Is Your Face Round, Square, Long, Heart or Oval Shaped?

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How to Measure Your Face to Determine Your Face Shape

From left to right: heart-shaped face, square face, round face, diamond face, long (or "oblong") face, oval face. Image: Clip Art City

All people have one of six face shapes: round, square, long (or "oblong"), heart, diamond or oval. To figure out which one you are, you'll need a ruler or a tape measure. Just be sure to write down the numbers for each step:

  • We'll start with the forehead. Measure across your forehead at the widest point.
  • Move on the cheeks. Measure the widest length across your cheekbones.
  • Now on to the jaw. Measure your jawline at its widest point.
  • Finally, we'll measure the length of your face by using the "cross shape method." Put the ruler just under the eyes and measure from ear to ear (stopping at where the ear begins). Then place the ruler at the top of your forehead at your hairline and measure to your chin. Your ratio will either be 1 (your width) to 1 1/2 (your length) or 1 to 1 or 1 to 2.

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No. 1: The Heart-Shaped Face

Clip Art City

Heart-shaped faces are wider at the forehead and gently narrow down at the jawline. You may have a pointy chin (think Reese Witherspoon). This shape is also known as the "inverted-triangle."

Styles That Work Best on a Heart-Shaped Face

The following styles look great on a heart-shaped face:

  • Side-swept bangs. Your pointy chin tends to be the focal point of your face. Draw attention to your eyes and cheekbones instead with side-swept bangs (like these in this photo gallery).
  • Brow-grazing fringe. Fringe bangs (such as these) draw attention to the eyes and away from your chin. See this gallery of the best bangs by face shapes to get a better idea.
  • Short hair. Short hair tends to look great on heart-shaped faces, especially the pixie hairstyle. Keep top layers soft and long. See which short haircuts look best on your face.
  • Long hair with long layers. If you like long hair, go for long layers that graze your cheek bones.

Styles to Avoid on a Heart-Shaped Face

Avoid short, blunt-cut bangs and harsh, choppy layers.

Celebs Who Share Your Face Shape

Katie Holmes, Jennifer Lopez, Rachel Bilson, Reese Witherspoon, Ziyi Zhang

See photos of hairstyles that work (and don't work) on your face shape in Hairstyles for Heart-Shaped Faces: 20 Flattering Cuts.

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No. 2: The Square Face

Clip Art City

You're likely a square face if your face falls into the following requirements:

  • The width of your forehead, cheekbones, and jaw are equal.
  • You have sharp, angular features including a sharp jawline. (If your features are soft and rounded, you are likely a "round face shape.")
  • Your cross ratio (see slide 1) is 1 to 1 or 1 to 1 1/2.

If you have a square face, consider yourself lucky. Some of the most famous faces in the past and today (think Keira Knightley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Moore and Helena Christensen) have strong, angular jawlines. Two other big pluses to having a square face: square faces photograph the best and women with strong angular features tend to age well.

Styles That Work Best on a Square Face

If you have a square face, you may want to play down your strong, angular jaw. Here's what to looks great on a square face:

  • Texture, in the form of curls or choppy ends, is gorgeous on a square face. You look great in shags.
  • You can also get away with super short, edgy cuts.
  • Long, sleek styles with layers that start at the jawline and continue downward are gorgeous on you. 
  • Long bobs are an excellent choice.
  • You'll look great in side-swept bangs.

See what short haircuts look best on your face and check out the best bangs for square faces.

Styles to Avoid on a Square Face

Avoid one-length bob hairstyles (especially chin-length) and wide, blunt bangs such as these. These will only highlight your angular features rather than downplay them. To find out which bang hairstyles work best with your square face, check out this gallery of the best bangs by face shapes.

Celebs Who Share Your Face Shape

Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Moore, Angelina Jolie, Isabella Rossellini and Rosario Dawson.

See photos of hairstyles that work (and don't work) on your face shape in Best Hairstyles for Square Face Shapes.

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No. 3: The Round Face

Clip Art City

You have a classic round face if you fit the following:

  • The width of your forehead, cheekbones and jaw are equal
  • Your jaw is slightly rounded as opposed to angular.
  • You have soft features in general. The difference between a round face and a square face (which also measures the same across as long) lies in the angles. Square faces have strong, angular features, whereas a round face has soft features.
  • Your cross ratio (see slide 1) is 1 to 1.

Round faces tend to be soft with non-angular features and full cheeks. You may find you have more of a round face when you carry extra weight, but keep in mind many classic round-faced women are super thin and still have non-angular features.

