Hey Gents,

Figuring out the best haircut may be daunting to some, so I’m happy to have Matthew from Barber Career Agency with us today.

If you’re still unsure if the cut you have really suits you (I’ve been there, too), you’ll enjoy this article.

Take it away, Matthew.


 

I am a barber, and I consider my work an art.

Young and middle-aged and old men come to me, and I sculpt whatever hair they’ve got to accentuate their best features—that aspect which makes them totally unique, and uniquely attractive. It may be a strong chin, an angular nose, or colorful eyes.

After years of practice and thousands of haircuts sculpted, I like to think I’ve perfected the craft, and that everyone who enters my salon leaves looking better than when they’ve come in.

It’s taken me a lot of dedication and effort to learn how to perfectly arrange men’s hair. It’s something I’ve earned. So it doesn’t surprise me when good-looking young gentlemen ask me for cuts that will make them look terrible.

After all, most men decide that they would like to style their hair after whatever is fashionable, instead of what naturally fits their features.

Realizing Your Facial Shape

Men’s faces fall into a few broad categories—square, triangular, round, oval, and long—and the way in which we frame our faces using facial hair and the hair on our heads has a significant effect on our appearance.

If you’ve ever seen one man look dashing with short hair and a full beard, while another gentleman attempts the same look but ends up looking boorish, then you’ve identified the relationship between facial features and hair styles.

On his excellent website, Craig the Barber posts an easy and useful activity to ascertain the shape of your head.

  • First, stand in front of your mirror and pull your hair back with your hands. If your hair is lengthy, wet your hair with water and comb it back.
  • Then grab a bar of soap, and trace the outline of your head directly on your mirror, from the top of your scalp, around your temples, to your jawline and chin, and then back up to your starting point.

Unless you have a very, very unique head shape, the frame of your head and face will be one of the following:

Square

Aiden Turner---Square Face

Features: A broad jaw-line will terminate in a near-right angle beneath the cheekbones or ears, and temples will travel straight up and down, rather than tapering inward.

In other words, a face that is square-shaped will be one where the forehead, cheekbones, and jaw are roughly the same width.

How to Frame A Square Face: Men with square-shaped heads tend to look best with the hair above the ears and behind the temples being short, with the hair on the top of the head longer and styled upward (Brad Pitt usually wears such a haircut).

How to Use Your Facial Hair: Many women find a prominent jaw appealing, so if you’ve got a square jaw, there’s no need to hide it with a beard or mustache!

If you do decide to grow facial hair, however, any hair that maintains the square jaw will do: some scruff, a goatee, or a beard with deliberate lines.

A well-groomed mustache may work (think Brad Pitt in Inglorious Basterds), but if we’re being honest, some men look silly with mustaches. Review on a case-by-case basis.

If you find that your head is square-shaped, consider yourself lucky: many male models boast high cheekbones, and a square head.

Triangular

Ryan Gosling---Triangular

Features: Wide cheekbones that taper down to a pointed chin.

How to Frame A Triangular Face: A triangular-shaped face with high-cheekbones will look especially good when hair covers the forehead (a style often featured by Johnny Depp).

Many men with this facial structure also look great utilizing the “high and dry” and shave their hair close to the scalp–an excellent look, because it accentuates the eyes and the angles of the face.

How to Use Your Facial Hair: Scruff is a good bet for any man, but many guys with pointed chins and triangular faces do even better with full beards or facial hair that is shaped to accentuate their jawline.

Goatees may not always work, as the facial shaped is already triangular–too much of a good thing.

Round

Jack Black---Round Face

Features: A rounded jawline, and a rounded crown. Symmetry on top and bottom and left and right.

How to Frame A Round Face: Short hair at the temples and above the ears along with hair styled high on the top can be a very attractive look for men with rounded heads.

Square-ish hairstyles will help create the illusion of a more diamond-shaped face, and an off-center part with the hair pulled off the forehead can help slim the face.

How to Use Your Facial Hair: Men with rounded faces often choose to grow full beards, and that can be an excellent look.

Other men opt for a pointed beard or a goatee, which makes the face appear oval- or diamond-shaped—shapes which accentuate the jaw and angle of the eyebrows.

A Note of Caution: If you have a round face, be sure avoid long hair that is cut to a single length. It’s a look that rarely seems appealing.

Take a look at the drastic change in actor Jorge Garcia with a single-length long cut when compared to a more styled look.

By pulling his hair back he’s create a more oval-shaped appearance, and by allowing some stubble to grow in, he’s made his chin look more angular and sharp.

Oval

laff middle of nowhere 210612

Features: A discretely rounded jaw gradually tapering towards the ear; the temples above the ears ease upwards toward the top of the crown.

How to Frame An Oval Face: Square-jawed faces are envied among most men, but men with oval faces have the ability to adopt any number of hairstyles, and are less bound to a particular style.

Oval-faced men are a “gimme” for barbers, in that any haircut works well!

How to Use Your Facial Hair: Short scruff can be a good look on an oval face, but it can also be helpful to experiment with goatees, to create a diamond-shaped frame that accentuates the cheekbones and eyes.

Oval faces are always quite common among male models. If you have an oval face, you are quite lucky.

