What is my Face Shape?
Face shape is important because the secret to finding the best hair style for your face shape is harmony. The ideal, in the sense of balance, is the oval face. Hair styles should frame your face so that it approximates an oval to provide balance whether it is naturally long, round, square, oval, heart or diamond shaped. Of course your natural face shape is just as it should be, the point is to avoid a style that will accentuate a feature all out of proportion, like a flat-top on a square head. Facial hair styles for oval faces.
An oval approximates the Golden Ratio, which we perceive as harmonious because we see it everywhere in nature.
Having said that, there have been times across history and culture where other face shapes were preferred. During the European Renaissance, when intelligence was valued and women were very active in society, women would pluck their hairlines so their foreheads appeared high and wide in comparison to their chins to achieve a heart shaped face. Conversely, during the English Victorian Era when women’s role in western society was significantly eroded more infantile rounded faces were 'the look’.
Over the last few years the trend in men’s hair is for a square, or even rectangular, more angular appearance, reflected not just in haircuts but also in beards and longer sideburns. Contrast this with goatee from the 1990s that accentuated the chin, rather than the jaw, for a softer more heart shaped appearance.
Discover my face shape
To determine your face shape is simple and quick. We are only looking at relative lengths so you can just use a piece of string if you don’t have a tape measure, just mark the lengths on a piece of paper, or on the string itself.
Measure the width of your head at its widest point.
If the length is 1.5 times the width or greater, and the sides of your face look straight (no rounded or prominent cheekbones) you have a long face shape.
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Measure the width of your head at your cheekbones.
Are they all about equal? If so you will have either a round or a square face.
A square face will have angular features, particularly the jaw. Also the length of a square face can be between 1 and 1.5 times the width, a round face will tend towards same width and shape.
Was your forehead the widest? Does your face narrow down towards your jaw? You have a heart shaped face.
Is your forehead only slightly wider than your jaw? If so is the length you previously measured between 1 and 1.5 times the width? Is your jaw more rounded than square? Congratulations, you have an oval face, select any hairstyle you like or even shave your head bald, you’ll still look in proportion.
Were you widest in the cheekbones? Narrower in the forehead and jaw? You have a diamond shaped face. This is quite a common shape.
So now you know your face shape. But wait, there's more...
Profile Shape - Convex or Concave?
You also need to consider whether your face is convex or concave. Again the aim is balance, this time in profile, so we can achieve harmony.
Here are some pictures to demonstrate convex and concave faces.
Barbra Streisand has a convex face. The queen of working with what you've got to look fabulous. She often wears a fringe or otherwise frames her face, and bulks up the top of her head with up-dos, hair pieces and hats.
Sarah Michelle Gellar has a convex and round face. Despite being just perfectly cute, she uses layers and other face framing methods to give a little more structure to her face.
Reese Witherspoon and Drew Barrymore are good examples of concave faces. Notice how rarely they have a fringe over their forehead and avoid styles that add any bulk over their forehead, or that draw attention to their chin area.
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Finally I want to show you a couple of photos of Halle Berry. I have seen her cited as an example of an oval face and as an heart shaped face, but that is just a testament to her hair stylist. Take a look at the photo of her with her hair slicked back, she clearly has a diamond shaped face - and lucky for us that means we may be seeing a lot more of her natural hair texture!
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