Understanding Your Face Shape

face shape image
This image belongs to Capital FM (Lifestyle Magazine).

There are times when we scroll down Instagram or Pinterest and see a bomb natural hairstyle.  On our next wash day, we follow every necessary step to make sure our hair is poppin’ once the style is completed.  However, when we look in the mirror our excitement is gone.  We question why the style doesn’t look as good on us as it does on the person in the picture.  Sometimes we forget that the outcome of a hairstyle starts first with choosing a hairstyle great for our face shape.

Following directions on how to do a style is only half the battle in determining how to create a bomb hair look.  I encourage you to consider your face shape before trying any style.  Certain hairstyles not only have to be pretty but also should be great for your face shape.  Let us review different type of face shapes below.


Characteristics:  An oval face shape can be determined if your forehead and jawline almost have the same width.  Also, your face should be the widest at your cheekbones.

Things to consider:  If you have this face shape, then you’re in luck because you can get away with pretty much any hairstyle. However, try to avoid hairstyles that cover your face too much.  It’s okay to have bangs but make sure the bangs do not suffocate your face.


Characteristics: The length and width of your face will be almost close in size.  Like an oval face shape, your face will be the widest at your cheekbones.  Your forehead will be round at your hairline.

Things to consider:  Try to create hairstyles that have height and volume at the crown of your head.  For an example, if you do a twist out, be sure to fluff more around the crown of your head and fluff less around your cheekbones.   If you’re wearing your hair in a braidout, twistout, or washngo, consider styling those styles with a middle part because it will create an illusion that your face is longer.  If you’re rocking a tweeny weeny afo (twa), most short natural hairstyle will work for you.


Characteristics:  The length and width of your face is almost the same.  Your chin will be square or flat.  Your jawline will be strong and square.  Your cheeks and the side of your face will be straight.

Things to consider:  Similar to a round face shape, you should create styles that are fuller at the crown of your head.  It’s a great idea to incorporate styles that add some hair onto your face because this will soften your jawline.


Characteristics:  The length of your face will be larger than the width of your face.  Also, the width of your face will be wide.  The forehead and jawline will appear to have the same width.  The chin will appear to have a point.

Things to consider:  This face shape is perfect for people whose hair is chin length in a natural hairstyle.  If your hair is longer, try to add a little more volume at the top of your head.  If your hair is shorter, try to style more hair onto your face by creating some twistout bangs.


Characteristics:  Think about this face shape as an upside-down triangle.  The face will be longer than it is wide.  Your jawline will typically be wider than your forehead, and your forehead will be narrow.  Your jawline will also appear broad and strong.

Things to consider:  Try to taper all your hairstyles at the jawline.  Consider getting your hair trimmed in layers so that when you style your hair naturally, you’ll have more volume towards the top half of your face.


Characteristics:  Your face will appear longer than it is wide.  The jawline will be long and narrow.  Your cheekbones will be high and pointed.  The forehead will be narrow.

Things to consider:  Show off those cheekbones by styling your hair behind your ears.  Consider slicking your hair down at the top with bobby pins or other hair accessories to prevent too much volume at the top of your head.  You can slick your hair down with a side part or no part at all.  If you don’t mind cutting your hair, try to keep your hair trimmed in a style that gives you a bob (at the chin) look in a natural hairstyle.


Characteristics:  Your face will appear longer than it is wide.  The chin and forehead will both be narrower.  The forehead and jawline will have the same width.

Things to consider:  Avoid middle parts and volume at the top of your head.  Try to style your braidout, twistouts, or washngos with a side part.  Getting your hair trimmed in layers will give your natural hairstyle more volume on the side of your face, which is a good thing.

One big suggestion I can offer no matter what face shape you have is to buy bobby pins.  Whenever you’re done with a style try fluffing your hair with a comb and/or adding bobby pins to areas that will show off your natural beauty.  Even if you try a hair look you saw on Pinterest, still play with your hair to achieve your best look.  I want us all to love our hair as it is and not get discourage on this natural hair journey.  I hope now when your twistout doesn’t turn out right you’ll say, “Oh yeah, I should probably do a middle part for my twistouts instead of a side part.”  As always, I encourage you to share your thoughts below.

Thanks for reading!

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