Celebrity stylist Melissa Dezarate tells us everything we need to know.
Like most things that pertain to aesthetics (fashion, interior design, landscaping), menâ€™s haircuts are all about shape, angles, and proportion. But, as hairstylist Savannah St. Jean notes, you want to take height into account, which can drastically change a face shape. "Youâ€™ll want to be aware of just how much length you leave on top," she says.
Most people tend to choose a haircut that accentuates their best assets or helps bring balance to their overall appearance. One of the most effective ways to do this is to determine your face shape.
Figuring it out is pretty easyâ€”take note of the angles and contours of your face to see whether your face is more square, round, etc. Once you've determined what shape your face is, use the tips below from celebrity stylists St. Jean and Melissa Dezarate to find out which haircuts are best-suited for you.
Meet the Expert
â€¢ Melissa Dezarate is a professional hairstylist specializing in men's hair who splits her time between the East and West coasts. Her celebrity clientele includes Sam Heughan, Ben Platt, Lucas Hedges, and Henry Golding.
â€¢ Savannah St. Jean is a beauty expert and Savannah Rae Beauty owner in Miramar Beach, Florida.
Diamond: Textured Crop
On a diamond-shaped face, the cheekbones are the widest part. That means the forehead measurement and jawline measurement are both smaller than the cheekbones. These faces tend to have high, defined cheekbones and more pointed chins. The length of the face is also the longest measurement of the four.
"You want more length on the sides to build up a â€¦ square shape,â€ says Dezarate, like the textured crop seen on Ryan Gosling.
Stephen Lovekin / Staff
Miguel's pompadour-mohawk hybrid helps add volume to the top of the head for balance with a well-groomed beard.
Diamond: Center-Part With Length
Johnny Depp's wide jaw is balanced by his long, center-parted 'do. A subtle mustache helps draw the eye toward the center of the face.
Diamond: Side Swept
Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor's ear-length hair looks great when it's swept dramatically to the side. Those with facial hair, take note: If your end game is to make your jaw look wider, keep the volume between your jaw and chin to make the transition less angular and more oval.
Diamond: Long Shag
Jared Leto's long, shaggy tresses are ideal for those with a diamond-shaped face and angular features. Keep ends well-trimmed and add a few face-framing layers to highlight the jawline further.
Those with a diamond-shaped face would be wise to opt for a taper over a skin fade. Ricky Martin's tapered cut shows off his face perfectly.
Diamond: High-Top Flip
Adam Levine's hairâ€”longer on top and shorter on the sidesâ€”is combed into a sleek, high-top flip. The key for this look is a pomade that will offer hold without stiffness. We like Ouai Matte Pomade ($24) to achieve this style.
Diamond: Long and Sleek
Robert Pattinson's avant-garde length is great for those unsure of how to style longer locks. Here, the key is to take sections of straightened hair, styling them in various directions for an artful result.
Like a rectangle face, the length of an oval face is the longest measurement. However, the forehead's measurement is longer than the jaw, which gives it a less angular and softer appearance. Oval faces tend to have less square jawlines. Jake Gyllenhaal's crewcut is classic and sophisticated and looks great on an oval-shaped face, particularly with a couple of days' worth of facial hair.
Oval: Shaved Sides
The good news is that â€œoval faces can essentially wear any haircut,â€ says Dezarate. "But you shouldnâ€™t go too high with the length on top because then it stretches your face out. Oval faces can actually rock a shaved head really easily.â€ Here, Maluma keeps extra length on top, with the sides fully shaved.
Oval: Textured Lineup With Beard
Khalid balances out the oval shape by putting increased emphasis on his facial hair. His lineup is kept neat at the hairline, with increased texture on top of the head.
Beard bonus: Keep your beard tight to the face to accentuate your oval shape without extending it.
Jay-Z's classic oval-shaped face is highlighted by a shaved head of hair. Here, it's kept long enough so that you can still see his hairline (kept neat in a line-up shape).
Oval: Tousled Texture
Jude Law's tousled hair is kept longer on the top, so it's easier to style. Use a matte putty (with the fingers) to keep hair styled but still casual. We recommend Pete & Pedro Hair Putty ($19).
Oval: Mature Fade
Idris Elba's fade is classic without being at all trendy. For the most flattering fade, ask your barber to gradually blend it into a longer length, moving towards the top of your head.
Round: Shaved With Goatee
The length and cheekbone measurements are almost the same on round faces, with the forehead and jawline measurements lining up closely. Unlike a square face, though, a round face's angles are softer, and the cheeks are usually fuller. To carve out more of a chin, those with a round face can balance a bald head with a bit of a beard or goatee, Ã¡ la Omar Epps.
Round: High and Tight
Round faces tend to be well-balanced with structured cuts. â€œGenerally, that means tight around the sides and more length on top,â€ says Dezarate, like Henry Golding's high and tight. With this style, the hair on the back and sides of the head is shaved closer to the skin, while the top is slightly faded.
Kanye West's fade is ideal for showing off his round face. As for facial hair, cutting your beard short on the sides and longer on the chin can elongate the face and create a stronger looking jawline.
Leonardo DiCaprio's slicked-back look is his go-to formal style, and with good reason. It helps highlight his face, and it looks suave no matter what.
