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How to get the best haircut for your face shape

Choose the hairstyle that matches your face

Author: Jenny Andrews October 26 2006

girl getting a haircut

Have you ever gone to the salon, hairstyle magazine in hand, hoping to have your locks transformed into the latest trend featured on the front page only to have your stylist tell you that you do not have the right shaped face to wear the style, or, worse yet, your stylist puts that exact haircut on you, but you look nothing like the model wearing the cut in the magazine?

We’ve all had horrible experiences in the stylist chair. Most of the time they are not technical errors, but errors when it comes to choosing the right style to compliment our facial structure and build.

When choosing the perfect hairstyle for your unique look, stylists should take into account your build. For example, close cropped styles would not suit a person with a large frame, nor would a full-bodied style compliment a person with a small frame. Making sure that your style and frame balance is the key here.

Stylists also should look at your face shape when choosing the best look for you. There are five basic face shapes: oval, heart, round, square and triangular.

All of these shapes can be beautiful, but one is ideal: oval. No matter what shaped face you have, achieving the perfect look involves picking the right cut or style that will make your face appear more oval.

Oval face shapes are identified by the perfect symmetry of certain facial features, such as the distance from the hairline to the bridge of the nose (between the eyes), from the bridge of the nose to the lips, and from the lips to the bottom of the chin. If your face is oval shaped, you can consider yourself to be very lucky. This shape is the only one that is complimented by almost every hairstyle imaginable.

Heart shaped faces are usually broader through the forehead and taper to a point at the chin. You can make this shaped face appear more oval by positioning the weight of the haircut at chin level, or by wearing bangs in shorter styles. Keep in mind that the goal is to minimize the forehead and to bring prominence to the chin.

Round faces are just that: round. They have wide cheekbones and are usually smaller through the forehead and chin. The goal here is to minimize the cheekbones. Styles with height in the bang and sides cut toward the face usually work best.

Square faces have a bold forehead and an angular jaw line. Styles with soft edges, and a great deal of texture directed toward the face really suit this shape. The length should be kept longer than jaw length to draw attention away from the jaw, but, at the same time, that length should be layered. A straight, sleek style would only serve to accent the angular lines of the face.

Triangular shaped faces are angular at the jaw line, but narrow through the forehead. They can be treated much the same way that square faces are treated, with one exception; more height and fullness is needed throughout the crown and bang areas to make this section of the face appear larger.

Now that you know what your stylist knows, take this knowledge with you on your next salon visit. This time, when you thumb through the style books and magazines, you will be able to zero in on your perfect new cut. Good Luck!

About the Author

Jenny Andrews writes articles for the Beauty Biz on beauty, fashion, diet and fitness.

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Posted on 02/07/07 16:31 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Great information. The problem I have is that I cut my hair myself and I have no idea if I do it correctly. The only reason I cut it myself is because I can never get a hair stylist to listen to what I say.
Posted on 31/07/08 14:42 by: Yogini

Hi, I have thick, straight, black medium hair and my face shape is oval. Please tell me best short or medium length haircut for me!
Posted on 29/04/09 15:35 by: jenna

I think I have a heart shaped face, I have long hair with lots on bleach blonde in it. I really am scared to have short hair - what kind of style would suit me?

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