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How to pick the right haircut for your face shape

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

What flatters you?

Before you decide on a new hairstyle, take a look at the shape of your face. Some ‘dos are better than others for you.

There are six face shapes: Oval, oblong, round, square, diamond and heart-shaped. The most flattering hairstyles enhance the prominent features of these various shapes.

Step 1: Measure your face

With your hair pulled back off your face, stand before a mirror in a well-lit room. Measure your face with a tape measure as follows:

Measure your face across the widest points of your forehead, the tops of your cheekbones and your jawline, then measure your face from your hairline to your chin.

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Step 2: Determine your face shape

Jessica Alba

Oval

  • Description: Your face is widest at the cheekbones and you have a tapered narrow jawline.
  • Celebrity examples: Jessica Alba, Eva Mendes, Carey Mulligan.
  • Best hairstyles: From adorable pixie cuts to long flowing waves, nearly every hairstyle looks good on an oval face shape. Consider your specific features instead: Part your hair on the side to distract from a large nose, wear fun bangs to hide a large forehead or soften prominent cheekbones with face-framing layers.
Photo credit: Andres Otero/WENN.com

Ashley Greene

Oblong

  • Description: Your face is longer than it is wide, like a rectangle. Your jawline is rounded.
  • Celebrity examples: Ashley Greene, Teri Hatcher, Hillary Swank.
  • Best hairstyles: Look for haircuts that make your face look wider at the cheeks and less boxy, such as those styles with layers at the ear and cheekbones. Keep your hair length above or below -- but not at -- the chin so as not to draw attention to the strong jaw line. In other words, avoid bobs. Oblong faces are one of the only shapes that can pull off blunt bangs.
Photo credit: Andres Otero/WENN.com

Demi Moore

Square

  • Description: You have a prominent, angular jawline and your face is about the same height and width.
  • Celebrity examples: Demi Moore, Keira Knightley, Mandy Moore.
  • Best hairstyles: Soften strong features by wearing your hair extra-long -- stick straight, loose waves or curly. If you prefer a short ‘do, opt for a soft layered bob. Avoid blunt cuts that accentuate the jaw and wear side-swept bangs instead of straight, thick bangs.
Photo credit: FayesVision/WENN.com

Rihanna

Diamond

  • Description: Your face is slightly longer than it is wide. Your chin is pointy and your high-set cheekbones are the widest part of your face.
  • Celebrity examples: Nicole Kidman, Rihanna, Scarlett Johansson.
  • Best hairstyles: Show off your fab bone structure with hairstyles that feature weight at the nape -- a full, classic bob or a flipped-out layered cut. Bangs are really flattering if they’re below the brow; anything shorter is unflattering.
Photo credit: WENN.com

Drew Barrymoore

Round

  • Description: Your face -- widest at the cheekbones -- is nearly as wide as it is long and your jawline is round and full.
  • Celebrity examples: Drew Barrymore, Kelly Clarkson, Kirsten Dunst.
  • Best hairstyles: Long, layered hair with layered bangs or a graduated shag provide a slenderizing shape. Height at the crown -- from curls or layers -- lengthens the face to make it appear less round.
Photo credit: Adriana M. Barraza / WENN.com

Reese Witherspoone

Heart-shaped

  • Description: Your face is wide at the forehead, full at the cheekbones and narrow at the chin.
  • Celebrity examples: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Reese Witherspoon, Katie Holmes.
  • Best hairstyles: Hairstyles that complement the cheekbones without hiding the chin are best. Try a chin-length (or longer) bob with tapered ends. Wear side-swept, wispy bangs. Avoid adding extra height at the crown.
Photo credit: Apega/WENN.com

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Step 3: Find others with your face shape

Google “celebrities with round faces,” (or whatever your face shape). Check out images of the celebs with similar face shapes and look for flattering hairstyles you’d like to try.

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Step 4: Share hairstyle photos with your stylist

Together, you and your hairstylist can figure out which hairstyles work not only for your face shape, but also for your unique hair type and texture.

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More hairstyle how-tos

How to find a great hairstylist
How to talk to your hairstylist
How to use dry shampoo

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