There’s nothing more depressing than scouring Pinterest for the perfect cut, only to find that the end result doesn’t match the pretty picture you printed for your stylist. All too often, this style-to-face mismatch ends in frustration — and even in tears if you’ve chosen a drastic cut that doesn’t work for your face shape.
But not to worry. This doesn’t mean you have to give up interesting haircuts altogether and stick with the same old, same old. You just need to do a little homework by figuring out your face shape far before you book your next hair appointment.
How to determine your face shape
Figuring out your face shape isn’t all that complicated once you understand that there are only six shapes to choose from. Many of us make the mistake of thinking that our faces are “round,” missing some of the subtler angles completely.
To determine your face shape, pull your hair back in a headband or ponytail and analyze what you see in the mirror. Your pretty face should fall within one of six categories.
- Oval: Forehead may be slightly wider than the chin, and the length of the face is about one and a half times the width.
- Round: Prominent, rounded cheeks with equal width and length of the face.
- Square: Prominent jaw and square chin, with forehead and jawline roughly the same width.
- Oblong: Often confused for the oval face, though an oblong face will have a longer shape that is not as wide as oval — often with a narrow chin.
- Heart: Wider forehead and cheekbones with a narrow jawline and chin.
- Diamond: Narrow forehead and jawline with cheekbones at the widest point of the face.
If you still aren’t sure which face shape is staring back at you in the mirror, Julie Featherman, owner of juju salon & organics, takes it one step further. “Whether I’m meeting with a client for the first time or working with an existing client who is thinking about making a change, facial shape consideration is as important as deciding on a length, color or style,” she explains. “I always say, ‘Look to the stars!’ Once the client’s face shape is determined, we’ll often look at pictures of celebrities with the same face shape. For example, if you Google, ‘What celebrity has a diamond shaped face,’ up pops Keira Knightley. Heart shaped? Reese Witherspoon and Taylor Swift. It’s so fun and inspiring! From there, we can begin to sift through different celebrity looks and make decisions.”