July 12, 2018

Face Shape 101

Face shapes collage
By Melanie Brons : Licensed Cosmetologist & Educator at La’ James International College Des Moines.

I wonder how many of you have had this scenario happen; Cool new hairstyle picked out, only to be told “that cut is not right for you” by your stylist? How many of you have ever had a “bad” haircut? Probably most of us! And if we wanted to be real honest, it wasn’t the technical part of the cut that was bad, it was that it was not a good haircut for our face shape.


In reality, face shape is only part of what a stylist should be looking at when recommending a style for a client. Things like how the person will be styling it at home, balance, and the clients profile are all something that should also go into that decision of what will look the best on a particular client.

Here are some general guidelines that you should follow when it comes to face shape:

Oval is the ideal face shape and if you have features that are square, the best thing for softening those corners is some soft face framing that begins near the eyes. It will keep the visual space that is seen in that oval shape.


For a round shaped face, the goal needs to be elongating such as a shoulder length bob with a shallow side part. This will draw the eye upward, achieving the desired effect.


Another common problem that a client may face is the triangle or pear shape. This shape can best be shifted to look more oval by opening up the forehead area with little to no fringe and keeping a soft framing from the cheekbone downward.


A fifth shape that may need special attention is the diamond. The widest point in this face shape is the cheekbones, so keep the hairstyle narrow in that area and add a side sweep fringe to help conceal a narrow forehead.


The oblong face shape can be thought of as the opposite of round. The goal of looking oval can be achieved with the addition of a straight fringe across the forehead to reduce the height of that area.


Last, we have the heart shaped face. Most often this client will look their best with a chin-length bob as it will add width to the lower part of the face.


And of course, we know that those pictures we bring to our stylist were not done as a wash and go type of style. It took time, effort and professional products to achieve that look. If you are thinking of doing a new look for the summer, just remember to have realistic expectations of what your stylist can do. Finally, it is just hair and it will grow, so why not have some fun with a customized-to-your-face look!

By Melanie Brons : Licensed Cosmetologist & Educator at La’ James International College Des Moines.

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