Your Perfect Hairstyle The Face Shape Guide

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Information & Advice

Beauty Uncovered

WrittenbyKatie Campbellon03/02/2010

Your Perfect Hairstyle: The Face Shape Guide

Finding the perfect hairstyle? It's as simple as knowing your face shape, say the pros. Discover yours with our expert guide.

Beauty insiders know that fabulous-looking hair starts with the basics: a good hair cut. "A great cut can instantly transform you; it can lift your features, slim your face, make your neck appear longer, make smaller eyes seem larger or a wider nose seem slim and dainty," says stylist Lee Stafford. But how do you know what style will flatter you? According to Lee, knowing your face shape is the first step towards understanding what suits you. Here he divulges which styles are most flattering for each face shape – and, crucially, which are best avoided.

If your face is...ROUND

Your Face Is As Wide As It Is Long, Without Prominent Angles.
Celebrity style:
Drew Barrymore
"Try hairstyles with height at the crown to balance out the width of your face. Off-centre partings, sweptback styles or lots of length will help counter a round face," says Lee, who warns that very short, cropped hairstyles or hairstyles that have fullness at the sides are best avoided. "These will make your face look larger," he says.
Styling tip:
"When blow-drying, ensure that you use a round metal barrelled brush to give height at the root and prevent hair falling flat to the crown. If you're using styling irons (try Lee Stafford Superhero Straighteners) make sure you straighten from the middle section of the hair, rather than the root, to prevent losing the volume you've created. And remember to always use a protection mist like my Poker Straight Flat Iron Protection Mist before using any heated appliances," says Lee.

If your face is...SQUARE

Your Face Is Nearly As Wide As It Is Long, But More Angular Than A Round Face.
Celebrity style:
Diane Kruger
"With a square face shape, a rounder style will always look flattering. A short to medium-length hairstyle works well with this type of face shape, as do wavy or rounded outline styles. You'll need a style with soft lines – sweeping side fringes always look fantastic. Just make sure your hair never sits right at your jaw line as this will make your face look wider," says Lee.
Styling tip:
Soften your look with waves. "Use tongs or styling irons by gripping a section of hair to the plates and turning the irons 180 degrees back towards your scalp and running the irons down your hair – this creates gorgeous waves that really last due to the heat of the appliance. Finish with my Messed Up Spray Wax to create more texture and definition," says Lee.

If your face is...HEART-SHAPED

You Have A Narrow Jaw With Wide Cheekbones And/Or Forehead.
Celebrity style:
Reese Witherspoon
"Heart shaped faces (you lucky things) can pretty much get away with anything! Depending on your frame and build, you have the pick of the bunch because anything goes," says Lee. "If you're super-slim, opt for this season's tailored lines with a sleek, sharp bob and a fringe; if you're curvier, adapt that look to give you more length at the front, a softer side fringe and slightly softer lines."
Styling tip:
"You can go wavy or straight – if you opt for the poker straight look, accentuate the sleekness with a quick spritz of my Shine Head Shine Spray," says Lee.

If your face is...OVAL

The Length Of Your Face Is Roughly One And A Half Times The Width.
Celebrity style:
Jessica Alba
"Oval faces can wear practically any hairstyle and are on par with the heart-shaped girls as there are quite a few options you can choose from," says Lee, who suggests volume and a maximum of shoulder-skimming length. "Make sure your layers are shorter around the face to give the illusion of a more rounded jaw line. Avoid blunt lines as they can be too harsh – incorporate some tailored lines with softer edges," says Lee.
Styling tip:
Most styles suit – try going big on volume and texture a la Chanel AW09/10. Dry shampoo and mousse (try Lee's Double Blow Mousse) are great volumising buys.

If your face is...LONG

Your Face Is Longer Than It Is Wide.
Celebrity style:
Liv Tyler
"Long faces are similar to oval ones, just a little more extreme. Try hairstyles that are short to medium in length – avoid very long styles that will make your face look even longer," says Lee. "Ask your stylist to add layering, especially around your face, and ensure that you have shorter layers at the front so it detracts from your face length. Keep your hair a little shorter so it doesn't drown your features and make sure that the layers around your face start from above your jaw line."
Styling tip:
Super-sleek, straight styles will emphasise your face length, so step away from the straighteners and try a bouncy blow-dry or use large barrel-tongs to add volume and body to your layers. Add a final spritz of Hold Tight Firm Hold Hairspray to finish.

Read more like this:
Simple Secrets to Fabulous Hair
Get the Look: The Faux Bob
Bouncy Blow-dry Masterclass
Age-proof Your Hair
Celebrity Beauty Trend: Ponytails
Get Covetable Hair Colour

Related categories:
Lee Stafford
Straighteners & Hair Styling