Why is choosing a haircut so hard? If you’re like most guys, you’ve probably stuck to the same style or something similar for as long as you can remember, rarely shaking it up or making waves. But in order to keep your look fresh, sometimes it’s necessary to try something new. But how? One of the easiest ways to get some direction on your hair journey is to use your face shape as a guide.
You can highlight or downplay the natural curves and dimensions of your face using your haircut, which will ultimately create more symmetry and make your face look even more attractive. Here’s how to do it, according to your natural face shape!
Round: The width of your cheekbones and length of your face are roughly the same measurement, but your chin and hairline are more softly curved than angular. Examples include Zac Efron and Leonardo DiCaprio.
A round face is a classic, but sometimes it needs a little bit of balance to make it shine. With this face shape, the cut is all about creating definition and length so your face looks more oval than circular. Add some inches to the top of your head by creating a little bit of extra volume with a higher quiff (the floof of hair on the top of your head) and slim out your face by avoiding any bulk and keeping the sides closely cropped. With certain products, such as sea salt spray for men, you can create the appearance of extra volume.
- French Crop—The French crop is a shorter hairstyle marked by a taper fade or undercut with longer fringe on top. This look gives you the top volume while avoiding any side bulk that could add a rounder appearance.
- High Skin Fade—The high skin fade is the more modern, neat version of the French crop. It features super-short sides with longer strands on the side, creating a dramatic contrast between the two.
- Side Part—The side part is a simple, close-clipped cut marked by a dramatic quiff contrasted by a shorter cut on the other side of the part. The contrast between short and long creates the illusion of more volume.
- Flat Top—Another classic look marked by short sides and length on top, the flat top is a military-inspired 'do that brings a bit of a retro vibe. Ask your barber to go for a rounded, rather than square, shape for a modern look.
Square: Like round faces, square faces have roughly the same measurement in height and width, but rather than soft, rounded edges, guys with square faces tend to have sharp, angular curves. Examples include Nick Lachey and Rob Lowe.
Square faces can have a tendency to look boxy or blunt with the wrong haircut, but adding some volume at the top can help elongate the face. At the same time, everybody loves some sexy angles, so a close-clipped cut can be a winner, too. With this face shape, it’s all or nothing—you gotta either go big volume or none at all. Side note: This means the man bun is totally in your wheelhouse, so congratulations!
- Side-Swept Brush-Up—If you’re going for a bit of length, try a side-swept brush-up, which is short on the sides with an even top for volume. Similarly, a high fade with a swept-back top will give the same appearance with more movement. Use hair styling clay to keep it neat.
- Man Bun—Congrats, square-facers! You’re the perfect candidate for the man bun! This daring 'do is great because it adds some rounded style and softness, helping to relax the angles of your face.
- Buzzcut—Volume, texture and length aren’t the only ways to go with square faces. For a bold, dramatic look, consider the classic buzzcut. By highlighting your face’s angles, this style piles on the strong and authoritative vibes.
Oval: An oval face shape is longer than it is wide across the cheekbones and forehead, with the forehead being a bit wider than the jawline, which is generally rounded (think of an inverted egg shape). Examples include George Clooney and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Oval is the face shape that everybody wants because any haircut looks good on it! In fact, guys with other face shapes are basically always trying to emulate the look of an oval face, as it’s often considered the most symmetrical and easy to style. With that said, there are a few hair tips you need to keep in the back of your mind if you’re working with an oval visage. For example, you’ll want to keep your hair off your forehead to avoid making your face look shorter than it is. You’re definitely gonna want to take your hair paste game up a few notches to control the bangs.
- Pompadour—This uber-popular cut, rocked by tastemakers like Bruno Mars and David Beckham, is perfect for oval faces because it brings style and drama without dropping any locks in your face.
- Undercut—An undercut is a throwback to the early 1900s (and to Brad Pitt’s iconic 'do when he played a military hero in Fury) and really never goes out of style. It features a long, side-parted top with buzzed sides.
- Comb-Over Fade—A mid or taper fade with a comb-over is the perfect pick for the oval face because it creates some bold shape and definition while keeping the hair out of your eyes.
- Man Bun—Oval faces are uniquely well-suited to the man bun because they’re one of the few shapes that can handle that much top volume. If you fancy yourself a bit of a hipster, the man bun is a good choice.
Rectangular or Oblong: A rectangular or oblong face is on the longer end, being longer than it is wide. The forehead, cheekbones and jawline have a similar width, while the chin has either soft (oblong) or angular (rectangular) edges. Examples include Adam Sandler and Adam Levine.
