How To Choose The Best Short Hairstyle For Your Face

Feeling hair fatigue? We've all been there! When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and hair salons closed their doors, all our hair needs, styles, and maintained cuts and colors just went out of the door. As such, many of us are starting our hair journey over — a clean slate means endless opportunities!

Those with long hair can tell you that washing, blow drying, styling, and maintaining is the name of the game, and it's not a bed of roses. Hair care and everything that goes along with it can not only take up a lot of time but can add up quickly — in this economy, who can afford to have a $300 blowout every six weeks! If you start with a clean hair plate after years of not being able to head to the salon like you used to, we suggest giving a short hairstyle some consideration. We know what you're thinking: "I've tried short hair, and it just doesn't look good on me." Lies! If you know your face shape, pick a style accordingly, and go to a stylist who knows what they're doing, short hair can look good on anyone.

Face shape — it's hard to know exactly what face shape you have, but it's typically broken down into the following categories: round, oval, square, diamond, heart-shaped, oblong, triangle, inverted triangle. Take your forehead, jawline, and overall face length into consideration, and bust out your notebook — these are the short hairstyles best for your face shape.

For the round faces among us, opt for texture and balance

This face shape is pretty easy to recognize — round faces are simply that: round. Think of celebs like Carey Mulligan, Michelle Williams, or Florence Pugh, who all have rounder foreheads and soft cheekbones that bring a circular impression to the face. If you have a round face, opt for texture and balance when considering short hairstyles: a clipper-cut pixie or a pixie with sweeping layers are both great options.

"The clippered pixie is one of my favorite edgier styles for round face shapes," Marcus Hoey, the lead educator at Glamsquad, told Byrdie of short hairstyles for round faces. "The cut is tight on the side and back and more square toward the top and round of the head. This creates height by elongating the shape and slims the face at the same time."

Giving professional insight into the layered look is Justine Marjan, a bi-coastal celebrity hairstylist. "A side-sweep in the front keeps the cut delicate while the cropped back and sides lengthen the neck," Marjan explained. "Tell your stylist to crop the sides and back using a 'scissor over comb' technique to keep the ends soft (as opposed to using clippers). Cut the top with a razor or shears for more fullness and keep length toward the front for softness around the face."

Bangs can also be a helpful factor for round faces

We're not done with round faces quite yet! So determined to debunk the idea that people with round faces can't rock short hair, we're adding more looks and detail to the mix. If texture isn't really your thing and you'd rather avoid layers in your hairstyle, opt for a pixie cut with bangs! Bangs can help frame the face in a variety of ways and can also provide movement to the face. If you are thinking that a pixie could be in your future — and you're the proud owner of a round face — make sure that you pick a look that keeps more hair on the top of your head (and, of course, gets some bangs in there), while keeping the back and sides of the style higher and tighter. This will make the face appear longer and sleeker, which of course, could certainly be your goal if you're not wild about having a round face. No matter what, pixies require a certain attitude.

"Pixies are so gorgeous on many women, but it takes confidence to wear them," Giovanni Vaccaro, the artistic director for hair at Glamsquad, told Byrdie. "To elongate the face, have your stylist go shorter on the back and sides while keeping the length on the top a little longer. I use a clipper or a scissor over comb technique to create this cut."

Oval faces should focus on volume

If you have more prominent cheeks, a chin that's a bit on the wider side, and a forehead of equal width, you likely have an oval face. As such, you may have found yourself wanting to hide your face shape under long, face-grazing hair and lots of layers, but that era is over! Shine bright with a short hairstyle — just know which looks suit you best.

As noted by All Things Hair, there are a couple different looks that will really compliment your oval face shape and features. First up are some Old Hollywood-inspired waves at the shoulder length. While this isn't as aggressively short as a pixie cut, going from waist to shoulder length hair is a big step for a lot of us, and these waves will not only add volume, but will "smoothen out" the oval face shape that you're trying to work with.

Another great option for our oval face-shaped friends is a short haircut with lots of layers! By adding movement and "dimension" to the face, your elongated look will be softened, and people will have plenty to admire before they even pay attention to a wider chin and prominent cheeks (but we think you should rock your face shape with confidence!). If you really want to go for it, add some well-placed bangs — though avoid the blunt bang look — to bring yet another feature into play.

