20 Flattering Hairstyles for the Oblong Face Shape

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker on the red carpet.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

It would be great if we could all pull off the latest 'do—be it a blunt bob or a shoulder-length shag—but the truth is, certain styles flatter certain face shapes better than others. For those with an oblong-shaped face, the most flattering styles will work to make your face appear shorter than it is, via bangs, layers, or lots of volume. "Texture is a huge one with oblong face shapes," says CHI Haircare stylist McKenzie Lehmann. "By adding texture to the hair, it will add width to make the face shape more symmetric."

Meet the Expert

• McKenzie Lehmann is hairstylist who's worked for Behind the Chair, American Idol, and the Miss USA Organization. She is currently based in Kansas City, working on behalf of Salon Inspire and CHI Haircare.

• Christopher Didier is the founder of Purple Haze Studio in Huntington Station, New York.

Below, we rounded up 20 hairstyles, all of which work particularly well for those of us with an elongated, oval-shaped face—and got styling advice from Lehmann and hairstylist Christopher Didier of Purple Haze Studio in New York.

01 of 20

Sleek Low Pony


 Jeff Vespa / Getty Images

"Expose those ears and let them give your face more width," says Lehmann. For a full-proof sleek low ponytail like singer Ciara's, she advises parting the hair down the center before brushing it back into a pony. "Place it about center or the lower part of the head," she says. "If you have an oblong face, you do not want it too high because this will add more height to the face's appearance." After hair is secured, use a finishing spray (she likes CHI's Magnified Volume Finishing Spray, $8) to mist it and lightly comb hair back towards the ponytail to give a flawless finish.

02 of 20

Long, Loose Waves

kelly rowland
Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Diamond Empowerment Fund

Singer Kelly Rowland's boho-inspired look doesn't require a ton of maintenance. In fact, the key is to ensure these waves never look too "done." The trick? A middle-part, plenty of volume through the roots, and a wave that's loose and manageable. Revlon's cult-followed One-Step Volumizer Hair Dryer ($60) can help you achieve the look.

03 of 20

Textured Bob

Victoria Beckham in a short shag
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

For even more interest, step up the texture in your bob à la Victoria Beckham. Her cut is very dramatic, with super-short layers in the back, leading to layers well below the chin up front. The bangs complete the look, and it's a perfect style for any woman who has thicker hair that can produce this much volume. A pomade (we like Oui's Matte Pomade, $24) will help add texture.

04 of 20

Shoulder-Length With Bangs

Kelly Reilly with shoulder length hair with bangs
Rob Kim/Getty Images

Some of the best styles for long-faced women are cut right around the shoulders, as seen on English actress Kelly Reilly. If you go any longer, it can draw your face down. The shoulders are the sweet spot that perfectly balance your face with a desire to keep long hair.

05 of 20

Blunt Bangs With Straight Hair

Kerry Washington with blunt bangs
Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images

Bangs of any style can do wonders for making your face look shorter than it is. "I can’t get enough of curtain bangs on oblong face shapes," says Lehmann. "They are not only are in style, but they shorten the appearance of the forehead to make the face appear more oval." Bangs tend to hide a wider forehead, which often comes with this face shape, and draw everyone's attention to your eyes.

Blunt bangs with straight hair are a perfect match (as seen on actress Kerry Washington), though they also work with wavy hair.

06 of 20

Textured Length

Gemma Chan

Rich Polk / Getty Images 

Actress Gemma Chan's blunt but textured look is proof positive that the right hairstyle can alter your face's shape. Lehman recommends sectioning into six vertical sections, then curling with CHI's Lava Curl Shot ($130) iron. After the whole head is curled, she says to use a dime-size amount of BioSilk Silk Therapy With Organic Coconut Oil ($17) to run fingers through the hair to separate curls. "This will also add shine," she notes.

07 of 20

Chin-Length Shaggy Bob

Chelsea Staub with a chin-length shaggy bob
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Actress Chelsea Kane's cut is more of a shag but it also has the feel of a bob because of the graduated length. It's a modern style that can work for women of any age.

Chin-length bobs and shags are ideal for a long face because they create the illusion of width.

08 of 20

Long Layers With Short Angles

Kim Kardashian long, sexy layers

Gilbert Carrasquillo / FilmMagic / Getty Images

"The best haircuts for someone with an oblong face shape would be anything that is going to round out your face," says Didier. "For example, long layers with shorter angles starting near your cheekbones or lips." To style the look, Didier recommends adding "big waves or a voluminous blowout."

09 of 20

Sleek Bob

Linda Fargo with a sleek bob
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

The classic bob—as seen on Linda Fargo, senior vice president of Bergdorf Goodman's fashion department—is a great choice for long faces. It's a sophisticated look that works with straight and wavy hair, no matter if it's fine or thick. This bob looks beautiful without bangs, but it is also perfect for blunt or side-swept bangs.