Round: Lots of Volume
"Round face shapes are best suited by cuts with a lot of height," says St. Jean. Adding plenty of volume to the top of the head (as seen here on actor Ross Butler) gives the appearance of a longer, leaner face. Use a shine spray to keep hair manageable and glossy.
Kunal Nayyar's natural curls help highlight his round, youthful face. The longer sideburns add an almost 1970s-esque look.
Triangle: High and Spiked
Keeping the sides short and adding volume to the top of the head helps balance a triangle-shaped face, in which the jaw measurement is wider than the forehead and cheekbones. This balance works particularly well on Zac Efron, highlighting his very defined jawline.
The pompadour is all about styling, with hair swept up and back over the head while the sides are combed neatly. "You will want to keep the sides tapered pretty tight," says St. Jean.
Triangle: Textured Fade
Those with triangle-shaped faces can opt for a textured fade or a taper, like the one seen here on actor Elijah Kelley. â€œYou want more length on the top and sides,â€ says Dezarate. â€œIf itâ€™s too short, it [can] give you a pointed effect, like a conehead. It needs a little more hair to balance it out.â€
If you're wondering about facial hair, go clean-shaven or keep stubble short so your sharp jaw can shine.
Triangle: Bleached Buzz
A blonde buzz can mimic a shaved head, with the added benefit of a little texture (and plenty of personality, as seen on Jaden Smith). Here, Smith's eyebrows are kept naturally dark for a modern look.
Oblong: Buzzed Sides
Also referred to as a rectangle shape, the length measurement is the largest on oblong faces. The other three measurements (forehead, cheekbones, and chin) are all similar lengths. This means that the face can have a long, lean appearance, especially if your jaw angles are square.
â€œIf you have an angular face, you [may] want to soften the angles,â€ says Dezarate. â€œSo leave a little more length on the sides, so itâ€™s not all one shape.â€ Think Zayn Malik's high volume up top paired with closely-cropped, buzzed sides.
Oblong: Side Part
Keeping more length on the sides will help bring balance to your overall appearance. Think Chris Pine's classic side part. "A style that's tight on the back and sides with a little length on the topâ€”styled with a side part to add some playâ€”suits long and oblong face shapes," notes St. Jean.
Oblong: Grown-Out Fade
Cameron Dallas' grown-out is longer on top, with bleached ends. The look is casual and cool, made all the better with a good styling cream.
Actor Algee Smith demonstrates that cornrows can expertly show off the contours of an oblong face. Conditioning before braiding is essential, so spray on a detangling leave-in conditioner after washing and conditioning. We like Unite 7Seconds Detangler ($30).
To keep cornrows protected at night, wear a silk scarf while sleeping.
Oblong: High-Top Curls
Actor Khleo Thomas carves out a more defined jawline by balancing his high-top curls with a wide goatee and mustache.
Oblong: Swept Up With Sideburns
Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen looks dapper with his swept-up look. The sideburns help balance the look and widen his narrow face.
Oblong: Short and Natural
Handmaids Tale actor O. T. Fagbenle highlights his short curls by keeping the sides of his head super-short. The addition of some stubble on the face helps keep things casual.
Oblong: Natural Waves
Actor Dev Patel's natural waves are cool and casual, even on the red carpet. Adding hair to the faceâ€”via a mustache, sideburns, and a beardâ€”helps widen the face, so it looks less oblong.
Square: Volume On Top
A square face is basically a round face, but with sharper angles. All four measurements are fairly similar, meaning your face's length and width are pretty much the same. Unlike a round face, the cheekbones and jawline are usually defined. Here, Rami Malek's voluminous hair, and lack of facial hair, help keep the attention on his strong jawline.
Square: Bouncy Curls
Bouncy curls can be a great contrast to a sharp, square jawline, as seen on Bruno Mars here (sunglasses optional, but encouraged).
â€œA square jaw and a square hair shape is very masculine, and those with the shape can wear almost any cut,â€ says Dezarate, adding that bangs can shorten the face (which you may or may not want, depending on your endgame). On Michael B. Jordan, the short, horizontally straight-cut bangs of his close-cropped Caesar flatters his face. The addition of facial hair helps add further balance.
Square: Classic Short Cut With Beard
Actor Sebastian Stan's classic short cut is slightly longer on top, so it's ideal for styling. Use a styling paste like Drybar Whiskey Fix ($27) to keep hair in place.
Actor Charles Melton's long, shiny locks are slightly tousled and kept a bit longer, so you can see his natural curls.
A sulfate-free shampoo and leave-in conditioner will keep frizz at bay, while hydrating curls.
Square: Lineup Fade
Danny E. Martindale / Stringer
Model Tyson Beckford's lineup gradually moves into a fade. Thanks to perfect edging around the hairline, sideburns, and beard, the look is immaculate. â€œA little more length on the sides can help create a more oval shape if you want,â€ Dezarate says.
Square: Classic and Swept-Back
Matt Bomer's old Hollywood looks are best highlighted with a classic, swept-back hairstyle. The key here is not to use a product that will weigh the hair down; you want it to have a bit of movement. But don't go overboard with the amount of hair on top of the head, cautions St. Jean. "You donâ€™t want too much height, or it will work against you," she says.
This classic undercut does a great job of balancing Brad Pitt's square jaw. Here, the actor slicks the longer hair on the top back, giving the appearance of a classic 'do. When he turns to the side, though, you can see the addition of shaved details (on the sides and back), adding a trendy touch.
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