Matching Face Shapes to Men’s Haircuts: Choosing the Right Trim for You
Time to read 7 min
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Time to read 7 min
Your face shape plays a major role in determining which haircut will suit you.
While a good barber will discuss your options with you and advise on what will work well, it's good to have a general idea of what you want so you know what to ask for.
Some haircuts complement certain facial features well, whereas others may not be as flattering and can make certain features that you'd rather downplay stand out. And having worked in the men's haircare industry for some time, we've seen our fair share of great and not-so-great haircuts.
We've broken down this guide into the seven main face shapes and given our expert advice on which haircuts tend to work best for each face shape.
|Slicked-back, long & mid-length, mod cuts
|Longer length on top, messy bed-head styles, side parts
|Well-proportioned haircuts, shaggy hairstyles
|Pompadours, quiffs, more voluminous on top
|Long & layered hair
|Medium length, textured, side part
|Almost any hairstyle, layers, buzzcuts
The first step is obviously to determine which face shape you have; otherwise, you won't know what haircut to go for. The main seven face shapes are:
It can be a bit tricky to pinpoint your exact face shape, but the best way to figure it out is visually. The infographic above should help you. Look at yourself directly in a mirror and pay attention to the shape of your chin, jawline, cheekbones and forehead.
You can also trace the outline of your face on a mirror or by taking a selfie and drawing the outline of your face on it. The outline you’ve traced should give you a pretty clear idea of your face shape, so then you can start to consider your best haircuts.
Most men with oval face shapes tend to have well-proportioned features, which means almost any hairstyle will suit you.
Generally, though, you should avoid haircuts where your hair hides your forehead. Slicked-back long and mid-length hairstyles are great for oval face shapes as they draw attention to your features and keep the hair off your face.
Mod haircuts like Liam Gallagher’s also flatter oval face shapes. While this 80s-inspired trim might not be to everyone's taste, it does complement the features of an oval face well.
A buzzcut is also a great option for those with an oval face shape. It’ll keep all the attention on your features so you can show them off. Plus, it’s pretty low-maintenance too.
A round face shape lacks definition and angles, so you want a haircut that creates the illusion of length and sharpness.
Steer well clear of haircuts that have a round shape, like a bowl cut. Instead, opt for haircuts that are longer on the top to add volume to the top of your mug.
Textured hairstyles, like messy quiffs, are great for making a round face look longer and slimmer.
The classic side part is also a no-brainer when it comes to styling for a round face. Making sure that the bulk of your hair sits on one side will help elongate your chin and make it appear less round.
The key to choosing a hairstyle for oblong face shapes is to go with something that makes your face appear shorter than it is. Oblong faces are typically long, so you don't want to emphasise this length. You want to avoid cutting the sides of your hair too short, as this will make your face look even longer.
Shaggy haircuts are great for oblong faces, as they help to create more volume at the sides of your face. This will give the illusion of a shorter face and add some balance to your features.
A well-proportioned hairstyle where the sides and top length are similar will help to create balance in an oblong face shape.
Triangular face shapes are widest at the jawline and narrower at the forehead. The goal when styling a triangle shape is to create more width near the forehead and less emphasis on the narrow chin area.
Hairstyles that have more volume near the top of your head are your best bet for a triangle shape. Pompadours and quiffs are perhaps the most popular hairstyles for this face shape, as they add height and fullness to the top of your head while balancing out a narrow chin.
Ryan Gosling's hairstyle is a great example of a style that can work for a triangle face shape. He keeps his sides and back fairly short while leaving enough length at the top to achieve some height and volume. A deep side part can also help create a more balanced look.
Diamond face shapes are actually quite uncommon for men, which means it takes a little extra effort to find the right hairstyle. The objective is to make your face look more oval to balance the angular features of a diamond face.
Long hair works especially well for this face shape, as it lengthens and softens the hard angles. Layers also help to add more dimension to the face and can be used to give some height at the crown.
Hairstyles on heart face shapes should aim to create width around the forehead and chin area to balance out the narrow jawline. The best way to do this is with a medium-length cut with plenty of texture. Longer hair can be styled in waves or curls, while shorter cuts should have plenty of layers and lightly tousled styling for added volume.
Square face shapes are another that suits almost any look – the key is to choose styles that soften rather than emphasise the strong angles.
Keep the sides of your trim shorter to avoid making your face look wider, and add layers to the top of your hair for some added height. A side-swept fringe is a great way to soften the angles of your jawline and will frame your face nicely.
Buzzcuts are another popular option for square-shaped faces, particularly if you want a low-maintenance look.
While many of these haircuts work to balance or counteract certain facial features, that doesn't mean you're limited to these styles.
You might even want to annunciate the strong facial angles or emphasise the softness of your face shape.
Talk to your stylist about the exact look you want to achieve and what you do or don't want to change about your face shape.
Short hair tends to look best on people with square-shaped faces, as it can soften the angles and provide a more balanced look. Longer hair is better for those who wish to draw attention to their strong facial features or accentuate the softness of their face shape.
This will come down to your facial features. Buzzcuts and close crops can most definitely make a person look younger, but they won’t suit everyone. Generally speaking, those with an oval or round face will benefit from a shorter cut. If you have strong facial features, then a short cut might not be the best option.
The easiest way to work out your face shape is to take a picture of your face straight on. Draw the outline of your face and then look for the shape that it most closely resembles. You can do the same thing by looking in a mirror and tracing your face outline using soap.
A lot of the time, a bad haircut can be fixed with some good styling. Adding texture with sea salt spray to long and mid-length hair can help to add volume and create depth. Parting your hair differently can also change the appearance of your hairstyle. Even if, after attempting to salvage the style, it still doesn’t look right, head on back to your barber.