When your client walks up to the chair and you start to discuss hairstyle suggestions, be sure to have their face shape in mind and to have suitable haircuts ready. The shape of a person’s face can have a surprisingly strong influence on how their haircut looks overall.
There are six general face shapes to be aware of, each with ideal ways of cutting hair to match it best.
This face shape is slightly wider at the forehead than at the jawline, with a length that is roughly one and a half times the width, and a rounded jaw and chin.
Women’s cuts: This face shape is generally the most versatile, with either short cuts or longer lengths working will to emphasize the facial symmetry.
Men’s cuts: What’s true for women’s cuts with this face shape is also true for men: just about any style works. The best way to optimize this face shape is to keep it short on the sides and back, and to style the hair off of the forehead.
Defined by an equal length and width of the face, this face shape is also marked by a lack of clear angles in the cheeks or jaw.
Women’s cuts: The best strategy for this face shape is to use layers, varying lengths, or even bold colors to add depth and structure.
Men’s cuts: Styles that have some height at the top, along with short sides, help give some sharpness and dimension to this face shape. A well-groomed beard also compliments this face shape.
A squared jawline with sharp angles roughly the same width as the forehead defines this face shape.
Women’s cuts: Longer hair is ideal for this face shape, with fringes that vary in length to add depth and softness to the look. Adding texture and movement is a great way to make a shorter hairstyle work too.
Men’s cuts: This is another very versatile face shape for hairstyles, with shorter, classic cuts working best.
The longest of the face shapes, it is defined by a narrow chin and a smaller width.
Women’s cuts: Volume and layers are the two things to keep in mind with this face shape. Longer lengths that have depth and some shape are best.
Men’s cuts: Keeping some length, particularly on the sides, is the key to this face shape for men. Styling the hair so some of it falls over the forehead helps as well.
This face shape is defined as having a wide forehead and cheekbones with a narrow jawline and chin.
Women’s cuts: Styles that show off the forehead, such as a side-swept fringe, with layers around the cheekbones and the length kept above the shoulders gives the best balance to this face shape.
Men’s cuts: Avoid cuts that are tight along the sides and back, and shoot for a mid-length swept look that exposes the forehead without too much volume on top. A good amount of facial hair also does this face shape some favors.
The cheekbones take center stage in this face shape, being the widest point on the face while the forehead, jawline, and chin are narrower.
Women’s cuts: Shorter cuts, such as a bob, work best with this face shape. Going with a straight-across cut, or carefully adding subtle layers, helps proportion this face shape well.
Men’s cuts: Keep some length around the sides and back for this face shape, and don’t hesitate to throw the hair forward in a soft, layered fringe. Some short facial hair will also add some shape and definition to the smaller jawline.
Knowing what style works best with the shape of your client’s face will help you guide them toward a cut that will make them happy and keep coming back to you in the future.