Vol.2, No.9

Choosing the right hairstyle for your face shape

Learn how to choose the most flattering hairstyle for you, as determined by your facial shape.

Woman's face and hair
Photo Credit: Andrew Taylor
A person's hairstyle communicates a lot about them and can be their greatest fashion accessory. Therefore choosing the right hairstyle is no easy task. However, by learning what styles look best on you, as determined by your facial shape, you can make a choice that will be most attractive to you and highlight the best features of your face.

The simplest way to determine the shape of your face is by using your reflection in a mirror. With your hair pulled off your face, trace the outline of your face onto the mirror with lipstick, a bar of soap, or any other removable colored substance. When you step away from the mirror, the shape of your face will remain and you can easily determine what shape your face most closely resembles. You can also do this by finding a photo of yourself (looking straight on at the camera) and carefully cutting out your face. The resulting shape of the paper can closely identify the shape of your face.

An oval face is often described as being the perfect shape. Because of the facial symmetry, individuals with an oval face can wear just about any hairstyle - from pixie short to long and full. Be sure not to wear a hairstyle that covers up your features, such as extra heavy bangs.

If you have a square face, you will want to use your hairstyle to give the illusion of length to your face. Choose a hairstyle that is slightly longer than your chin. Avoid styles that fall at your chin or slightly above, as these draw the eye to the outside of the face and make your face look wider than it is. Also avoid bangs that are cut straight across the forehead as this will emphasize your squareness. Shaping and softening the edges around this type of face is very flattering, as are wearing curls or cutting in layers.

People with round faces should also seek to lengthen their face. You can diminish the roundness of your face by wearing a side part or layering at your crown to add fullness and height. Hairstyles should be longer than your chin, as styles that fall at your chin or slightly above will make you look heavier. Avoid any circular style, such as tapering around the face or bangs that are rounded, as this will accentuate the roundness of your face.

A heart shaped face benefits from a style that provides balance between the wideness of the forehead and the narrow chin. Therefore, seek out a style that makes the forehead appear smaller. Bangs are helpful, especially if you have a high forehead, but should not be squarely cut across the face. Shaping along the face near the chin, or wearing a style that is layered and thick at the bottom, will provide fullness where it is needed. Avoid straight and thin styles which cling to the face, as these will accentuate your narrow jawline.

Even though you may have found the perfect hairstyle which complements and highlights your best features, be sure you don't get stuck in a style rut. It is recommended that you change your hairstyle often! Trends in hairstyles are always changing, and it is always complementary to a person's sense of style to update their look.

By learning what kinds of hairstyles are best suited for your facial shape, you can begin to narrow down the many choices of hairstyles today. By choosing a style that is most complementary to your face, you can feel confident that you're looking your best!