How to Choose a Hairstyle for Men

Selecting the perfect hairstyle for you means you select a hairstyle based on the shape of your face. That means the overall shape, imperfections, color, and general bone structure. Some have high cheekbones, others have narrow nose bridges. Some have an eye that is located slightly higher than the other.

Selecting the Perfect Hairstyle

Our face determines our hairstyle and a lot of guys mess this up. They see someone walking down the street and think:”That looks cool, I’m gonna get a haircut like that.’ only to find out that it doesn’t suit their facial structure.

My mom has been a hairdresser with her own hairstyling salon for over 30 years so trust me when I say, I know a thing or two on this subject. In general, there are 7 basic male facial shapes – round, square, oval, oblong/rectangle, triangle, diamond, and heart. While I’ll go over some of the basics of how to determine your face shape, if you’re looking for an in-depth guide, you can check out the following one from Birchbox.

Generally speaking, this is what works for each male facial type:

Oblong

How to style oblong face - Ben Affleck example

This face shape is typically confused with an oval face shape, however an oblong face is typically characterized by being longer than it is wide and usually with a rounded jaw-line that can sometimes include a pointed chin. The forehead, cheekbones, and jaw are all of a relatively similar size

Celebrities that match this face type include Ben Affleck, Collin Farrell, Ted Danson, Bruce Lee, and Keifer Sutherland.

The goal: Make your face seem wider by adding volume on the sides or having a sideway motion on the top.

Generally you want cuts with volume on the sides so surfer-type looks often work well with this type of face. If you keep it longer on top, make sure it’s swiped to the side to suggest more facial width.

The goal: Enhance facial features.

Go for short cuts that accentuate your strong masculine facial traits. Longer hair swiped across the face will also look great on you.

Round

Jack Black is an example of a round face shape

The cheekbones and face are similar in measurement while the forehead and jawline are similar to each other in measurement. The angle of the jaw is much softer and less defined.

Celebrities that match this face type include Kanye West, Evan Handler, and Jack Black.

The goal: Make your face seem thinner

Generally speaking you want to grow some facial hair to create to illusion that your face is longer than it really is.

The goal:  Give an illusion of angles/a more ‘square’ look by adding sharper cuts and lines to make your face appear more masculine.

Angular cuts like faux hawks and pompadours work.  You can also part your hair approximately two inches to either side of center and then angle your bangs to help cut the roundness of your forehead. Square cuts like a flat tops with sharp lines will make your face less ‘soft’.

Oval

George Clooney's Face Shape Is OvalWill Smith Oval Face

Think of this face type as the perfect egg shape. The face length is approximately one and half times the width of the cheekbones, and forehead is slightly wider than the jawline. The angle of the jaw is usually more on the round side rather than sharp.

Celebrities that match this face type include Zac Efron, Jude Law, Will Smith and George Clooney.

The goal: Rock any look you think looks best.

This is considered the ideal face shape (though perhaps not the most alpha). Very few of us have this type of face. The good news is that you can basically rock any look, short hair, long hair, bangs on the sides, bangs on the top, trimmed, you name it. It really is the perfect canvas to experiment with.

Square

Brad Pitt Square Face

All measurements are fairly similar. The angle of the jaw is sharp rather than rounded.

Celebrities with this face shape include Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Ryan Seacrest, Tom Welling, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The goal: Enhance square facial features.

You’ll generally want to enhance your square features for they are generally very masculine which is good. Longer hair will generally not be a very good idea.

Triangle

keith urban triangle face shape hairstyle

Jawline measures greater than cheekbones, which measure larger than forehead.

Celebrities with this faceshape include Ethan Hawke, Justin Timberlake, Jet Li, and Keith Urban.

Diamond

Johnny Depp Diamond Face Shape

Face length measures largest. Then, in descending order: cheekbones, forehead, and smallest is jawline. The chin is pointed.

Celebrities with this face shape include Johnny Depp and Dane Cook.

The goal: Add more volume on top to even out the appearance of your face.

Add volume on top and top sides to balance your face. Because you have a strong chin you don’t want to make that too prominent.

Inverted Triangle/Heart

Justin Timberlake Triangle Face

Forehead measures greater than the cheekbones and jawline. The chin is pointed.

Celebrities include Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, and Bradley Cooper.

