Like most things that pertain to aesthetics (fashion, interior design, landscaping), men’s haircuts are all about shape, angles, and proportion. Most people tend to choose a haircut that accentuates their best assets, or one that helps bring balance to overall appearance. One of the most effective ways to do this is to determine your face shape.
Determining Your Face Shape
First you have to do some math (kind of). Using a tape measure or ruler, record the below measurements.
- Forehead: Measure the distance between the peak of one eyebrow to the other
- Cheekbones: Measure the distance between your upper cheekbones, starting at the peak at the outer corner of one eye to the other.
- Jawline: Place the tape measure about one inch down from the bottom of your ears (this is usually the widest part of your face). Find the same place on the opposite side and measure the distance between them.
- Length: In the center of your face, measure the distance between your hairline and the tip of your chin.
Once you have these measurements, use the guide below to find out what face shape you have and what haircuts are suited for you.
On a diamond-shaped face, the cheekbones are the widest part. That means the forehead measurement and jawline measurement are both smaller than the cheekbones. These faces tend to have high, defined cheekbones and more pointed chins. The length of the face is also the longest measurement of the four.
Best Hair Styles: “You want more length on the sides to build up a more masculine, square shape,” says Dezarate, like a textured crop or a taper (instead of a skin fade).
Beard Bonus: If your end game is to make your jaw look wider, keep the volume between your jaw and chin to make the transition less angular and more oval.
Celeb Examples: Ryan Gosling, Robert Pattinson, Johnny Depp, Jared Leto
The length and cheekbone measurements are almost the same on round faces, with forehead and jawline measurements lining up closely too. Unlike a square face, though, the angles of a round face are softer and the cheeks are usually fuller.
Best Hair Styles: Round faces tend to be well-balanced with structured cuts. “Generally that means tight around the sides and more length on top,” says Dezarate, like a high and tight, fade, or pompadour.
Beard Bonus: Cutting your beard short on the sides and longer on the chin can elongate the face and create a stronger looking jaw line.
Celeb Examples: Jonah Hill, Kanye West, Leonardo DiCaprio, Henry Golding
Also referred to as an oblong shape, the length measurement is the largest on rectangle faces. The other three measurements (forehead, cheekbones, and chin) are all similar lengths. This means that the face can have a long, lean appearance, especially if the angles of your jaw are square.
Best Hair Styles: “If you have an angular face, you [may] want to soften the angles,” says Dezarate. “So leave a little more length on the sides so it’s not all one shape.” Think classic side part or grown out fade.
Beard Bonus: Keeping more length on the sides will help bring balance to your overall appearance
Celeb Examples: Adam Levine, Ben Affleck, Chris Hemsworth, Zayn Malik
It’s actually an upside down triangle, where the jaw measurement is wider than the forehead and cheekbones. The length isn’t as important here as the ratio between the other three. These faces tend to have very defined jawlines.
Best Hair Styles: “You want more length on the top and sides,” says Dezarate. “If it’s too short, it [can] give you a pointed effect, like a conehead. It needs a little more hair to balance it out.” Opt for a textured fade or a taper.
Beard Bonus: Go clean shaven or keep stubble short so your sharp jaw can shine.
Celeb Examples: Rob Lowe, Jon Hamm, Justin Timberlake, Zac Efron
Like a rectangle face, the length of an oval face is the longest measurement. However, the measurement of the forehead is longer than the jaw, which gives it a less angular and softer appearance. Oval faces tend to have less square jawlines.
Best Hair Styles: The good news is that “oval faces can essentially wear any haircut,” says Dezarate. "But you shouldn’t go too high with the length on top because then it stretches your face out. Oval faces can actually rock a shaved head really easily.” Think: taper, fade, undercut, or pompadour.
Beard Bonus: Keep your beard tight to the face to accentuate your oval shape without extending it.
Celeb Examples: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jude Law, Jay-Z, Maluma
A square face is basically a round face, but with sharper angles. All four measurements are fairly similar, meaning the length and width of your face are pretty much the same. Unlike a round face, the cheekbones and jawline are usually defined.
Best Hair Styles: “A square jaw and a square hair shape is very masculine and they can wear almost any cut,” says Dezarate, adding that bangs can shorten the face (which you may or may not want, depending on your endgame). “A little more length on the sides can help create a more oval shape if you want,” she says. Think anything from a buzzcut to a fade.
Beard Bonus: Keep hair shorter on the sides and longer on the chin to elongate your jaw but accentuate the angles
Celeb Examples: Rami Malek, Brad Pitt, Zayne, David Beckham, Henry Cavill