How To Choose A Haircut For Your Face Shape, From Bobs To Bangs & Barrel Curls

By Ashleigh Cometti
Model Roxie Mohebbi shines in a custom wig completed with a choppy fringe, created by hairstylist Danny Pato. Photo / Mara Sommer

Stuck in a hair rut? Try one of these face-flattering styles next time you’re in the chair.

Admit it — at one point in time, you’ve wanted to offer your hairstylist free rein , entrusting their capable hands to snip, trim and feather your hair into submission.

The former is

Of course, your chosen hairstylist is the expert when it comes to tailoring a bespoke cut that enhances your best features, but if you want to do a little research ahead of your appointment, then allow us to offer up a handful of helpful tips.

Searching for styles to suit you will often present you with options geared towards particular face shapes. While you’re free to choose whatever style you please, having a steer on styles that bring out your best features can make all the difference.

International session stylist and colourist Sky Cripps-Jackson ( says the majority of haircuts are universally flattering.

And when it comes to creating a style to suit them, she prefers to consider a client’s hair texture and attitude towards their hair instead before she reaches for her scissors.

“I think most haircuts can suit all face shapes but it’s about understanding what works with your hair texture and the realities of your lifestyle relative to how you style your hair,” she says.

Below, we spoke to Sky for her hot take on how to select a haircut and style that makes you feel like whoever you want to be.

How Can You Determine Your Face Shape?

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to hairstyles suiting face shapes, rather the right cut for you is the one that highlights your favourite features (and makes you feel amazing).

If this still sounds a little vague, there are a few guidelines you can follow to a) figure out your face shape, and b) settle on a new hairstyle that suits you beautifully.

According to Sky, the easiest way to establish which face shape yours belongs to is to make a date with your mirror.

“I am very visual, so I tend to look at the sharpest points of the jawline, temples and chin, then mentally connect the dots,” she says.

Generally speaking, most face shapes fall into one of five categories — round, oval, long, heart-shaped, or square.

Sky says not to hesitate to ask a professional for their two cents if you’re still feeling stuck. “If it is not obvious to you, take a look online or ask your hair or makeup professional,” she adds.

Styles Worth Trying

Long layers and a sweeping side part as seen on Reese Witherspoon. Photo / Supplied
Long layers and a sweeping side part as seen on Reese Witherspoon. Photo / Supplied

Heart-Shaped Face

Highlight beautiful bone structure with styles that romanticise your face shape — including voluminous, sweeping bangs which will draw attention to eyes and cheekbones, or face-framing layers. Curl these down and away from your face to balance out proportions between your chin and forehead.

Hilary Swank shines with choppy bangs. Photo / Supplied
Hilary Swank shines with choppy bangs. Photo / Supplied

Long Face

Think long hair, long face — ultra-long hair can serve to elongate your face further, while shorter styles with lots of volume can create shape. Long faces suit a multitude of styles, including soft waves and loose barrel curls. If you’re tempted to try bangs, you’re in luck — they can shorten a high forehead and pull focus towards the eyes.

Jourdan Dunn has pulled off many hairstyles during her years as a model, including this cheekbone-grazing cut. Photo / Supplied
Jourdan Dunn has pulled off many hairstyles during her years as a model, including this cheekbone-grazing cut. Photo / Supplied

Oval Face

Oval faces tend to suit nearly every hairstyle, so if you’re struggling to choose, consider your hair texture and lifestyle when choosing your cut. From choppy shags and spiky pixie cuts, to ultra-long or heavily layered, oval face shapes can don all manner of on-trend or timeless cuts. Volume on either side can add width and proportion to ovals.

Chrissy Teigen's long layers and centre part help create balance. Photo / Supplied
Chrissy Teigen's long layers and centre part help create balance. Photo / Supplied

Round Face

If you want to create height and length to a round face shape, look to cuts that finish below your chin, especially if your hair is curly or wavy. Consider wearing long layers in a centre part, try a long bob, or if you do want to go short, pick a style with a lot of fullness through the top.

Olivia Wilde's eyes pop against a blunt fringe. Photo / Supplied
Olivia Wilde's eyes pop against a blunt fringe. Photo / Supplied

Square Face

Characterised by an angular jaw, square face shapes look beautiful with soft styles like side-swept bangs and shoulder-length hair. Tousled bobs are another excellent option, especially when cut in with wispy layers or volume at the crown to soften the edges of the face.

Can Changing Your Parting Give The Illusion Of A Different Face Shape?

Short answer: absolutely.

Where you position your parting is a game-changer when it comes to enhancing your features, Sky says.

“Switching up a parting changes the weight distribution of your hair, which can enhance your jawline or soften your forehead, bringing attention to other features like your eyes or cheekbones,” she explains.

“It can also allow you to experiment with different face framing details; layers, bangs, slightly asymmetric lengths.”

How Can Bangs Highlight The Best Features Of Your Face?

Step away from the scissors — despite what TikTok is telling you, you should not be cutting your own bangs.

To determine the shape and style of bangs that will suit you best, first consider your hair texture and the shape of your forehead, Sky says.

“I first look at hair texture, then at the depth of your forehead from eyebrows to hairline and width of your forehead from temple to temple,” she says.

“From there you can determine what fringe thickness and width suits you best. Like for example square face shapes often suit square, blunt bangs but if your forehead is smaller or your hair is curly you might want to soften it a bit at the sides, so you get the illusion of something blunt and strong but without feeling “chunky” at the edges.”

Your hair colour is also a factor in which bangs to chop in, as is your styling preference or how you like to do your makeup.

“A person with a rounder face shape might want to play up their eyes or hide behind their fringe to bring focus to a strong lip detail,” she says but is quick to add it would be remiss of her to make fixed face shape rules when it comes to bangs, or any haircut for that matter.

“What I’m really trying to say is do your thing – establish what about your face or look that you want to play on the most, and design your hair to sit around that,” she says.

“If what you want is a strong fringe, there are often ways to make it work if you are willing to put the time and effort into styling it.”

The Bottom Line

The secret to wearing your haircut well is to select one that makes you feel like whoever you want to be, Sky says. Rather than being bound to what the beauty industry says is flattering, carrying yourself with confidence trumps everything. The reality is this: most on-trend hairstyles suit a multitude of face shapes.

So, if you’ve found a cut you love, work with your stylist to figure out how that style can be adapted slightly to suit you best and make you feel a million dollars.

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