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Larger foreheads can be a common insecurity (something we all face). While there are many reasons why one might decide to switch up their haircut, hiding one's features should never be one of them.
We may not be able to control our proportions, but we do have the power to express ourselves in a way that boosts our confidence. Case in point—there are plenty of cuts that not only accommodate larger foreheads but accentuate other features. Face shape, natural texture, and daily wear are just a few of the things to take into consideration for finding the perfect cut. We tapped expert stylists Jordan M, Liz Sustaita, and George Northwood to guide us toward a cure for our forehead woes.
Meet the Expert
- Jordan M is an editorial hairdresser at Suite Caroline based in New York City.
- Liz Sustaita is a Los Angeles-based hairstylist with over 15 years of experience.
- George Northwood is a celebrity hairstylist. His clients include Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Julianne Moore, and Alicia Vikander, among others.
Keep reading for our list of the absolute best haircuts that will complement a bigger forehead.
Shaped and Defined
Giving your hair a distinct shape is an eye-catcher all on its own. Especially with naturally curly textures, giving your hair a shape that falls into place and feels supported will keep your daily efforts minimal. Do this by asking your stylist to strategically layer your 'do and using products to moisturize and define coils. A few wispy curls around the face never hurt, either.
Adding face-framing layers is an easy adjustment to any pre-existing cut. This small tweak has transformative power, opening things up around the face rather than narrowing in for an elongating effect. "Face framing layers add movement," says Sustaita. "Plus, they do a great job at highlighting your cheekbones and jawline."
More of a styling technique than a haircut, brushing hair forward, and then to the side as bangs, can flatter a larger forehead. "Pushing everything forward towards the face gives everything more volume and looks so iconic," says M. A little bit can go a long way, he notes. "If that idea sounds too extreme to you, start with some light face-framing and go from there."
Thick and Voluminous
Volume is a key player in the game of redistributing attention away from the forehead. Thicker hair with a lot of natural volume on its own may have an easier time with longer-length cuts. But if you have finer strands, try using a volumizing product like IGK No Limit Dry Volume and Thickening Spray ($31) to feign fullness.
One of the last things you want to do when working with a larger forehead is have a haircut that elongates your face shape and features. "A shorter haircut is always better to disguise a bigger forehead," says Northwood. "If you think your head looks long, then you need to create width in your hair." By keeping the hair cropped up above the shoulders, your cut can actually create the illusion of a shorter forehead.
Soft and Loose
Longer lengths won't do a ton for larger foreheads, but there are still ways to get around that. A side parting and soft texture throughout are two great ways to wear long locks while flattering your features. When it comes to your cut, opt for feathered or tapered ends over anything blunt.
Avoid pulled-back styles that may harshly expose the entire hairline. Instead, M suggests keeping styling efforts soft and loose.
Blunt and Bold
This blunt fringed pixie cut is a genius way to make a bold, fashion-forward statement with your hair. While this cut covers the forehead, the only thing we notice is the confidence it takes to wear a pixie. Spritz a bit of dry shampoo—we like Billie Floof Dry Shampoo ($14)—to bangs to keep them looking fresh and avoid having grease trickle down to your forehead.
M notes that a severe middle part won't help if you're self-conscious about your forehead but recognizes that some natural partings are stubborn. If your hair naturally splits directly down the middle, wearing a long curtain bang can help soften everything up.
A great way to divert attention from the forehead is to ensure your hair's volume isn't falling to the ends, which can often happen with thicker, longer lengths. "Short-to-medium length haircuts will help add some natural volume around the parting," says M. If you've got straight strands, a sea salt spray like Philip B Maui Wowie Beach Mist ($30) will contribute to much-needed texture and volume.
The parting you choose can have a big impact on where the eyes are drawn. "Off-center parts will help shorten and soften the forehead," says M. And to keep things looking soft: "Try and avoid tucking your hair behind your ear, if you can help it."
Deep Side Bangs
Uma Thurman's classic updo is a great style for people with large foreheads. The deep-parted, side-swept bangs help bring focus away from the forehead, while the volume from the up-do helps balance out the rest of the look. This would be a great option for a bridal look!
With a natural side-parting, you have a better bet of sporting longer lengths without being concerned about the size of your forehead. To keep styling choices soft, try adding some movement to your strands. Even a gesture as simple as tucking your hair into your blouse or jacket can give it some effortless volume à la faux lob.
An A-line bob works well to combat any forehead insecurity. "Shorter chin to collar bone length pieces will really help to soften up the hairline around the face and forehead," M says. They will also highlight your bone structure, in case you're looking to show it off.
Deep Side Part
Not only does a deep side part complement round, square, and heart-shaped faces but it also flatters a large forehead. "Just parting your hair on a deep side is a great solution, as a center parting is too symmetrical, so it will only show off a big forehead," says Norwood. "This is a great quick-fix if you can’t go to the hairdresser."
This feathered pixie on Katie Holmes works well for a few different reasons. The length is a favorable one and a statement of confidence on its own, but its style also works well with the forehead. Styling your hair to create a bit of coverage is a straightforward solution to any haircut and length, notes Sustaita.
