A skilfully executed, flattering haircut can completely refresh your look and renew your confidence. It can even act as a visual signifier when you've turned over a new leaf in your life. Knowing your face shape will help you to choose the perfect cut and style to bring out your favourite features.
In this guide, you'll find out which face shape you have, and how to cut and style your hair accordingly. We will also cover the hair products and tools that you'll need to maintain your new look after you have visited the salon.
An easy way to work out your face shape at home is to trace around the outline in the mirror with a lip pencil or eyeliner. If you want to be more methodical, you can use a soft measuring tape or ruler. There are four main measurements to compare: face length, forehead, cheekbones and jawline.
With an oval face shape, the length is broader than the width of the cheekbones, and the forehead is wider than the rounded jawline; round faces have similar measurements across the cheekbones and face length. The forehead and soft jawline are narrower; heart-shaped faces have a wide brow and cheekbones with a narrow jawline; all measurements of a square face are similar, with an angled jawline.
Round faces tend to look youthful (lucky you!), but if you long for a more angular visage, try a medium-length cut with a side-swept fringe. Not only with the length elongate your face, the fringe will bring attention to your lovely cheekbones, as well as drawing focus to your eyes. Alternatively, a pixie crop with plenty of volume on top will add flattering height and the sharp lines will contrast beautifully with your round features. Don't forget to use styling products to give your short cut some definition.
People with round faces should avoid blunt bobs, or any cut that is all one length. Instead, ask for plenty of layers, as this will bring structure and depth to your features. Avoid cuts with a wispy fringe, too, as this can soften the lines of your face further. Go for an asymmetrical style instead, like a deep side fringe, for a statement look. When it comes to styling, add dimension to a shorter haircut with a texturising product or enhance any natural waves with a curl-defining spray that tames frizz.
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Balanced and evenly proportioned, an oval-shaped face is considered to be the most versatile for different hairstyles – so feel free to experiment to your heart's content. When choosing hairstyles for oval face shapes, the objective is to keep the face as clear as possible; slicked-back styles and updos are perfect in this respect.
Mid or longer length cuts work best with oval face shapes as they will enhance the facial structure. Using a conditioning hair mask once a week will keep longer locks looking luscious and feeling healthy. The most flattering, face-framing effect will come from a cut without a fringe. Avoid thick, blunt fringes, as they will make your face appear shorter. If you do choose a fringe, make it one with a deep, side-swept parting.
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Hairstyles for square face shapes can serve two purposes: either to highlight or to minimise your strong jawline. To draw attention to the angles of your face, go bold with a short, sharp bob. Curls can widen the complexion further, so it's best to stick to sleek, straight locks or loose boho waves. If you want to soften the lines of your face, steer clear of cuts that end above your ears. Any slicked-back styles should be avoided, too.
Instead, frame your face with a fringe that is shorter in the middle and longer towards the outside. This will make your forehead look smaller while directing attention to your eyes. The addition of some long layers will soften the corners of the jaw while adding attractive movement and texture.
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When styling hair for a heart-shaped face, the goal is to highlight the facial structure and minimise the width of the forehead. A side-swept fringe will achieve this by framing the face and drawing attention to the cheekbones. Shoulder-length styles tend to look best, as they create the illusion of a wider jawline.
To draw attention to your face's pretty tapered shape, try a high ponytail or a sleek top knot. It's best to avoid choppy layers or block fringes, as they will make your forehead look much wider. Instead, opt for loosely layered, one-length cuts that softly graze your chin; these will enhance the natural lines of your complexion.
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Once you've been to the salon, you'll want to be able to achieve the same look every time you walk out of your door. If you have the space, it's fun to set up your own personal dressing table and chair so that you can feel like an A-lister when you step out of the shower. Be sure to explore our range of shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments to complement all hair types.
It's worth investing in a high-powered hair dryer to help you create the style you want quickly and easily. For curly locks, choose one with a diffuser; this creates scrunchy, natural waves in seconds. For a smoother look, make sure the dryer has a removable nozzle; this concentrates the heat towards individual areas of the hair, flattening the cuticles for a sleek finish. Pair with a round, bristled brush for ultimate straightening power.
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Knowing what hairstyle suits your face shape is a great starting point when it comes to choosing your next look, but remember that these are simply guidelines. Everyone is different and you might want to experiment with a couple of cuts before settling on one. The beauty of hair styling is that nothing's permanent.