Round face shapes are complemented by myriad hairstyles—there certainly isn't a style that should be considered completely "off limits." But if your goal is to trick the eye and create more definition and elongate the face, there are certain looks that will do just that. “The trick here is to strike the perfect balance in the shape of the hair, as round face shapes are less suited to very sleek or very voluminous styling," says stylist Scott Ade.
We turned to Ade and hair industry pros Adam Federico and Gretchen Friese for some rules about finding a flattering hairstyle for a round face. Plus, to give you some visual inspiration, we’ve selected some of our favorite cuts and styles from rounder-faced A-listers. They are proof that not only are round faces beautiful, but they are in no way limiting to the kind of hairstyle you desire.
Meet the Expert
- Scott Ade is a hairstylist with more than a decade of experience at John Frieda and five years spent working at Hershesons along with countless fashion shows in London.
- Adam Federico is the director of content at haircare line R+Co and the creative director at Federico Beauty Institute.
- Gretchen Friese is a BosleyMD stylist and certified trichologist. She has over 20 years of beauty industry experience and is based in Denver.
Scroll through our gallery of 28 hairstyles that suit round faces.
Long, Wavy Layers
The ultimate red carpet hairstyle, long, glamorous waves are the perfect accompaniment to round faces. Chrissy Teigen's slight quiff boosts overall length even further by lifting and heightening the hair with help from a volumizing product like SexyHair Big Powder Play ($10) no doubt.
Lupita Nyong'o's natural hair is a dream. She demonstrates how it's also possible to elongate the face with short hair. The key is to go up and not out. Here, volume is added up top and sides are kept really close to reveal a fantastic shape overall.
Bob With Deep Side Part
You may have heard that round face shapes should steer clear of bobs, however, that's not entirely true. Michelle Williams’s bob works because the length sits just below her jawline to give the illusion of a longer face. Plus, the deep side-parting is super slimming.
A long bob also gives the illusion of length, as seen on Taraji P Henson. The height lift at the roots and the side sweep make this a style that would suit anyone but does wonders for those with rounder features.
Shoulder-length hairstyles are universally flattering no matter your face shape. Mindy Kaling's 'do has enough length to provide balance to her features and the face-framing waves slim her cheekbones ever so slightly. Apply BosleyMD Volumizing & Thickening Mousse ($18) before blow-drying with a large round brush, instructs Friese. Then "Follow with a large barrel curling iron if more texture is desired, she adds.
Smooth and Sleek
Mila Kunis's long, straight hair is flattering because there's lift at the root and a sharp center part to add some edge. "To complete the look, mist lightly with texture spray to give the hair added texture, volume, and attitude," says Federico.
Updos are another tricky area for anyone with a round face, but you can totally rock this look. Try a low messy bun with—and this is key—a few tendrils left around the face to soften. And make sure to opt for a side-parting like Emma Stone.
Medium-Length With Soft Waves
Long layers give Gabrielle Union's hair dimension. "[Her] lob has textured ends that fall on her shoulders, drawing attention to her jawline. The middle part also helps elongate her face, which is why middle parts are common on round face shapes," comments Friese. This choppy cut looks beautiful with relaxed or natural hair.
Miranda Kerr has everything working for her with this cut and style—just one of her many amazing hair moments. Layers allow for volume, which she's boosted with curls. For increased fullness and body, flip your hair upside down while you dry.
This hairstyle is not overly voluminous, but it has just enough height to give the impression that Drew Barrymore’s face is slightly longer. The waves around her face also give the illusion that it’s slimmer. To re-create this look, curl the hair (if it’s not naturally wavy) before misting with a texturizing spray like Sachajuan Ocean Mist Texturizing Spray ($31).
We know, we know, if you have a round face, you have probably never even entertained the idea of a pixie cut, but Jennifer Hudson proves it can work. This is a super-cute way to stick to the round face rules. Piecey fringe? Check. Some height at the back to elongate the face? Check.
Janelle Monáe's head-turning curly pompadour may look intimidating, but it actually works on most hair types and textures. If you have fine hair and are looking to fake volume, make your mane appear thicker by spritzing in some texturizing spray before styling.
