How to Choose a Hairstyle

Four Methods:Considering Your Face Shape to Determine Hair LengthConsidering Your Hair’s Texture to Determine Your CutUsing Your Hair to Highlight Certain FeaturesChanging Your Hairstyle

When you're looking for a new hairstyle to try, your hair texture, features, and face shape should all factor into your decision. You may covet your friend's pixie cut or your sister's cascade of beachy waves, but it’s important to try to figure out what style will look best on you. Whether your hair is coarse or fine, curly or straight, there's a style for you out there that will make heads turn.

Method 1
Considering Your Face Shape to Determine Hair Length

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    Choose a cut that will compliment your face shape. Generally, a good rule to follow is that you want your hair to be in opposition to the shape of your face. For instance, if you have a square face, you should balance your sharp angles with soft layers or waves.
    • Knowing your face shape can help you make confident and informed decisions about which hairstyle to choose. To figure it out, pull or comb your hair completely away from your face. Stand in front of a mirror so that you can see your face straight-on, and not at an angle. Use a washable marker, tube of lipstick, the corner of a cube of cold butter or anything else that's easily washable, and trace around the edges of your face in the mirror.
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    Look for ‘round’ facial characteristics. Round faces are characterized by smoothly curved lines and a round chin. The forehead and chin are both a bit wide, with slightly wider cheekbones.
    • Cuts that will flatter your features: Long, layered bobs that fall just below your chin, edgy layered bobs, fringe bangs, and layered hair that falls to your shoulders.[1]
    • Styles that will flatter your features: Curls or waves created with a curling iron, classic updos with thick side bangs, and long exaggerated bangs.
    • Avoid one length, blunt cuts like the classic bob.
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    Determine if your face is ‘square’. Square faces feature a wide, angular jaw, wide cheekbones, and a broad forehead.
    • Cuts that will flatter your features: Long, sleek cuts with graduated layers that begin at your jawline, angled bobs with longer hair in the front, asymmetrical and textured layers, and bangs that skim past your eyes.[2]
    • Styles that will flatter your features: Experiment with curls. For updos, try pulling your hair back from your face into a sleek ponytail or bun (this will show off your great jawline).
    • Steer clear of blunt-cut bangs and one-length bob hairstyles which highlight your angular jaw rather than downplay it.
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    Consider whether or not your face is oval. Oval faces are similar in proportion to round faces, but more elongated. The chin and the forehead are about the same width, with slightly wider cheekbones and smooth lines going down to the chin.
    • Cuts that will flatter your features: An oval face shape can usually sustain any sort of haircut. Find your best feature and highlight it with your hairstyle. Great bone structure? Consider an angular bob that complements your chin. Gorgeous eyes? Blunt or side-swept bangs will draw attention there.
    • Styles that will flatter your features: Updo styles like the French twist.
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    Look for features of a ‘heart-shaped’ face. Heart-shaped faces are defined primarily by a point-y, narrow chin and a wide forehead. The cheekbones can be about the same width as the forehead or slightly wider.
    • Cuts that will flatter your features: Draw attention away from the chin with side swept bangs or brow-skimming bangs. A short fast cut is also a good choice. Avoid choppy layers that hit at the chin.
    • Styles that will flatter your features: Try a swept-back updo that adds some volume to the top section of your hair.
    • Try to avoid a slicked back look that takes away from the volume of your hair.
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    Consider whether your face is ‘triangle’-shaped. Triangular faces are the exact opposite of heart-shaped faces. This means that they feature a broad, angular jaw that narrows down to a small forehead.
    • Cuts that will flatter your features: Get a cut that involves big side-swept bangs that taper down to your jawline. Short haircuts with a lot of volume are ideal for triangular faces. You can also choose a long cut, as long as it hits at your collarbone or lower.
    • Styles that will flatter your features: Try a loose ponytail that will allow your hair to play around your face.
    • Try to avoid slicked back updos that pull your hair away from from your face.
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    See if you have a ‘diamond’ face. Diamond faces feature broad cheekbones, set off by a narrow chin and forehead.
    • Cuts that will flatter your features: Try some full, straight bangs and a cut that adds width to your chin area, such as a chin-length bob.
    • Styles that will flatter your features: Give a high ponytail or bun a try if you have bangs.
    • Watch out for styles where you part your hair down the middle or add extra height to the top of your head.
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    Determine whether or not your face is ‘long’. Long faces maintain the same proportion throughout the face. This means that your forehead, cheekbones and chin share about the same narrow width.
    • Cuts that will flatter your features: Brow-skimming, side swept bangs or chin-length bobs are ideal for creating the illusion of width. Keep haircuts short, never long because they tend to drag down the face.
    • Styles that will flatter your features: Curls and waves work well when adding width.
    • Pass up extreme styles and cuts that are longer than the collarbone.

