Oval Face Shape
Lucky you, your locks don’t need to act as camouflage to create the illusion of a perfect oval – you’ve got the raw material already. Oval face shapes are perfectly in proportion, with features nicely balanced: a narrow forehead, wide cheekbones and a small chin. Be as daring as you wish: short, long, layered, one length, even shaved – any style should suit you.
Round Face Shape
Your face is full-cheeked and circular. Keep hair sleek at the sides and you can lengthen the face by choosing a hairdo with plenty of volume on top. Newly fashionable ’60s-influenced styles with a bit of backcombing at the roots are ideal. Avoid round or geometric styles because they’ll only accentuate the roundness. Also avoid hard lines and wide block fringes that sit above the eyebrows and opt instead for a micro fringe, which can help lengthen the face. Feathered or layered hair falling on to the face will help create sleeker proportions. Keep curly hair all one length and ideally long, to avoid bulk. Full curls accentuate roundness, but scraped-back styles, high pony tails and updos with loose tendrils around the hairline are very flattering.
A broad forehead and a strong square jawline dominate your face, so don’t hop on the ’80s-revival bandwagon with a geometric wedge cut – you’ll only regret it when you resemble a Cubist-period Picasso. Slim those broad cheekbones with chin-length layers and, if you want a fringe, opt for a long wispy one. A graduated or classic bob makes an ideal shorter style because it hugs the face. Curls falling onto the cheeks will slim down the widest points of the face and help rebalance it.
Celebrity Inspiration Minnie Driver. Tumbling Pre-Raphaelite curls produces a more desirable heart shape, but you’ve got to hand it to Minnie – she revels in her striking appearance and will wear her hair off her face in regal updos.
Characteristically, this shape includes a high forehead, narrow bone structure and long, well-defined chin. Avoid one-length straight hair, which will mirror your bone structure and make you look a bit like a mule. Break up the length with layers at eye and cheekbone level to create texture. A curly bob or long style will shorten the length of the face. A side parting will create an illusion of roundness. If your hair has a slight wave, use a diffuser with your hairdryer to emphasise the curls.
Celebrity Inspiration Sarah Jessica Parker. SJP’s pre-Raphaelite look flatters her, as her long, narrow face is softened and balanced by the most gorgeous curls in the business. Tall, scraped-back topknots can be risky even for SJP, elongating her head and making her look like a pony, albeit a well-groomed one. She’s glamorous and canny enough with her make-up to wear her hair shoulder-length and sleek, introducing a side parting to lower her expanse of forehead and create an illusion of roundness. Fringes, curls and flick-outs will all minimise a long face.
Angular Diamond Shape
A fusion of square and heart proportions. Chin-length bobs and feathered shoulder-length styles will emphasise those dramatic angular planes, while rounding out the chin. Heavy fringes are a good look, as are flicks or a mane of dishevelled curls.
Celebrity Inspiration Reese Witherspoon. Reese’s mid-length layered style is very versatile – worn straight or wavy with or without a fringe – and can look cute or sassy, depending on how it’s styled. It can be texturised with mousse or wax or blow-dried straight to create a kicked-out shape.
Similar to the oval, but the face narrows below the cheekbones, reaching a defined pointy chin. Styles that are fuller around the ends will widen the appearance of the chin and jawbone, thus making the face appear better proportioned and basically oval.