Kirsten Dunst's curtain bangs are soft and eyelash-skimming. The slight part in the middle keeps them from being too heavy for a round face. "A good volumizing mousse and a medium-sized round brush can achieve this style. Concentrate on creating volume and bend in the hair. If more curl is desired, a large barrel iron will get you there," says Friese.
Side-Parted Textured Lob
Selena Gomez's textured lob is messy in the best way possible. "A little height in the crown will elongate the face shape perfectly, and a side parting will also help to complement your shape," says Ade. For this look, tease hair only slightly and use a product that will enhance dimension, such as Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray.
Long, wavy hair with or without bangs is a very boho-chic look that offers many opportunities to play with your style as Zoe Saldana does. For an at-home version of this look, flip your hair over while you roughly blow-dry using high heat. Once it's semi-dry, use a round brush to fully dry the hair, which will add volume.
If you've got fine tresses, use a ceramic brush when you blow-dry, as it will help hair to better hold volume.
Gemma Chan's 'do is stylish and practical. A few loose tendrils keep things casual and conveniently out of the face. And when it comes to flattering looks for round faces, Ade says, "A good choice of style would be half-up, half-down; it allows for a little height, and the loose hair can be tonged to soften the look."
Long and Wavy
Olivia Munn's long, centered waves can streamline a round face. And when it comes to the proper hair routine, she knows what she's doing. "Every great style begins with what the hair was prepared with," notes Federico. He recommends misting the hair with a liberal amount of R+Co One Prep Spray ($22) which "acts as a primer balancing the porosity of the hair."
Pixie With Bangs
Actress Ginnifer Goodwin has sported a number of interesting pixie cuts, but this version—complete with a heavy, side-swept bang—highlights her face beautifully. "This pixie with the thick angled fringe helps to open up her round face. Apply BosleyMD Blowdry & Styling Gel ($19) to wet hair and use a flat or paddle brush to smooth the hair and create the separation at the fringe. Use a pomade or paste to piece out the style," instructs Friese.
Lob With Razored Ends
Queen Latifah's glossy look adds some pizzazz to a standard lob. Ask your stylist to use a straight-edge razor blade, which will result in wispier strands. For some extra oomph, try Ghd Heat Protect Spray ($22), which will keep hair smooth and free from damage.
Updos, both casual and fancy, are ideal in showing off a round face. Tight tendrils help frame Sarah Hyland's face as part of this curly updo. Those with round faces might consider similar voluminous updos, which will add height and create balance.
The new version of the mullet is softer and more wearable than the mullet of the '80s. Miley Cyrus's modern take on this notorious style is elevated, thanks to varying lengths and layers. For a glossy look, Federico recommends R+Co Two Way Mirror Smoothing Oil ($32), "a smoothing oil that will add shine, keeping the hair looking luxurious."
More proof that middle parts are flattering on round faces? Amy Adams. Her soft, loose waves are angled just slightly away from her face and left loose enough that they can worn by day or night. To style, "Use a volumizing mousse, blow dry with a large round brush and add some definition to the curls with an extra-large barrel curling iron," says Friese.
For beachy, relaxed waves, twist your hair in different directions as you curl in sections, so the look isn't too uniform.
Christina Ricci goes for lovely angular styles, and the piece-y texture here makes her huge eyes and round face look great. However, the heavy bangs are the star of the show. They sculpt and create a sense of balance, complementing a round face shape.
Mid-Length With Long Layers
A medium-length, layered style like Octavia Spencer's works to complement her features. Friese explains: "The middle part and length of the hair makes the look symmetrical and draws attention to the jawline which elongates the face." Layers that hit just at or below the cheekbones, work like contouring (and they're much less messy than breaking out your bronzer).
Another way to wear long layers: Kate Bosworth's side part and lightly curled ends. "Long layers are a great way to frame a round face," notes Friese. To get the look, "Start with BosleyMD Bos Volumize Volumizing & Thickening Nourishing Leave-In ($23). Blow-dry with a large round brush and gently curl with an extra-large barrel curling iron. Set with a light hairspray," she instructs, adding, "The key is to not weigh down the fine hair with too much product."
An asymmetrical style with a mixture of lengths brings sharpness and contour to rounder faces. Lana Condor sweeps hair in the front on one side only, drawing the eye down and slimming her face. To really open up this style and accentuate your eyes, consider a strong angular fringe.