The hairstyle you wear and the look it produces are two very different things. After all, a person’s hair is not the sole basis of what people consider as “looks”. The multiple elements of one’s appearance must come together to create an effective, harmonious style.
Stylists will cut hair according to what every client happens to ask for, but it is up to the clients to learn and ask for the proper style, specifically when it comes to adapting a hairstyle to the shape of one’s face.
The following are four of the most common face shapes, their subtypes, and the hairstyles that go with them, courtesy of InStyle:
Short: A pixie cut with spiky layers. “If you’re going to go short, go short all the way,” celebrity hairstylist Garren notes. This cut not only adds height, but it also lengthens your face and emphasizes your eyes.
Medium: A long, collarbone-skimming bob. Garren describes this cut as a way of counterbalancing the circular shape of one’s face while giving structure.
Long: Long, staggered layers. This is an effective way of scattering light, diverting the appearance of fullness away from the sides and towards the ends.
Short: A pixie cut with choppy layers. Instructors from the Collectiv Academy note the importance of minimizing the emphasis on the forehead; something the choppy layers do excellently.
Medium: A uniform, collarbone-length crop with sweeping bangs. If you’re looking to draw more attention away from your chin instead of your forehead, this will do. Just remember to up that volume.
Long: Long layers with curly sections and full bangs. If prominent jaws are the issue, curls will offset some of the focus. Garren warns, however, against just wearing a “heavy, motionless curtain of hair.”
Short: A short, layered bob with subtle bangs. With a quick pass of a flat iron, you can bring focus to your cheekbones instead of your jawline.
Medium: Light, shoulder-length layers with sweeping bangs. “The airy ends prevent the eye from noticing any sharp corners,” says Garren. He advises parting the side for an asymmetrical effect.
Long: Collarbone-skimming strands with slight bangs that hit at the cheekbone. It is easy to be simplistic when it comes to long hair, but Garren says all you need are some layers, ringlets, or curls around the ends.
Completing the ensemble of hairstyles and face shapes is simple enough, as long as both you and your stylist know what works for you.