Round or long? How to choose the most flattering hairstyle for your face shape
Because it doesn’t just depend on your hair type or what’s trending right now, CNA Lifestyle breaks down the options for those with oval, round, diamond- and heart-shaped faces.
When it comes to picking the right hairstyle, your face shape is one of the most important factors to consider. After all, it really doesn’t matter if the cut suits your hair type, if the dye job flatters your skin tone, or if it’s the super-trendy look being rocked by your favourite Instagram style star or K-drama actress. If it doesn’t work with your face, all bets are off, just as wearing the most exquisite haute couture creation won’t help you look good if it simply doesn’t suit your body type.
Whether your face is oval, round, square, diamond, heart, pear or oblong-shaped, the right cut will expertly frame and balance it by showcasing your best features, and camouflaging your least favourite ones, helping you to achieve maximum facial flattery.
If all else fails, try going for the 'lob', also known as the 'long bob'.
If all else fails, try going for the "lob”, also known as the "long bob". This not-too-long, not-too-short ‘do looks effortlessly timeless, and its over-the-chin length hides a multitude of sins, while looking feminine enough, sans the weightiness of overly long locks, which tend also to be more high-maintenance.
It’s also highly versatile, as it can be worn straight or textured, slicked back or free-flowing, and even curled. Depending on your hair type and face shape, the right amount of layering can also enhance your overall look.
In the meantime, we’ve compiled some celebrity inspiration for you to consider.
FACE SHAPE: OVAL
Just like: Chinese actress Wu Jinyan, who appeared in blockbuster TV series Story Of Yanxi Palace and The Legend Of Haolan.
What it looks like: The oval face shape is longer than it is wide, with a jaw that’s narrower than the cheekbones, and a forehead that may be slightly wider than the chin. The length of the face is about one and a half times its width.
Which hairstyles to try: Consider yourself lucky if you’ve got an oval-shaped face, as it’s considered the most proportional face shape, and suits pretty much any type of haircut and all hair lengths. What you can focus on, instead, is a hairstyle that accentuates your favourite facial feature(s), whether it’s your eyes, cheekbones, lips, or chin.
Which hairstyles to avoid: Sticking to the same boring old hairstyle year in, year out – because if you can get away with all sorts of hair-raising experiments, why aren’t you?
FACE SHAPE: ROUND
Just like: British actress Gemma Chan, aka Astrid from Crazy Rich Asians and Anita/Mia from the TV drama Humans.
What it looks like: A round face shape is as long as it is wide, with a broad hairline, prominent, rounded cheeks, and fullness below the cheekbones.
Which hairstyles to try: You’ll need something that helps to create the illusion of definition and a longer face shape. Medium-length cuts with side swept bangs can help slim your face down. If you prefer going longer, opt for long, staggered, face-framing layers that start around the jawline.
Which hairstyles to avoid: Short hair, bobs, single-length cuts, full curls. Try not to have hair that’s too long though; the added weight will drag your hair down, causing you to lose volume at the top and sides, which will then make your face look even rounder in comparison.
FACE SHAPE: SQUARE
Just like: American actress Lucy Liu of Ally McBeal, Charlie’s Angels and Elementary fame.
What it looks like: The square face shape is characterised by a wide hairline, and an equally wide jawline.
Which hairstyles to try: Deep side parts, texture, soft bangs, increased volume at the top (such as a pompadour), and chin-length styles will help it look longer and slimmer, while camouflaging your wide and angular jawline. A medium-length, layered hairstyle that stops below the jaw provides a beautiful face-framing (and slimming) effect. A long, layered cut, with soft waves, helps soften your angular jawline. As does a graduated bob, where the front parts are longer.
Which hairstyles to avoid: Anything that creates straight lines, such as a China doll fringe, centre parts. Do not rebond or flat-iron your hair as it can end up looking too flat and stick straight, which makes your face look even more square.
FACE SHAPE: DIAMOND
Just like: Indian actress Deepika Padukone, who was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2018.
What it looks like: The diamond face shape features a narrow forehead, wide cheekbones, and a narrow chin.
Which hairstyles to try: You want something that would help the forehead look broader, accentuate your wide cheekbones, and create more fullness at the chin area to draw attention down from your forehead. Opt for a pixie cut, a China bob, or long hair (either straight or wavy) with a centre part. A see-through fringe is also flattering.
Which hairstyles to avoid: Overly long straight hair if your hair texture is fine.
FACE SHAPE: HEART
Just like: Malaysian superstar singer Siti Nurhaliza.
What it looks like: A heart-shaped face is characterised by a wide forehead and a narrower chin.
Which hairstyles to try: Adding side swept bangs help disguise the width of the forehead, while having some volume around the jaw area helps to detract from the narrowness of your chin.
Which hairstyles to avoid: Anything with a centre part, as that draws attention to your forehead. And short, straight bangs, as these make your forehead look even broader. Also, any hairstyle with too much volume on top.
FACE SHAPE: PEAR
Just like: American producer, actress, podcast host and singer Jenna Ushkowitz, who’s most known for her role as Tina Cohen-Chang in Glee.
What it looks like: The pear-shaped face looks somewhat like a triangle, with a small, narrow forehead and a larger jawline.
Which hairstyles to try: Longer styles can help disguise the prominence of the jawline. When considering a shorter haircut, add volume to the top in order to add fullness to the top of the face. Side-parted curtain bangs, which are basically long bangs that fall on either side of the face, can provide good camouflage for your jaw, if you make sure they stop below the jawline. Side parted styles help elongate the face. And stick to straight hair, as curls create more width at the middle and lower parts of the face.
Which hairstyles to avoid: Anything with a centre part, as it highlights the apex of the triangle.
FACE SHAPE: OBLONG
Just like: Sandra Oh, the Canadian-American actress best known for her roles in Grey's Anatomy and Killing Eve.
What it looks like: The oblong face shape is long and narrow from top to bottom, with the forehead, cheeks and chin about the same width (or rather, narrowness).
Which hairstyles to try: Shorter styles, such as bobs or even an asymmetric style, help to visually “shorten” a long face. If you want to wear your hair long, waves and curls can make your face appear wider, which is what you want. Side swept hairstyles are also flattering.
Which hairstyles to avoid: Anything too long, and anything too short, as these will simply make your face look even longer and skinnier. Also, avoid poker-straight hair, which has the same effect.