the face. If that’s the case, consider cutting in a cute fringe. Great looking bang styles come in all lengths and shapes and can be texturized to suit your needs. Hope that helps!

  2. my forehead is 5in, cheekbones 6, jaw 4, length 7 and a half. What is my face shape please?

    • Hi Judi:

      Plot those numbers on a piece of paper then connect the dots. When I do that with the measurements you’ve described, I see an oval, but it could also be heart shaped. Ask a girlfriend to help you with this as it is very hard to be objective about ourselves.

  3. Ugh, it’s great that my triangle face was recognized (because it NEVER is) but it still sucks having such a big jaw! I mean, I can’t win with this thing. It’s like the only hairstyles that work for women with triangle faces are extremely unflattering in my opinion because it draws too much attention (I do not embrace it and I want to hide it at all costs) or they’re old lady haircuts with way too much volume and maintenance required.

    This girl is getting her jaw shaved if it’s the last thing she does. Maybe then I can finally embrace the fact that I’ve given up and grown my hair out to my butt.

  4. Please Help. I am unable to determine my face shape. my forehead measures 5″ (1/2 way between by hairline and eyebrows), my cheeks measure 6″ (measuring from just past the corner of my eyes) My Jawline is 8″ and my length is 7″. What face shape do I have. I am considering a change in hairstyle and don’t want to get the wrong cut.

    • H: Diane:

      You have described a triangular or pear shaped face, but it is impossible to be accurate with the description you have given. Ask7 friend or better yet, a hairstylist to help.

    • Thank you Julia! I really enjoyed your infographic on hairstyles and face shapes. Would you ever consider writing a guest post for Hairstyle-Blog? You can check out all of the information here.

      Have a wonderful day!

  5. Knowing what styles work with your face shape is everything. You can easily lose confidence in yourself while trying all the wrong looks. If you start out by knowing what styles look good, you can literally cut out all the mistakes.

    • Hi Felicia,
      We’d be more than happy to help you! It appears that Candice Swanepoel has a combination of a few different face shapes. Her face shape is round, oval, and oblong. If you would like to learn more, click here to check out the article Candice Swanepoel Distinctive Face Shape. The whole article is dedicated to that exact topic!

      Have a wonderful day!

  6. Hi, I am not sure if i have a squre- or rectangular faceshape, it is a bit longer(5 cm) than it is wide, but I´ve heard that it has to be one third longer to be a rectangular. My face is about 19 cm long and 14 cm wide. PLEASE HELP ME!:)

    • Hi Linn,
      It sounds like you have a rectangular or oval shaped face. Luckily, you have many hairstyles to choose from! Come check out the article Hairstyles for Your Face to learn more fantastic DIY hair tips about face shapes. Don’t miss it today.

      Good luck!

  7. what is your e-mail?? I want to send my picture so I can determine my face shape… a lot of thanks :)

    • Hi Trish,
      Sometimes it can be tricky to determine the shape of your face. I found an article that I think that you’ll find to be extremely helpful. It provides easy, quick tips to find your face shape. Come check it out here.

      Good luck!

  8. I have always being told i have got a round face but i am not certain to be honest.

    My face: http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f385/tsukinoyoukai/Photos%20online/10052012803.png

    Also, my hairdresser had cut my hair recently… and i don’t like how it looks o.O (I think i look VERY VERY round… i am overweight, i understand it’s just natural but that hair style was supposed to help not the contrary D:!!

    this is the hairstyle I have right now :s but i wanna try something different!!

    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f385/tsukinoyoukai/Photos%20online/hair.png

    Hope you can gimme some ideas, please D: it’s seriously difficult since i don’t even know what face shape i have, and since my forehead is extremely small :’( well…

    Thanks in advance for the help ;_;

    • Thank you for your interesting idea Imad.

      Check out WHAT’S YOUR EYEGLASSES FACE SHAPE?. It is s cool online program from Lens Crafters that helps you discover your face shape and the best glasses to help you look your best.

      Good luck! I hope that you have a blast trying on virtual glasses.

  9. I tried drawing my face shape but it doesn’t seem to look like me actual face
    Forehead-6.5
    Cheekbones-(if I go to my ears 9.5) if I go to where my cheekbones stop the 6.8
    Jaw-9.5
    Hairline to chin-7.5
    I have had
    One hair with no bangs at all pretty much my whole life… My hair is 19 inches long . I am looking to do something a bit different but i don’t want to go too short if it won’t suit me.
    Thanks

    • Hi Lisa,

      It sounds like you have a triangular face shape. Check out this article for wonderful hairstyle ideas that will compliment your face!

      Good luck!

    • Hi Emily,

      It sounds like you have a round face shape. Check out this article for some wonderful hairstyle ideas that will look the best on you!

      Good luck!
      Good luck!

  10. can someone help me?i’m not sure what my face shape is my friends say it is an oval but i am not sure but my measurements are: 6 ins [cheekbones] 7 ins [forehead] 8 ins [jaw] 7 ins[length] can someone please help me?? and thank you

  11. I can’t determine if I am round or diamond. I have pointy chin and a big nose, normal sized forehead. Can I do bangs, too? I probably won’t though since I have fine really curly hair. Want a short do for summer. Is it possible?
    My measurements are
    forehead :6 1/4 in
    cheekbones: 8 1/2 in
    jaw: 8 in
    length of face: 8 in
    Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Melissa!

