When picking out a new hairstyle, your first thought is most likely your hair type – curly or straight, thick or thin – but one of the most crucial things to take into consideration when picking your perfect style doesn’t have to do with your hair at all. What can really make or break that new haircut is your face shape and the ability your hairstyle has to complement it.

The first step you will need to take is to figure out what your face shape is. There are many different shapes but the main ones are oval, round, square, oblong, and heart. You may see others listed such as rectangles, diamonds, or inverted triangles but we’ll try to keep it simple for now (and most of you will fall into the first five listed!). If you truly want to learn your face shape, you can measure your face and figure out the shape based off the angles from your hairline to your cheekbones to your jawline. However, if you want a quick guide with some easy answers, The Beauty Department website has a great one here.

Now that you’ve learned your face shape, what hairstyle is going to highlight your best features?

Oval Face: If you’ve been blessed with an oval face then you’re in luck – basically any hairstyle is going to look great on you! The best advice for you is to pick a hairstyle that works well with your hair’s texture and that suits your lifestyle.

Round Face: Your best bet is to go very short or very long (collarbone or longer). Having your hair around chin-length can shorten your face and make it appear rounder. Having a very short cut, however, can add height to the top of your head while having long locks can lengthen your face.

Square: Ah, the Olivia Wilde’s of the world! The key to a great hairstyle for a square face shape is something that softens the angular shape of the jaw. A chic long bob is great, as are long wavy locks. For your bangs, look to soft, side-swept ones or if you’re feeling dramatic, play with blunt bangs but have them just below your brow and go longer on the sides (a straight line will make your face look wider!).

Oblong: If your face is long then your hair will usually look its best at a shorter length. Shoulder length is perfect for you! To create the appearance that your face is shorter and wider than it is, you can look to add volume to your hair with some waves or try out some nice blunt bangs to “crop” your face. The main thing you want to avoid is long, straight hair as this will elongate your face more.

Heart: A heart-shaped face will tend to be wider at the top so to help balance your look, go for some long, side-swept bangs. You are also one of few who can rock dramatic looks like a chin-length bob or the pixie cut!

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