Finding the most flattering haircut for you depends on the texture and density of your hair, sure. But it also hinges on your face shape. That’s why guys are so often disappointed when they bring a photo of their favorite celebrity’s hairstyle along to the barber—those celebs likely have a completely different facial structure to their own.
If your forehead and jaw are narrow but your cheeks are wide (a diamond face shape), what works for you hair-wise is going to be vastly dissimilar to someone with a wide forehead that narrows through the chin (a triangle shape). And that’s to say nothing of all the other common shapes out there: oval, rectangular, round, square, heart, oblong, and pear.
For GQ‘s new Grooming Guide video series, barber Matty Conrad outlined the “ideal” hairstyles for all nine basic face shapes. Watch above or read on for Conrad’s insights, which includes on the dos and don’ts for each shape, as well as how facial hair should factor in to your styling.
How do I determine my face shape?
To determine your face shape, Conrad suggests taking a selfie straight-on with your phone, then using the mark-up function to draw an outline. Look at the overall contrast in width between the forehead, cheeks, jaw, and chin, as well as where the facial features settle compared to the height of the forehead. Your hairline, bone structure, and weight all also impact your face shape.
What face shape do I have?
Now that you’ve taken your photo and traced the shape, it’s time to figure out exactly which category you fall into.
- Oval: Widest at the brow, soft angles until the defined and angular jaw
- Rectangular: Similar to oval, but with a higher forehead and a broader chin
- Round: Almost as wide as it is tall, with wide cheekbones, a soft jawline, and lower-set facial features
- Square: Similar angles to a rectangular, but with lower facial features and a prominent forehead
- Triangle: Wider at forehead and brow, slightly narrower at the cheeks, and very narrow at the chin
- Diamond: Widest at the cheekbones, and slightly more narrow at the forehead and chin
- Heart: Wider forehead and cheekbones, but with a narrow chin
- Oblong: Strong jawline, uniformly broader-set face
- Pear-shaped: Slightly narrow forehead, wide cheekbones, very wide jaw
Remember: Rules Are (Sometimes) Meant to Be Broken
While a lot of the framing around flattering face shapes suggests that you need to “soften” or “de-emphasize” certain features, this isn’t to suggest that any specific face shape has flaws. Rather, it’s all in regards to the fact that our eyes “deem” things as symmetrically optimal; again, this is why some things are flattering on you and others aren’t. So, please just consider the below guidelines as mere suggestions for optimizing haircuts based on visual symmetry.
These aren’t the holy commandments by any means. But do your homework, because the best way to break a rule is to first understand the rule. That’s where confidence is earned, and as Conrad reminds us, confidence is sexy. “It’s good to follow guidelines, but ultimately the choice is yours,” Conrad says. And somebody armed with this information—or with incredible confidence as they go against the grain—will always have a good hair day.
The Best Haircuts for Different Face Shapes
Haircuts for Oval Face Shape
As seen on: Justin Bieber, A$AP Rocky, Ryan Gosling, Henry Golding