      It sounds like you have a round face shape. Women with this shaped face can look good with bangs, but I would recommend staying away from a blunt bang. Blunt bangs will shorten the appearance of your face, and they can be difficult to style with curly hair. Instead, opt for side bangs or parted bangs to soften your the appearance of your hairstyle.

      Check out this article for more great hair styling ideas!

      Good luck!

  12. I can’t figure out which face shape I have..I think it’s somewhere between oval, rectangular or diamond..could anyone help me? The widest point is where my cheekbones are (12cm) and the second widest part is my jaw 11 cm, and then my forhead 11,5 cm, and the length is 1,4*the widest point, so it’s 15.5 cm..I have a short forhead but also widows peak, although it’s not that clear, and I don’y have round chin, so I dont think it can be round..? Help??

    • Hi Yasmin,

      It sounds like you have a rectangular face shape because the length of your face is larger than its wide. Oval face shapes also have this characteristic, but the length of oval face shapes are one and a half times their width.

      Check out this website for great bang ideas for different face shapes!

  13. I seem to be somewhere between oval and rectangular; my face is just b a r e l y longer than an oval face (by a cm or so) and my cheekbone area is only a litle wider than the rest.

    • It is common for your face to look like two different shapes. Luckily for you, one of the shapes is an oval. People with oval shaped faces look good with almost any hairstyle. Because of this, try choosing a hairstyles that works best with a rectangular shaped faces. They will most likely be the most flattering.

      Do you love bangs? Check out this article about what bangs work the best for certain face shapes. http://www.hairstyle-blog.com/hairstyles-with-bangs-are-they-right-for-you.html

  14. Age 50, beginnings of sagging jowls makes my face very rectangular. I like choppy cuts but always have bangs to cover my long forehead. Best cuts?

    • The best haircuts for you are the ones that will help soften your features. A couple of choppy haircuts that will compliment your face shape include the modern shag and the short, angled bob with lots of layers. Because these haircuts both have layers, they are wonderful options for you. Check out this article for more fabulous ideas for layered hairstyles, http://www.visual-makeover.com/wp/layered-hairstyles/. You can always add a wispy bang to any haircut to complete your style.
      Thank you for your comment. Do you have any other questions about your hair or potential hairstyles? We are always pleased to help answer our readers questions.

  15. my parents tell me i have a heart-shaped face.. but i’m not sure? I have tried drawing my face shape out on a mirror and I can’t figure out what face shape i am at all. here are my measurements
    Cheekbones-9in (23cm)
    Jawline-8in (20cm)
    Forehead-7 1/2in (19cm)
    Length-7 1/2in (19cm)

    Please help, Thank you:D

    • You may have a heart shaped face. Look in the mirror. Do you have a wide forehead and/or cheekbones and a narrow chin. If so, you have a heart shaped face. Tyra Banks is an example of a celebrity with this face shape.

      Here is an article that provides wonderful haircut ideas for women with heart shaped faces, http://www.visual-makeover.com/wp/haircuts-for-heart-shaped-faces/

      Thank you for your comment. Do you have any other questions regarding your hair or face shape? We are always pleased to help answer our readers questions.

    • It is not the size that matters it is the shape. Go to wwww.visual-makeover.com/wp/face.htm and then once you have determined your face shape. Then we will have something to talk about.

    • I don’t know what you mean by side fringes. Can you elaborate or provide a link to a picture?

  16. The length of my face: 21
    Forehead: 15
    Cheekbones: 13
    Jaw line to chin: 9
    My chin is kind of slightly pointy
    What is my face shape?

    • Get out a piece of paper a pencil and a ruler.
      • Step one using the ruler put a dot on the paper at zero of the first dimension and put a dot on the paper at the point of the first dimension.
      • Step Two: Repeat step one for each measurement that you have taken.
      • Step Three: Connect the dots
      • Step Four: Hold up the piece of paper . . . which shape most closely resembles what you see.
      o Oval
      o Rectangle
      o Round
      o Square
      o Heart
      o Triangle
      o Diamond
      o Pear

  17. My parents say I have a oval face,but if
    you look carefully,my chin is a little pointed
    But not as pointed as a heart shaped face
    What is my face shape?

    • Probably an Oval. Always trust what others are saying and not what you see in the mirror. There is no way I can be objective about my own looks.

  18. what is my face shape? coz i’m not sure if its round or rectangle.. thanks
    8.5 in. -cheekbones
    8.5 in. -jawline
    6 in. -forehead
    8 in.- hairline to chin
    i’m not even sure about the measurements.. haha still thanks :) )

  19. What is my face shape?
    measurements:
    1. 5 3/4 inch < cheek
    2. 5 inches < jaw
    3. 4 1/4 inch < forehead
    4. 7 3/4 inch < tip of hairline to chin

  20. hmm… I’m confused.
    I’ve been told (by my parents) that I have a round-ish face. However, looking at this, and looking at the mirror of course, I’ve noticed my chin is rather pointed. So, now, I don’t now if I’m a round face shape or a diamond face shape. :/

    • Hi Claire:

      Try drawing the outline of your face in the mirror with lipstick. Then step away and look at the outline. What face shape is it?

  21. my face measure:
    cheekbones=20 cm
    jawline=23 cm
    forehead and length=18 cm
    so,I ain’t sure which face shapes..

  22. Everyone can have beautiful hair. But the hairstyle should be suitable for the face shape. There are various short hair styles for women over 40 and you can simply choose a look that can make you 10 years younger.

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