Part two of our Face Shape Series... we are focusing on the Oblong Face Shape. In this series, we are looking at how a haircut or color can effect your face shape and vice versa. (See last week: "Best Cut and Color For A Round Face Shape").
It is amazing how your hair color and cut can accentuate or minimize facial shape, structure or traits such as eye placement, nose size, and chin width. The face shape should actually be the primary factor to consider when choosing a haircut, style or hair color that will both enhance your favorite features and minimize your well...not so favorite characteristics.
Quick review from last week...There are 6 different face shapes: Round, Oval, Square, Oblong, Diamond and Heart. Our goal when choosing our perfect style is to mimic the "Oval" face shape. Close, but not quite there is the Oblong, or rectangle, Face Shape. They can be similar to a square-shaped face but longer than they are wide. Celebs that tout this shape include Liv Tyler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kate Winslet to name a few.
Side note: A common trait of this face shape can also be close-set eyes. Think, SJP or Nikki Hilton. Fortunately, the same recommendations for this face shape also can help pull those eyes apart if desired. Yahoo!
Make the Cut
As our goal is to turn that oblong or rectangle into an oval shape, what would we want to do? It's almost directly opposite of what we wanted to do to a round face shape. We want to make the face look wider, so lots of layers that create width at the cheek area are perfect. And unlike the round face shape, the last thing we want to do is elongate the face shape, so length and height are our enemy. Looks that shorten the face, including a fringe and multiple layers create wider horizontal lines and cut the long face shape in half.
Similarly, as we age, our face can tend to loose elasticity and begin to hang. The longer face shapes can accentuate this process, so in order to "lift" the skin and appear younger, you also want to focus on creating horizontal lines.
If your eyes sit closer together, creating horizontal lines at eye level would pull those eyes apart.
For instance, look at these four looks on Liv Tyler.
First off, Liv Tyler is stunning and we would never argue otherwise; however, her oblong face shape lends to the perfect example of how a cut can create fullness and lift. As you can see in the upper left photo, Liv's primary hairstyle is straight and long. The narrow silhouette and longer vertical flow actually accentuates her longer face shape. In contrast, her long locks with heavier layering in the upper right actually widens her face and accentuates her high beautiful cheekbones.
One of our favorite looks on Liv is the bottom left. The layered lob. The shorter length and beach waves pull her eyes apart and give her a full, youthful look. Lastly, a fringe can do wonders in cutting the longer face shape in half giving softness to her entire look.
Round or square layers and bobs will allow your face to look wider. Go for side parts and side-swept fringes to cut your face in half and lend to a horizontal movement of the eyes.
Curtain bangs are the way to go, especially if you have close-set eyes, as it creates width right where we want it.
Contrastingly, avoid long, one length cuts, long layers, and short cuts with height as these will only accentuate the face shape. Have curly hair? Perfection! Let it live! Cuts around mid-length or shorter are perfect for this shape.
Similarly, for our gorgeous men in our lives. Tight sides and height is not the best haircut for this shape as it again...elongates the face. Go for something fuller and the sides with no height, or just a close, even height/sides ratio, to minimize elongation.
Are you daring enough to add length? I wish, because this is one of the sexiest looks. Slight length is your friend as it creates width again but does not add height.
So, how can hair color make a difference?
Create Horizontal Lines with Color
When it comes to color, you want the eye to follow a horizontal silhouette. One all over color creates a vertical line (No) so go for multidimensional with a longer shadow root. Like this look created by Natalie Palomino at North Salon.
Everyone loves framing highlights for the infamous “Money Piece,” especially around summer, so go for it. Just ensure that the highest part of your MP starts at your eye, cheek or chin level to, again, create that horizontal line.
Loose Waves are your Bestie
Soft, sexy waves that create width (think every Victoria’s Secret Model ever) are the perfect hair style for this face shape.
Side styles and retro curls are the most flattering on this look as again…it causes the eyes of the viewer to go side to side rather than up and down. Couple the side style with some glam barrettes like our Smoke Crystal Hair Pin Set!
Want to recreate this look? We have you covered:
- Smooth your hair on one side with a brush and hair spray. Hold it in place and slide in three pins with the last pin somewhat behind your ear.
- Use a 1 ¼ inch curling iron, like our Tourmaline Babyliss Curling Iron (The best iron on the market) and begin curling toward your face.
- Continue to curl all the hair on the heavy side of your head, maintaining the same directional curl.
- Let cool. Hair needs to set to hold its curl, so spray it with a Medium to Strong Hold Hairspray, like Davines Strong Hold Hairspray, and then work on you rmakeup so you are not tempted to touch it.
- Once your hair has sat and cooled, use a wide-tooth comb or our Tangle Teezer Paddle Brush and lightly brush your hair from mid-shaft to ends. Your waves should smooth out but maintain a uniform “S” wave.
- Set with Hairspray again!
Looking for an upstyle for an upcoming event? No problem, focus on low-set chignons with soft waves around the face, like Kate Winslet or a side upstyle like Heidi Klum.
Another perfect styling option is a hat. As a hat does the same thing as a fringe (shortens the face shape), they are the perfect option for accessorizing. While a baseball hat or beanie work, they are not the best option.
Go for a hat with a wider brim and flatter top like a boater or gauncho hat, like our Lack of Color Sunnydip Fray Boater or our Brixton Joanna Hat. These styles have a shorter crown, unlike a cattleman or a gus style (all of which have high crowns and will elongate the face).
Want to know more about your face shape? Stay tuned for our monthly series where we will be dissecting each shape and sharing the best looks for you!
North Salon offers complimentary consultations with our Artists to help you find the best look for you. Call us at (949)627-9998 to schedule and get a one-on-one analysis.