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Finding the Right Cut for Your Face Shape

By: Jody Ehrhardt - Updated: 3 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Determining The Shape Of Your Face Oval

Just because a certain hairstyle looks great on someone else does not mean it will be flattering on you. In order to pick the most appropriate cut you need to choose one that compliments your face shape.

Determining the Shape of Your Face

Faces come in seven main shapes: oval, oblong, round, square, heart-shaped, triangular, and diamond. In order to determine the exact shape and contour of your face grab a tape measure and follow the steps below.
  • Stretch the tape measure across the widest point of your forehead about halfway between your eyebrows and hairline. Jot the measurement on a piece of paper.
  • Next measure your jaw line by running the tape measure from one side of your face to the next across the widest point of your jaw. Jot the measurement down.
  • Then, stretch the tape measure from temple to temple across the widest point of your cheekbones. Again jot the measurement down.
  • Finally, holding the tape measure so that it stretches from the middle of your forehead at the hairline to the longest point of your chin measure the length of your face and write the measurement down.
Once you have your measurements compare them to the following information to determine your face shape.

If the length of your face is at least one time longer than the width of your face and you have defined cheekbones, you have an oval shaped face.

If your largest measurement was the length of your face and you have a more pointed chin, you have an oblong face shape.

Individuals with a round face will notice that the length and width measurements of their face are about equal and they will not have very noticeable cheekbones.

If all of your measurements are relatively equal then you most likely have a square shaped face. These individuals will notice have a broader forehead and jaw line and will be able to see a definite square shape when their hair is pulled back from their face.

If your forehead or cheekbone measurement is greater than your jaw line measurement then you have a heart shape face. A broader forehead that tapers to a narrow chin identifies this shape.

Triangular shaped faces have jaw line measurement that is wider than the forehead and cheekbone measurements. This shape is opposite of a heart shaped face and features a wider jaw that tapers upwards towards a narrower forehead.

Finally, the cheekbone measurement of a diamond shaped face will be larger than the measurements of the forehead and the jaw line.

Choosing the Perfect Cut for Your Face Shape

Once you have identified your face shape you can easily determine which cuts and styles will flatter your features and bring out the best in your look.

Oval shaped faces are the most versatile when it comes to matching features to hairstyles. This shape looks equally good with short, long, straight, or curly hair. However, styles that feature chin length layers will give more prominence to defined cheekbones. Good cuts for oval face shapes include chin length straight bobs, thick straight-across fringe, long-layered shoulder length cuts, and long wavy styles. Oval face shapes should avoid bobs, however, if hair is curly, and super short cuts that add length to the face.

Oblong shaped faces need extra bulk at the sides to even out the length of the face and balance features. Good cuts for this face shape include shoulder-length styles with lots of layers that add width at the temples, side swept fringes, and chin length bobs or blunt cuts. Oblong face shapes should avoid any hairstyles that add length to the face or minimize width such as long, one-length styles, short, pixie style cuts, and long, straight across cut bangs.

If you have a round shaped face you need to choose a cut that elongates your features and minimises the fullness of the face. Flattering haircuts for this face shape include long, layered looks, side swept fringes, shoulder-length waves, and off-centre partings. If you have a round face you need to avoid all short (above the chin) cuts, blunt cuts, straight fringes and tight curls.

The most flattering looks for individuals with square shaped faces will emphasise the cheekbones yet play down the width of the jaw line. Good cuts for this shape include long styles that feature layers starting at the jaw line, cuts that feature choppy, textured, or wavy ends, or long, feathery side swept fringes. Avoid styles that emphasise the jaw line such as chin length bobs, blunt, straight across cut fringes, and all over short hair styles.

Heart shaped faces need cuts that de-emphasise the chin and bring attention to the eyes or cheekbones for balance. Good hair cuts include pixie cuts, short cuts with layers starting at the cheekbones, ear length bobs, side swept bangs, and off centre parts. Avoid long, straight cuts with straight across thick bangs, or cuts that end at the chin.

Full, layered cuts are the most flattering for triangular shaped faces. This shape needs a cut that adds width at the top of the face while de-emphasising the jaw line. Shorter than chin length cuts, wedge cuts, shaggy bobs, off-centre partings, and thick fringes work to flatter triangular shaped faces. Avoid cuts that end at the jaw or the middle of neck, no fringes or wispy or side swept fringes, and layers that start at the chin.

Finally, if you have a diamond shaped face you need to choose a cut that accentuates your forehead and jaw line. Shoulder length bobs, chin skimming blunt cuts, longer looks with lots of layers, and short, curly, layered looks all compliment a diamond shaped face. Avoid cuts with layers that start at the cheekbones, long, all one length cuts, and long bangs that graze the cheekbones or centre of your face.

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