If you have an oval face shape, you've landed the most versatile shape for hairstyles. More often than not, those with differing face shapes—round, long, square, and heart—ask for haircuts or styles that give the illusion of an oval face. But don't just take it from us. Amy Abramite, creative director at Maxine Salon in Chicago agrees. "An oval shape face is the ideal form for balance in beauty," she says. "The forehead and jawline are equally petite with soft elongating outlines creating slenderness, while a touch of width at the sides highlights the cheekbones." Whether it's face-framing layers à la Jennifer Anniston or a choppy pixie like Charlize Theron, it's easy to find a haircut for oval faces that's complementary. Below, uncover 20 of the most flattering cuts and styles for oval face shapes.
Meet the Expert
- Amy Abramite holds the titles of creative director, salon educator, and stylist at Chicago's Maxine Salon.
- Annagjid "Kee" Taylor is a celebrity hairstylist and the founder of Shear Genius Collection hair products. She was also the key hairstylist for the film Brotherly Love where she styled hair for lead actress Keke Palmer.
- Chaz Dean is a celebrity hairstylist and the founder of Wen haircare.
Jennifer's Aniston's mane is touted as being one of the best haircuts for an oval face. The long layers hit perfectly at the cheekbones, and the hair is longer in the back and shorter in the front, eliminating that heavy, weighted-down feeling. Try Alterna's Bamboo Shine Brilliance Creame ($24) for ultimate shine and taming fly-aways.
Shoulder-Length Loose Waves
No matter how many celebrities cut their long hair into a trendy style, long hair will always remain on trend. As with most cuts, long hair looks great on most oval face shapes. Depending on how oval your face shape is, the key is to trim the hair regularly to avoid it growing too long and drawing the face downward. Opt for a shoulder-length cut that falls gently on and around the shoulders.
If you have wavy hair and an oval face, a style with long, soft waves is a perfect option for you. To avoid dragging an oval face shape downward, Abramite suggests adding layers. "Soft layers that fall between the eyes and collarbone will lighten up the heaviness and add definition to the facial features," she says. "I recommend styling the layers in a way that sweeps away from the face to reveal the cheekbones. The goal is to open up the face rather than cover it up."
For an oval face shape, Abramite recommends curtain bangs (bangs that have shorter pieces above the eyes with gradual longer lengths sweeping away toward the outer eyebrows). "The forehead will remain covered while the bang width will widen for a better balance up top," she notes. "I recommend using a large round brush to blow out the fringe into a smooth texture and to get the ends to flick out."
However, oval face shapes can actually play with any bang style. According to celebrity hairstylist Chaz Dean, "Deep side, middle, sideswept all generally work well with the oval face shape."
Swift, Side-Swept Bangs
This is a great hairstyle for long hair that has big, natural waves. "The peak of the forehead is the highest part of an oval face, which is where the hair will naturally want to make a middle part," notes Abramite. "To achieve a successful side-swept bang, the parting should be changed from the middle to over the pupil. This will allow gravity to keep the sweeping motion in place, and will also expose the forehead to lift the eyebrow, eye, and cheekbone."
Abramite recommends using a comb while sectioning the part for a clean and precise end result. To enhance the sweeping across the forehead, use a flat brush and a blowdryer to smooth out the texture in a diagonal motion.
With an oval face, you can afford to go short—super short even. "A pixie haircut mimics the overall shape of the head and accentuates the natural beauty of an oval face," says Abramite. "All features of the face are on display with pixies—the cheekbones appear lifted and the jawline and chin remain delicate, as does the forehead." She recommends a pomade to add shine and control to the fringe when styling. (Our pick? Ouai's Matte Pomade ($24), for its texture-refining formula and medium hold.)
Grown-Out Edgy Pixie
Edgy hairstyles take guts, but the results can be head-turning and sophisticated at the same time. If you're in that in-between stage of growing out your pixie, add choppy layers to make the hair blend. You can also use this time to play with fun accessories like barrettes and trendy hair clips like this Silver Diamante Oversized Hair Clip from Pretty Little Thing ($8).
"A bob is a fantastic haircut for an oval shape face because it reveals the jawline and chin," says Abramite. "The slenderness of that area allows the bob to hug it and give it a super swinging effect, and it's a haircut that suits any texture." For low-maintenance styling and a crisp line, she recommends sticking to a one-length bob and air drying with a leave-in conditioner. Try Arbonne's True Hair Daily Leave-In Treatment ($18) for both hydration and shine.
