Totally Bangin’: The Best Bangs for Every Face Shape

Sure, a straight and smooth hair style like Jennifer Aniston’s is always “in” and fool-proof. But we all get the urge every now and then to shake things up, whether by chopping it all off, teasing it up, or— the riskiest of all risks— getting bangs.

“Bangs.” The word strikes fear in almost every female. But getting bangs doesn’t have to be a beauty mistake, because there are different kinds of cuts and lengths that suit every shape face.

For a square face:
Your face is about as wide as it is long, but more importantly, your jawline is about the same width as your forehead. (Can’t get a visual? Picture Demi Moore, who has a square face just like fellow actress Gwyneth Paltrow.) For you square-faced girls, stay away from blunt bangs that fall straight across your forehead— they’ll just further widen your whole face (case in point: Lauren Conrad). Instead, try wispy bangs that fly away from the face and are not too long (again, hair that hits at your jawbone will widen your face.) See Paris Hilton for a good example.

For a round/circular face:
A round face is, well, round— wider at the cheeks with a soft, not-so-pronounced chin. Kirsten Dunst flatters her round face with long bangs swept to the side, as does Michelle Williams with a long, soft side-sweeping style. Kelly Clarkson also plays off the roundness of her face with side bangs that are more sleek than wispy. For round faces, either cut (soft/floaty or sleek/straight) works- just keep’em long.

For a heart-shaped face:

What’s a heart-shaped face, you ask? Think Reese Witherspoon, whose jaw line is almost the same width as her forehead yet features a pronounced chin. Reese has been rocking bangs for a while, including a side-sweeping style and a shorter piecy fringe (the post-Ryan Phillipe look famously debuted at the 2007 Golden Globes). Other square-faced celebs like Natalie Portman and Mischa Barton have sported a similar short look with aplomb. Most style of bangs work on heart-shaped faces, but the key is length: too-long bangs draw too much attention to the chin.

For an oval face:
An oval face is longer than it is wide but still has some roundness to it. You oval-faced girls are the lucky ones who can sport those blunt, brow-skimming bangs, a la Naomi Campbell or Camilla Belle. Avoid long, sweepy bangs that elongate the face (no good for oval faces). Short bangs that cut straight across are a bold yet flattering way to break up the face visually.

Bangs can be great, it just takes knowing your own face to get the perfect cut. Are you self-conscious of a pointy chin? A high forehead? Wide cheeks? The right kind of bangs can be just the remedy you’ve been looking for.

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