Enhancing your facial features doesn’t all happen with a tube of lipstick and eyeliner pencils. While it’s definitely more of a permanent step in curating your beauty choices to highlight your face, the haircut you ask your stylist for is kind of a big deal, too. There’s no hard and fast rule that says only those with heart-shaped faces can wear, say, bangs, but there are certain ‘dos that are especially flattering for each face shape. There are also some cuts, trims, and hair features you might want to avoid—those that don’t do what they could to flatter in the end. To ensure you’re getting the best hairstyle for your face shape, stay away from these mistakes below.
For Round Face Shapes:
What NOT to Do: Having fullness on the sides of your hairstyle, along with round hairstyles and cuts that end right at or above the chin line are some of the biggest hair mistakes those with round faces make, explains Senior Stylist at Cutler/Redken Salon, Daniela Schult. These things tend to make round faces look even rounder.
What to Ask For: Go for elongation with longer lengths and balance the face shape out with center parts and soft layers, explains Schult. “Square shapes are great for round faces. Whether it’s in the form of layers or within the contour lines in order to balance the roundness of the face, as a rule of thumb.”
For Oval Face Shapes:
What NOT to Do: Because Schult says that pretty much any length and hairstyle works for this face shape, you can feel free to experiment. However, there’s a catch. While the hairstyle may work for your face shape, it may not work for your hair type. Be specific with your stylist, explaining how your hair usually behaves in certain climates and in the morning, to figure out the best cut for you. If you want a low-maintenance style and are going for something that needs constant blow-drying to look “done,” just because it’s super trendy, you might want to reconsider.
What to Ask For: “As there is no need to balance the shape through a specific cutting technique, the focus can be on emphasizing the best features of each individual face, whether it’s the cheek bones, jawline, eyes, or other,” says Schult. Tell your stylist the feature you want to pop the very most.
For Heart Face Shapes:
What NOT to Do: Of the mistakes to avoid, bangs are your top priority. That’s not to say you can’t wear them–you’re just going to need to make sure they’re cut properly. “Heavy, short bangs that extend too far into the sides of the forehead make the top of the head look even wider,” says Schult. You’ll also need to watch angled bobs. “An exaggerated A-line bob that is longer in the front with wispy ends that point towards the chin [can] bring out the narrowness of the chin in an unflattering way,” she explains.
What to Ask For: Bring up Brigitte Bardot and her bangs at your next appointment. “For haircuts on a heart-shaped face, it’s important to add width to the the narrow/ lower part of the face and keep the upper part of the head narrow,” she says. “Heart-shaped faces often come with high cheekbones that can be beautifully accentuated with the right haircut.”
Ask for bangs where the shortest point is in the middle—Schult says they should be touching the “root of the nose”—and extending to each side in a slight diagonal. They should each end at the top of the cheekbone.
For Square Face Shapes:
What NOT to Do: When you have a square face shape, getting a blunt, graphic, or rather boxy haircut could be a mistake. “I often hear clients complain about hairlines that were left too heavy or layers that were cut very square- shaped. They feel that their haircuts make them look almost masculine and lack softness and femininity,” she says.
What to Ask For: Schult recommends asking for soft, wispy, or rounder layers and slight texture to take away attention from the squareness of the face. “One of my favorite haircuts for this face shape is a longer bob that just touches the collarbone with long layers and long side-swept bangs, preferably styled in light beachy waves,” she notes. “Although, there is a solution for every length as long as it’s not too blunt and hard-lined.”
For Triangle Face Shapes:
What NOT to Do: Stay away from haircuts that elongate the top of the head and the crown of the head, explains Schult. She also mentions to be weary of certain bobs, specifically that end at the chin, are narrow at the temple, and are wider around the chin. “Basically any shape that enhances the triangular shape of the face should be avoided. Sometimes clients with this face shape have a rather short forehead and special attention is required if they decide to cut bangs, as it can easily get too short and stick out,” she says.
What to Ask For: “Short haircuts can look great when the sides are left slightly longer and square-shaped to balance the narrowness of the upper part of the head,” notes Schult. “Techniques that draw the attention away from the jaw, such as layers towards the face, or longer ( below chin) angled bobs work very well for this face-shape.”