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Face Shapes

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Face Shapes

Face shape is the single most important consideration in getting a flattering hair style for yourself!

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 fine, medium or thick? Lastly, take volume 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 biasing 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, 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.

oval.jpg (9199 bytes) Oval

Only slightly narrower at the jaw line than at the temples, with a gently rounded hairline.


A variety of styles . . . most any hair shape looks good on you. Your "perfect" features allow you to wear more 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.


Covering 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. It 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

rectangl.jpg (8980 bytes) 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.


Short to medium lengths. Fullness at the sides of your face. Soft wispy bangs. 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.


To much hair length . . . your face will look even longer! Too much height lengthens your face. Center parts. When your hair gets 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 a "on call" hairdresser who is busy 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:

Gwyneth Paltrow     Kirstie Alley     Janet Jackson     Gabrielle Reece          Niki Taylor     Stephanie Seymour

round.jpg (9044 bytes) Round

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. 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 face shape will appear longer and narrower. 


Chin length hair with a rounded line that mirrors face’s circular shape. Center parts. Short-short crops, straight "chopped" bangs. Fullness at side of ears. A rounded haircut ending at the chin will certainly add weight to your 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.

  • Click on the name to see a picture of celebrities with round faces:

Ingrid Bergman     Roseanne Barr      Kate Winslet    Natalie Merchant    Drew Barrymore    Christina Ricci    Charlotte Church

square.jpg (8978 bytes) Square

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. Off-center parts, height at the crown. 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 square jawbone. "Linear" straight bangs or center parts. 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. 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:

Kristin Scott Thomas     Holly Marie Combs     Sandra Bullock                 Demi Moore     Isabella Rosellini

heart.jpg (8969 bytes) Heart

Face is wide at the temples and hairline, narrowing to a small delicate chin.


Chin-length or longer styles. Side-parted hair styles. Swept-forward layers around the upper face, 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 narrowing chin.


Short, full styles that emphasize upper face. Height at the crown. Severe, slicked back looks. 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 to 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

triangle.jpg (8069 bytes) Triangular

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, taper at the jaw.  Off center parts. Wedges and shags look great on you. 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 which can be remarkable, in accenting features otherwise understated. Try tucking hair behind your ears as this will draw attention to your eyes and add width in this area.


Long, full hair styles that draw attention to jaw line. Center parts—off-center is more flattering. 

Too much height at the crown.  You want to stay away from 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:

Kathy Ireland


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. Try 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 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 too wear to much hair on your face, thereby hiding your great features.

  • Click on the name to see a picture of celebrities with diamond shaped faces:

Katherine Hepburn     Linda Evangelista        Sophia Loren



Square  Stay away from angular styles, and try layers.  A heavy fringe (bangs)   is a no-no, but a sweeping fringe adds softness.

oblong  A fringe (bangs) is a must.  Avoid growing hair too long as it can make the face appear longer; shoulder length is best.  A bit of width in a style can work wonders.

Heart-Shaped  avoid very short styles and instead create width at the jawline or neck, perhaps with flip-ups.  Avoid extra height or exaggerated width around the eyes.

Round  If the hair comes forward onto the face, then it will not expose the roundness.  A soft fringe (bangs) can work well, too.

Oval  Although traditionally considered the 'perfect' face shape, that does not necessarily make things easier.  You get to make the choice.

This is for natural beautyz or if your looking to be one.