Face Shape and Haircuts

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yorkshire hair and beauty magazine

Face Shape and Haircuts

Shape Shifters

by Rob Eaton

It is our appearance that makes us unique as individuals. Even though we are unique, certain characteristics such as jaw placement and forehead shape determine our face shape. There are five common face shapes: Oval, Heart-Shaped, Square, Round, and Long.

face shapes and haircutsGoing to the hairdresser can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you aren’t exactly sure what you want. You can ease your nerves by doing some research ahead of time – browse women’s magazines or the internet for examples of the style you’re looking for, and don’t be afraid to bring a few pictures into the salon with you. Sharing these pictures with your hairdresser will give them a visual idea of what type of cut you’re interested in.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that just because a particular haircut looks good on Jennifer Aniston it does not mean it will look good on you. Different cuts are flattering for different face shapes; determining what shape yours is can help guide you in the right direction. Tie your hair back in a ponytail and look straight ahead into a mirror. Focusing mainly on your jawline, see if your face is round, oval, heart-shaped or square and your jawline is the most important factor in deciding what length your new cut should be. Before selecting a style let the hairdresser know what type of routine you keep and how much time you have to spend on your hair each morning. Choppy, layered cuts, for example, require much more prep time than straight, sleek cuts.

“Try to determine which face shape you have”

hair cuts face shapeBeing aware of your face shape comes in handy when you’re getting a new haircut, trying out a new hairstyle or testing a new makeup look. Spending just a few minutes to determine your face shape will steer you away from possible hairstyle mishaps.

Look to celebrities who share your face shape for hair and makeup ideas. Celebs with a round face shape include Drew Barrymore and Kelly Clarkson. Celebrities with a square face shape include Megan Fox, Paris Hilton and Keira Knightley. Famous people with a heart shaped face include Danni Minogue Reese Witherspoon, Demi Moore and Madonna. Celebrities with an oval face shape include Beyonce, Sienna Miller, Hayden Panettiere and J-lo.

Round Face Shape: Round face shapes are fuller and will usually look younger than they are. It will have a round forehead and a round chin, with wide, full cheeks.

Soft, choppy styles such as layers cut around the cheeks work better for round faces than pin-straight, flat or sleek styles do. Layers that fall just around the cheekbones will shade them and cause the face to look more narrow. Volume on top of the crown adds height and elongates the roundness of the face. Fringes should be graduated and cut on an angle that also fall just around the cheeks.

“Oval is considered the best face shape”

Oval Face Shape: This is considered the perfect face shape because it is most symmetrical.

An oval face shape will have wider cheekbones and then narrow down to the jaw line and chin. Oval face shape will also be narrow up towards the forehead. The oval is considered to be the “perfect” face shape. This is the shape that all haircuts seek to achieve, and people who already have this shape can get away with almost any haircut.

haircuts face shapesLong Face Shape: A long face shape is similar to an oval face shape but has higher cheek bones and a high forehead.

The solution for a long face is to make it look shorter. This can be achieved by adding a fringe or working with chin length cuts. Longer, shapeless styles and straight bobs serve only to further elongate.

“Stay away from blunt cuts”

Square Face Shape: A square face is very common. It will be equally wide at the forehead, cheeks, and jaw line.

Square faces need to avoid short crops, symmetry, or anything geometric which will enhance the squareness; instead, go for soft curves which will soften the severity of the square jawline. If you can get a slightly voluminous point at the crown, this will also detract from the square outline. Fringes can also soften the features. Stay away from blunt cuts and hard, sleek lines as these will exagerrate the square shape.

Heart-Shaped Face Shape: A heart-shaped face is very unique. It will be broader at the forehead and then taper into a small, narrow chin.

Faces that are narrow at the bottom and wide at the top need a cut that hides the hairline with graduated fringes and a choppy styles that flick out on the ends. When the hair turns outwards rather than inwards, it equalizes the shape by giving volume around the narrow bottom of the face. If, on the other hand, your face is an upside-down heart (narrow at the top, heavier at the jaw) make sure there is fullness at the top of the head instead to balance out the chin.

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