It’s a tale as old as time: you step into the salon with a snapshot of J. Lo’s tresses and exit with whatever the opposite of her textured bangs is. There’s a good reason that your new look doesn’t always match the Pinterest pic you happily pinned to your hairspiration board (and it’s not that you don’t have celeb stylist Chris Appleton at your beck and call). So many factors—like hair texture and thickness—can determine your fringe fate and ensure that you end up leaving the stylist’s looking like Mila Kunis after a chic chop and not like a major, frizzy flop. One of the biggest predictors of whether you’ll be bragging on social media about your new cut—or hiding in your apartment for three weeks until it grows out—is face shape.
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Though we firmly believe that you can pull off literally any look, it’s important to be familiar with the curvature of your face to determine what the final style will be. In order to help us understand what works best for rounded features, we reached out to Paris’s favorite stylist, David Mallett.
Know Your Structure
The first step is to determine whether or not your face is actually circular. “If you’re not sure if you have a round face, take note of your forehead, cheekbones and jawline,” says Mallett. “If all three are almost the same width and are pretty aligned, along with no sharp angles in your features, you most likely have a round face.” Round features aren’t the most common, but if you can claim them, you’re in good company (hi, Chrissy and Cameron)!
Opt for Slimmers
Tresses can be a bit tricky for round faces. “For starters, round faces can be a bit more difficult to pick a style for since most people with this shape tend to want to hide or minimize their cheeks. Styles that look best on round faces tend to be sleek and straight (without falling flat on your face).” Mallett also favors a slick coiff like “hair pulled back but set low at the nape of your neck.”
Love That Lob
If mid-length looks are more your scene, Mallet recommends something with a little symmetry. “A straight, styled lob is always a safe bet because it adds just enough length to the round face. If you’re looking to keep hair a bit longer, make sure the length is about two-to-three inches below the jawline.”
Though the temptation to trim may be great, Mallett usually goes long. “Avoid a classic bob—if you’re looking to go shorter, opt for an angled bob. The sharp, hard lines of the short bob will counteract with your round features and in the end slim down your face.”
Bring Back Bangs
Don’t be afraid to sport a set of romantic bangs. “If you’re looking to add a fringe, make sure to avoid straight, sharp bangs that will accentuate the round shape and opt for smaller, side swept bangs or curtain bangs that will add angles to your features, making your face appear thinner.”
Lose the Layers
Longer lengths look best with an arrow-straight chop. “There’s no exact length that looks best, but do avoid very long, layered hair. Long, layered hair will make the round shape appear longer. Sleek, straight and long does flatter a round face, but too long will draw the eyes down, creating an unflattering look.”
Shun Short Hair
Lastly, be wary of cropped cuts. “Always avoid chin-length hair. Always. Especially those with rounded edges. Your goal should be a length and style that slims your face making it appear a bit longer—not a style that accentuates your round features.”
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