Man About Town: 'How to choose the right haircut'

Patrick McLoughney


Patrick McLoughney


Man About Town: 'How to choose the right haircut'

NOW that we are (legally) allowed to get our hair cut again, it’s worth having a look at which styles are best suited to you.

After all, an extra inch here or a bit of facial hair there can be the difference between hair goals or being a hair gow… well, you get the idea.

Like clothing, haircuts aren’t one-size-fits-all and the key to finding the perfect style is determined by the shape of your face. It’s worth finding out what your face shape is as unlike clothing, you can’t take off a bad haircut at the end of the day.

Face Shapes

Determining your face shape isn’t as difficult as it may seem, it’s actually very easy. Arm yourself with a tape measure and take the following measurements.

1. Forehead: This measurement goes from the peak of one eyebrow arch to the peak of the opposite arch.

2. Cheekbones: This measurement goes across your face, starting and ending at the pointiest part of each cheekbone below the outer corner your eyes.

3. Jawline: This is from the tip of your chin to below your ear at the point at which your jaw angles upwards. You need to take two measurements here - one for each side – and add them together.

4. Face Length: This measurement goes from the middle of your hairline to the tip of your chin.

Once you’ve got these measurements, note which is the largest, and then compare this to these face shape profiles to find out which one best describes you.

Q Oval Shape: The length of the face is greater than the width of the cheekbones, and the forehead is greater than the jawline. The angle of the jaw is rounded.

Q Square Shape: The measurements are all fairly similar. The angle of the jaw is sharp.

·Q Rectangle Shape: The length of the face is the greatest measurement. The Forehead, cheekbones, and jawline are similar in size.

·Q Round Shape: The cheekbones and length have a similar measurement and are larger than the forehead and jawline. The angle of the jaw is soft and undefined.

Q Diamond Shape: The face length measurement is the largest. Then, in descending order: cheekbones, forehead, and smallest is jawline.

Q Heart Shape: The forehead measures greater than the cheekbones and jawline. The chin is pointed.

Q Triangular Shape: The jawline measures greater than the cheekbones, which measure larger than the forehead.

Best Haircuts For Oval Faces

Symmetrical and well-proportioned, an oval face shape can pull off pretty much any hairstyle, with very few exceptions. The key with an oval face shape is to wear your hair off the forehead to create some volume and angles on top. The best style is a classic short back and sides - slightly longer on the top, with a side-swept parting. Try to avoid the forward fringe look (aka the Paul Mescall) as too much heaviness on the forehead softens features and increases roundness of the face.

Best Haircuts For Square Faces

Considered the picture of manliness, a square face shape is characterised by a chiselled jawline and even proportions. Like the oval shape, it's a great base for most styles and works just as well with shorter styles as with longer hairstyles – anything goes from buzz cuts to quiffs. Classic, neat haircuts complement a square shape best and some light stubble also gives the sharpness of your jawline a little welcome texture without making the defined lines disappear.

Best Haircuts For Rectangle Faces

A rectangular face falls somewhere between an oval and a square but requires some specifications to the hairstyle to make sure it doesn't make the face appear even longer than it is. It's important to avoid taking the sides too short if keeping length on the top, as this only serves to accentuate the length of the face. The hair needs to be well-proportioned so that the sides aren't too short or there isn't too much length on top. Try a style that lets the hair fall to the sides and/or across the forehead to add some width to the face. The same logic applies to facial hair here. A full beard will further elongate the face, so try facial hair that ranges in length from stubble to a short beard instead.

Best Haircuts For Round Faces

Defined as being circular with no obvious lines or angles, a round face shape benefits from a haircut that adds some definition. It's basically the rules for rectangle faces in reverse. Since round faces have little in the way of natural angles, you need to create the illusion of them with your hair. A style that's taken tight at the sides with height on the top works well to add some structure – think pompadour, quiff or flat top. A full beard will also help disguise the chin area, giving the appearance of a more chiselled jawline.

Best Haircuts For Diamond Faces

The diamond face shape is among the rarest as it's defined by a narrow chin and brow with width in the cheeks – you don't see that every day. Hairstyles that add width at the forehead and chin area are the way to go here. A front fringe will add texture to the forehead, while longer styles that can be tucked behind the ears are great for accentuating bone structure. Try to avoid going too short at the sides as, given the width of the cheekbones, it will only make your ears look bigger. You might also consider growing a short beard to fill out the narrower chin.

Best Haircuts For Heart-Shaped Faces

Wide at the temples and hairline, gradually narrowing at the chin, the heart face shape benefits from a little bit of smoke and mirrors to make it appear more proportioned. It's best to avoid styles that are too tight as they will only highlight the width of the forehead against the narrowness of the chin. A medium-length swept look is a safe bet here. Mid-length and longer hairstyles serve to soften the heart shape's strong forehead. As with the diamond face shape, a beard will help fill out the lower, narrower part of the head.

Best Haircuts For Triangle Faces

Defined by a narrow forehead and wide jawline, a triangular face requires volume and lots of it. Go for longer styles with fuller sides, which work to add depth. Given the prominence of the jawline with a triangular face, it's best to steer clear of beards and stay clean-shaven.