How to get the best haircut for your face shape

Face shapes thumb
Actors Ryan Gosling and Daniel Craig show the stark difference between the two kinds of face shapes. Getty/Robin Marchant and Getty/Neilson Barnard

Forget everything you think you know about face shapes and haircuts — it’s probably all wrong.

All that nonsense about heart-shaped heads or oblong-shaped heads? For the most part, it just doesn’t apply to the short, tapered, long-on-the-top haircuts popular with today’s gentlemen.

According to barber Kyle Holbrook of Fellow Barber in San Francisco, you need to know only one thing about your face shape to get the most flattering haircut —  whether your head is round or long.

In other words: the only thing you need to know about the shape of your head is if your face is rounder than it is long, or longer than it is round.

It’s really that simple.

A rounder, wider face like actor Daniel Craig’s should get a haircut that is tighter on the sides. This will give the whole face more length and balance out your proportions, thus giving you the illusion of having a less-round face, exactly as Craig has done.

Round face

For those with a longer, squarer face like Ryan Gosling’s, they should ask for a longer length of hair on the sides and around the temples. This will frame your face and make it appear wider, which is clearly what Gosling has done.

Rectangle face

These two subtle shifts can make a world of difference in how your new haircut will look on you, and the haircuts on these two leading men is proof positive of that.

Of course, a good barber will do this automatically, but Holbrook warns that you should always take charge of your hair if you’re unsure. 

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