Style blogs are loaded with references to facial squares and diamonds and oblongs and every other shape you have knocking around in a kindergarten colouring book . . . but when it comes to hair, what does it all mean?
To start with, grab a flexible tape measure and gauge the length of your forehead (hairline to hairline), cheekbones (the outer corner of each eye), jawline (from the middle of the chin to the corner of your jaw), and your whole face (from your hairline to the middle of your chin) — to figure out which face shape you are.
As the name implies, all four measurements are pretty much the same — your face is as wide as it is long, featuring an angular jaw. This masculine facial shape suits a wide range of haircuts, but tight styles that emphasise the jawline work particularly well. The close fade is a favourite, while a short buzz cut risks making you look like you’ve just wandered off a naval ship.
The same proportions as the square — the width and length of your face is about the same — but with a softer jaw. The goal here it to elongate and add definition to the face with a rectangular haircut, and you can also style a beard to make your jaw look squarer than it actually it. Short sides with texture on top — the pompadour, for example — is perfect.
The same round jaw on a much longer face with the jawline smaller than the width of the forehead and cheekbones, the oval facial shape is a blank canvas that can pull off virtually any haircut — although the roundness is particularly flattered by a cut that creates angles, such as the classic short back and sides.
The distance between your hairline and your chin is a lot longer than the width of your forehead, cheekbones and jawline, with plenty of definition in the jaw. Your ‘do mustn’t have too much length or texture on top so you don’t exaggerate the length of your head, plus a little extra volume on top of the ears to widen your noggin. And avoid beards, which only stretch things out.
The cheekbones are the widest part of the face, tapering away to a pointy chin, so you’re looking for a hairstyle that rounds out those angles — something with texture and length on top, with soft lines to take the edge off the angular facial shape. You can also cultivate a beard to round out the pointy jawline.