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Top Haircuts and Hairstyles for Different Face Shapes

BY: Colleen Loggins Loster | Apr 21, 2017

In the quest to look our absolute best, even the little things count. That means topping our freshly lacquered lips with a light-catching gloss, dabbing a bit of highlighter in the corner of our eyes to look more awake, and attaching extensions to our natural lashes to add just a little more oomph to our dramatic eye makeup. So while knowing how to pick the best haircuts and hairstyles for different face shapes won't dramatically improve your appearance, it can help you choose a look designed to highlight all of your best features. So here's what to keep in mind:

Oval Faces

Haircuts

  • Ideal cuts: Most haircuts work on this versatile face shape.
  • Key takeaway: You generally don't need your hair to balance out your face's width or length, so you can afford to experiment more.
  • If you want bangs: Try textured baby bangs for an updated Bettie Page look that not everyone can pull off.
  • Celebrity inspiration: Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Krysten Ritter

Hairstyles

  • Casual, everyday look: the dutch crown braid is a great hairstyle for oval faces, especially longer ones in need of a little width
  • Fancy occasion look: Veronica Lake/old Hollywood waves also add a bit of width to a longer face

Breaking the Rules

  • Style you've been told to stay away from: really long hair if you have a long oval face
  • How to wear it: Blunt bangs add width and help balance longer hair, as do tousled waves.

Round Faces

Haircuts

  • Ideal cuts: long mermaid locks, piecey pixies, hair that falls below the shoulders
  • Key takeaway: Layers are key because mixed lengths elongate the face.
  • If you want bangs: Opt for side-swept bangs with a deep part to slim the face or try short, choppy bangs to lengthen the face by drawing the eye up
  • Celebrity inspiration: Kate Bosworth, Ginnifer Goodwin, Mila Kunis, Kirsten Dunst, Emma Stone

Hairstyles

  • Casual, everyday look: half-up top knot to add height while leaving some hair down to balance any roundness
  • Fancy occasion look: sleek, high ponytail, instead of a textured and teased pony, which can add bulk

Breaking the Rules

  • Style you've been told to stay away from: bob
  • How to wear it: Adding piecey layers breaks up the visual that the head and hair are one big circle, which is especially helpful if you want a chin-length cut. Opting for a lob that hits right around the collarbone also keeps faces from looking too circular, making it one of the best hairstyles for round faces.

Square Faces

Haircuts

  • Ideal cuts: lob, hair that falls below the shoulders and features graduated layers that turn inward
  • Key takeaway: A blunt, graphic cut can make strong jawlines look even stronger, whereas wispy layers soften angles.
  • If you want bangs: Make sure the outsides are longer than the middle, about 1–1.5 inches, to draw the eye to the middle and help soften the face.
  • Celebrity inspiration: Olivia Wilde, Keira Knightley, Angelina Jolie, Demi Moore

Hairstyles

  • Casual, everyday look: low messy bun with pieces pulled out around the face to soften strong lines.
  • Fancy occasion look: Sleek half-up 'do with volume at the crown and slicked back sides that help narrow the face.

Breaking the Rules

  • Style you've been told to stay away from: pixie
  • How to wear it: Layered pixies with rounded bangs add softness and bring balance back to the face.

Heart Faces

Haircuts

  • Ideal cuts: lobs, chin-length bobs, medium-length cuts with plenty of layers
  • Key takeaway: Styles that make the forehead area look narrower and the chin area look wider work best.
  • If you want bangs: Ask your stylist to cut curtain bangs or Brigitte Bardot bangs, where the bangs separate down the middle and flow out to the sides.
  • Celebrity inspiration: Reese Witherspoon, Hayden Panettiere, Kerry Washington, Natalie Portman

Hairstyles

  • Casual, everyday look: side fishtail braid paired with a deep side part
  • Fancy occasion look: low bun with plenty of loose curls and soft volume at the top

Breaking the Rules

  • Style you've been told to stay away from: crop
  • How to wear it: Leaving length at the top of a crop and sweeping the longer strands across the forehead can help minimize any wideness in that area.


Learning about the best hairstyles for different face shapes is meaningless if you don't know salon jargon. Luckily, our "7 Common Haircuts for Women" can help you out.