25 Stylish Hairstyles for Oblong Face Shapes

liv tyler

JP Yim/Stringer/Liv Tyler

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 a 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 25 hairstyles, all of which work particularly well for those of us with an elongated, oval-shaped face—and got styling advice from experts on how to execute them.

01 of 25

Sleek Low Pony

Ciara

 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 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 (Lehmann likes CHI's Magnified Volume Finishing Spray, $16) to mist it and lightly comb hair back towards the ponytail to give a flawless finish.

02 of 25

Long, Loose Waves

kelly rowland
Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Diamond Empowerment Fund

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 25

Classic Pageboy

Ashlee Simpson's Mod Cut

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Staff / Getty Images

 

Ashlee Simpson's pageboy-style cut is very dramatic, with plenty of shine. 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 25

Long With Layers

actress Sarah Jessica Parker on the red carpet

Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Some of the best styles for those with long-faces are cut past the shoulders, as seen on Sarah Jessica Parker. Keep in mind that if you go too long, though, 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 25

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 25

Textured Length

Blake Lively

Stephane Cardinale - Corbis / Getty Images

Actress Blake LIvely's long 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 25

Chin-Length Layered Bob

Taylor Swift

Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

Taylor Swift's cut is a bob but with graduated, layered length that frames her face. Chin-length bobs and shags are ideal for a long face because they create the illusion of width. Swift's cut is a modern style that can work for any age.

08 of 25

Long Layers With Short Angles

Kim Kardashian

Gary Gershoff / Contributor / 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 25

Sleek Bob

Bella Hadid

Edward Berthelot / Contributor / Getty Images

The classic bob—as seen on model Bella Hadid—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 25

Middle Part

Lea Michele

Steve Granitz/WireImage / 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, $52, for natural-looking, boho beach waves) in alternating directions to achieve a look like Lea Michele's. "Once done, run fingers through and break up the curls and finish with a shine spray," she adds. Add a headband or accessory if you're so inclined.

11 of 25

Bouncy With Layers

Maggie Q blonde, layered collar-bone length hair

Michael Stewart / Getty Images

With the right haircut, no one would even guess your face is oblong. That's certainly the case with Maggie Q's shoulder-length 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 25

Tousled With Bangs

Gabrielle Union

Jon Kopaloff / 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 25

Shoulder-Length Blunt Cut

Joan Smalls

JB Lacroix / Contributor / Getty Images

Another flattering style for straight hair, this one (seen on supermodel Joan Smalls) leaves the front layers tan equal length to 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 25

Full and Curly

Tracee Ellis Ross


Steve Granitz / Getty Images

The longer your hair, the more it will weigh down a long face. Actress Tracee Ellis Ross' 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 25

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 25

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 25

Formal Updo

Sandra Oh

 

Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

This '80s look on Sandra Oh is a fabulous choice for a formal updo. Though stylists often caution against too much volume on top of your head when you have a longer face, the forward momentum of her bangs balance things out for a flattering look. Plus, you have to appreciate the messy intricacy of the curled bangs.

18 of 25

Angled Bob With Side-Swept Bangs

Iman
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 25

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 25

Side-Swept and Sleek

Liv-Tyler.jpg
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.

21 of 25

Center-Parted Tousled Lob

Alexa Chung tousled lob and red lip

Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images 

Alexa Chung's center-parted lob is the type of style that's universally flattering. For textured hair like hers, ask your stylist for longer layers, which will keep the edges of the 'do lighter.

22 of 25

Center-Parted Waves

Hilary Swank

Jerod Harris / Stringer / Getty Images

Tousled texture is the easiest way to style center-parted hair like that seen here on Hilary Swank. For tight but beachy waves like these, break your hair into sections and use a small, tight-barrel curling iron.

23 of 25

Long Retro Waves

Kate Beckinsale

Vera Anderson / Contributor / Getty Images

Kate Beckinsale's center-parted locks are retro glam, and not all that difficult to replicate at home. Just use a 1-inch barrel curling iron to curl sections of hair, starting with the strands nearest to your ear.

24 of 25

Casual Beach Waves

Chloe Bennet

Araya Doheny / Stringer / Getty Images

Chloe Bennet's center-part helps further highlight her beachy waves and perfectly accentuates her face. Use a wave wand to create perfectly shaped curls as seen here. We like the Bondi Boost Wave Wand ($58) for a natural look.

25 of 25

Natural Curls

Leona Lewis

 

Jon Kopaloff / Stringer / Getty Images

Leona Lewis' natural curls are wide and voluminous, so they add width to her face. The key to curls like these is to keep hair properly moisturized, so invest in a deep conditioning hair mask such as OUAI Moisturizing Thick Hair Treatment ($38).

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