Long:

Adam Levine---Long

Features: The long face is characterized as having temples, cheekbones, and a jaw that are the same width.

Where an oval face will be curved from top to bottom, a long face will usually be flatter on the sides.

How to Frame A Long Face: Haircuts that are a little bit longer on the sides and shorter on the top can make a long face appear more oval. Hair swept over the forehead can be a beneficial look.

Steer clear of high-styled haircuts where hair is swept upward and back, as that can make the face appear even longer.

How to use Your Facial Hair: Groomed facial hair can give the appearance of a stronger jawline, and a busy beard that extends past the jaw can make the face appear more rounded.

A goatee can also be used to create a more triangular-shaped head.

Some Final Guidance

Very often, we feel the allure of what is fashionable or current. But the trendy cut may not be best–whatever works for your personal shape and contours will accentuate your best features.

Figure out your facial shape, and look your best!


 

Thanks, Matthew!

Did you take a look at your hairstyle after reading this article? Is your current cut more or less aligned with the advice here, or do you think you’ll need to reassess before your next barber appointment?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

PUBLISHED May 29, 2014


Matthew Morris has a triangular facial structure, and usually opts for a "high and dry" look. He's passionate about helping others find their best features, and runs The Barber Career Agency to help future stylists find the right barber school.



  • http://www.stillswordsandmotion.com/ Scott Hampton

    I was hoping to see some advice and samples for men who look like Craig the Barber. That would have made the article useful to a larger audience, myself included. Perhaps in the future…

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Let’s see if we can get Matt in here to respond; I’m sure he has a few good suggestions :)

      • http://www.stillswordsandmotion.com/ Scott Hampton

        That would be excellent. I’d appreciate it!

        • Matthew Morris

          Hey, Scott! Thank you for your comment. A square-ish face will do well with medium-length to long hair and maybe a goatee to elongate the face, and the same with diamond-shaped faces; rounded faces do well with hair styled a little more high on top (and a full beard can be an excellent addition here); oval faces look great with very short hair and a beard/goatee/stubble; longer faces look great with a sharp/right-angle cut right above the temple and a goatee (which is actually the look that Craig the Barber goes for with his own haircut—see here: http://cdn.funcheap.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/craig-250×257.png). Thank you for your question!

          • http://www.stillswordsandmotion.com/ Scott Hampton

            Thanks, Matthew. My look is similar. I have an oblong/oval face and high forehead. Typically, I wear a low Caesar or a low faded Caesar. I get stubble when I spend too much time editing video and not enough time around people. It grows into a Johnny Depp “Van Dyke” imitation (it just doesn’t grow long enough to be legitimate stubble) so I prefer clean shaven. I hope others find this useful, too.

  • Kyle S.

    I started balding a couple years ago in my early twenties and finally just shaved it all off last year. I don’t know what kind of faces are well-suited to the bald look or if mine’s one of them, but I sure as hell feel better–and even if it’s not the “right” look for me, I much prefer it to the scraggly mess I’d been trying to salvage.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      I don’t think I’ll be balding any time soon, but I always told myself if I did, I’d shave it all off as well. I prefer to go full Bruce Willis. Glad it feels good to you too!

      • Matthew Morris

        Hey, Kyle—I love what you wrote. The best hairstyle will *always* be the one that makes you feel great about yourself.

  • http://fromsqualortoballer.com/ From Squalor to Baller

    This is really great. Thanks, Matthew!

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Thanks for reading, Ian

      • Matthew Morris

        Absolutely—thank you, Ian!

  • J

    Thanks for writing this. Do you have any further suggestions for those of us with long faces? It’s a bit difficult to visualize, and the searches I’ve done on my own don’t yield particularly great results (example suggested style: Bruce Lee).

    • Matthew Morris

      Hello, J!

      If you look at the photo of Adam Levine, you’ll notice that the hair above his ears tapers out a little bit. The hair right above his ear is maybe 3 or 4mm long, whereas the hair an inch or two above his ear is longer. Than “tapering outward” can create the appearance of a more diamond-shaped head (and remember, the goal is not to aim for a shape or a diamond shape or anything else, but just to experiment until you find something that you, personally, love).

      And, if you’ve got time—a lot of men with long faces can pull off longer hair (here’s an example: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/27/4c/0a/274c0a6bcf7db525c75cc5afa2756d75.jpg).

      You can also play with pointed goatees, as they can sometimes bring out a person’s cheekbones.

      Hope that helps!

      • J

        thanks!

  • Patch

    what about men with no or minimal facial hair?

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Which face shape are you referring to?

  • Bateman

    Apologies for my ignorance – but what is the “high and dry” look mentioned above (as recommended for triangular faces)? Is that a buzz cut? Thanks.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Good question. I actually read that as “high and tight” at first; didn’t think twice. I assume it’s similar, with closely-cropped sides, and more hair up top. @disqus_8wP8mzSYmA:disqus might have a better explanation.

  • http://greatmate.com/blog Kevin Espiritu

    Thanks so much for this – been working on my hairstyle for the last few cuts and trying to come up with something I’m really into. This piece gave me a few tips to work into the next cut – at a barbershop :)

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      rad! glad it helped.