Why the Same Hairstyles Don’t Work for Everyone, and How to Find the Best Style for YOU

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woman curling another woman s hair

By Shelly M.

June 6, 2023

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric via Pexels.

Its all too common: you’re flipping through a magazine and you see the most amazing hairstyle that you’re convinced you’ll look the most amazing in. You can already see yourself turning heads in the office, at the beach, at Sunday brunch… so you head down to your beautician or barber, and they oblige to your demands. Yes, they adorn you with “the look.” When they’ve finished their work they hand you a mirror, which you cautiously, yet eagerly, grab. You take a look and … woah … its not at all what you were expecting. The hairstyle is there on your head and all, but … it just doesn’t look that great on YOU. Why, why, why?

A very significant reason may be that the particular hairstyle is not suited to your face shape. Maybe the person you saw wearing the hairstyle had a different face shape than you do, and the hairstyle just falls in a more balanced way on their face than it does on yours. In this article, we’d like to help you uncover the types of face shapes there are, what type of face shape you may have, and the types of hairstyles that may work best for your face shape.

According to a December 2022 article by MasterClass, anyone can tell roughly what their face shape is by taking a few measurements. What is the widest part of your face (forehead or cheeks)? How long is your face? How do the two dimensions compare? Is your jawline pointy or blunt? The answers to these questions will reveal your most likely face shape.

Check out the following wikiHow article for a detailed description of how to determine your face shape with measurements. We’ve condensed wikiHow‘s tutorial down to a few points in the graphic below.


When you took your facial measurements, did you find that your length and width were about equal? You likely have a round-shaped face! According to a 2018 article by the Today show, some common features of a round face include:

  1. Roughly equal width and length with no sharp corners.
  2. Rounded jawline: The jawline is typically curved or slightly rounded instead of being angular or sharply defined.
  3. Soft, gentle features, such as full cheeks, with a concentration of fullness in the middle, or cheek area, of the face.
Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy via Pexels.

What to Wear?

A common theme in dressing for your face shape is that balance is always sought. Strong jawlines are softened, and a bit of “edge” is added to soft features. Round faces are no different – use your makeup and hair to create the illusion of length and angles. Here are some hairstyles that tend to flatter round faces:

  1. According to Real Simple, layers are a great way to frame a round face. In the world of balance, they help to elongate a round face. The layers should start below the chin to add vertical length – this is especially true for blunt cuts.
  2. In a December 2022 All Things Hair article, side-swept bangs can help create angles and draw attention away from the width of the face. Tying in the theme from the point about long layers above, opt for longer, asymmetrical bangs that fall diagonally across the forehead.
  3. Pixie Cut with volume at the correct locations – such as away from the base of your hair. For example, a pixie cut with volume on top can add height and elongate the face.
  4. Shoulder-Length Bob: A shoulder-length bob is a versatile option that can work well for round faces. Aim for a slightly longer bob that grazes the collarbone to create the illusion of length.
  5. An article by The Right Hairstyles recognizes angled bobs as an excellent choice for round faces. : An angled bob, also known as an A-line bob, is longer in the front and shorter in the back. This hairstyle helps to create angles and adds length to the face.
  6. High Ponytails, as noted by a September 2020 article by Uniwigs, are useful for round faces, particularly if they have volume at the base of the ponytail. Such high ponytails can have an elongating effect on the face.
  7. According to The Right Hairstyles, loose waves or curls are known to create the illusion of length.
Photo c/o Rodolfo Quiros via Pexels.


If you find that your face shape is narrowest at both the forehead and jawline, but widest at the cheeks, then it is very possible that you have a diamond-shaped face [wikiHow]. According to a December 2022 article by Lovehairstyles, the main characteristics of a diamond-shaped face include:

  1. Narrow forehead: The forehead of a diamond-shaped face is relatively narrower compared to the other parts of the face.
  2. Defined cheekbones with the widest dimension among facial features.
  3. Pointed chin: The chin of a diamond-shaped face is more pointed or narrower compared to other face shapes.
  4. Widest at the temples: The widest point of a diamond-shaped face is typically around the temples, with the face narrowing towards the forehead and chin.

What to Wear?