Oblong faces are similar to oval faces in that they’re extremely versatile haircut-wise. The only rule here is to avoid anything that might over-elongate your already-long face. In other words, stick with a shorter haircut and don’t go growing a super-long Garibaldi beard or anything crazy. Guys with rectangular and oblong faces need to focus on creating even proportions, so avoid going super short on the sides when you want to keep some length on the sides.
- Medium-Long All Around—Think: the Bradley Cooper. This laid-back look is great for your face shape because it evens things out on the top and sides. It’s easy to go messy on this look, but you can keep it neat with some hair putty to give your locks that GQ polish without a close crop.
- Crew Cut—We’re not talking about the classic, close-clipped crew here. We’re talking about a side-swept crew cut that adds some texture and personality on top without the inches that could elongate your face.
- Side Part—By providing some dramatic contrast with a longer quiff on one side and a closer shave on the other, the men’s side part style brings a bit of volume without over-lengthening the appearance of the face.
Inverted Triangle or Heart: Guys with heart-shaped faces (also known as inverted triangles) have a forehead that’s dramatically wider than the jawline, which may be pointy, angular or round. Examples include Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake.
This attractive face shape is marked by its slim jawline and wider cheeks and forehead, so one of the most important things to remember here is to avoid anything too short, as this will only accentuate the slim or pointy shape of your chin. Instead, go for something a bit longer and fuller on the top and sides. And don’t be afraid to go bold with the facial hair, too. This will help you widen the bottom half of your face for a more even look.
- Shoulder-Length Hair—Especially ideal for guys who have a pointy chin but don’t want to grow any facial hair, a shoulder-length grow-out can help even out the width of your face for a more even appearance.
- Textured Quiff—This cut is like a pompadour mixed with a faux hawk and a flattop. The reason why we love it for the inverted triangle face is because it elongates the face ever-so-slightly, dialing down the pointed chin.
- Pompadour—Why not just go for the classic pompadour? The only caveat here is that, if you want to try a pomp and your face leans heart-shaped, make sure to opt for a style with more filled-out sides. Think: more James Dean or Elvis than David Beckham.
Triangle: Triangle face shapes are, naturally, the opposite of inverted triangle and heart-shape faces, as they feature a wider jawline and cheekbones with a slimmer forehead. Examples include Kanye West and Jack Black.
The triangle face shape tends to have a more angular, squared appearance, which means you may want to choose a cut that softens it slightly, such as something with medium or long waves. At the same time, close clips are also really flattering to guys with angular faces of any sort, as they help highlight the defined jawline and avoid the appearance of a wider forehead.
- Medium-Long Waves—One of the easiest ways to bring some fullness to the top of your head is to grow it out. Go for some controlled chaos here with wispy waves textured and styled with the right men's hair products.
- Textured Quiff—Again, this one’s perfect for those face shapes that want a trendy look inspired by the pomp or faux hawk, but with some more length on the sides. The top texture is key for adding some intrigue up top.
- Side Part with Fringe—This classic cut is ideal for softening a wider forehead and creating a more oval appearance throughout.
- Crew Cut—Don’t discount the classic crew if you’re going for a perfectly even face shape. This close-clipped cut highlights the angular features of your face without going too bold.
More Ways to Figure Out Which Haircut Is for You
Not feeling the cut recommended by your face shape? Don’t worry. There are a bunch of different ways you can figure out what 'do to do.
- Look at pics of celebrities. As you can see from the examples above, celebrities can help you get ideas on face shape and style combinations that will work for you. Find some good examples and show your barber.
- Don’t chicken out. The fact of the matter is that you’ll never find the perfect cut if you don’t break out of “the usual.” Go bold from time to time and discover what works and what doesn’t. Remember, hair grows back.
- Use styling products to simulate a cut. Don’t underestimate the power of some good styling products when you’re trying to find a new haircut. Styling aids can be used to simulate certain cuts without the commitment, so go ahead and play around with those pastes and putties.
- Ask your barber’s advice. Here’s the thing: Your barber cuts hair all day long, and he probably has a good idea of what’s going to work with your face shape and hair type. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
Finding a 'Do That’s You
Finding the perfect haircut is all about experimenting and breaking out of your comfort zone! But the great thing is that, once you’ve found the perfect silhouette, length or style for you, you get to keep it for a lifetime, making small updates to modernize it as you go. Trust us, this is a totally worthwhile endeavor that will pay off in the long-run, so take your time!