How to Figure Out Your Face Shape


So many people want to know what their face shape is.  Unfortunately, face shapes are not easy to define as most people’s faces don’t fit exactly into any specific shape.

The easiest way of figuring out your face shape is to pull all your hair off your face, and sitting in front of a mirror, get someone else to draw an outline of your face with a whiteboard marker.  You can then see a fairly good representation of your face shape.

The idea with finding flattering haircuts is to make your face appear Oval – so lengthen a shorter face, broaden  or shorten a longer narrow face, balance an unbalanced face.  In short, put the volume where you are narrowest. Shorten a longer face with a fringe/bangs.  Lengthen a shorter face with height at the crown, length and no or a side swept fringe.

The ‘standard’ face shapes are:

Oval –  length is 1.5 x  width, and curves gently at forehead and chin.  Think Kate Moss, Charlize Theron

For ideas on hairstyles for Oval faces

Round – length is less than 1.5 x width (more 1:1) and curves at forehead and chin.  Think Kirsten Dunst, Christina Ricci

Ideas for hairstyles for your round face

Square – length is less than 1.5 x width and has a square jaw and hairline.  Think Paris Hilton, Sandra Bullock, Demi Moore, Calista Flockhart

Ideas for hairstyles for your square face.

Rectangle – length is more than 1.5 x width, with square jaw and hairline.  Think Andie McDowell, Robin Wright Penn, Kate Hudson

Ideas for hairstyles for your rectangle face

Oblong – length is more than 1.5 x width, curved hairline and chin.  Think Sarah Jessica Parker, Chloe Sevigny,

Ideas for hairstyles for your oblong face

Diamond – length is around 1.5 x width, hairline is pointed as is chin (softer version of this is Hexagon).  Widest part of the face is cheekbones. Think Salma Blair, Liz Hurley

Ideas for hairstyles for your diamond face

Triangle/Teardrop – length and width more similar, but widest part of the face is the jawbone with a tapered hairline.  Think Jennifer Anniston

Ideas for hairstyles for your Triangle face

Heart/Inverted Triangle – broadest part of the face is the forehead with a narrow, pointed chin. Think Scarlett Johansen, Reece Witherspoon, Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Kylie Minogue

Ideas for hairstyles for your heart face

You may find that you fit two categories – square forehead, round chin – then you’re a half/half face shape.


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  • This could *not* have come at a better time as I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow afternoon. thanks!Now to just figure out which one I am. . .

  • This is not so easy. I`think´I have an oval head shape, slightly turning on the rectangle side, now when I´m at this certain age. What about the hair styles as you age? Most of the examples look good on young women. I strongly believe that there will come a time, when long hair needs to be cut or held on a bun in public. I myself fell comfortable in a style that is a bit longer than chin length but not touching the shoulders. Needs no fixing and is easy to gather on a small bun.

  • Hi Imogen! Thanks for this post…really needed it. But I can't seem to link to a page with hairstyles meant for rectangular face. Based on the descriptions, I think I have a rectangular face. I tried the link on this post and it just takes me to a list of styles for oblong faces.
    Thanks, TD

  • I am an 8 body with an oval face and I think there is another consideration -that ones hairstyle balances the body, a bit like wearing bootleg jeans to balance the hips

  • Hi Imogen! Thanks for this post…really needed it. But I can't seem to link to a page with hairstyles meant for rectangular face. Based on the descriptions, I think I have a rectangular face. I tried the link on this post and it just takes me to a list of styles for oblong faces.
    Thanks, TD

  • First of all, to Imogen… I just discovered your blog a couple of days ago and I’ve already read about half the articles on here… I love it!

    For everyone who commented that the link for “rectangle face” leads to a page about oblong faces… I also have a rectangle face, and I went to the site where the links lead thinking I might find info about rectangular faces. It isn’t there. There are articles about good hairstyles for oblong faces and for square faces, but not rectangular. But I think if you have a rectangular face like me, you can sort of combine the tips for square faces and oblong faces to come up with some good guidelines.

    I have discovered (through MUCH trial and error and years of styling my hair just like all my friends did, which was unfortunately not flattering on me at all) that the best thing I can do to balance out my very square jawline is to have some sort of assymetry in my haircut. I always part on the side rather than in the middle, and if I have bangs, they are always side-swept as opposed to hanging straight down. This assymetry breaks up and softens the squareness of my face and makes me look much more feminine.

    The article about oblong faces also says that it’s a bad idea to do styles that add a lot of volume on top, and I think this applies to rectangular faces too. Instead go for styles that add volume on the sides, such as looks with a lot of layers. This widens your face and makes it look more balanced.

    Finally, another thing I have realized is that my very square face means I just do not look good with all my hair pulled back off my face. When I pull all my hair straight back, in a tight pony or a ballerina bun, my face looks very square and un-feminine. I look much better with at least some hair falling over my face in an asymmetrical manner to soften the lines. So if I pull my hair back in a bun or updo, I leave some side-bangs out in the front. The same goes for headbands–If I wear a headband, I always leave my bangs out in front of it rather than pulled back in the headband.

    I hope this is helpful to any other rectangular-faced ladies out there. 🙂

    • Laura you’re exactly right – a rectangle is a combination of the length of an oblong and the sharpness of the square face – so combining the rules for both will get you a flattering haircut!

  • Okay, i’ve tried tons of methods to figure out my face shape, but i haven’t got any specific results. My forehead is narrower than my cheekbones and almost equal to my jaws. My forehead also appears to be shorter than the rest of my face and my chin is slightly pointed. The length of my face is 21 cm and width is about 22.2 cm. Can you please help determine my face shape?

  • Here’s my problem: I am 60+ and I have a double chin. I would love to wear a hat, but want something that doesn’t emphasize my bags under my eyes and my double chin. I look at these 30-somethings, and 40+’s and don’t see my age reflected. If this is a blog for our age group, why use the younger models? I mean, they are a clear cut example of the shape of one’s face, but not a good example of what to look for when one has age on their face

  • Thank you for making body and face shapes so clear!! And also style, color analysis etc…Before I always remained a bit confused and unsure, no matter how much ‘research’ I did and how much I observed myself. Using different sources gave different outcomes. But when I come to your blog it get’s crystal clear, doubt disappears and I know the info to be correct. It’s also easy to understand. No more guessing, what a relief!

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