With our archives now 3,500+ articles deep, we’ve decided to republish a classic piece each Sunday to help our newer readers discover some of the best, evergreen gems from the past. This article was originally published in July 2019.
The power of a good haircut to transform a guy’s appearance and attractiveness is vastly underrated. I think we’ve all seen a case where someone decided to try a different style, and as a result, practically looked like a new, significantly more handsome man.
But finding that kind of transformative haircut isn’t a matter of chance, as haircuts aren’t one-size-fits-all deals. You know this if you’ve ever seen a haircut that looked good on another dude, and asked your barber to give you the same style, only to find out it looked terrible on you.
Different hairstyles are better suited for different face shapes. What looks good on Brad Pitt could make you look like a grade-A, poindexter dud.
But how do you figure out your face shape, and thus the haircut that complements it best?
It’s easier than you think, and to help guide us through the process, I talked to master barber Thad Forrester, owner of Hudson / Hawk Barber & Shop
The 6 Common Face Shapes of Men
Thad breaks down most faces into six shapes: oval, square, rectangle, round, diamond, and triangle.
Here’s a breakdown of the characteristics of each:
Oval Face Shape
Face length is greater than the width of the cheekbones, and forehead is wider than the jawline. The angle of the jaw is rounded rather than sharp. Imagine an upside-down egg.
Square Face Shape
All measurements are somewhat similar in ratio. The angle of the jaw is sharp rather than rounded. This is the most classically masculine face shape.
Rectangle/Oblong Face Shape
A rectangle face shape is like an oval/square shape combo. Your face length is long (like an oval), but your forehead, cheekbones, and jawline are similar in size (like a square).
Round Face Shape
If your cheekbones and face length have a similar measurement, then you likely have a round face. Cheekbone measurement is also larger than the forehead and jawline measurements, which are about the same. The angle of the jaw is soft rather than angular.
Diamond Face Shape
A long face with wide cheekbones and a small jawline. Chin is pointy.
Triangle Face Shape
Triangle face shapes may have different kinds of chins, but they share the characteristics of having a wide, prominent jawline (as measured across the corners/hinges of the jaw). The second-largest measurement is the cheekbones, followed by the forehead.
Which Face Shape Are You?
So those are the primary face shapes. How do you figure out which one you have?
Well, figuring out your face shape can be tricky. You’ve probably never thought about your face having a distinct shape, so when you try to categorize it, you’ll be doing a lot of hemming and hawing: “Well, I guess it’s round, but if I angle my head this way it looks square. Wait. Now it’s a diamond.”
And as Thad told me, a lot of guys that come in to see him have a tendency to think they have the masculine face shape of Brad Pitt. They’ll show Thad a photo of Brad on their phone and say, “I think I have a similar head shape as Pitt. Can you give me the same haircut that he has?”
Thad has to nicely tell these guys, “No, no you don’t. You look nothing like him actually.”
So how do you figure out what shape your face and head are?