A full-on fringe is a big commitment, especially for first-timers. "They're going to require some extra styling in the morning," M says. "And if you don't like them, it's an even bigger commitment to grow them back out."
To avoid future regrets, grab a faux bang to try on for size first. You don't want bangs to be an impulsive easy answer for boredom or defeat, M warns. A faux bang will help give you a realistic idea of what life with a fringe really feels like, so you can approach the salon with excitement rather than uncertainty.
Face Framing Curtain Bangs
If you have long curtain bangs like Real Housewives of Potomac's Gizelle Bryant, you can sweep them to the side to frame the face. The long, curled locks also draw attention away from your forehead.
Longer bangs can draw attention to your eyes while simultaneously offering some coverage for your forehead. "I love cutting bangs a little past the eyebrows in length," comments Sustaita, "and leaving the sides longer can create a sexy Bardot bang." The infamous Bardot bang can refer to a face-framing fringe or a curtain bang. Any version of a longer bang is going to be an easy fix, Sustaita says.
Double Face-Framing Tendrils
Ultimately, when avoiding a focal point in one area, you need to move it to another. Here, Zoe Saldana wears hefty face-framing tendrils to accentuate her jawline and face shape, while giving off serious '90s vibes. Style with shine-inducing spray, like L'ange Miracle Lightweight Conditioning Shine Spray ($22), to get her glossy finish.
The Full Blunt Bang
Christina Ricci's thick, blunt bangs is a bold look — and looks especially great with a neck-length bob. To keep the look sleek and tame fly-aways with the DryBar Liquid Glass Moisture-Rich Miracle Smoothing Sealant ($34).
Exposing the forehead isn't something you need to avoid by any measure. We love the way Angelina Jolie wears her styled bangs split at the side part and with lots of volume. "There are a couple of types of fringes that really work to make a forehead look smaller," says Northwood. "A side fringe on a side parting will help with hiding a high forehead."
If you have fine hair, try misting some volumizing product, such as Virtue Volumizing Primer ($38), on your bangs and blowdrying the product in to help give the hair a little extra body and a natural-looking lift.
Micro bangs make a fun addition to any length or texture, and larger foreheads are the perfect candidates to sport the look. "First, I would check to see if there are any ornery cowlicks," M says as a consideration before plunging straight into this look. If you're wearing bangs in a humid environment, M suggests ditching longer, wispier bangs. But the micro bang, on the other hand, will have you covered.
This extra-layered cut on Issa Rae provides a beautiful shape for her natural texture while also framing the face and offering some natural lift. "By avoiding a center part," Sustaita says, "there's also more coverage along the forehead, making this an easy solution for any haircut or length." It also creates a boost of volume that draws eyes to the side.
A wispy, eyelash-grazing fringe is super sexy. According to Norwood. "If you’ve got a small forehead, you want to cut the fringe to make the head look bigger, so the opposite will be the case for a big forehead. You'll want to opt for a smaller cut—something like Caroline de Maigret, as her fringe is disconnected, and you can see through it."
When getting your fringe, make sure your stylist doesn't make it very deep, comments Norwood. This will have the opposite effect that you would want if you have a large forehead; it will make it appear larger.
Sleek Side Part
Gen-Z might not be down with the side part, but it's one of the easiest ways to pull focus from the forehead. For an extra bit of fun, you can accessorize the hair you slick back with a barrette or bobby pin.
There is truly nothing that two front tendrils and a messy up-do can't do. Sza's voluminous up-do features strategically placed curls that give the look a chic look. The long, curled tendrils? They help frame the face. And that little bit of baby hair give another bit of visual interest that pulls attention away from the face.
Sleek and Tucked Bangs
Jennifer Garner's less severe take on the straight bangs/wavy hair combo of the early 2000s is perfect for those with a larger forehead. As always, the bangs will be your best bet to complement your face.
Wavy Middle Part Lob
If you don't want to commit to bangs, then opt for a style like Mena Suvari's wavy middle part lob. The length is key here — the neck length helps even out your face. And the added beachy waves give you a bit of volume as well.
Braids are an incredibly versatile style for Black hair. Tessa Thompson's long, auburn colored box braids are adorned with a giant bow for a romantic touch. The super long front tendrils pull focus away from the forehead as well.
Lupita's halo-like afro is a gorgeous style for people with thick, natural hair. To give you the extra height at the top, you'll want to use an afro pick to gently tease the hair from the root.
What types of haircuts can flatter a large forehead?
In general, shorter haircuts (i.e. shoulder-length and shorter) tend to complement a larger forehead. By playing up volume and framing the face, they can actually make the forehead appear wider, which in turn, makes it appear shorter.
What haircuts should you avoid if you have a big forehead?
Longer cuts can elongate your face, which does not seem very appealing for those with a bigger forehead. Still, if you're not ready to commit to sacrificing your length, go with a hair tuck to feign a faux bob and induce volume. Bangs are also super versatile and can flatter a large forehead.
What are the best bangs to get if you have a bigger forehead?
Almost any bang—with the exception of deep-cut bangs—can complement a bigger forehead. What's perhaps more important to consider when thinking of getting bangs is which will be suited to your face shape, hair texture, and lifestyle.