Quite often, you'll hear beauty advice that says women with round faces should not wear their hair short. That's simply not true. You can wear short hair no matter the shape of your face; you just want to make sure to find the right cut and style. It's all about working with your natural hair texture and trying to create facial balance (more on that below).
When it comes to a round face, our experts—Giovanni Vaccaro, Marcus Hoey, and Justine Marjan—say you want to choose styles that slim and elongate your face. The good news: This can be done at any length, short included.
Keep reading for 50 short hairstyles that are sure to complement a round face.
Meet the Expert
Chic yet effortless, Carey Mulligan's cropped cut can adapt to any occasion. "The clippered pixie is one of my favorite edgier styles for round face shapes," says Hoey. "The cut is tight on the side and back and more square toward the top and round of the head. This creates height by elongating the shape and slims the face at the same time."
Jennifer Hudson's thick, wavy strands make the perfect canvas for a pixie cut. By removing length and weight from hair, a pixie can cut styling time in half—and then some. To flatter a rounder face, consider adding volume on top. This will give your face the appearance of being longer (read: more oval).
Before getting a pixie cut, know that you'll need to get it trimmed every four to six weeks to keep it looking fresh. Alternatively, you can grow it out (without looking awkward).
A favorite look of Taraji P. Henson, this haircut can be soft or dramatic depending on how you style it. "Super-sleek, shiny strands make your hair look polished," Marjan comments, "and layers that start below your collarbone lengthen your head shape."
If you're hesitant to completely chop off your locks, just shorten it up with layers à la Elizabeth Olsen to get a feel for it. "Make sure to have your stylist create long layers a few inches above the length to draw attention to the eyes and create more of a bouncy style," advises Vaccaro. "This will help take weight out of the ends and generally gives more movement and volume to the hair."
Bob With Side-Swept Bangs
Sometimes a bob can make a round face appear even rounder, but that's not the case here. Why? Side-swept bangs are cut and styled at such an angle that serves to elongate the face. Lee Ji-eun, we commend you.
If you have a round face and an angular jawline, a pixie like Michelle Williams's can look darling. "A side-sweep in the front keeps the cut delicate while the cropped back and sides lengthen the neck," says Marjan. "Tell your stylist to crop the sides and back using a 'scissor over comb' technique to keep the ends soft (as opposed to using clippers). Cut the top with a razor or shears for more fullness and keep length toward the front for softness around the face," advises Marjan.
If you have fine and/or thin hair a cropped pixie cut can be extremely flattering. However, when it comes to styling use a product, that lends volume and texture to your cut.
Texture can deflect the roundness of the face, so you may want to play up your natural waves, as Hailey Bieber does here. You can do this by scrunching your hair as it dries. If you want to boost it, wrap your hair around the barrel of a large curling iron. We like Hot Tools Professional Gold Curling Iron ($55) for body and bounce.
Is there any other hairstyle that screams It-girl like the topknot? Not only can this effortless 'do look just as good in the office as it can out on the town, but it does wonders for a round face. Sitting atop your head, it naturally draws the eyes upward, making the head appear longer and less wide.
Okay, this cut isn't "short" by definition, but it incorporates shorter elements (read: layers). It will allow you to go for something different without compromising on length. "Adding just a few shorter pieces around the face between the lip and chin area will lighten the weight of hair in the front hairline giving you height," says Hoey. "These are low maintenance but add just enough to freshen your style. As for the layers in the back, you want just the shortest layer to sit around three inches higher than your length. This will make styling easier to create height in the crown."
Volume and texture are the secret ingredients to Naomi Scott's tantalizing lob. "Ask for a length that hits anywhere between an inch below your chin to your collarbone and for layers to focus toward the ends and less around the face," suggests Marjan. For a round face, the iris or arch or edge of the eyebrow is usually a good gauge for where you might want to part your hair, she adds.
The box bob is precision cutting at its finest. "It’s a blunt shape and an even line from front to back with no layers," explains Hoey. "Make sure to ask for texture through your ends. This cut slims the sides of the face and creates length below the chin, elongating the face shape. It's youthful, professional, and trendy all in one."
Despite popular belief, curly hair can be cut short. The trick is finding a cut that will work with your natural texture. Jill Scott's voluminous bob incorporates strategic layers in order to lend shape to her 'do. "Lots of texture allows the hair to frame your face, with a lift at the root and waves accentuating your eyes and lips," comments Marjan.
If your hair tends to fall limp, a shorter cut like a bob can lend natural volume and allow you to feign a fuller mane. Simply switching up your part is a fun and easy way to play with different styles. Part it off to the side and let some of it drape your forehead like Cameron Diaz for a casual effortless vibe.
Sometimes (but not always) a shorter cut can accentuate your face's roundness, so going a little longer is a surefire way to avoid that effect. If you're nervous about going too short, aim for a length about two inches below the chin like Queen Latifah here. Her mid-length cut with angled layers and a deep side part works to frame and flatter her face.
Shoulder-Length With Center Part
Jenna Coleman's chestnut locks look great with a cut that hits at the shoulders, has a center-part, and infuses a little bit of volume at the roots. To achieve a more natural look than a dead-center part, take a cue from Coleman and go slightly off-center—about half-an-inch on either side of your nose.
