How to: Face Shape Analysis and your haircut.


We are beautifully wild and emotional creatures.

I actually just may be the most emotional person you’ve ever met in your life.

And as a hairstylist, what I’ve discovered is that at the most base level, all women are very emotional when it comes to their hair.

We hang onto it with a vengeance (“I want a complete change, BUT DON’T MAKE IT SHORTER”), we chop it off (“I JUST NEED A FRESH START”), or we conform to the trends (“But the straight across bang is totally in now, right?! That’s what I want.”).

Regardless, it is significant, it is meaningful and displays many things to us. We hide behind it with our insecurity (“but I’m single and men only like women with long hair”) or we chop it to the wind in a moment of epic declaration(“I am woman, hear me roar!!!!!”). But instead of cutting (or not cutting) our hair because we are emotional, why don’t we instead see our hair as the true opportunity that it is. Opportunity to accentuate our assets and downplay our “flaws”.

This is exactly what I did last week.
And I didn’t wake up with one minute of “buyers remorse” or look in the mirror and go, OH MY GOD I HAD MY BRITNEY MOMENT. None of that. Because I did it just for me this time. And this is how.

First, I pulled my hair back and took a really good look at my face, analyzing it.

Come to find out, I’m a heart shape.
(I’ll help you find your shape in just a minute!!)

My face is the widest at my forehead and cheek area and comes to almost a point at my chin (can you see it?). SO THIS IS WHY my 25 years of trying desperately to rock a fringe DID NOT WORK. This is why I would stare at my fringe and short layers and know in theory the haircut itself was awesome, but for some reason just made me feel strange when I saw photos or looked at my reflection. It’s because I’ve always placed volume and weight at the widest part of my head, great.
What I decided to do now was place the weight of my haircut below my jawline to balance out the wideness at my temples. This involved two big steps, #1 cutting about 4 inches off of my hair. and #2 comitting to styling my hair differently. If I’m going to go without the fringe, one thing is for certain, I need to have a middle part which will break up both “corners” of my forehead and create a softer, more balanced appearance.

It’s brand new territory and I definitely didn’t feel like myself at first. I was used to my longer hair, I was used to, honestly, hiding behind my long and “mysterious” feeling side-swept fringe. This felt very exposing.

But you know what?
It completely works.
Not only have I gotten many compliments on my new style, but I also gained a new sense of indepenence. A new freedom.

Hello my new best accessory.

Okay Sara, but what does that mean? (You might ask.)
What even is MY face shape?! (You might wonder.)
How can I make my very own fuzzy substance compliment my aforementioned shape?!?! (You might shout to the heavens.)

OKAY okay okay.
Your turn.

Let’s interpret that language that is your face.

Step #1 Pull all of your hair back and (in my experience, makeup always distracts my eye) have a bare face.

Step #2 Read through the following and really look at yourself. The reason I haven’t included photos of examples is because, personally, when faced with the choice of do I look like Audrey Hepburn or Reese Witherspoon, I’ll ALWAYS choose Audrey no matter what (Sorry Reese). So let’s keep it focused on the science.

[[DISCLAIMER: The following information comes directly out of Redkens Art of Consultation Toolbox. This is what the professional stylists use, I’m not just making it up!! …Well except for the last one, Oval, that one is ALL ME. You’ll see.]]

Symptom: Jawline is significantly wider than brow bone. Face shape becomes successively wider from brow bone to cheekbone to jawline.
Diagnosis: Triangle/Pear
RX: Shorter hairstyles with shorter layers and fringes work well. Create width at the temple area. If wearing longer hair, keep it well below the jawline and keep the layers away from falling at the jawline. Any width in this area will only exagerrate instead of minimize your widest part.

Symptom: Brow bone, cheekbone and jawline approximately same width, forming a straight (horizontal) line. Width of face is noticeable more than 2/3 of length creating the illusion of a short face.
Diagnosis: Square
RX: Maintain hair length below the jaw or longer. Asymmetric or uneven fringe and waves at temples will soften square shape. Height in crown creates illusion of length. Avoid all horizontal and blunt lines.

Symptom: Distinguished by round curved lines. Cheekbones are clearly wider than brow bone and jawline. Width of face is more than 2/3 the length.
Diagnosis: Circle
RX: All lengths work well. Consider styling which minimizes fullness at the sides. Asymmetrical/diagonal lines create the illusion of length. Avoid straight, full fringe and horizontal lines.