Method 2
Considering Your Hair’s Texture to Determine Your Cut

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    Pick a style that works with your hair's texture. Hair comes in a variety of textures—from limp and silky thin hair to frizzy and bouncy coarse hair—and you should style yours accordingly.
    • For instance, a short and choppy fast cut that works on straight, thin hair may not look good on someone with thick and curly hair.
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    Choose a style for thin hair. If you have thin hair with a silky texture, avoid wearing it in a long, blunt style that can make you look childish. Instead, favor volume-creating layers and try a shorter cut that hits at your shoulders or above.
    • Try to avoid blunt cut bangs; opt instead for a side swept look.
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    Work with your thick hair. If you have thick, coarse hair with natural curl or wave, don't cut it too short—you'll end up with "Christmas tree" hair that's full and bushy at the bottom before tapering up to your head. Hair that's prone to frizz usually needs a little length to weigh it down.
    • Consider cuts that start at the chin or below, and go longer if your hair is frizzier.
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    Be aware that medium-thick hair can hold many styles. If your hair is of medium thickness with a "normal" texture, you can use a short or long style. Play around with your hair and keep your face shape in mind.

Method 3
Using Your Hair to Highlight Certain Features

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    Play up your strengths. A good haircut should direct attention to the things you like about yourself. Ultimately a haircut or hairstyle should make you feel confident and attractive, so use it to your advantage.
    • For instance, if you love the length of your neck, try a short haircut or a high updo to show off your neck.
    • To draw attention to your eyes, get brow-skimming bangs that make your eyes pop.
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    Cover flaws. The right haircut can help you hide or downplay features you don't like as much.
    • If you have wide ears, avoid a cut that's too short as well as severe ponytails and buns (or, for men, wear the sides a little longer to create the illusion of comparable width around the ears).
    • If you have a broad, deep forehead, you can cover it up with bangs.
    • If you dislike the length of your neck, hide it with long layers.
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    Consider adding some color (optional). Coloring your hair can be extremely high-maintenance, but it can also help even out your skin tone and improve your overall appearance. Selecting the right shade and tone can be tricky, so consult your stylist about which color would look best with your skin tone.
    • If you would like to read more about what hair colors flatter certain skin types, click here.

Method 4
Changing Your Hairstyle

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    Play around with your hair. While keeping your face shape and hair texture in mind is important, you should also play around with your hair to see what sort of styles you like the most. Stand in front of a mirror and try out a bunch of different styles, or fold your hair up to see what it would be like to have short hair. Try straightening your hair, or curling it to see if you like the way it looks. For men, try spiking it or slicking it back.[3]
    • Ultimately, you should get a cut that will make you feel confident and happy, regardless of whether or not it compliments your appearance. Your cut should be based on your own personal preferences.
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    Look at photos of celebrities with the same face shape as you. Look up your face shape online and browse through images of people with your face shape. Consider what kind of haircuts the people in these photos have, and whether or not you would want that haircut.
    • If you find one that you like, print out the picture and take it to your hairstylist.
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    Talk to a professional hairstylist. If you are having a difficult time figuring out what hairstyle you want, set up an appointment with a hairstylist to talk about your possibilities. You won’t have to get your haircut then and there, but having the opinion of a professional may help you to make your decision.
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    Think about maintenance. Consider how much time you're willing to put into your hairstyle every day. If you don't like spending more than five minutes on your hair in the morning, then you might not be happy with several layers that have to be straightened or curled each day.
    • Remember that for a short look, you'll have to get another hair cut every three or four weeks to maintain the length.
    • Longer hair, on the other hand, can go up to six to eight weeks without a trim, but special attention must be paid to avoid split ends and heat damage.
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    Put it all together. Now that you've evaluated face shape, hair texture, facial features and maintenance, choose a hairstyle that you feel will bring all of these aspects together.
    • Find a compromise. For instance, if you've found a really great cut that you think would look great on your square face but you're worried about wearing thin hair in a long, ask your stylist if there's any way to add some volume. He or she will be happy to work with you and design the right cut for your needs.


  • Take care of your hair. Have split ends trimmed as soon as possible, and avoid doing too much heat damage to your hair with blow dryers or irons.
  • If you have long damaged locks, then consider finding a shorter hairstyle that suits your face because short tends to stay healthier as it needs to be trimmed more often.
  • Except for people with super thin and oily hair, most of us don't need to wash our hair every single day. Try washing every other day and using a boar-bristle brush to comb out oils, or a dry shampoo to lift limp locks. Your hair should start to look shinier and less frizzy.
  • Find a good hairstylist. Once you know you have a stylist you can trust with your hair, getting a haircut becomes a lot less stressful. Do some research and find a quality professional who's willing to listen to your ideas and accurately assess your needs. It might cost a little more up-front, but you'll save money in the long run when you don't have to go to someone else to fix a bad haircut.
  • Use hairspray that doesn't damage your hair when you straighten or curl your hair.
  • Use a photo edit app to add and cut off pieces of hair.


  • Curly or heavily wavy hair won't look good with short bangs. Only cut your curly hair into bangs if you straighten it every day.

Article Info

Categories: Hair Styles & Cutting