The goal: Add volume lower half of the face.

Longer hair that adds volume to the lower part of your face will be best. Medium-long hair will add volume to the relatively narrow width of your chin area.

As you can see in most cases when it comes to selecting the perfect hairstyle you will want to create an ‘optical illusion’ that is the exact opposite of your facial shape. If you have an oblong facial shape you will generally want to create the illusion of having a wider face than you really have. If you have a roundish face you will want to it to look more narrow and ‘sharp’ and so on and so forth.

This is extremely important if you want to have a hairstyle that looks amazing. If you aren’t getting compliments on your hairstyle it could be better. Keep that in mind. We’re going for a complete transformation here- no half assed work.

$$: Before you get your haircut next time make sure you first go to the most expensive and trendy hair dressing salon in your city. Tell them that you want to speak with one of their stylists to know what they would change and how they would cut your hair – they will tell you. If you have the money, then get your cut there, otherwise find a much cheaper place and tell them exactly what the ultra expensive professionals advised you earlier- you easily save $30-$100 doing so.

Trouble Shooting

  • Prominent nose? Go for a look that doesn’t make things worse. Very short army-like cuts won’t work because the focus will be on your nose. Instead, go for longer cuts to create a dynamic look taking the focus away from your nose.a
  • Weak jaw line? Grow a beard or at the very least grow a strong 5’o clock shade.  Besides the fact that facial hair is manly AF, it really helps with creating the illusion of having a much stronger jaw line and chin. Never grown a beard? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with our guide step-by-step guide for growing a beard for the first time.
  • Un-even eyes? Grow a longer cut with bangs slightly going over your eyes to make the horizontal imaginary line between the eyes more blurry, thus making it seem as if your eyes are more symmetrically aligned than they really are.

Dying Your Hair

Depending on your hair color you may want to consider whether you should dye it or not.

Dying your hair can have an amazing effect. I’m still amazed at times when I see someone walking in my mom’s salon coming out with a new cut and new colors looking like a million bucks. That being said I would generally advise that you avoid dying your hair completely.

No matter how good your hairdresser is- it tends to create a somewhat unnatural effect. Generally speaking it’s best to either add some highlights or a funky touch depending on your natural hair color.

If you are blonde(ish) Create a fuller look adding some highlights (lighter blonde tones) or lowlights (darker blonde tones). I sometimes add some highlights to my hair (very subtle) to add visual ‘volume’.

Highlights for blondish guys can add volume.

If you are dark(ish) If you have darker hair then adding some funky colors can create a cool and funky look- but make sure it resonates with who you are as a person. Adding some red/blonde or blue-ish colors can create a very edgy punker/rocker like look- which is always a good thing.

Dying some layers of your hair if you have darker hair can create an edgy look.

When dying your hair you should keep in mind the following:

  • Color of eyelashes & eyebrows.
  • General skin tone.
  • Eye color.

In general you will want to avoid dark contrasts as much as possible. That means that if you are very pale you should stay away from very dark and very light colors.

If you are blonde and decide to dye your hair darker, make sure it is never darker than the eyebrows otherwise it will look quite weird. Lastly if you have lighter eyes (grayish/blue/green) you can make them appear more powerful and mysterious by going for a slightly darker hair color. They say one of the seven beauties is light colored eyes with dark hair so take advantage of that.

Hair Styling

When it comes to styling your hair there is one golden principle that you should never forget: stay away from gel – especially if you just got out of the shower. I have yet to find a woman who actually likes men that use gel excessively. Don’t even waste your money on buying it. Don’t style your hair with gel.

Instead, dry your hair (with a towel or a blow dryer if you have one) and use wax or pomade to create a playful yet strong look. When you style your hair it should always be slightly damp (basically five to ten minutes away from dry) to dry before you apply any type of wax or pomade. You don’t want your hair so wet that the natural oils in the product aren’t able to mix with your hair.

One of my favorite pomade’s is Lockhart’s Authentic Hair Pomade Heavy Hold which is handmade in smaller batches to ensure high quality. It will give your hair a slight shine and leave it with a faint coco-vanilla scent. One thing to note though is that it doesn’t hold particularly well in humid weather, so if you have thick, curly, or unruly hair you’ll want to use another product.

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