Styles That Work Best on a Round Face

Typically, if you have a round face, you want to make your face appear longer and leaner and less round. To do this, create less volume around the face.

  • Try cuts that fall just below the chin like the long bob hairstyle.
  • Soft, graduated layers like the ones found in this shoulder-length hairstyles gallery are a great bet because they make your face appear slimmer and tend to remove bulk and weight from the sides.
  • Consider wispy and tapered ends. The wisps de-emphasize the roundness of your face.
  • When it comes to bangs, keep them long or side-swept. See my gallery of the best bangs by face shapes for more information on bangs.

Styles to Avoid if You Have a Round Face

Avoid one-length, blunt cuts such as the classic bob hairstyle if you have short hair. Curly, short hair is also a no-no. Grow your curls out to shoulder-length or beyond or flat-iron them.

Unfortunately, not all short hairstyles are going to look good on you. 

Celebs Who Share Your Face Shape

You are in great company with many celebrities, including Fergie, Kate Bosworth, Oprah Winfrey, Cameron Diaz, Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Must-Have Products for a Round Face

Tools you need: A great boar's hair brush to keep hair tame.

See photos of hairstyles that work (and don't work) on your face shape in Hairstyles for Round Faces: 20 Flattering Cuts.

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No. 4: The Diamond Face

Clip Art City

You have a diamond face if you are widest at your cheekbones and your jawline and forehead are the same length (but still narrower than your cheeks).

The hairstyles that look great on you look great on square face shapes, so see the recommendations for them earlier in the slide show.

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No. 5: The Long (or "Oblong") Face

Clip Art City

Long face shapes are longer than they are wide. If your "cross shape ratio" (see slide 1) is 1 to more than 1 1/2, then you fall into this face shape zone. The perfect haircut for this type doesn't drag down the face, yet adds width.

Styles That Work Best on a Long Face

Here are some looks that look great on a long face:

  • Bangs can be your best friend because they can hide a big forehead. Try brow-skimming, side-swept bangs or blunt bangs. See this gallery of the best bangs by face shapes for more information.
  • When it comes to haircuts, chin-length bobs are also ideal for us because they create the illusion of width. Brooklyn Decker's long bob is very flattering on a long face. Just make sure your stylist cuts the hair a bit shorter in the back so it doesn't look boring.​
  • Curls and waves work well because they add width to the face.
  • Be careful with long hair: Hair that is too long like Megan Fox's can drag down the face. Long layers work best with pieces hitting at the nose, the chin and the collarbone. Consider a V-shaped style where the length is mainly in the back, while the sides and front of your hair appear shorter. Also, consider adding waves or curls to the hair.

Styles to Avoid With a Long Face

Stay away from the extremes. Don't go longer than the collarbone and avoid a skull-capping pixie hairstyle.

Celebs Who Share Your Face Shape

Sarah Jessica Parker, Ashlee Simpson, Liv Tyler, Giselle Bundchen

Must-Have Products for a Long Face

You need a great volumizer. Check out my list of the 10 best volumizers for hair.

See photos of hairstyles that work (and don't work) on your face shape in Best Hairstyles for Long Face Shapes: 20 Flattering Cuts.

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No. 6: The Oval Face

Clip Art City

You're an oval if the length of your face equals 1 1/2 times the width of your face.

Stop for a second and congratulate yourself. You've landed the most versatile face shape. You can wear almost any hairstyle. Just be careful, with a bad haircut, your face can start to look long.

Styles That Work Best on an Oval Face

The oval face is the most versatile shape. You can pull off almost any look: short or long, straight or wavy or even one of the funkier, edgier hairstyles. To find your most flattering style, consider your best feature and highlight it with your hair cut.

  • If you have gorgeous bone structure, consider an angular bob that shows off your chin.
  • Great eyes? Blunt or side-swept bangs are a great bet. 

Styles that are flattering and stylish: sophisticated bobs, bangs, long, beachy waves (think California surfer girl). Consult this photo gallery of best haircuts on oval face shapes.

Styles to Avoid on an Oval Face

Short layers that add height on top of your head. Aside from being dated, short layers can make your face appear long. If your hair is thick or curly, avoid a blunt cut. You'll look like a pyramid. If you have curly hair, short hair is generally a no-no (see "10 Secrets to Styling Curly Hair"). Try shoulder-length or longer to weigh down curls.

Celebs Who Share Your Face Shape

Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Jada Pinkett Smith

Must-Have Products for an Oval Face

A great curling iron and a flat iron to create waves and straighten your sleek locks.

See photos of hairstyles that work (and don't work) on your face shape in Hairstyles for Oval Faces: The 20 Most Flattering Cuts.