Finding the right haircut for your face shape is no easy feat. You know how bad eyebrows can completely change the way you look? It’s the same deal with hair. Picking a style that doesn’t suit your skull’s natural shape is a big mistake that many of you make, and that’s why, according to a study by Toni & Guy, 50 per cent of dudes immediately hate their hair as soon as they leave the barber’s chair.
Think you’d be able to pull off Pedro Pascal’s scruffy waves? You might be wrong. Planning on imitating Justin Bieber’s long locks? Just wait a minute. Into Shawn Mendes’ buzzcut and about to reach for the clippers? Well, hold off, because chances are your head shape won’t actually suit a grade one all over. So, how exactly do you choose the right haircut for your face shape? We caught up with London barber TJ Hunt of Ruffians to find out.
1 | Square
Square faces usually come with a defined, angular jaw and are probably the face shape that suits the largest number of hairstyles. Basically, if you have a square face, congratulations, you’ve won the genetic lottery. However, before you begin celebrating, there are still a couple of simple rules that you should follow if you want to make the most out of it.
“Because square faces tend to be wider, avoid any styles which add volume on the sides as it’ll emphasise this width too much.” says Hunt. “Therefore, ‘do’s that are cropped across the back and sides and longer and higher through the top work well if you have a good head of hair, these include textured quiffs and pompadours. If you have thinner hair or a receding hairline, then buzzcuts and French crops are also great options that are effortlessly flattering.”
2 | Round
A round face shape might sound like it’s the furthest from square, but it actually shares some key characteristics. While you might not have that sharp, prominent jawline that you’ve always dreamed of, both shapes tend to be pretty symmetrical and a similar width from top to bottom.
“Be wary not to go for styles that are inherently round in shape and have no “corners,” as these will only emphasise the fullness of the face and the softness of the features.” says Hunt. “These include buzzcuts and faded crops. Opt for styles that add volume without bulk, such as the classic side parting, choppy bed head looks, and of course, tapers.”
3 | Oval
Oval face shapes are commonly mistaken as round. While both of these can look quite similar, the higher cheekbones and smaller chin of oval shapes lend for some very different haircuts.
“Try to avoid long, sweeping fringes that cover the face and soften the angles, instead go for something that keeps most of your mug visible.” says Hunt. “Mid and long hairstyles that are slicked back work really well with oval faces. Good options for shorter styles include soft crops and subtle mod styles. It can be a good idea to keep the edges more relaxed to counteract angular features.”
4 | Triangular
Triangular face shapes are highlighted by a prominent jawline and a comparably narrow forehead. The best styles for this face shape tend to be those that add volume and height through the top to even this out.
“Quiffs, side parts, and pompadours will all do the trick perfectly.” says Hunt. “The great thing about these styles is that you can mix up the sides – scissor cut for a more classic style or a low fade for a crisper, more modern aesthetic. You may need a hairdryer to get the most out of these sort of ‘do’s. Don’t be daunted though, as it’s pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it.”
5 | Oblong
One of the main things that you should bear in mind when choosing a style that complements an oblong face shape is that they should broaden the shape of the face, rather than making it appear longer. That’s the last thing you want to do.
“For this reason, we recommend avoiding hairstyles that are considerably shorter on the back and sides than on the top, like skin faded undercuts or quiffs.” says Hunt. “The best option is to ditch the clippers altogether and go for a classic scissor cut style such as the Executive Contour or the Ivy League. If something a bit edgier is more your bag then a Caesar or a shaggy, surfer-y style would work well too.”
6 | Diamond
Perhaps predictably, a diamond-shaped face tends to get narrower towards the chin, which means you’ll most likely have more prominent cheekbones and angular features. There are a few main aims here – to balance the shape, soften the features, and avoid the ears looking massive where the head is at its widest point.
“Longer, layered styles work really well due to the roundness and volume.” says Hunt. “If you prefer to wear your hair shorter, opt for scissors, as softer, textured sides will work much better than the uniform nature of fades and clipper cuts. Fringes work well too, but again, opt for loose and relaxed over anything too precise.”