One of the surest ways to get a stellar haircut is to first assess the shape of your face, and then apply some geometric logic to the canvas. For this reason, the best haircuts for square-faced men are going to be different from those of other faces. That’s because square-shaped faces (unlike their oval, triangle, rectangle, circle, and diamond counterparts) have a wide-set bone structure that stays nearly uniform from temple to jawline. It cuts over sharply at the jaw (even if the chin dips downward) and gives the face a “strong” definition, for lack of a better word.
The rule with finding a "flattering" hairstyle for this shape—if that's what you're aiming for—is to not elongate or widen the face beyond a typical "oval." In other words, if someone has a narrow, rectangular face, they should pick styles that widen at the sides, rather than those that add even more height to an already long bone structure. In the case of square structure, you want styles that add roundness, height, or texture up top. Even a sharp, boxy cut looks flattering since it elongates the face. Similarly, a total bald-head shave can flatter because the round dome offsets the sharp angles of the bone structure. Thus, the main "rule" for square-shaped faces is to avoid anything too wide that isn't also tall. Any weight on the sides should be accommodated by additional weight up top.
Below are 21 of the best hairstyles for square faces, as worn by some of the most famous sharp-jawed men. We've arranged them in relative order, from shorter looks to longer looks. While some of the men may teeter between square and diamond or oval structures, they all have wider, sharper features overall—thus, the included hairstyles should look universally flattering on square faces. To round out the list of looks, we sought input from two experts at Rudy’s Barbershop: hairdresser Alejandro Ulloa and director of education Jesse Taylor.
Barry Jenkins shows how a bald head looks terrific with sharp, square bone structure. Ulloa suggests that bald guys still spray some tonic spray (like Rudy's Tonic Spray, $14) to tone the scalp and prevent flaking. He also adds that Jenkins' round glasses are pulling a lot of weight, too, in terms of adding geometric contrast to his sharp angles.
"Christopher Jackson's head shape is taller and pointy," notes Ulloa (as opposed to Jenkins' head in the previous shot). For this, Ulloa says that the high-fade skins on the sides provide subtle gradation, all the way to the top outline of his hairline. While Jackson's structure might technically teeter into rectangle territory, the fading lessons are applicable for any square-shaped faces that have pointier domes.
Any kind of clean, uniform buzz will flatter a square-shaped face, but a line-up also has the benefit of utilizing geometry and clean lines on the interior of the cut. Paired with the roundness of Pooch Hall's head, it creates a more thoughtful cut than any DIY at-home buzz. Ulloa says to clean it up every two weeks in order to keep looking fresh.
The barber on Liev Schreiber's cut transitioned cleanly from the sides to the top, Ulloa says. This keeps his head looking round rather than poofing and widening at the sides.
Buzz and Fuller Beard Combo
Y'lan Noel has a sharp jaw under all that beard hair, which he utilizes to create an oval effect for his overall face shape. "The timeless fade compliments the beard with great detail," Ulloa says. It even allows Noel to wear a short, boxy style atop the fade since it's not competing with his sharp jawline.
Notice that Michael Ealy's curls go slightly taller than they do wide. That's the classic rule of "flattering" hairstyles: Create an oval effect if you want a guaranteed hit. As for styling, his strands are on the finer side, says Ulloa, so use a curl cream (like Bevel's Curl Creme, $12) and apply with fingers.
Modern Flat Top
Ulloa likes the detail at the front of John Cena's hair—a cowlick that creates a natural part. Here's one example of a square cut up top that doesn't contrast inversely with the square bone structure, simply because of the high fade on the sides that keeps the cut narrow and tall.
Brad Pitt has entire roundups dedicated to his hairstyle archives, and rightfully so. But one of his most famous looks was the undercut, which spawned an entire hairstyle trend in the mid-2010s. This is a shorter execution of the look, as many guys wear the undercut with longer lengths up top. It borders on high-and-tight territory, Ulloa says, before the length shift at the top sides of the crown. He estimates that Pitt has 4 inches brushed back on top in this particular look.
Dyed Flat Top
Here, Francis Ngannou lets his upper sides have a little growth, too, blended from a lower fade. "The top is fuller in this one, compared to the last look," Ulloa says. This is a good thing since the sides have more weight in this cut. "The color creates a [visual] disconnection, too," he adds. Even without the dye, this style would work thanks to the added height, but that flourish of color makes it even more friendly to the squareness of Ngannou's face.
Call Colton Haynes' cut a quiff, a gentleman's cut, or any name you please. Regardless, the effect is the same: "The progression from short to long on the sides to the top is perfect, creating a focal point on top," Ulloa says.
"This gives Henry Golding a squared style that compliments his jawline," Taylor says. After all, a quiff emphasizes height, so it's bound to work well for square faces. Taylor says it would be best styled with a pomade—classic or matte. Try Rudy's Matte Pomade ($19).
"This longer crop haircut on Josh Hutcherson helps create a solid square shape silhouette," Taylor says. "Wearing the front down on his forehead closes the top part of his face, making your eyes focus on his jawline."
Note that the forward swoop on Elijah Wood's style is helping to hide some recession, Taylor says. It's probably styled with a medium-hold cream or balm, too. Try Kevin Murphy's Free Hold Paste ($30).
Curly Gentleman's Cut
"Henry Cavill's take on the classic dapper haircut works perfectly to give him volume," Taylor says. The scruff also frames his jawline, which emphasizes his leading man bone structure.
Taylor notes that Miguel's curly pompadour gives volume and movement while the tapered sides help keep the face shape lean. "It's best styled by applying a curl cream to damp hair. Use a blow-dry diffuser on low to bring out the curls." (Again, we like Bevel's Curl Creme, $12.)
Nick Lachey proves that height complements a square face with this dollop that is disconnected from the buzzed sides. Something like this requires a blow-dryer to lock it into place, says Taylor. "It will help create the volume, and shape your style in the most effective way."
Grown-Out Modern Combover
Robert Pattinson is probably the king of artful dishevelment. To mimic his sweeps and swoops, "style your hair back off the face with a soft moldable product, and keep your sideburns trimmed in front of the ears," Taylor advises. Try Rudy's Perfect Cream ($18).
High Curly Quiff
Voluminous curls like Eliot Glazer's make it easy to gain height. "Use lighter styling products that are cream- or oil-based to give separation with movement," Taylor says. We like Odele's Air Dry Styler, $12.
Grown-Out Gentleman's Cut
We're going out on a limb with this one, because those sides are getting dangerously close to the same bulk as the height. But, Sebastian Stan's hairstyle is just tall enough to pass the test, and the subtle five o'clock shadow is helping to define his squared jawline. "Blow-drying with a hair balm will soften thick hair, and add control and hold," says Taylor. Try Aesop's Violet Leaf Hair Balm ($33).
"Creating balance between your hair and face isn't always easy, but Kumail Nanjiani makes it look so effortless here by keeping his face shaved, a longer sideburn, and little volume on the top of his cut," Taylor notes. It's an alternate take on Sebastian Stan's approach, with more emphasis given to the quiff/pompadour in front, as opposed to one uniform sweeping-back.
Longer Slick Back
Of course, we have to end with a Daniel Dae Kim style: He might have the most famous bone structure in Hollywood. "Longer hair doesn't mean you have to sacrifice a square shape on your cuts," Taylor says. "This haircut gives a longer, leaner shape by just keeping length in the back behind the ear. By styling it back off his face, it allows us to concentrate on his bone structure and jawline."