Ready to transform your look for summer? If you’re scheduling a stylist appointment before summer vacation, make sure you’re armed with information about the best hairstyle for your face shape.
That’s not to say you can’t throw out the rule book and blaze your own trails.
We’re pretty sure Janelle Monaé doesn’t fret about her face shape – and we’re totally on board for embracing any style that moves you.
But if you’re feeling stuck and want a little bit of guidance, face shape is a great place to start. Here’s what you should know as you plan your next cut:
Wait, What Shape Am I?
You know which makeup shades complement your skin tone. You know how to apply eyeliner that highlights the shape of your eyes.
Matching your cut and style to the shape of your face works along the same lines – some cuts just do a better job of highlighting your features than others.
So, how do you determine your face shape? According to InStyle, it’s all in the measurements, baby.
“If you have an oval face like Ashley Greene, the widths of your brow, cheekbones and jaw are almost equal, but if yours is round like Charlize Theron’s, your face is nearly as wide as it is long, with your forehead and jaw curving at the corners,” write the editors.
Heart-shaped faces, on the other hand, tend to have wide brows and cheeks and tapered, narrow jawlines, while square-shaped faces are equal in width and length – which tends to give them a prominent jawline.
Once you’ve figured out if your face is round, oval, heart-shaped, or square, you’re on your way to picking out an ultra-flattering cut.
Round faces generally have prominent cheeks – and it’s not a fat thing, it’s a proportions thing!
Even celebrities with flawless facial structure like Ginnifer Goodwin, Mila Kunis, and Emma Stone cut their hair to emphasize those cheekbones. You can, too.
The whole challenge here is to hint at the definition and angles that may not be as prominent in your features.
“If you’re going to go short, go short all the way,” celebrity hairstylist Garren told InStyle.
A layered pixie will help carve out your cheekbones, and if you want to sport a longer style, you should still create definition with layers.
That includes shoulder-length lobs with angled layers that hit at your cheekbones – or longer locks with face-framing layers.
The length of an oval face means you can play around with bangs, graphic cuts, and super straight lines. Rihanna, Jessica Alba, and Ashley Greene all have gorgeous oval faces – and hair to match.
Lucky you: you can actually get away with funkier, graphic cuts like Rihanna, since you’ll look good in just about anything.
“Though she has longer hair now, the iconic, edgy short cut Rihanna had is perfect for oval faces,” stylist Jimmy Paul told Allure. “It’s definitely a ‘notice me’ look,” he added.
Want to go short? Just ask your stylist to carefully angle your cut to frame your chin – an angled bob will look great on you.
When it comes to longer styles, focus on creating volume and width to counterbalance the natural length of your face. Tousled lobs and long waves with piecey bangs can create definition and draw the eye.
Even with round cheeks, heart-shaped gals have prominent cheekbones and a narrow jawline – which means that layers will make their cheekbones pop.
That’s why you’ll see plenty of women with heart-shaped faces rocking medium-length cuts.
“[Hair] that hits right below the jaw helps fill in the area around the chin, and de-emphasizes the triangle,” explains stylist Ted Gibson at Allure.
Think a soft, layered bob with long, piecey bangs, which can help soften your features. And, if all else fails, rejoice in the fact that you can pretty much always pull off bangs.
“Soft, side-swept bangs accentuate your eyes and draw the focus away from a pointy chin,” writes Catherine O’Neill at Allure.
But, if you want to go really short, you can rock a close-cropped pixie without a care in the world.
“Halle Berry’s tousled [pixie] cut is dynamic enough to cancel out a pronounced jawline, while the choppy layers break up a wide forehead,” write the editors of InStyle. (Plus, she’s Halle Berry.)
Look to other celebs like Zoe Saldana and Reese Witherspoon for hairspiration.
When it comes to square faces, it’s all about softening the intensity of your jawline. Sure, you have cheekbones that could cut glass – but long layers can take the edge off.
“Shapes that have lots of layers accentuate movement,” stylist Rodney Cutler explained to Glamour. “If you choose bangs, create movement in a sweeping effect or by rounding the corners.”
Softening or rounding the edges of bangs and layers will help eliminate any feelings of boxiness in your cut, which would just emphasize all those angles!
If you want to go short, think about an asymmetrical bob – long in the front and slightly shorter in the back. The longer, face framing layers will help draw the attention down from your jawline.
Many ladies with square jaws also favor long layers, soft waves, and long, side-swept bangs to draw the eye down.
“Try waves from the ears down, which helps obscure any severity in the jawline,” suggests Chris McMillan, a Los Angeles-based salon owner.
Celebs like Olivia Wilde, Megan Fox, and Demi Moore all have distinct, square jawlines – and flawless style.
Summer Care for Your New Style
No matter how you decide to set off your features this summer, pick a cut that gives you plenty of movement, freedom, and lightness to help beat the heat.
Ditch elaborate styles that take ages to prep, and remember that you can always embrace low-key summer looks for your hair that both eliminate extra products and help keep you cool.
“The best thing about the summertime is you can wear your hair natural and play with accessories,” stylist Jen Atkin told Marie Claire.
“I love doing a low fishtail braid and adding a headband,” she added.
Summer hair also tends to need more moisture – even if you go short, or natural. Water-based leave-in conditioners help porous hair soak up much-needed TLC, while ladies who need to beat back frizz can solve most problems with a smoothing serum.
“These styling products temporarily ‘glue’ hair cuticles smooth, flattening out roughness and preventing the absorption of water molecules from the air,” dermatologist Deborah Sarnoff explained to Prevention.
Frizz after you’ve just spent good money getting a flattering cut? No thank you!
If you’re feeling brave, use the summertime to go in for your big chop and embrace natural hair for the summer.
Remember: summer hair should be all about freedom and fun – no matter what shape your face happens to be!
Whether you’re ready for the big chop, or simply want to add volume and definition that highlights your natural facial features, we hope one of these styles can help you turn heads this summer.
Do you use facial shape to help determine your hairstyle? Tell us which cuts you love in the comments below:
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