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Natural Haircuts That Will Flatter Every Face Shape

Pro tips to help you prepare for your salon visit and maintain your curly cut afterward

spinner image natural curly hair looks for different face shapes
Ellis Brown

Have you ever thought about what the right haircut could do for that gorgeous face and natural hair of yours? Spoiler: It can do wonders.

Not only do customized cuts make your natural curls pop, but they can enhance your face shape and accentuate your best features as you embrace your 50s and beyond. “It’s important to think about which of your facial features you’d like to emphasize and draw attention to first, and which [ones] you may want to conceal if you feel more self-conscious about them,” says Roxy Reaves, owner of and lead stylist at Coastal Curl in Oakland, California.

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Another factor to consider is your curl pattern. Joy Lewis, owner of and lead stylist at Joyola Mei Salon in Detroit, typically cuts fine, wavy hair in larger pieces to amp up the volume. “[For] someone who has a tighter curl pattern … I’ll give them a bit of a heavier perimeter with stacked curls [for versatility],” Lewis says.

Explore these curly cuts for enhancing each face shape:

1. Oval

spinner image Natural hairstyle for an oval face shape
Ellis Brown

Lewis says just about any silhouette looks great on an oval face, aka an “inverted egg,” which is deemed the most versatile face shape.

“Typically, you can wear bangs or a nice face frame that starts somewhere right around the bottom of the cheekbones,” Lewis says. Reaves suggests trying the Rezo Cut, a popular cutting technique that delivers big on the volume while defining natural curls. “It brings attention back up to the eyes, plus some fun geometry and visual interest to a long face. Fringe and short layers will be playful and youthful,” Reaves says. Another popular method is the DevaCut, which is a customized dry-cutting process that aims to bring out the best in each curl.

Pro tip: Although every stylist is different, the general rule of thumb is to come to the salon with what Lewis considers your hair’s “naked state,” meaning clean, dry, detangled and product-free.

2. Oblong

spinner image Natural hairstyle for an oblong face shape
Ellis Brown

An oblong face tends to be more elongated than an oval, so consider getting layers cut throughout your mane, with major volume added on both sides of the hair to give the illusion of a wider face. Top it off with a fringe to make your face appear shorter. “In terms of length, you would keep [the hair] a little longer because you probably have more of a prominent chin,” Lewis says.

3. Round

spinner image Natural hairstyle for a round face shape
Ellis Brown

Round faces are fabulously full with soft edges. Ideally, your curly cut will create some definition to sharpen those soft edges. Many experts, including Lewis, recommend a bang to elongate a round face. (Curtain bangs look gorgeous on natural hair.) When it comes to length, consider cutting no shorter than the collarbone so your face can appear longer. Reaves recommends a structured cut to break up the roundness, such as a long bob with a heavy side part.

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4. Heart

spinner image Natural hairstyle for a heart face shape
Ellis Brown

This face shape is usually defined by sharp cheekbones, a prominent forehead and a pronounced chin and jawline. “A tapered, pixie cut, longer on top and tight at the nape of the neck, allows a defined chin and jaw to be fully exposed and appreciated, and [you] come across as really confident,” Reaves says. “It’s still very versatile, as the curls on top can be styled forward [with a] fringe or styled back for more volume.” If you don’t want to accentuate those particular features, Reaves suggests trying a long-layered cut with bangs to help conceal your forehead and divert the attention away from your chin.

5. Square

spinner image Natural hairstyle for a square face shape
Ellis Brown

Square faces flaunt a prominent jawline and bone structure. Generally, a medium-length cut, with an emphasis on volume, helps to soften those sharp angles. Additionally, layered bangs can bring some much-needed balance. “I honestly love a bob on a square jawline because you’re creating a different illusion [with] a heavier face frame. So instead of pushing the hair off the face, I like to keep the hair more dense around the face frame,” Lewis explains.

Pro tip: Curly cuts could last longer than traditional haircuts. But how often you should visit your stylist for maintenance will depend on the type of haircut you have. Lewis says a short, tapered style may need a haircut every six to eight weeks. Rocking a bob? You might be able to stretch it to every three to four months. Sporting a longer haircut, and plan on keeping it that way? Every four to six months should suffice.

6. Diamond

spinner image Natural hairstyle for a diamond face shape
Ellis Brown

Reaves recommends one of the most classic ’dos for a diamond shape, which tends to have prominent cheekbones and a narrower chin and forehead: “A rounded Afro — contrast the natural heavy angles of the face with a soft nostalgic hairstyle,” she says. Trying to keep some length? “I would go closer to an off-center part [while] keeping the haircut a little longer,” Lewis advises.

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