By keeping the length close to the chin and a little shorter in the back, a sleek bob draws attention to a well-defined bone structure.

10 of 20

Middle Part


 Frazer Harrison / Staff / Getty Images

"Middle parts will help the hair fall symmetrical and add needed width," says Lehmann, who recommends using a rotating curling iron (try the Bondi Boost Wave Wand, $130, for natural-looking, boho beach waves) in alternating directions to achieve a look like Rihanna's. "Once done, run fingers through and break up the curls and finish with a shine spray," she adds.

11 of 20

Straight, Long Layers

Kate Moss with straight, long layers
Robert Marquardt/Getty Images

With the right haircut, no one would even guess your face is oblong. That's certainly the case with model Kate Moss's long layers. It's a great option if you have straighter or more fine hair. The simplicity also lets you play with color, allowing any highlights to take center stage.

12 of 20

Tousled With Bangs

Gabrielle Union

Gregg DeGuire / Contributor / Getty Images

As actress Gabrielle Union demonstrates, a tousled 'do—particularly one with bangs—can do wonders to shorten a longer face. Lehmann offers the following styling tip to achieve the look: "Blow-dry hair 60 percent dry and spritz hair with CHI Aloe Vera Curl Reactivating Spray ($14) to give hair a tousled look." Using a flat-iron over the bang area "will keep your curtain bangs together and give your hair a finished look," she adds. We like the Dyson Corale Straightener ($500).

13 of 20

Shoulder-Length With Long Layers

Heidi Klum with shoulder-length with long layers
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Another flattering style for straight hair, this one (seen on supermodel Heidi Klum) leaves the front layers almost as long as the main body of hair. It's a wash-and-go style with naturally straight hair and one that requires a flat iron (try t3's Lucea 1-inch Professional Straightening & Styling Flat Iron, $150) for wavy hair. 

If your hair tends to be flat, you can use styling products to add body. You might also consider coloring your hair as the dye actually plumps up the hair's follicles, which can instantly create volume.

14 of 20

Wavy and Long

Gillian Jacobs with wavy and long bob
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The longer your hair, the more it will weigh down a long face. Actress Gillian Jacobs's cut isn't too long and the curls help add width to her face.

Have your stylist cut in layers to add fullness and don't let them thin out your hair too much. More volume in the hair helps to balance out a longer face. Try a volumizer—like Rossano Ferretti Parma's Favoloso 18 Natural Hair Movement Enhancer ($46)—if you need an added boost.

15 of 20

Shoulder-Length With Side-Swept Bangs

Jessica Alba with side swept bangs
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

As Jessica Alba can attest, side-swept bangs are a fantastic addition to any haircut. The angle breaks up a higher hairline and draws the eye to your face. With some sweet, soft curls, you get the extra volume that gives the face a more oval appearance.

16 of 20

Thick and Wavy

Jessica Lowndes

Eamonn McCormack / Contributor / Getty Images

Cutting your hair at or just below the shoulders, as seen on actress Jessica Lowndes, is also a great choice for very thick hair. It's a length that will not weigh down curls or waves, and it's easier to care for every day. After all, the secret to beautiful hair is to keep it healthy, so whatever you can do to maintain that in your daily routine will be worth it. Integrate a light styling product (we like Verb's Ghost Weightless Hair Oil, $18) to smooth flyaways.

17 of 20

Formal Updo

Bella Thorne with a formal updo
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This vintage Bella Thorne look is a fabulous choice for a formal updo, though it's not very "up." That's because you don't want to add too much volume on top of your head when you have a longer face. By pulling your hair back and letting tendrils frame your face, you'll achieve a flattering yet simple look. Plus, you have to appreciate the messy intricacy of this knot on red hair. This is also a great opportunity to show off a cute set of hair accessories (we like this Micro Snap Clip Set, $12, by Kitsch).

18 of 20

Angled Bob With Side-Swept Bangs

Michael Loccisano/Getty

Supermodel Iman's angled bob helps define her neck while the bangs help shorten her forehead. This look is sophisticated but does require some work. It's best to invest in a quality flat iron and some shine products to ensure it stays straight and well-styled.

As Didier notes, the angle of the bangs helps round out the face. "[With] shoulder-length hair or a bob, you're always going to want to have a bang or angles with this face shape," he says. "It's just more flattering. Shorter angles take away from the length of your face."

19 of 20

Close-Cropped Pixie

Lupita Nyong'o
Gregg Deguire/Getty Images

 Lupita Nyong'o's short, cropped pixie cut highlights her best features. Even better, it's easy to maintain.

To add some oomph, style a pixie with a beaded headband or another accessory.

20 of 20

Side-Swept and Sleek

Walter McBride/Getty Images

Actress Liv Tyler's side-swept 'do calls to mind a 1940s Hollywood starlet. Here, the aim is to pull hair off one side of your face—to highlight both your jewelry and your natural features—and ensure hair stays shiny and sleek.

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