Diamond-shaped faces are characterized by a narrow forehead and chin with wide cheekbones. The key objective when choosing a hairstyle for a diamond-shaped face is to balance the width of the cheekbones and soften the angular features. Here are some hairstyles that tend to complement diamond-shaped faces:

  1. Side-Swept Bangs: According to the article “9 Most Flattering Haircuts and Hairstyles for Diamond Shaped Faces” by Meraki Lane, soft, side-swept bangs help to make the face seem more ovular (if balance is your goal). They also accentuate the cheekbones, and are known to soften the overall look.
  2. Bob with Soft Layers: Bobs in general help to add more volume to the chin area for balance, an layers are great for volume.
  3. Shoulder-Length Waves: The length will help to balance out the narrow shape of the jawline, while the waves can soften the angular nature of the jawline.
  4. Pixie Cut with Texture: According to Zoe Grace Salon and Med Spa, a pixie cut is great for drawing attention to the cheekbones of a diamond-shaped face, one of its strongest assets.
  5. Updos with Softening Details: The “softening details” here can take several forms, from side swept bangs to face-framing tendrils of hair. However, the up-do is a timeless look that flatters this face shape well.
Image c/o RDNE Stock Project via Pexels.


Did your measurements reveal a wide jawline of near equal width to your cheekbones, along with a wide forehead? Then you very likely have a square-shaped face! Note that having a square face does not mean that you will not have defined cheekbones; in fact, you may find that you still have prominent cheekbones with a square face shape.

What to Wear?

As one may imagine, the goal for a square face shape is to soften edges to get back to the more balanced look that many hairstyles aim for. Here are some hairstyles that tend to complement square-shaped faces:

  1. Soft Waves or Curls: These add softness to the face and take attention away from strong jawbones.
  2. Layered Hairstyles: Layers can help to soften the angular jawline of the face. They add fullness and softness that can also be a distraction from a strong jawline.******
  3. Side-Swept Bangs for balance and softening of the jawline.
  4. Long Hairstyles: Long hair can help to elongate the face and reduce a boxy appearance. Adding waves, curls, or layers serve to increase the softness of the look.*****
  5. Pixie Cut with Textured Layers: A pixie cut with textured layers can create a more balanced and feminine look for square faces. The layers add softness and movement to the hairstyle.
  6. Asymmetrical Bob: A regular blunt bob will do as well. With this face shape, you can get away with it, unlike with other face shapes. According to the article “50 Highly Recommended Haircuts and Hairstyles for Square Faces” by Hair Adviser, the only thing is, make sure that the edges of your bobs are slim and tapered, so that they do not add any heaviness to your jawline. An asymmetrical bob is suggested for visual interest.


Like a square-shaped face, a rectangular shaped face has a strong jawline. The difference between square and rectangular face shapes, however, is that the length of a rectangular shaped face is not approximately equal to its width, but it is longer.

What to Wear?

For rectangle-shaped faces, the goal is to soften the angular features and create the illusion of a more balanced (wider) face shape. Here are some hairstyles that tend to flatter rectangle-shaped faces:

  1. Soft Waves: Soft, loose waves or curls can add volume and width to the face, balancing out the strong jawline and length.
  2. Layered Bob: A layered bob that hits around the chin or collarbone can help soften the angles of a rectangle face. The illusion of a shorter (i.e. more balanced) face can be attained by keeping this bob to the shoulders.
  3. Side-Swept Bangs: Side-swept bangs can be a great choice to add softness to the face by camouflaging the sharp corners of a rectangular face. for rectangle faces as they break up the length of the forehead and add softness. Avoid blunt or straight-across bangs, as they can accentuate the angular features.
  4. Pixie Cut: A pixie cut with layers and texture can work well for rectangle faces. It adds volume to the crown and sides, creating a more balanced look. Consider longer, wispy bangs or side-swept bangs to soften the forehead.
  5. Medium-Length Shag: A medium-length shag haircut with layers can help create the illusion of a wider face and soften the strong jawline. The layers add movement and texture, while the length hits at the right point to add balance to the face.
  6. Updos with Softness: When opting for an updo, choose styles that have softness around the face. For example, a loose bun or a messy updo with face-framing strands can help soften the angles of a rectangle-shaped face.
Photo c/o Maryia Plashchynskaya via Pexels.


