How Face Shapes and Skin Tones Affect Haircuts and Color

Face shape and skin tone are typically things one thinks of when referring to makeup, but did you know some of the same rules can be applied to hair color? You can highlight and contour your face shape with placement of light and dark hair color. You can also enhance, contrast, or complement your features with the tones of these colors as well. Different face shapes can influence the choice of hairstyles for women, as certain hairstyles can complement and enhance facial features while others may not be as flattering. Here’s a general guide on how different face shapes can affect haircuts for women.

What are the different face shapes?

Oval/Long Face Shape

Oval and long face shapes are pretty lucky in that they can usually pull off multiple styles. However, if your face is more narrow or on the longer side then adding highlights and volume to the sides of the face help visually widen your face to balance the length.

  • Characteristics: Oval faces are considered versatile and balanced. The forehead is slightly wider than the chin, and the face tapers gently at the jawline.
  • Suitable Hairstyles: Oval faces can pull off a wide range of hairstyles. Almost any haircut, from short to long, can work well with an oval face shape. Consider experimenting with different lengths and styles.
  • Characteristics: Long faces have more length than width, with a forehead, cheekbones, and jawline that are relatively similar in width.
  • Suitable Hairstyles: Hairstyles that add width and volume to the sides can help balance out a long face. Shoulder-length cuts, curls or waves, and side-parted styles can create the illusion of width.

Square Face Shape

Square face shapes tend to have wider features, focusing on keeping the corners shaded with more depth will soften the stronger outline, while lightness at the top and bottom of the hair will help elongate and slim the face.

  • Characteristics: Square faces have a strong and angular jawline, with the forehead, cheekbones, and jawline being roughly the same width.
  • Suitable Hairstyles: Softening the angles of a square face can be achieved with hairstyles that have layered or textured ends. Soft waves, side-swept bangs, and medium-length cuts can help balance out the strong jawline.

Round Face Shape

Like a square shape, you want to keep the depth on the sides and behind the ears to contour the jawline and add the lighter colors around the top hairline.

  • Characteristics: Round faces have a width and length that are roughly equal. The cheeks are usually full, and the jawline is soft.
  • Suitable Hairstyles: Hairstyles that add height and length to the face can help elongate a round face. Layered cuts, side-swept bangs, and hairstyles with volume at the crown can create the illusion of a more elongated face.

Heart Face Shape

With a heart shape face the forehead is most prominent with a narrow chin, to balance you want to keep the lightness around the jaw and chin to draw the eye out and keep the top of the head darker to close in the forehead.

  • Characteristics: Heart-shaped faces have a wider forehead that narrows down to a pointed chin. Cheekbones are usually high and defined.
  • Suitable Hairstyles: Hairstyles that add width at the chin area can balance out a heart-shaped face. Chin-length bobs, textured layers, and side-swept bangs can help soften the forehead and draw attention away from the pointed chin.

Pear Face Shape

As the opposite of a heart shape, the pear shape has a narrow forehead with a wider jawline, keeping the highlights at the top half of the head will lift through the crown while depth behind the ears and around the jawline will draw the chin into balance.

  • Characteristics: Pear face shapes have a wider jawline, noarrower forehead, and a pointed chin. Cheekbones may be less prominent compared to the jawline and the face narrows from cheeks to forehead.
  • Suitable Hairstyles: Side-swept bangs, lawyers, volume at the crown, and chin-length or short bobs will work well. Soft, loose waves can add width and softness to the forehead area, helping to balance out the shape of the face.

Diamond Face Shape

These shapes tend to have amazing cheekbones with slightly narrower foreheads and chins, they look balanced from almost any angle but can be complemented with lightness from the cheekbones down.

  • Characteristics: Diamond faces are widest at the cheekbones and have a narrower forehead and jawline. The chin is pointed.
  • Suitable Hairstyles: Hairstyles that minimize the width at the cheekbones while adding width at the forehead and jawline can be flattering. Chin-length bobs, textured layers, and side-swept bangs can work well.

How to Determine Your Skin Tone

When determining skin tone the three main types are warm, cool, and neutral. Two quick ways to determine your skin tone are by looking at your wrist veins and your eyes. Examine the veins on the bottom of your wrist. If you see greenish veins, that indicates warm tones; if you see blue or purple veins, that indicates a cool skin tone; if you see a mix of blue, green and purple, that indicates a neutral skin tone. When looking at the eyes golden/hazel flecks can indicate warm undertones, blue/gray flecks can indicate cool undertones, while a combo indicates neutral undertones.

A common misconception is that you always want to go with a color that has tones opposite of your natural undertone. Cool hair colors will complement cool skin tones, warm hair colors will complement warm skin tones, and neutral skin tones will have the most flexibility. While you can add more warmth to cool skin by warming up your color, and more cool to warm tones, you don’t want to go too far opposite as that can clash with your undertone. You also, as a general rule, want to stay 2 levels lighter or darker than your skin to avoid looking washed out. If you ever wonder whether a color will look good on you, a consult with one of our color specialists can help put to rest any doubts!

It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and individual preferences, hair texture, and personal style play a significant role in choosing a hairstyle. Consulting with our professional hairstylists who can consider your specific face shape and features will help you find a hairstyle that enhances your natural beauty.

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