A new haircut is just what you need to freshen up your style. Going shorter, getting bangs, or adding layers can flatter your face and update your look. If you’re wondering “What haircut should I get?” then this is the guide for you. Read on to learn how to pick your next style.
- What Haircut Should I Get?
- Finding Your Face Shape
- Best Haircuts for All Face Types
- Tips on Picking a Haircut
What Haircut Should I Get?
As women, our hair is one of the most versatile and changeable things about our appearance. Every time you go to get a haircut, you have an opportunity to stick to the status quo or reinvent your look.
Most of us find ourselves stressing out over one question before we head to the salon: What haircut should I get?
Personally, I tend to stress over the specifics. Should I go shorter or keep growing my hair out? Would a long bob look okay on me? Will I regret it if I get bangs? Do I need layers to frame my face? What’s the best haircut for my face shape?
The whole process of planning for a new haircut can be overwhelming because there are literally endless haircut options to choose from. But there’s a way to make it easier.
It starts by narrowing down your choices using your face shape. From there, you can see all the haircut options that will flatter your face and choose the one you like best.
In this guide, we’re going to walk through the process by helping you identify your face shape, note the haircut features you should consider and those you should avoid, and offer tips on choosing a cut you’ll absolutely love.
We’ll be showing you gorgeous examples of haircuts for each face shape so you can get some inspiration for your new ‘do.
- Learn what your face shape is
- See what haircuts are flattering for your face shape
- Find the haircuts you should avoid
- See haircut inspiration photos for your face shape
- Get tips on choosing your next haircut
Ready to get inspired? Let’s go!
Looking for mens’ haircut ideas instead? Check out our guide for men: What Haircut Should I Get? For Men
Identify Your Face Shape
Finding a flattering haircut you’ll love starts with identifying your face shape. In general, there are 4 basic face shapes: Oval, round, square, and heart.
There are a lot of similarities between some of the face shapes, which can make it challenging to determine which one best describes your face.
Your face shape takes the shape, width, and length of the following features into account:
- Face length and width
- Jawline shape
Finding out your face shape before choosing which haircut you should get is essential. Picking a haircut that is wrong for your face shape can make you look heavier, hide your favorite features, and highlight features you’d rather hide.
You’ll be in for a series of bad hair days if you don’t take your face shape into consideration. What do you say we skip all that and find out your face shape so you can pick the most flattering haircut?
The oval (or diamond) face shape is the most balanced. It is slightly longer than it is wide. The forehead and jawline are nearly equal in width and are somewhat narrow. You won’t see sharp angles around the jawline or chin in the oval face shape. Typically, the jaw and chin are slightly rounded.
Kim Kardashian, Tyra Banks, and Jessica Alba are all examples of celebrities with the oval face shape.
The round face shape, like the oval, doesn’t have a lot of sharp angles. It is about as wide as it is long. If you have a round face, your cheekbones will be the widest part of your face and your forehead and jawline will be slightly narrower.
If you typically have an oval, square, or heart face shape, weight gain can fill out the face and cause it to become more round. In that case, choose a hairstyle for round faces.
Selena Gomez, Mila Kunis, and Emma Stone are all examples of celebrities with the round face shape.
The square face shape is sharp and angular. The jawline will be roughly equal in width to the cheekbones and forehead. Square faces, like round faces, are about as wide as they are long.
If you have a squared-off jawline and your face is longer than it is wide, you’d consider it a rectangle face shape – but haircuts for square faces still apply.
Renee Zellweger, Jennifer Aniston, and Katie Holmes are all examples of celebrities with the square face shape.
The heart (or triangle) face shape is widest at the top (forehead and cheekbones) and narrower at the chin. The jawline is typically angular in heart-shaped faces with a pointy chin. Heart faces can look very similar to oval faces, but the pointed, narrow chin is what sets it apart.
Reese Witherspoon, Mary Kate Olsen, and Zooey Deschanel all have the heart face shape.
What Haircut Should I Get?
Once you’ve looked over the 4 basic face shapes and their features, you have a good idea of what your face shape is. Now, how can we use that to find the most flattering haircut?
Choosing a haircut according to your face shape involves highlighting your best features while downplaying or balancing out others.
Now that you know what your face shape is, take a look at the examples of haircuts that suit each face shape below. We’ve found short, medium, and long options for each.
Best Haircuts for Oval Faces
You’re lucky if you have an oval face shape – nearly every length, part placement, and haircut is flattering on you. But oval faces tend to look best with a middle part and styles that keep the hair off the forehead to show off that natural symmetry and balance.
Hide nothing and highlight your best features with a bold, short cut like this. Longer, side-swept bangs keep the look feminine and soft while tapered sides keep the volume concentrated on top.