Do you have a wide forehead and narrow jaws? You are likely the proud owner of a heart-shaped face! Yes, your face shape begins with a more prominent forehead and narrows down to a pointed chin – “heart”- like. Your defining facial features of a heart-shaped face include:

  1. Forehead: Heart-shaped faces typically have a broader forehead compared to the rest of the face. The hairline may also have a prominent widow’s peak.
  2. Cheekbones: The cheekbones of a heart-shaped face are usually wider and more pronounced, giving the face a distinctive shape.
  3. Narrow Jawline: The jawline of a heart-shaped face narrows down to a pointed chin, almost like an inverted triangle. This creates the resemblance to a heart when viewed from the front.

Heart-shaped faces are characterized by a broader forehead and a narrower chin, similar to the shape of a heart. When choosing a hairstyle for a heart-shaped face, the aim is to balance the wider top portion of the face with the narrower chin. Here are a few hairstyles that are known to flatter heart-shaped faces:

  1. Side-swept bangs: According to Stylecraze, side swept bangs are particularly great for heart-shaped faces because they soften the forehead and create a fuller look for the jawline.
  2. Long layers: Long layers tend to add fullness in all of the right places for a heart-shaped face and, subsequently, look great.
  3. Bob with volume at the chin: Unlike most of the other face shapes, for which volume at the base of a bob is discouraged, for a heart-shaped face, some volume at the chin level can help to balance out a heart-shaped face.
  4. Shoulder-length waves: Soft waves or loose curls that fall around shoulder length can create the impression of a more oval face.
  5. Pixie cut with side-swept bangs: If you prefer shorter hairstyles, a pixie cut with side-swept bangs can be a great option. With a heart shaped face, cheekbones are an asset, so this hairstyle is known to bring out the cheekbones and eyes.
  6. Updos with face-framing pieces: Updos that leave some face-framing pieces or soft tendrils are great because they bring focus to facial features further down below the forehead, thus creating balance between the forehead and jawline.
Photo c/o Pixabay via Pexels.


An oval shaped face is often considered the most versatile and desirable face shape because it tends to be well-balanced and symmetrical. The oval shape is longer than it is wide, with the forehead being slightly wider than the chin, and the cheekbones are typically prominent. Oval-shaped faces are considered to be versatile and can accommodate various hairstyles. This face shape is characterized by balanced proportions, with the forehead slightly wider than the chin and a gently rounded jawline. With an oval face, you have the freedom to experiment with a wide range of hairstyles.

Photo c/o Chris F via Pexels.

Here are some key features of an oval-shaped face:

  1. Forehead: The forehead is slightly wider than the chin, creating a gentle curve along the hairline.
  2. Cheekbones: The cheekbones are usually well-defined and sit high on the face.
  3. Jawline: The jawline is rounded and softer, rather than angular or square.
  4. Length-to-Width Ratio: The face is longer than it is wide, with the length being about 1.5 times the width.

Because of the versatility of the oval face in the ability to accommodate a wide array of hairstyles, we won’t point out specific hairstyles, but rather leave you with a list of articles to check out for hairstyles specifically acknowledged for their flattery of the oval face shape.

40 Flattering Hairstyles for Oval Faces – Byrdie

The 19 Best Haircuts for Oval Face Shapes – InStyle

9 Flattering Haircuts For Oval Faces – Southern Living

It’s important to note that while an oval face shape is often regarded as desirable, beauty comes in many forms, and every face shape has its unique characteristics and attractiveness.

In conclusion, we’ve covered six face shapes – round, oval, square, rectangle, triangle, and diamond, and we’ve explored the examples of hairstyles that may flatter each type of head shape. It is important to note that beauty comes in all shapes and forms, and the most suitable thing you can be outfitted with is confidence. In dressing and styling, simply aim to feel comfortable in your own skin, and it is highly likely that your appeal will shine through. As for the hairstyles we’ve covered, remember that these face shape and hairstyle combinations are just suggestions, and ultimately … the best hairstyle for you depends on your personal preferences, hair texture, and lifestyle. It’s always a good idea to begin by consulting a professional hairstylist who can provide personalized advice based on your specific needs.

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