Angles will be very helpful for those with a square face shape

Ah, the square face shape — this one can be tricky, as those with square faces typically have bold jawlines, more universal width across the face, and wider foreheads. For celeb reference, think of Keira Knightley or Olivia Wilde — of course, the square face shape is stunning, you just need to know how to work with it if you want to opt for short hair.

The key here is going to be angles. As noted by Allure, a bob haircut with a universal length across the entire head will likely make your square face look that much more boxy, so it's best to ask your stylist for a look that starts at one length at the chin and cheeks but slowly gets shorter toward the back of the head.

"[An angled cut will] elongate rather than widen the face," Teddi Cranford, a hairstylist at the Sally Hershberger Downtown Salon in New York, explained to Allure.

With this in mind, layers will certainly be your best friend. Giovanni Vaccaro, the artistic director for hair at Glamsquad, told InStyle of the softening quality of layers, "Adding softness is key for those with square-shaped faces. I love creating texture with a razor to give airiness to the ends. Steer clear of a length that hits at the jawline; aim to have your bob fall an inch or two below."

Balance is key for heart-shaped faces

The heart-shaped face is one of the most darling among the options, but that doesn't mean that finding a short hairstyle is any easier. As noted by Southern Living, those with a heart-shaped face typically have wider foreheads and cheeks, a prominent jawline, and a softening of the face by the mid-section of the chin. With that in mind, finding a short hairstyle is all about balance, as you want to bring a softer quality to the jawbone while also highlighting your assets — those amazing cheekbones.

With all that said, you should consider some sort of bang or fringe to go with your short haircut, Glamsquad artistic director Giovanni Vaccaro recommended to InStyle.

"Long, side-swept bangs are great to add definition to cheekbones and flatter a heart-shaped face," Vaccaro explained. "I love a shoulder-length cut with pixie bangs."

If you're still nervous about taking the short hair plunge, celebrity hairstylist Cheryl Bergamy says you have nothing to fret about. "A great hairstylist would know when to tweak a hairstyle to make it more flattering and also explain to the client why they are adjusting certain parts of the hairstyle that they chose," Bergamy explained to InStyle.

Short hair that has soft qualities will be great for diamond face shapes

The diamond, the jewel. No, we're not talking "Bridgerton" — though Daphne would be considered a heart-shaped face if we were getting into specifics — but rather the diamond faces among us who are looking for short hairstyles that work with their angular features. For celeb reference, think of Kate Hudson or Vanessa Hudgens, who have diamond face shapes and rocked short hair on multiple occasions. In fact, Hudson has opted for the super short pixie before, and you can too!

"A pixie cut with soft side-swept bangs is ... great style to accentuate the more prominent features on an angular, diamond-shaped face," stylist Lauren Thompson explained to Byrdie, referencing the "How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days" star's short haircut that featured wispy bangs and a feminine edge.

If you're not set on going that short, the "High School Musical" alum is a great person to look to for short hair inspiration if you have a diamond face. Her shoulder-length hair with soft bangs perfectly complimented her angular features, celebrity stylist Castillo explained.

"Vanessa Hudgens is a great example of someone who knows how to style her hair according to her face shape," Castillo said. "Side-swept bangs always look amazing on a diamond-shaped face, and longer bobs are great as well. The idea is to open up the face by adding a fringe. This will complement the bone structure."

Diamond face shapes can also benefit from a lot of volume

We're not quite done with diamond faces! With so many angles, varying widths, and of course, your features to consider, there are a lot of varying ways you can style short hair to your advantage. While a cropped pixie cut and sweeping bangs are two great options, you should definitely consider volume when working with a stylist. As diamond faces are concerned, the forehead is a more prominent area of skin to take into account, as are the cheekbones. But don't think you have to hide your features behind your hair! It's all about working with volume and style to stand out.

"The hairline and forehead are important features to take into consideration with a diamond-shaped face when creating a style," Amy Abramite, the creative director at Maxine Salon in Chicago, told Byrdie. With that in mind, opt for a little bit more length than a pixie — think shoulder length — as it'll give you lots of hair to still style and play around with.

Opt for a sleek ponytail, and give it that little bit of tease to really bring additional elements to your diamond face shape look. "The sides of the hairstyle should have less volume to create a slender look around the cheekbones," Abramite suggested, and we're certainly here to take it from the pros.