Symptom: Brow bone cheekbone and jawline are approximately the same width, however the face is noticeably longer than it is wide.
Diagnosis: Oblong
RX: Mid-length shapes work best. Keep hair full at sides with minimum height. Create face-framing softness with fullness at back sides. Horizontal fringe diminishes length. Avoid shoulder length hair, unless graduated short to long and very full at the sides.

Symptom: Distinguished by short, angular lines. Cheekbones clearly wider than brow bone and jawline. Width of face is more than 2/3 the length.
Diagnosis: Diamond
RX: Keep style narrow at cheekbones, wider esewhere. Add fullness at crown and below ears to balance narrow angles. Avoid “bare” effects high at the side, ears and below.

Symptom: Brow bone and cheekbones are significantly wider than jawline.
Diagnosis: Heart/Inverted Triangle (ME!)
RX: Chin length or below. Fullest area should be right at the jawline. Avoid horizontal fringe or top-heavy looks. (No wonder my teenage years were so horrible.)

Symptom: Hmmm, none of these apply to me because my face is perfectly balanced and symmetrical.
Diagnosis: SHUT UP… just kidding. You lucky duck, you’re Oval!
RX: Do anything you want and know that we all secretly hate you. (JUST KIDDING AGAIN!)

So there we go.
I dare you guys.
NO WAIT. I DOUBLE DOGG DARE YOU (shits getting serious), to follow the science of your face. To embrace the art of it. Just try it.
I dare you to be open minded.
I dare you to be brave.

Please tell me what happens! Send me the photos to prove me wrong (haha, tricked you, you won’t prove me wrong!) or show off your new look! Send me your questions and comments. I want to hear about it, help you figure it out, and just be a part of it.
Hair is a journey.

So, cheers to good hair days despite our wild emotions, cheers to good hair days even especially if our faces look like upside down triangles!


Here are some photos you sent me of your braids from last week!
They came out GORGEOUS and you all inspire me so very much.
Thank you thank you thank you for letting me be a part of your day.



  1. Tonya · July 17, 2013


  2. Emily · July 17, 2013

    “Hmmm, none of these apply to me because my face is perfectly balanced and symmetrical.”

    ….that’s me. It’s kind of fun though, to tell people all the crazy shit I’m going to do to my hair and hearing them go “that’ll look terrible on you,” when I know they’re wrong.

    • sarastylestampa · July 17, 2013

      Hahahaha. Good for you for proving them wrong! I bet that is really challenging and fun to think of different and exciting things to do with your hair!!

      I hate you! 😛
      Cheers! Thank you for commenting and stay tuned!


      • Emily · July 17, 2013

        😉 I know, I know. True fact though, I’ve always wanted to have really fine features like you; they lend themselves so well to barely-there pixie cuts. So cute.
        p.s. your hair right now is delicious. I love the dye job ❤

      • sarastylestampa · July 18, 2013

        Hahaha. Thank you so much. I’m enjoying the low-maintenance appeal of the ombre. Although some days I wake up and go “AHHH I’M A BRUNETTE” I just try to breathe and keep it all in perspective. Hahahaha. Your hair is really cute, I love the length of it. Very on trend and unique all at the same time. 🙂

      • Emily · July 19, 2013

        *compliment-battle to the death*

        thanks. <3.

  3. adoremejay · August 6, 2013

    Awesome post!

  4. Jennifer · December 2, 2013


    So I think I have an oblong face because the width is only 1/3 of the length – and my brow bone, cheek bone, and jawline are about the same width. The problem is, I have chubby cheeks that are only apparent when I smile. When I smile my face looks very fat and round. It’s like my face shape morphs depending on my expressions.

    I’m not sure what to do because if you’re oblong you should style in such a way that adds width, but if you’re round you should add height. I seem to be both… I don’t know what to do. Help?

    • sarastylestampa · March 17, 2014


      First of all, it sounds like you have beautiful apple cheeks! Nothing is wrong with this! I love how every face transforms with a smile. I think that the best haircut for you would include a side-swept fringe the starts around your lip line. What this will do is keep the weight line below where you feel like it gets “fat and round” (haha!) and diminish the size of it. A side sweep is also going to add curve to your oblong face shape.

      Let me know how it goes!


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