Middle parts are always a good choice for oval faces because they show off the natural symmetry of the face. This blunt cut is shoulder length, just grazing the collarbone, and perfectly flatters an oval face.
Oval faces look gorgeous with a side part and longer locks that end in pretty waves. Here, the hair is curled from the midshaft downward, which could lengthen the face. But the boost of volume on top keeps the face balanced and symmetrical.
Best Haircuts for Round Faces
Haircuts that flatter round faces are all about downplaying the width of the face while playing up the cheekbones. Certain cuts can also visually lengthen the face, which helps a round face take on a more oval appearance.
This sassy short cut is perfect for round faces because it highlights those striking cheekbones and hits right above the chin. Since the hair is slightly shorter than the chin, it has the effect of making the face look longer (more oval than round).
Wispy bangs perfectly frame a round face. They obscure the forehead so the face shape more closely resembles an oval than a circle. When the length hits just below the collarbone, it draws the eye downward to lengthen the face further.
A long, flowing hairstyle can look amazing on round faces. Especially if you opt for structured waves and an off-center part. This conceals the widest part of your face – the cheekbones – and visually lengthens the face.
Best Haircuts for Square Faces
Haircuts for women with square faces usually focus on minimizing or softening the strong jawline. Curls, waves, layers, and bangs are all great ways to make any length look amazing on a square face shape.
Ladies with square faces can easily rock short hair, and it looks best when you keep some volume and length up top. The messy quiff hairstyle shown here draws the eye upward. The soft, tousled waves in the front soften and downplay the angular jawline for a perfectly balanced look.
Shoulder-length hair looks great on square face shapes, especially with a slightly off-center part and curls. The curls soften the sharp angles of a square face while the slightly-longer-than-shoulder length helps make the face look longer and leaner.
Square faces can take on a boxy look with the wrong haircut, but wearing it long with layers and a middle part offsets the angles for a softer, more balanced look. Layers should start around the jawline for the best effect.
Best Haircuts for Heart Faces
Heart faces have a youthful look thanks to the smaller jaw and chin areas. Haircuts that are best suited for heart faces are those that downplay the width of the forehead to give the face a more balanced shape. Bangs, side parts, and loose waves are all great options for heart faces.
A heavy, blunt-cut bang is just what a heart shape face needs to wear a bold short cut like this bob. The hair is slightly longer than the chin to create the illusion of a longer face. Curving the ends under also softens a sharp, narrow chin.
A shoulder-grazing, layered cut like this one softens the angular chin and adds a little volume where the face naturally narrows. A soft bang that hits at the cheekbones gives the cut a little more structure and opens up your styling options.
Long hair on heart faces should be parted to the side to better balance the facial features out. A cascade of waves and layers that start around the chin level help it flatter a heart shape. Lots of volume lends the face a more oval look.
Tips for Choosing Your Next Haircut
You now know whether you have an oval, round, square, or heart shaped face. You’ve seen examples of flattering short, medium, and long haircuts for your face shape.
If you’re still feeling unsure about which cut to choose, check out these tips to zero in on the cut that’s perfect for you!
Keep maintenance in mind. Every haircut will eventually grow out and require a trim, but some haircuts are more maintenance-heavy than others. Super-short cuts require more frequent trims because the growth is much more noticeable.
Shoulder-length cuts quickly venture into the long category without a monthly or bi-monthly trim. Make sure you know how much maintenance your chosen cut will require before you get into the stylist’s chair!
Consider your natural hair texture and shape. Your hair’s natural texture and shape have a lot to do with deciding which cut you should get. Your hair might be pin-straight or wildly curly, fine or coarse, or thin or dense.
Don’t pick a cut that will require you to fight your hair’s natural state on a daily basis! Work with your texture and shape, not against it. If a cut will require that you straighten or curl your hair every day, it’s not the best option for you.
You can work with your stylist to help find a cut that flatters and makes the most of your hair’s texture and shape. It’ll be so much easier to care for and style!
Plan your styling options out. How many times have you gotten a new, beautiful haircut only to realize it’s too short or layered to do your favorite hairstyles? Make sure you know how you’ll be able to style your new cut before you get it done.
If you’re going much shorter, find out if it will still be long enough to pull into a ponytail or use your flat iron on. If you’re getting layers, will your favorite braids or half-updos still work?
If you’re making a drastic change, research some cute styles for your new length that you can try. Thinking of your styling options ahead of time will save you a lot of stress after your cut.
Know which features you want to show off or downplay. No one knows your face as well as you do – as well as the features you love and hate. If you know going in that you want to show off your eyes, cheekbones, strong jaw, or nose, start your haircut search with that in mind.
Make sure to tell your stylist what you’re going for. They will be able to recommend some slight changes to a haircut that help highlight your best features or minimize your least favorites.