Wondering how to choose the best hairstyle for your face? We asked an expert for advice
By Chere Di Boscio
A new season means a new style, and there’s no better way to get one than through a new haircut.
But knowing how to choose the best hairstyle for your face isn’t easy. After all, it’s pretty easy to get used to how you look right now. Imagining a different style is tough, and if you’re like me, even the slightest change at the hairdresser’s can make you feel odd every time you look in the mirror. What’s more, we’re also often easily seduced by a gorgeous haircut we see on someone else – but that wouldn’t really suit us at all.
For a bit of guidance, we asked Pureology Artistic Director, Jamie Wiley, for tips on how to choose the best hairstyle for your face, but also the best hair shades for your skin and eye colour.
Ready to renovate your look? Read on!
How To Choose The Best Hairstyle For Your Face & Other Expert Tips
What’s the best hairstyle for different face shapes?
Matching your haircut to your face shape is incredibly important! No one wants to accentuate a round face with a round haircut, or a long face with a long haircut pulling your entire face down with it. Here are my personal thoughts, but if you have a trusted hairdresser, I’d recommend also consulting your hairstylist to know which face shape and unique facial features best suit your cut and style choice.
How can we know what our face shape is, exactly?
It’s pretty easy:
- Oval: The length of the face is around 1.5 x the width. Your forehead measurement is wider than your chin. Usually oval faces have prominent cheekbones. Oval faces can pretty much wear any hairstyle.
- Round: Round faces are about or just as wide as they are long. This face type is the widest at the cheeks.
- Oblong: Oblong faces are longer than they are wide. Their forehead, cheekbones, and jawline are about the same width. Oblong faces tend to have a prominent chin.
- Heart: Heart shaped faces are similar to an oval, but they have wider cheekbones and foreheads, and narrower, more pointed chins.
- Square: The most important factor in a square face shape is the jawline. This is normally very angular and squared.
- Diamond: Here, the cheekbone measurements are the widest. The forehead and jawline will be smaller and about equal widths.
What specific hairstyles do you recommend for different face shapes?
Oval/oblong – Try blunt bobs above the shoulder to ‘cut’ the length of the face. For something longer, aim for the clavicle and incorporate subtle layers. Also sideswept bangs work best for this shape and sleek hairstyles.
Image: Rex Features
Square – Have strong angled jaws and their foreheads and cheekbones are usually the same width. Offsetting these features with short subtle bangs that hit at the cheekbones, straight hair with longer layers or soft wispy side swept bangs.
Image: @paulinaporiskov on Instagram
Round – This is when the face has the same width and length. A textured long bob or deep side parts helps to lessen the roundness.
Image: @bella.hue.co on Instagram
Heart shaped– A shoulder length bob is a great option. Alternatively, wear your hair longer and have layers that flow from the collarbone out. Adding in looser waves and a side part will balance a heart shaped face nicely as well.
Diamond– This shape has the forehead and the jawline at the same width. So a blunt bob that ends at a feature you want to emphasise, such as your lips or chin, works great! If you are going for a fringe, look try long side swept bangs which is a great option for this shape.
Image: @nyane Instagram
How important is it to coordinate hair colour to eye colour?
Eye colour can play a role in deciding what hair colour and tone to lean towards when dyeing your hair. Your eyes can be warm or cool. If you take a photo in natural light, you will see tiny ‘flecks’ of colour. Are they warm (gold) or cool (silvery) in tone? This will lean you more towards which tone of blonde, brunette, or red that will accentuate and bring out your eyes rather than fight against them.
Blue eyes – You want to make those eyes pop as much as possible! So for blonde hair, lean towards cooler blondes, beiges and wheat tones.
Image: @gracie.hayden Instagram
Green eyes – These are the rarest eyes of them all! You really can’t go wrong when you’re blessed with green eyes, but choosing a shade that is complementary will enhance them. So think black, copper, chocolate browns, and autumnal red-brown tones.
Dark brown eyes – You’ll want to see if you are cooler or warmer in tone under natural light. Cooler dark brown will look beautiful with dark ashy tones while warmer dark browns will match golden, auburn and copper hues.
Image: @jasmineli.x Instagram
Light brown eyes – You’ll want to bring out the golden hues, so copper, butterscotch, gold or sand highlights will make the light brown eyes look really gorgeous. Shy away from cooler colours, because these could make your eyes look sallow.
Image: @gina.moves.you Instagram
Hazel eyes – These are a bit warmer than green eyes. Hazel eyes are best paired with rich warm tones like honey and toffee.
Image: @lucyhale Instagram
How can we choose the right hair dye shade for our skin tone?
Rules for choosing the right hair dye are usually in line with the eye colour rules, above. But not always!
Whether you have a light, medium or dark skin tone, choosing a hair color should be looked at how cool, neutral or warm your skin tone is. Cool toned skin has blue, pink and sometimes red undertones. While warm toned skin has gold, yellow and peach undertones. If you are neutral your undertones match your skin tone!
Finding your undertones is easy! Look at your wrist and see your veins. If they are blue or purple, you are cool. If they are yellow or green, then you have warm undertones.
Fair skin tone – If you have fair skin with cool undertones then cool blonde shades like platinum look best on you. Fair skin with warm undertones then you want to move towards copper red or strawberry blonde.
Image: @maggiemh Instagram
Medium skin tone – If you have medium skin with cool undertones think sand, wheat, beige, and cinnamon. Medium skin tone with warm undertones think bronde, butterscotch, copper, and golden reds.
Image: @maggiemh Instagram
Olive skin tone – If you have cool undertones, move into the carmels, honeys, mocha. While olive skin with warm undertones should stick with chestnuts and chocolates.
Image: @shaymitchell Instagram
Deep skin tones – If you see cool undertones, think dark espresso and deep violet shades. Deep skin tones with warm undertones look best in carmel, toffee and mahogany.
Finally, how can we choose the right hairstyle for different types of hair textures?
Fine hair tends to ‘fly away’, should avoid too many layers. Consider getting a chemical wave or root lift applications to add volume. Also, using a light mousse will lift up your hair, especially when paired with the correct blow-drying technique. For fine hair, look for hairstyles with minimum graduation, such as bob cuts and wedges.
Medium hair can wear almost any style. If you would like a look with less thick hair, razor cut styles should be considered. On the other hand, if you would like to thicken your hair, blunt cutting and minimum graduation cuts should be applied.
Coarse hair is perfect for styling into any shape you like. Think: sleek pixie cuts, bobs or waves. But if you’ve got loads of coarse hair, that can be a bit tougher! You can reduce high density hair by using techniques like razor cutting or slicing (not recommended on curly hair). If your hair is curly, chemical straightening will take away about 50% of your hair density.
No matter what your hair texture may be, you’ll need some good non-toxic styling products. My go-to stylers are Smooth Perfection Smoothing Lotion (for fine to medium hair types) and Smoothing Serum (for coarser hair types) to eliminate frizz while air drying. Then pair with Beach Waves Sugar Spray to give your hair movement in its natural texture.
Credits for the three pics above here.