Flattering Short Hairstyles for Round Faces
by Rachel Weeks
We have thrown out the rule books when it comes to flattering round faces! The old standards that said women with round faces can’t have short hair are gone; and the time of flattering lobs, bobs, crops and pixies is here. However, there are still some tricks to keeping your short cut looking great. So, we consulted James Cornwell of Cornwell Styling and master stylist Jay Vosper of Dop Dop Salon to bring you some helpful tips and examples of flattering short hairstyles for round faces.
Cameron Diaz is proof that women with round faces can have bobs, and Cornwell agrees: “Cameron has a wonderful style, head to toe. When it comes to her hair, she’s a standout. She rocks short hair beautifully and longer hair as well. When her hair is short, it has texture, shape and sweeping bangs … all [things] that accent a round face shape beautifully.”
Christina Ricci is the perfect example of just how versatile a round face can be. Chin-length bobs are usually discouraged for round faces because they widen the face, but this cut doesn’t add much width at all; plus, the heavy fringe adds angles to her face shape, making it look more triangular than round. Additionally, her bangs beautifully accentuate her doelike eyes and cheekbones.
Emma Stone’s hair game is always on point, but this cut is particularly flattering. “For styling short hair on a round face, make sure your haircut has texture and shape,” Cornwell says. “Sweeping fringe [bangs] are always great with a short cut.” Emma’s cut has shape without being static. The long layers have movement and lengthen her face, and her bangs add angles that break up the shape.
Ginnifer Goodwin is queen of the pretty pixie, showing you don’t need a curtain of hair to flatter a round face shape. The trick to this look is texture. Her choppy bangs break up the “circle” and add visual weight to the top, making her face appear more oval. Also, notice how Ginnifer leaves a little bit of hair in front of her ears; this visually stops the width of her face.
Instead of using bangs to lengthen her face, Kate Mara relies on a center part cut with soft waves. Vosper recommends his round-faced clients “try a middle part to open up the face. It will instantly give the appearance of a longer-, slimmer-looking face with perfect symmetry.”
Renee Zellweger’s cut abides by the old rule: Short hair works on round faces as long there is some kind of bang and it isn’t cut right at chin-length. Her soft bangs give her face angles without adding any width to the sides of her face.
Hayden Panettiere’s layered, side-swept cut is a perfect example of a round-face-flattering style that doesn’t have bangs. Note how the shorter pieces in the front flip outward; these—combined with the longer layers—give the cut texture and movement without adding too much width.
Rules be damned! Tatyana Ali rocks this curly crop. While stylists usually advise keeping curls below the chin on women with round face shapes, these curls have enough oomph on top to balance it out. Additionally, Tatyana’s large hoop earrings add length and shape to her face.
Talk about angles! Jennifer Lawrence’s dramatic bangs and rough texture create lots of angles to break up her round face shape and accentuate her smokey eyes. Furthermore, those long, black earrings lengthen her face and neck, making her face look more oval than round.
Curled hairstyles can be difficult for women with round faces to pull off because they tend to add width. Cornwell recommends, “Let your curls grow out to shoulder length, and try a flat iron.” But some curls are still flattering, Katherine Heigl shows that adding volume to the top of your head can be enough to balance things out, especially if you curl away from your face.
Cornwell warns round-faced clients against blunt cuts with no movement: “A cut like a classic bob on a round face is a no-no.” However, Kirsten Dunst’s textured, asymmetrical bob is a great cut to flatter a round face. Her deep side part breaks the round face shape and draws attention to her smoldering eyes and cheekbones.
Uneven bangs like Maggie Gyllenhaal’s are a flattering alternative to long side-swept bangs. “Depending on the texture, adding some wispy, asymmetric bangs will elongate and distract from the roundness,” Vosper says. Maggie’s do the trick beautifully.
If you’re trying to avoid bangs, styles like Mandy Moore’s loose waves are a great option. The center part balances the face, drawing attention to the center of your hair rather than the roundness of your face. Plus, the waves below her chin give the illusion of length.
Mariska Hargitay shows off the quintessential haircut for a round face. It’s a little longer in the front, hitting below the chin; it doesn’t add any width to the sides, and it uses bangs to alter the shape. “Longer side-swept bangs will again create an illusion of a diagonal, thus bringing attention to the cheekbone and the eye,” Vosper says.
Michelle Williams is always rocking a short, face-flattering style. This is because her cuts align with Cornwell’s simple rules for styling short hair on a round face: “Make sure you have layers and movement to ensure avoiding the blunt one-length look. Use a curling iron or wand to add wave and texture to the hair. The soft beachy look is great on round faces and looks great year-round.”
Not too long and not too short, Olivia Munn’s long, straight bob hits well past her chin, elongating her face without adding any width to the sides. Even though the cut is an oval, it’s flattering on a round face because the center part rather than the shape becomes the focus of the style.
Charlize Theron’s wavy crop is a great example of adding height to a style. Cornwell recommends his clients follow Charlize’s lead: “Try some volume on top, and keep the sides softer to help balance your face shape.” Spraying your curls back out of your face, as this style does, is one way to minimize width.
Kelly Osbourne is a great example of a woman with a round face and a flattering short haircut. “Kelly is just full of adventure. It doesn’t matter if her hair is short or long. She always pushes her style,” Cornwell says. “Even when she has longer hair, she wears it up a lot in cool, retro styles, showing off that beautiful face shape. The height of the hair balances the roundness of one’s face shape.”
When styling for a round face, it’s important to be conscious of width. Taylor Schilling’s curls are in the perfect place to flatter a round face: They start just below the chin and curl away from her face. This interrupts the shape, drawing the eye out of the circle.
Keira Knightley’s angled bob is a great example of a shapely cut that contrasts the round face shape. The hair on either side of her face camouflages the circular shape, and the length in the front balances out the width of her face, making it look much more oval.