The graduated bob is perfect for people who want a casual, low-maintenance cut—or even something a bit more put-together, like on model Gigi Hadid. It retains that below-the-chin length but the fact that it's tapered in the back creates dimension and movement. FYI: Bobs of this length can work for any hair texture—it looks just as pretty with straight hair as it does with natural waves.
Wavy Shoulder Length
Shoulder-length hair is nearly universally flattering. And pairing it with loose waves only seals the deal. "A length that hits an inch below the chin and around your collarbone is great because it takes attention away from the chin/jawline," explains Vaccaro. To style, "I like taking a flatiron to create loose soft waves to a side-swept lob while spraying Glamsquad’s Beachy Wave Spray ($26) to give the hair a more salty/undone finish," he instructs.
Wavy Bob With Side Bangs
Adding some side bangs to your short 'do, like Mindy Kaling, provides the perfect angle to give a lengthening effect for a round face. To achieve her look, "I typically have my clients flip their hair upside down to dry their roots in opposite directions for max volume while using Glamsquad's Full Effect Volumizing Mousse ($28)," says Vaccaro. "I then finish with a 1.5-inch large barrel curling iron to create some loose bouncy waves."
Lob With Caramel Streaks
Stick-straight hair that falls at the collarbone provides a nice contrast to a round face. "I love lobs for round faces with very little face-framing angles and only a few very long layers, based on hair texture," Vaccaro tells us. Kerry Washington's sleek style also has caramel streaks that brighten and elongate her face.
Pixie With Bangs
"Pixies are so gorgeous on many women, but It takes confidence to wear them," says Vaccaro. That, and the right cut and style, or course. "To elongate the face, have your stylist go shorter on the back and sides while keeping the length on the top a little longer," he suggests. "I use a clipper or a scissor over comb technique to create this cut."
Choppy Pixie With Short Fringe Bangs
Take this cue from Janelle Monae and opt for a choppy pixie cut with short, fringe bangs. Sitting high on top of your forehead, micro bangs make your eyes and cheeks center stage while giving your round face a more square look. A headband also naturally draws the eyes upward to the effect that it lengthens the head.
Kirsten Dunst's classic and piecey bob features a parting to one side. Keeping the look chin length or slightly longer gives you plenty of styling options and enough length to add drama by switching up your part. The sombré color melt adds dimension to her hair and causes the eyes to travel up and down whereas single-process color might look head on.
Bleached Natural Pixie
Kiersey Clemons's classic pixie gets some personality thanks to its bleached color. Of course, bleaching can be harmful to your hair, so you'll want to take care to maintain your locks. A purple shampoo such as Unité's Blonda Shampoo ($33) will help ensure the color doesn't get too brassy.
With a cool-girl side flip, Janet Jackson gives her curly bob natural lift and volume at the roots. It's a fun and flirty look that is totally doable. "I love a pomade/paste to style this cut," says Vaccaro. "I typically go for R+Co. Control Flexible Paste ($29) because it doesn’t leave residue and you can restyle as needed. Dry your hair forward and have it completely dry before working a penny size amount in your hands, warm it up, and then apply all over in a back and forth motion. No comb or brush needed."
Curly Lob With Curtain Bangs
Yara Shahidi's center-parted curtain bangs work great for round faces. They are tapered and sit at both sides of the face, leaving you with an elongated appearance. Ask your stylist to have the longest parts of the bangs hit right around your cheekbone.
If you're debating whether or not to get bangs, Christina Ricci makes a strong case for going full-on fringe. The eyelash-grazing length accentuates her eyes—not to mention, complements a bigger forehead. Combined with face-framing tendrils, this style is one of our faves for a round face.
Deep Side Part
An asymmetrical hairdo, whether cut or merely styled that way, can add interest to an otherwise classic look. Gabrielle Union's choppy bob is just one such example. "Creating a deep side part and waves with a curling wand, tucking one side behind the ear will open up the face while making your hair appear fuller," notes Hoey.
Not too short, and not too long, a long bob is an excellent choice for a round face—or any face shape for that matter. The length gives you some hair to play with for different styles, including the ability to pull it back if you want to keep it out of your face.
If a visually (and literally) effortless hairstyle is what you're after, then look no further. Keri Russel's tousled shoulder-length cut features loose, mussy waves and an off-center part that epitomizes natural beauty.
Mila Kunis's sleek, glossy tresses exude glamour. Meanwhile, "The side sweep draws attention away from the symmetry of a round face while the length below the chin draws the eye down to elongate," notes Marjan.
A textured lob will get rid of bluntness at the ends of the hair, with the stylist usually cutting vertically instead of horizontally. Chanel Iman's wavy lob is the perfect example. Because texture at the bottom draws your eyes downward, a haircut with layers elongates your face. "Keep the volume at the root and movement toward the ends," suggests Marjan. "Have [your stylist] texturize the ends for added movement when you blow-dry," she adds.
