By Ashley Peters
I’m sure you’d heard about face shapes and taken those little quizzes only resulting in seriously debating whether you’re more of a heart face or diamond. Essentially those face shapes are simply describing the overall shape of your face and which areas are more or less prominent. People will use this as a jumping off point to modify and balance their aesthetic. So for example if someone has a wider jaw they may want to narrow it or a longer face they may want to shorten it. The same applies to hair styles and wedding updos. We’ve created some general guidance for you if this is an aspect of your wedding look you’re struggling with. However I preface this with the strong statement that you are beautiful exactly as you are. You don’t NEED to strive to make your face more “oval” ( deemed “perfect”). So why even create these tips? I do think that if there’s something you want to tweak or you’re not satisfied with a look this could unlock knowledge to help in that area. Just promise you’ll use this knowledge responsibly because you’re beautiful and perfect doesn’t exist.
Those with round faces tend to feel that their face is too wide or “soft” (lacking angles). To minimize roundness and width you want to create angles. Having side swoop bangs or curtain bangs that come at angle (about 45 degrees) takes away the curves at the outer top. The next thing is to have hair on the side of the face around (almost crowd) the face and not curl out in volume until past the chin. This will narrow the width. Down hair styles, half up hairstyle and even cascading styles work perfectly. I would avoid up styles as it can emphasize the face shape since everything else is away. If your heart is set on an up style but you want to minimize that round shape it’s necessary to have wispies ( even chunky/thick wispies ) to interrupt the round shape.
Those with square face shapes tend to have prominent jaw lines and forehead. To soften these features we want to round out the “corners” . Side swept bangs, curtain bangs or whispies take care of the fore head. If the hair pieces are long enough they can do double duty for the jawline as well assuming it’s not super prominent . If it is however I’d recommend soft curls that break up that strong jawline. Down and half down looks are the most approachable for this face shape.
Heart shape faces tend to have a wider forehead in proportion to the rest of their face. We want to narrow that forehead by interrupting the width. This can be done with curtain bangs, side swept bangs and whispies. If an individual has straight across bangs just don’t bring them the full width of the forehead . Instead have the hair on the side start about a 1/2” into the forehead. This is an easy face shape to modify and balance with basically any hairstyle. Just avoid tight hairstyles or ones with no hair around your face.
Long faces have more length than width proportionately. You want to add width and minimize the length. Heavy side swoop, curtain bangs and even straight across bangs erase some of the visible space of the forehead which is the most logical location to minimize the length. Then to expand the width this volume and bombshell curls. Start those curls around your cheekbones so that it draws out the eye. Half up and down styles work best for this face shape as they can add the most width. However if you want an up style strong bangs or curtain bangs can make all the difference.
Diamond faces have narrower foreheads and jawlines but typically higher or fuller check bones. We don’t want those cheekbones to disappear but to help them be in proportion . We just want to nip the corners off of those wide diamond corners by the cheekbones with hair draping across them This can be with wispies or down hair. Make sure the hair around the forehead is full and off the face to widen that space as well. With minor modification this face shape can be easily balance in any style.
Oval is deemed as aesthetically “perfect”in the beauty industry. This just means that is is proportionally balanced to the anatomy of a human head (basically an upside down egg). These faces can get away with anything.
Now what if you read this and you feel like you’re a combo. That’s completely normal. Human faces won’t always just fit perfectly into these categories that the industry has created. It’s very likely that you could have a combination of various features. In general it’s advised to go with the shape you match most and address the minimal combination factors after. Ultimately all of this is designed to make your face more balanced and “oval”. So if you feel like you’d tried a style but it just wasn’t quite right perhaps this can open new options that are a better match. As always have fun experimenting and do what makes you happy.
Ashley Peters is an American based hairstylist, author and business owner. While many of her brides are stateside she is available for destination weddings worldwide. Along with her hair services you can shop personally selected hair accessories, education and hair kits via her website’s shop. She is passionate about animal advocacy, connecting through travel, art and always learning something new. When her hands aren’t in hair you’ll find her on a hiking trail, with a good book or off on a crazy adventure with her husband, pups and soy vanilla latte in hand. Read Ashley’s articles