Your face 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 the volume of the hair 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. Hair designers are the ultimate judges of your face shape, but if you need a little help try this experiment.
There are lots of suggestions on how to figure out your shape. These include everything from outlining your face shape on a mirror with lipstick to draping it with a towel and asking others to help you guess the shape. But, there is actually a scientific way to determine your face shape once and for all.
To find out the shape of your face, 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.
Oval Face - Length equal to one and a half times width.
Round Face - Your face is as wide as it is long. This may vary a little but generally the measurement is close.
Oblong - Longer than it is wide.
Heart - Narrow at jaw line, wide at cheekbones/and or forehead.
Square - your face is about as wide as it is long.
Diamond - Widest at cheekbones, narrow forehead and jaw line of approximately equal widths.
Only slightly narrower at the jaw line than at the temples, with a gently rounded hairline.
A variety of styles. Just about any hair shape looks good on you. Your "perfect" features allow you to wear a wider range of styles than any other face shape. Have you ever noticed the majority of models fall into this shape? Have you noticed how many different hair styles they can wear?
You 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 oval face shapes can wear slicked-backed looks as well.
Hair styles that cover up your "perfect" features with heavy bangs, or too forward-directed styles.
In wearing your hair style on your face, you'll lose your face shape behind the hair. This may appear to add weight to your face.
Click on the name to see a picture of celebrities with oval faces:
Jennifer Aniston Cameron Diaz Mariah Carey Cindy Crawford Jewel Heather Locklear Sharon Stone Uma Thurman Julia Roberts Courtney Cox Arquette Elle MacPherson Tyra Banks
Rectangular or oblong
Long and slender, about the same width at forehead and just below cheekbones. May have a very narrow chin or a very high forehead.
Styles with short to medium lengths. Fullness at the sides of your face and wispy bangs soften the look of longer face shapes. You'll want to balance the look of a long and slender face. Soft wispy bangs will shorten the appearance of the length. Fullness at the sides of your face will add width to the look of your face shape.
By cutting the hair into a short or medium length, the outline of the cut will also shorten the look of the length of the face. Layers work great with your face shape, 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.
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 rectangular or oblong face shape. When your hair grows past your shoulders, there is a good chance it is doing you more harm than good. The models with rectangular 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.
Click on the name to see a picture of celebrities with rectangular faces:
Full-looking face with a round chin and hairline. Widest point is at the cheeks and ears.
Hair styles with fullness and height at the crown. Off center parts help reduce the roundness. Short hair styles with a swept-back direction or hair styles that are longer than chin length. By layering the top to achieve fullness and keeping the rest of the cut relatively close to the face, your round face shape will appear longer and narrower.
Chin length hair with a rounded line that mirrors face’s round shape. Center parts tend to accentuate roundness. Also avoid styles with short-short crops, or straight "chopped" bangs. Fullness at side of ears also accentuates the round shape. A rounded haircut ending at the chin will certainly add weight to your already round face shape. 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 appear wider. I've written more about round face shapes in my article Round Face Shapes can be Slimmed, Hairstyles a round shape and Hairstyles for Round Face Shapes.
Click on the name to see a picture of celebrities with round face shape:
Ingrid Bergman Roseanne Barr Kate Winslet Natalie Merchant Drew Barrymore Christina Ricci Charlotte Church
A strong, square jaw line and usually an equally square hairline.
Short-to-medium length hair, especially with wave or roundness around the face. Wispy bangs will soften the angular shape. Off-center parts with height at the crown look great on square faces. 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, as some curl or wave to the hair will achieve a nice balance to the straight features of your face shape.
Long straight styles that accentuate the square jawbone. "Linear" straight bangs or center parts aren't the best choice. A straight bob ending at the jaw line is the wrong thing to do for your face shape. You can wear a layered bob, however it should end above or below the jaw line, not at the jaw. Make sure in styling that you achieve some roundness to the shape and some height at the crown or bangs, and you will be on the right track.
Click on the name to see a picture of celebrities with square faces:
Face is wide at the temples and hairline, narrowing to a small delicate chin.
Chin-length or longer styles work well with a heart shaped face. Other styles to try: side-parted hair styles or swept-forward layers around the upper face, with gently wispy bangs. A chin length bob is great on your face shape! This creates a balanced look by giving fullness where you need it. You can wear shorter styles; however, if you are a dramatic heart shape you need to leave weight in the back nape area. This will achieve more balance between your dramatic cheekbones and more narrow chin.
Short, full styles that emphasize the upper face. Stay away from styles with too much height at the crown. Severe, slicked back looks are too harsh for this shape too. If you are a dramatic heart shape, the short, full 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 shape face, you have great cheekbones to emphasize! Don't miss the boat by getting a cut which is too top heavy.
Click on the name to see a picture of celebrities with heart faces:
Michelle Pfeiffer Ashley Judd Jennifer Love Hewitt Claudia Schiffer Emmanuaell Beart Juliette Binoche Lisa Kudrow Lucy Lawless Naomi Campbell
Reverse of the heart-shape . . . a dominant jaw line with narrowing at the cheek bone and temples.
Shorter hair that balances prominent jaw line. 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 styles which are full at the temples and taper at the jaw line, you achieve a balance that can be striking in accenting features otherwise understated. Try tucking hair behind your ears, as this will draw attention to your eyes and add the illusion of width in this area.
Long, full hair styles that draw attention to jaw line. Center parts—off-center is more flattering to triangular shaped faces.
Stay away from styles with too much height at the crown. You also want to avoid putting most of the weight of a haircut at the jaw line and below. This will give the appearance of added weight to the face.
If going with long hair, it should be kept tight at the nape.
Click on the name to see a picture of a celebrity with triangular shaped face:
A cross between heart and a dramatic oval. Widest at the cheekbones, and narrow equally at the forehead and jaw line.
Your face shape is balanced and dramatic. Experiment with a variety of styles. Almost everything works with your face (as long as you are a true diamond). You can wear shorter styles. However, if you are a dramatic diamond shape, you need to leave weight in the back nape area like someone with a heart shaped face. This will achieve more balance between your dramatic cheekbones and more delicate chin line.
You can do just about everything, but try not to wear too much hair on your face, thereby hiding your great features.
Click on the name to see a picture of celebrities with diamond shaped faces: