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Find the Right Hair Style for your Face Shape

Finding that perfect hair style only takes a bit of research before you hit the hair salons

Having the right hair style can be a big decision, with many people using their hair as their way of expressing their personality, their style, their individuality. Most people go through many different hair styles in their life, simply going into their favourite hair salons with a picture of a celebrity and saying "I want that." Sometimes this can work, sometimes it won't. But why? Why does a one hair style look so great on one person but a bit of a mess on another?

It's all about the face shapes and balance. The shape of a person's face will dictate what looks good and what doesn't, with symmetry playing the most important role. To get the most out of your hair, you need to find out what your face shape is.

The first step? Work out what face shape you have. Of course, you can simply ask a hair dressers or hair salons , but if you are contemplating what hair styles you want and what would suit you there is a simply experiment that you can do to determine just what face shape you have. So past methods include tracing your face shape in a mirror with lipstick, but if you don't want to ruin your favourite lip shade there is an easy scientific method that gives you the best results.

Start by using either a tape measure or ruler and take down the following measurements of your face:

  1. Measure across the top of your cheekbones
  2. Measure across jaw line from the widest point to the widest point
  3. Measure across forehead at the widest point which you will find will generally be halfway between the eyebrows and hairline
  4. Measure from the tip of the hairline to the bottom of the chin

When looking at these results, compare them to the criteria below to determine what face shape you have.

Round Face

Relatively equal in width and height with the widest measurement being your cheeks.

This face shape is ideal for hair with height and fullness at the crown of the head with off centre parts also complimenting by minimizing the roundness of the cheeks. Short and long hair can match but layering is essential with short hair styles better when brushed away from the face, with tight layering to achieve a lengthening of the face.

Centre parts, straight fringes, chin length blunt cuts and fullness at the cheeks can emphasise roundness, so it is better to avoid these styles.

Celebrity Round Faces: Christina Ricci, Drew Barrymore, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst

Square Face

Equal lengths in width and length with no real widest point as forehead, cheeks and jaw are all relatively the same width.

Square faces are typically recognisable for their strong jaw line, with the best hair styles for this look being those that soften this line with soft curls and volume. Use of layering, wave or roundness around the face, and soft bangs all add this softness and can lessen the sharpness of a square face. Off centre parts and height at the crown can also be very attractive as it will add symmetry without adding angles.

Square faces should avoid long straight styles, or blunt cuts as this will only add to the edges of the persons face. A short, blunt bob is the worst choice, but layering would soften this look if a short cut is what you are after.

Celebrity Square Faces: Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosario Dawson, Angelina Jolie

Oval Face

Oval faces have length as 1.5 times of the measurement of their faces width. Key attributes include high cheekbones and a relatively narrow chin, though balanced with their rounded forehead.

One of the most balanced faces, most hair styles suit this face shape due to its symmetry with short, medium and long hair lengths suiting. One style tip that many hair salons suggest is slicking the hair back from the face and taking advantage of the balanced hairline.

Heavy fringes are probably not one of the best choices, as it may add weight to the top of the face, creating a heavy look.

Celebrity Oval Faces: Jennifer Anniston, Jessica Alba, Uma Thurman, Tyra Banks

Heart Face

Widest point is the cheeks and extends to the forehead with a narrow chin that tapers in.

Due to your narrow chin, this can often be a focus for a heart-shaped face. As a result, chin length or longer styles work well as they add width and balance the face. Fringes work well with this face shape, especially side swept fringes or side parted hair.

Heart shaped faces should typically avoid short, cropped styles that focus on the upper face and have height at the crown of the head. Additionally, softness is better to have around the face so slicked back hair is also better avoided.

Celebrity Heart Faces: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Claudia Schiffer, Katie Holmes, Reese Witherspoon