A classic bob is a safe yet versatile choice. It can take on many different vibes: When worn flat-ironed and sleek it can exude sophistication, and when paired with blunt bangs it can add a playful element to your look. That said, blunt bangs can often come with oiliness. Try shampooing your bangs separately from the rest of the hair if you feel it getting oily, or opt for a dry shampoo instead.
With bobs, you have options when it comes to the type of cut you get. An asymmetrical bob—where one side is longer than the other–is equal parts chic and stylish, and takes the classic bob (where the length is the same all around) to the next level. Pair it with a deep side part and piecey waves for shape and texture.
Donning thin hair? You'll likely find it best to keep it short. Pop in a few layers for body and texture, and sweep the bangs to the side to accentuate the jawline. A texture spray—like Sexy Hair's Surfer Girl Dry Texturizing Spray ($20) will add the thickness your thin hair craves.
Touting lobs as a crowd-pleaser on an oval shape face, Abramite says to go angled. "This will eliminate any boxiness in the back and slim out any weight toward the front," she explains. "It’s best to wear this haircut with one side tucked behind the ear to show off the high cheekbones and accentuate the angle." Opt for a straight or wavy texture—use a flat-ironed for a sleek look or hit with a large curling iron for relaxed beach waves.
"A pompadour has a lot of vertical height in the front of the style," notes Abramite. "The bang area is long enough to lift up off the face, and because an oval face has an ideal shape near the temples, there's no receding hairline to hide or conceal." Plus, as an added bonus, the volume of the pompadour itself makes the face look even slimmer.
Use a medium round brush to roll the bangs up and away from the face to create volume. Lock the style in place with a strong-hold hairspray like Sebastian Professional Shaper Fierce ($20).
Looking for a tousled 'do? A shag is the perfect complement for an oval shape face because of its softness. "With lots lots of short layers around the face and sides—along with a longer back—the diffused layers throughout this style gets rid of extra weight and creates an airy effect all over," says Abramite. "To get a messy tousled look, use a spray wax or mousse and scrunch into the hair using your fingers." We love Living Proof's Full Thickening Mousse ($29) because it thickens without stiffening.
The beauty of the shag hairstyle is that it flatters all face shapes and can be styled to your preference of the day. Leave it mussy by spritzing in some texture spray or weave in some big curls for a more polished look. Bangs or no bangs, it works either way.
Shoulder-Length Soft Curls
If you're not ready to take the plunge and go super short, consider a shoulder-length style or one that hits somewhere between shoulder-length and chin-length. The versatility of this cut cannot be overstated. Part it right down the center for a more sophisticated style, or off to the side for a little added volume. Style it straight for a sleek look or soften it up with curls. Additionally, by adding volume to the sides of the hair, you're drawing the eye upwards rather than lengthening an oval face. "Having an oval face is great for big hair, so don't be afraid to go for it!" exclaims celebrity hairstylist and natural hair expert Kee Taylor. "Volume and length will both compliment your overall features and help create overall balance."
Long and Sleek
While blunt bangs work with shorter cuts, they can also do wonders on a longer mane. Go for bangs that are left longer on the sides, as they add flattering framing to the face and the eyes. And when it comes to blowdrying blunt bangs (and avoiding the "bubble bang" look), try blowing your bangs dry using a flat or paddle brush rather than a round one.
Meet the cut that's striking enough to make you stand out from the crowd: the undercut. "To add strength and structure to an oval shape face, go for an undercut, which would remove softness from the look and add more angular features," says Abramite. "The top lengths of an undercut are more squared and fill out weight near the temples while the shorter length underneath offers an edgier look."
"To avoid that triangular shape in curly hair, add layers to release weight and accentuate the eyes and cheekbones of an oval face shape," says Abramite. "I recommend that these layers extend all the way down through the length, and that long layers be added to the interior to free the curls to bounce up." She adds that a full balayage highlight will break up the density of the look and add the feeling of movement and lightness around the face.
A pulled-back, mile-high ponytail accentuates the jawline and adds lift to the cheekbones. Wrap a strand of hair around the base of the ponytail for an instantly sleek look, and use a flexible-hold hair pomade like The Mane Choice Pow! Gel ($15).