Sometimes a little subtlety can go a long way. By pulling the top of her hair ever so slightly into a poof, Lana Condor's textured bob gets an instant, albeit tasteful, boost of volume. Adding height to the top of your head—whether it be a poof, bun, or ponytail—can lengthen your face.
Does anything say Hollywood starlet like sleek retro waves, a red lip, and a generous side of diamonds? Kate Bosworth channels Old Hollywood glam with her classic beauty. This deep-parted style can work on both a short hair length and longer tresses that are styled à la updo.
Slicked-back hair is the trendy style that celebs just can't get enough of. For a version like Hayden Panettiere, blow-dry with a big round brush to achieve volume up top. Then slick back sides with something like Pattern Strong Hold Hair Gel ($25). Styling as such will make your face look longer and slimmer.
Strike a pose. Vogue. Funny girl Maya Rudolph could be mistaken for a high-fashion icon with this sleek style. A blunt bob that hits just below the chin and worn stick-straight adds structure to a round face. "I love a middle part for this cut because it allows the shorter layers in the front to frame the face," comments Marjan.
Chesnut-colored hair hits the sweet spot of not being too light nor too dark. While lighter-hued tresses can draw attention to a round face, darker color creates a slimming effect. The trick is not going too dark, especially if you have a fair complexion like Alexandra Daddario. A shade of medium brown will seem less severe.
If you're growing out your pixie, let Rowan Blanchard be your guide. Creating lots of lift at the roots and combing back the sides keeps this cut chic and stylish. We liken it to a modern mullet.
From its shoulder length to its side part to its loose waves, everything about Olivia Munn's cut and style was carefully thought out before executing. The result? A look that fits her round face like a glove. Even her hair color, a deep espresso brown, creates a slimming effect.
A deep side part combined with side-swept curls creates an angle that cuts strategically. But the genius of Emma Stone's beauty look doesn't stop there, it extends to her jewelry adornments. A long earring creates a lengthening effect that balances a round face shape.
Ella Purnell's straight, volumized lob is full of body and demonstrates A+ blowdrying skills. If you want bangs but aren't into the upkeep, curtain bangs are as low-maintenance as they come. Finish with a padded headband to add some sophistication and height.
Textured Lob With Bangs
You might think that playing up texture can make a round face seem rounder. It can, but it doesn't have to. When done right, texture can create volume in all the right places. In Selena Gomez's case, that would be at the roots and ends, which work to add height and length to her face shape.
We almost didn't recognize Constance Wu when she stepped out at the American Music Awards in this dramatic look. Curls and a half-up, half-down style read as fun and edgy. Not to mention, her ponytail adds height to her face, making it appear more oval than round.
It's no secret that we love us a good '90s-inspired, well, anything. Miranda Cosgrove's sleek updo with double-stranded tendrils is phat. To replicate, simply pull out two pieces of hair at your temples (FYI: This will serve to elongate the face).
If you're intimated by going short, don't be. Danielle Brooks demonstrates how a close crop can be both stylish and empowering. Her retro finger waves lend movement and dimension, plus angles and height, to this short and sweet cut.
This gravity-defying style on Kat Graham is mesmerizing. If you've got natural hair, work with your texture and opt for a volumized style with the help of extra high-hold hairspray, like Redken Control Addict 28 ($17). The best part about this cut? It's versatile so you can wear it up or down depending on your mood and the occasion.
Danai Gurira shows us how a rounder face can look darling with even the closest of crops. Her natural pixie has only slightly longer growth on top than the sides, but it's enough to create height. Her side hard part also flatters her face shape.
If you're wary of chopping off your locks, do like Priyanka Chopra and fake a lob—it's easy. Just tuck your hair into your collar, pull out some front pieces, and voila! Instant lob (sans scissors).
"Wet" Look Bob
Ryan Destiny's bob shows off her face, and we're here for it. A side part flatters a round face while choppy ends break up its roundness. This cut can be styled any which way, but we're fans of the "wet" look trend.
Kaley Cuoco's beachy lob is California cool. Dark roots add dimension to her blonde color, which feels effortless. In terms of length and style, her lob isn't too short and incorporates long layers and waves to lend movement. For added texture, spritz on some Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ($23).
When it comes to your hair, don't overlook color. Face-framing highlights open up the face, which can make it appear rounder (usually not what you're going for if you have a round face). So consider going darker in color with hair that frames your face like Maisie Williams here. It will serve to make a round face appear more oval.
How do you wear a pixie cut if you have a round face?
Those with a round face can help balance their features out by adding a bit of volume to a pixie cut. This might mean adding product up top, or asking your stylist to make the length on the top a little longer.
What is the best short haircut for those with naturally curly hair and a round face?
There are a number of haircuts that work for those with curls and waves. Those with a round face will benefit from a style with layers, so it frames the face ever-so-slightly.
What short hairstyles look good on women with round faces over 50?
Short hair is incredibly versatile and can look just as good on a 20 year-old as a 50 year-old. Since hair looses density as we age, opting for a short cut can flatter thinner tresses. This includes anything from a volumized pixie cut to a blunt lob. Work in volumizing products when styling your hair to feign thickness.