Face Shapes

Learn to make the most of natural attributes.

By: Brandy Church

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"Oval" shape indicates that the length of the face is equal to the width of the face. This is considered the ideal face shape. The oval shape is in balance therefore not requiring any balancing with a cut or a color. An oval will look great with any style, short or long. Most models have this face shape and can wear their hair "off" of the face. Most people have this type of face shape and may wear many different hair styles.

Do not cover up oval shaped faces with heavy bangs or styles that flow "onto" the face too much as this may add weight to these areas of the face covered by hair. Also don't add much volume to the style or this could again add weight to the face and no one wants a heavy-looking face.


The only criteria are that the frame be no wider than the face for most any hair style in the case of an "oval-shaped" face.


Curved and angular earrings both large and small look great for an oval face although nothing too long and dangly will work very well.


"Heart-shaped" indicates a face with a wide forehead, high cheekbones and a narrow tapered chin. Hair styles should work to minimize this width through the forehead area giving the rest of the face balance and continuity.

We can create balance in an otherwise disproportionate face shape such as the "heart" by adding "weight" or volume to the chin area while leaving volume off or away from the forehead and cheekbones. It's best to incorporate bangs in styles for the "heart-shaped" face. Bangs lend softness to the forehead and cheeks.

Do not create "straight-across" bangs which never really look very good for any type of face.


Round or oval-shaped, thin frames no wider than face compliment a "heart-shaped" face.


Round or irregular shapes that will help to add fullness to chin area compliment the "heart-shape" best with nothing too long and narrow.


Characteristics of a "square-shaped" face include a squared-off jaw-line and hair-line. The forehead, cheekbones, and jaw-line are equal in width. We should add fullness to the hair at the top of the head or hair-line to help give the illusion of a longer-looking face and a narrower jaw-line. We may soften the hair-line by creating longer bangs which should cover the temples. This covering of the temples lends a more round look to that square hair-line. Putting light layers around the chin in longer hair-styles will help create softness for the square jaw-line. A "stacked bob" which is a style where the back is shorter than the front with the front length hanging below the jaw-line is a nice short style for use in coping with a "square-shaped" face.

Do not incorporate styles that have "weight" or volume on the sides at all. We also do not want to style the hair to fall off or away from the face.


Round and oval shapes will help soften face. Pick frames that are wider than the face.


Curved earrings that are no wider than their overall length look best for a "square-shaped" face.


Characteristics of a "diamond-shaped" face include a narrow hair-line and chin. The cheekbone area is wider than the hair-line and jaw-line.

In these "diamond-shaped" cases we want to create the illusion of width with the use of volume in those angular areas surrounding the forehead and chin which are narrower than the cheeks. A long fringe swept to the side will help build width in the corners of the forehead. Delicate sweeping styles help to soften the sharp angles of the "diamond-shaped" face.

Do not incorporate styles that are shorter than cheekbone. Hair should not be cut in a line one inch below, above, or anywhere between the forehead and cheekbone; this would draw attention to cheekbone. Styles with fullness in the cheekbone area will cause widening in the middle of the face. "Pixie or "close-cut" styles are wrong for a "diamond-shaped" face.


Frames no wider than cheekbone in width look best on the "diamond-shaped" face.


Curved shapes and heavy styles to create softness and weight at the chin wearing nothing too long and narrow look best for a "diamond-shaped" face.


"Oblong-shaped" faces require styles which help to lend a shortening affect to the face while also adding width at the cheekbone area. Bangs help to "shorten" the "oblong" face. Layers are again used for volume and filler there at the cheekbone. If the hair on this "oblong" face is to be cut and kept short, bangs and layers are essential, and it's really the outline around the face of this short hair style that provides the shortening illusion. Long hair styles should again utilize bangs and layering around cheekbone area to balance the face. Hair may be worn up straight back or with a bang.

Do not choose styles with any height on top. Parting the hair at the center of the head will lengthen face. Part the hair to the side; in fact the further over to the side the better the face will appear balanced. Ultra-short styles or one length haircuts reaching past the chin without bangs will absolutely not work for the "oblong" face.


Square or round shapes with frames extending past cheekbones look best on an "oblong-shaped" face.


Wide with round or square shapes look best on the "oblong" face. We don't want to see anything that is ultra-long and/or "dangly".


"Circular-shaped" faces are very round and are equal in both length and width, much like the shape of a perfect circle. If the hair is to be kept long, then layered styles will provide balance to this type of face. If the hair is to be cut short, styles which provide the illusion of height although not width help to balance out the roundness of the face. "Circular-shaped" faces will tend to give the illusion of a short looking neck. These basic principles, layering, and styling in some height at the top of one's head provide a lengthening affect for the short looking neck. Leaving some length in the back of our shorter styles will also lend a lengthening look for the neck. Do not ever cut bangs straight across. A long side- bang looks much better in these extreme "circular-shaped" cases. Any style that utilizes volume in the cheekbone area is a definite no-no for someone sporting a disproportionately wide face.


Angular or square frames that are no wider than the cheekbones look best on a "circular-shaped" face.


Angular shapes which are long and narrow look best for a "circular-shaped" face.


Characteristics of a "pear-shaped" face include: a narrow forehead and a wide rounded chin. Create width at forehead area with layered bangs on the sides; this will add fullness to forehead. Add fullness on the top and top corners to provide length and balance. Light layers around the face help to create a slimming effect around the chin. Shorter styles require length in the back to help soften the chin and elongate the face and neck. Length in the front and fullness at the crown and top sides above cheekbone area are other good methods of softening disproportionate features.

Do not choose styles that add weight around the chin area.


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