Choosing a new hairstyle to suit your face shape

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With Chris Moody of Moodyhair, Darfield

They say hairdressing is an art in itself, especially when it comes to determining the best hairstyle to compliment you. More than just a few snips here and there, the right hair cut will frame your face, bring perspective, enhance features and balance your facial shape.

The best hairstyles are those that suit and compliment the person who is wearing them – you might really love a certain style but it doesn’t mean it will look right on you. Although there are no hard and fast rules, it’s often the case that certain styles suit certain face shapes more than others.

If you’re not sure what your face shape is or what might suit it, here is our rough guide to face shape analysis and suitability.

Get your tape measure ready…

You wouldn’t think maths would come into it, but the right hairstyle is predominantly about shape and geometry. First, you’ll need an idea of your own face shape. Using a ruler or tape measure, measure across the top of your cheekbones from the outer corner of one eye to the other. The measure should be resting just on top of your cheekbones. Write down this measurement in centimetres or inches.

Next, measure your jaw line. Start on one side of your jaw at the base near your ear, running the measuring tape along your jaw line until you come to the middle of your chin. Multiply this measurement by two and write it down.

Now onto your forehead. Start on one side right at the edge of your eyebrows, measuring along until you come to the same point on the opposite side and write it down. Finally, measure the length of your face. Start at the middle of your hairline, measure down your face to the tip of your chin and write down the measurement.

If the length of your face equals one and a half times the width, your face is oval – an ideal balanced shape that means you can wear any style or length. You’re one of the lucky ones.

If your face is as wide as long, the shape is circular. Go for height in crown, creating fullness above ears not below. Avoid full fringes and horizontal lines instead opting for diagonal or asymmetric lines.

If your face is longer than it is wide, your face shape is oblong. Mid-length shapes work best with fullness at sides while avoiding height. Horizontal fringes lessen length.

If you have a narrow jaw with wide cheekbones and/or forehead, your face shape is heart shaped or inverted triangle. Chin length or just below works best, avoiding top heavy looks and keeping fullness at the jawline to show off those cheek bones.

If your face is as wide as it is long but with a more angular jaw line, you have a square face shape. Keep length below jaw or longer to maintain femininity. Avoid horizontal or hard lines. Height in crown or waves at temples will soften your shape.

If your forehead is narrowest getting wider toward your jawline, your face shape is triangular. Shorter styles work well, create fullness in crown and temple areas. Any longer hair should be toward shoulder length, avoid fullness around the jaw.

Remember this is a simple guide, speak with your stylist and go with what feels right for you. Nothing suits you more than individual self-confidence and your own personal style.

Chris is an internationally renowned educator, presenter and hair stylist who works with the likes of Redken NYC to continually share and develop skills and training methods across the world. For more information about Chris or his salon, Moodyhair, visit their website.

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