Before you chop off your locks to join the latest bob craze ushered in by Victoria Beckham and Katie Holmes, take a step back and learn the basics of spotting the style that best suits you – or more specifically, your face shape. A new season may be enough reason to get a fresh look, but that doesn’t mean that the flowing goddess-like ‘do Angelina Jolie sported on the red carpet will work just as well for you.
Here are some very helpful pointers on how to get your perfect new season coiffure:
Pick out your face shape and work with it.
Determining your face shape is the most important part of the process. Tie your hair back into a sleek ponytail or if your hair is too short, pull hair back with a headband. You should be able to see the outline of your face. I suggest doing the first step very carefully and to take your time studying your face especially if you feel yours fall in between the given face shapes. If that still leaves you at odds with yourself, getting the help of a professional hairstylist is the surest way to go, but if you’re determined to figure this out by yourself, a more scientific approach could benefit you:
First, take measurements of the following and write them down (a little bit of math is involved with this method):
- Length of your hairline to the bottom of your chin.
- The width of the middle of the forehead, measure from left to right.
- The width of your face from cheekbone to cheekbone.
- The width of the jaw line from either end.
You can use these measurements as a reference to finding your face shape.
Face shapes can be roughly divided into 7 types, namely: oval, round, square, heart, triangular, diamond and oblong.
Oval: Based on the measurements, the forehead and jawline almost have the same width. The length of the face is equal to one and a half times width. A normal shape has a jaw line that’s slightly narrower than the temples with a subtly round hairline.
This is the easiest and most perfect shape to have because it is well-balanced. Most models and celebrities have this type of face. Best suited for oval face shapes are almost any type of hair length and style just as long as hair doesn’t fall too much on the face or get in the way of the beautiful oval shape.
Round: As the shape suggests, the distance between the forehead and the chin is very close to the distance between your cheeks. The shape of your face looks full with a round chin and hairline. To choose the perfect hairstyle that flatters the face shape, the idea is to find one that lengthens your face.
Best suited for round shapes are styles that focus the fullness at the crown, so height is added at the top, with less width at the side of the face. You can go for short, medium or long hair, just as long as your hair style volume is at the top, and the sides of the face are not heavily accentuated. Should you choose to pick out a short hairstyle, keep in mind that cutting your hair at cheek length is a no-no.
Square: Like round shapes, the distance between your cheeks is close to that of the distance between your forehead and your chin. The difference is there’s a distinctly strong jawline and a square hairline. To balance out this shape, we have to create softness around the jawline area.
The most flattering styles for this shape are rounded hair styles, short to medium in length. Should you want to wear bangs, have the hair swept over to one side to minimize the squareness of your face. Hair falling forward onto your face is also a plus. If you’re looking for a style with longer length, try having one with height at the crown and volume at the sides to make the shape more round.
Blunt bobs (which are in season) do not work best with this face shape, specially ones that are chin-length, since this will accentuate the squareness of the face.
Heart: A heart shape is usually wide at the hairline and temples and slowly narrows to a small, pointed chin. This face shape has more volume at the top of the face, so the idea is to balance it by creating the illusion of a wider chin area.
Chin-length hairstyles suit this shape, since the length will accentuate the bottom part of the face. Straight bangs will not work as well as side-swept ones, because the idea is to make the face shape longer and more balanced, rather than to add more volume at the top-front of the face. If you’re into short styles, be sure to pick cuts that has more weight in the nape area rather than the top.
Triangular: Triangular face shapes has narrow forehead and cheekbones while having a wide jawline. As with the other shapes, the key is to pick a hairstyle that will balance the face shape. In this case, the goal is to make the jaw line and chin softer and to widen the forehead.
Generally, shorter hair is more preferable – that would instantly put all the accent on the top area. If you prefer hair length that is medium to long, choose one that has a lot of layers to evenly balance the unevenness of the face shape. Long hairstyles that are full at the bottom would pull down the face so it would be better to keep the fullness at the top. Be sure to stay clear of center partitions, since those would all the more emphasize the triangle shape.
Diamond: The easiest way to spot a diamond face shape is to look at the cheekbones. If the cheekbone is the most prominent part of the face, with narrowing both at the forehead and down the chin part.
Flattering cuts for a diamond shape are ones that makes the cheekbones appear less prominent while slightly widening the chin area. Chin-length bobs and layered cuts look great on diamonds. While the idea is to balance the face with volume, cuts that cover the face makes the look appear unflattering. If the diamond face shape is long, straight bangs will do the trick.
Oblong: If your face length is much longer than it is wide, then you definitely have an oblong face shape.
The key here is to make the face appear wider, to shorten the length of the face. Short to medium cuts with fullness at the sides of the face are perfect for making the face appear wider. A wispy fringe would even soften the look even more. Layers distribute the emphasis to the whole of the face, so that could be worn in short to longer lengths. If you insist on wearing the hair long and straight, make the partition at the side to prevent lengthening your face. I suggest to wear your hair in short or medium length as much as possible, since long hair works against this type of face shape
Now that you’ve gotten a few tips on your face shape do’s and don’ts, you can start putting it to good use and begin experimenting with the hippest hairstyles of this season. When you visit your local hair stylist, you’ll already have an idea on which styles look flattering on you. Or consult an expert. I’d be remiss if I didn’t plug my own services. I am open for appointments, so call now for an appointment, or come in to the salon (call first, to make sure I’m there). I’ll help you match the right style to your face shape.