The bob is perfect for those with oblong face shapes

Oblong face shapes are pretty much just that — long and slender. For celeb reference, think of Bella Hadid or Taylor Swift, both of whom have slim features and elongated faces without many harsh angles or lines. If you have a similar face shape and you want to give short hair a try, the bob is going to be your best friend — with or without bangs! As noted by Byrdie, Swift's bob with bangs look circa "1989" was perfect for her face shape, as her straight across bangs gave her oblong face a bit of width and dimension. The rough cut at the ends of her hair provided a wonderful texture, creating a lot of movement in an otherwise easy-to-maintain look.

As for Hadid, the international supermodel opted for a bang-less look, and her bob hairstyle elongated her already slender features. Yet somehow, it worked, and it all comes down to angles and texture. The hair hit right below the jawline, creating a frame for the face in and of itself. The blunt ends gave Hadid more angles to work with, accomplishing what a square jawline — for example — does naturally.

"[With] shoulder-length hair or a bob, you're always going to want to have a bang or angles with this face shape," Christopher Didier, the founder of New York's Purple Haze Studio, explained to Byrdie. "It's just more flattering. Shorter angles take away from the length of your face."

Short hair is actually better suited for people with a triangle face shape

Ah, here is the face shape that we don't see very often and is one of the most difficult to style — the triangle face shape. It's just that — narrow forehead, wider cheeks, and a prominent jawline — think Scarlett Johansson, Ellie Kemper, and a little bit of Amber Heard. Such a face shape is hard to work with because the forehead — which is often the largest part of the face — is the smallest to work with, and the jaw is more defined than not. However, owners of a triangle face shape will be pleased to know that short hair actually works better than long, as explained by All Things Hair.

The biggest hurdle when it comes to this face shape is not drowning out your features or making your face look longer. With that in mind, a short hairstyle that ends at the chin is a great option, as it works with your already strong jawline to create a frame for the face. All Things Hair additionally notes that texture and lots of layers are great elements to incorporate, as they will give the hair dimension and soften the jawline slightly.

Overall, the biggest thing to avoid is "hair that goes beyond your chest," All Things Hair points out, as it can actually highlight your already bold jawbone and make your forehead appear that much tinier.

Embrace bangs if you have an inverted triangle shaped face

Just as there are those with triangle shaped faces, there are many with inverted triangle face shapes — the forehead is the widest part of the face, with features getting narrower until the smallest point of the face, the chin. For celeb reference, think Meghan Markle, who has rocked a variety of hair lengths and styles since her time as an actress and a member of the royal family. As noted by The Vogue Trends, the inverted triangle face shape can demand a number of short hair elements, but one of the biggest aspects you should consider is bangs.

As the forehead is the widest part of the face, bangs will not only soften this area of the face but can do almost a hiding trick — by framing out sides of the face with curtain bangs, for example, the amount of skin showing can actually appear much smaller. The Vogue Trends does note, however, that those with an inverted triangle face shape should avoid straight across bangs, as such a look can actually make the face look wider.

Perhaps the best short hair option for those with the inverted triangle face shape, then, is the wavy bob with bangs. The texture will soften the face, while bangs will work with a more prominent forehead. "Everything just looks in perfect proportion," The Vogue Trends details of this particular look.

These looks are universal options for all face shapes

Overwhelmed with short hair options? Don't know where to start? Don't worry. While plenty of looks will take advantage of your face shape and highlight all the best areas, there are a number of short hair looks that are flattering on pretty much everyone, InStyle notes. Celebrity hairstylist Cheryl Bergamy explained to InStyle that when all else fails, opt for a bob, as it'll work with pretty much any face shape you throw at it. Opt for a center part, give the hair a little bit of texture, and work with what you've got — at the end of the day, short hair is all about confidence.

If you really want to take the plunge and just go for it with short hair, opt for a universally complimenting pixie cut with a little bit of length on top.

"I love a modern pixie, or a haircut that allows you to slick it back," Glamsquad artistic director Giovanni Vaccaro explained to InStyle. "Think short layers with a softer fringe or pixie paired with a deep side part." And there you have it! Just remember that cutting your hair is a temporary thing — if you really hate it, don't fret, it'll grow back!