Best Styles for Round Faces

by Lauryn Salzwedel

A round face is generally characterized by asymmetrical face with slightly wider cheekbones. Think Emma Stone, Mila Kunis or Cameron Diaz. Round face shapes should try styles that help break up the symmetry to add interest.  The secret to a flattering style on a round face is to create the illusion of length instead of roundness. Use lengths and angles that help offset wider-looking cheeks and elongate, or “thin” the face.  So how should you ask your stylist to do that? Remember, face shape isn’t the only thing to think about when choosing a new hairstyle—your hair texture and personality are just as important. Use the following guide for styles and tips to perfectly flatter your round face!

Mila Kunis is a great example of long hair with layers on a round face.

Long Hair and Layers

Long hair is perfect and universally flattering on round faces because it lengthens the face. If you have a round face, your ideal cut will fall a few inches below the chin or longer. The shortest layer should never be above your earlobe; this can also make a style look dated, and no one wants that! Layers that are too short will add volume to the sides of the face, making it appear even more round.

Sleek Hair

Sleek, straight hair is flattering on a round face because long hair creates the illusion of length in the face. In fact, the curtain effect has a nice slimming effect on a round face. Also try for a center part. The best way to make it work for you is to keep hair past your shoulders in length, with layers that hit at the jaw (remember, never above the earlobe!). If long hair is not your favorite, never fear, you can definitely play with shorter lengths on a round face too.

Emma Stone shows off her short bob cut with waves.

Short Cuts

If you want short hair on a round face, layers are a must; you never want short hair to fall flat against the sides of your face. Short haircuts can be especially tricky on round faces because short cuts can easily add width to the face — exactly what you want to avoid.  Steer clear of jaw-length bobs because any blunt cut at the chin will accentuate the roundness. If you’re thinking “wait Emma Stone has a bob and she has a round face”, you absolutely can get away with a piecey bob, just like Emma’s current style. Also make sure the bob hits at least a couple inches below the chin, not at the chin.


Gentle waves deflect the roundness of the face, so if you have natural wave in your hair, embrace the natural wave. For naturally curly hair, cut in layers so it doesn’t get fluffy and you don’t end up with a “triangle” look. Just as in straight textures, make sure to grow hair a couple inches or more below your jaw line, when dry. Curls work great with round faces as long as the curl begins below the lips so you’re not adding that dreaded width on the sides. If your hair is naturally stick straight, crunch hair as it dries or create the wave by wrapping hair around a large curling iron.

Top: Cameron Diaz with side swept bangs.
Bottom: Classic Updo swept back on Kate Upton.


Long, side swept bangs create angles on a round face, which will always work in your favor if you have a rounder face. Side-swept bangs should hit at the cheekbone for total perfection on a round face.


Can Color actually help slim the face too? Absolutely!  Lighter tones open up the face, making it appear wider, while darker tones are slimming. Keep the pieces closest to your face a shade or two darker than the others. Face-framing lowlights are perfect with subtle highlights near the crown, which will call attention away from the roundness of your face.


As a general rule, updos on round face shapes should have some lift at the top to elongate the face. Kate Upton is a great example of someone with a round face shape that wears her  updo very well.

Next time you head to the stylist chair, keep this guide in mind. Try to be as specific as possible about your requests. You’ll be amazed by what an appropriate style or cut can do for your face shape.

April 22, 2015

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