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Finding the Best Haircut for Each Face Shape:

How Cosmetologists Can Optimize Their Client’s Hairstyles

Finding your perfect look can be a long, difficult journey for anyone. While so much of your external curation comes down to personal taste, there are many things that you can do to accentuate your favorite facial features or draw the eye away from aspects you’re less thrilled about. One of the most drastic changes you can make to your appearance is choosing the right haircut for you. Haircuts can not only enhance your facial features but change your entire aesthetic and give you that boost of confidence you’ve always wanted. As a cosmetologist, you have the power to make this happen for your clients. Here are some of the ways cosmetologists can tailor hairstyles to best flatter their clients’ unique face shapes and make them feel more beautiful than ever.

Step 1: Determining the Face Shape

It can often be hard to self-evaluate our own faces, but you can help your client with this as an outside eye. Your client’s face shape can be easily broken down into these six simple categories: Round, Square, Heart, Oval, Diamond, and Long. Find out which face shape your clients are by examining them having them in front of the mirror and looking at the perimeter lines. Once you’ve identified your client’s unique characteristics, you can decide how to best flatter their features.

Round Faces

Round faces are defined by full cheeks and equal proportions lengthwise and widthwise. They often have the benefit of appearing youthful and kind due to their soft features. Many women choose to provide a contrast to these soft features with a cut that adds angles and dynamic shape. Short, ballooning cuts such as chin-length bobs can work against this face shape by making the face appear even more circular, so oftentimes, longer cuts are recommended. Long locks with choppy layers provide a beautiful contrast with sharp lines that draw the eye downward, thus lengthening the face.  Additionally, a strong bang can add a striking angularity to the face that complements round cheeks nicely. Try suggesting these options to your client if they express an interest in toning down the roundness of their face.

Square Faces

Square faces are similar to round faces in that the proportions are even in length and width, but they are marked by more angular features and a stronger jawline, giving the perimeter of the face a squared-off appearance. They have the advantage of appearing dynamic and strong, but many women strive to downplay their angularity. If your client wants to soften these lines, a nice contrast to these strong features is a soft cut that balances it out. Try voluminous curls that add fullness to the sides of the face. Additionally, a rounded bob will add volume around the cheeks and soften the jawline by tapering inwards towards the area.

Image Credit: Faculty of Medicine

Heart Faces

Heart-shaped faces feature a stronger and wider temple and forehead area, contrasted by a narrower dainty jaw, giving the face a general shape of a heart that is wider at the top than the bottom. These people often seek to balance out the top of their face with the bottom, creating the appearance of a narrower forehead and slightly wider jaw. If your clients desire this effect, try adding volume along the sides of the cut, providing additional volume to the cheeks and jaw. Additionally, bangs will create the illusion of a smaller forehead if that is a client’s concern.

Diamond Faces

Diamond-shaped faces typically have narrow foreheads and jaws and wider, more angular cheekbones. The cheekbones typically mark the widest point of the face for these women. While they are blessed with the bone structure that many women contour their faces to achieve, they often seek to balance out their strong cheeks with wispier cuts. Many women choose to contrast their striking cheekbones with longer soft layers to contrast the sharp angles with roundness. Additionally, pixie cuts are a great option for these women because they add volume to the crown of the head, creating a more balanced appearance.

Oval Faces

This facial shape is well-known for being able to pull off a wide variety of cuts and styles. While all facial shapes can rock any style with the right attitude, this is especially true for the women blessed with oval faces. This shape is recognizable by its balanced proportions and subtle features. You can experiment with your looks, but the most important thing is to choose a cut that is well suited for your hair texture. Having this room to play gives an incredible amount of room for creativity. If you have a client with an oval face, feel free to encourage them to embrace their adventurous side.

Long Faces

Long faces have lengths that significantly exceed widths, similar to an oval face shape, just lengthened slightly. This can create a regal and elegant silhouette that can even lengthen the neck and general facade of a woman’s appearance. While you can definitely embrace and accentuate this shape with long locks, many women like to minimize the length of their faces by contrasting it with a shorter cut to draw the eye upwards. Additionally, bangs can create the appearance of a shorter face, if that is what your client is going for.

Help Your Clients Feel Their Most Beautiful

Overall, the most important aspect of the haircut is personal preference and as a licensed cosmetologist, you have the responsibility of catering to your client’s desires. Most importantly, your job is to make people feel beautiful and confident, so don’t pressure your clients to constrict themselves based on their facial shape. These suggestions should be used to open doors for people rather than tie them down, because all faces are brightened with a fabulous haircut. The best look your client can wear is confidence, so help them achieve it!

Become a certified cosmetologist at one of our many locations across the Southeast today!