It’s no secret: The way your hair looks can make a huge impact on your appearance, and you’ve probably experienced the difference between a good hair day and a bad one. Apart from making sure your frizzies are at bay and that you chop off any split ends, there are a few other things you can do to prevent those bad hair days from occurring.
One of the best ways is to set up the correct foundation by selecting a hairstyle and cut that complements the shape of your face. This is important because the shape of your face plays a big role in how you’ll ultimately look. If you copy a friend’s hairstyle that looks gorgeous on her, it may not translate the same way for you–unless you have a similarly shaped face.
Before choosing your next cut and style, the first step is to determine what your face shape actually is. There are four main types: round, heart, oval and square.
Here are the descriptions of each, as well as celebrity examples of what style and cut looks best with each.
People with round faces have foreheads and jaws that curve at the corners and their face is almost as wide as it is long. Examples include Ginnifer Goodwin and Emma Stone.
An asymmetrical, uneven cut that has a mix of lengths works well with round faces. Just make sure that the shorter layers don’t frizz up. This can add bulk to your face, so keep them smooth by using a silicone-based serum.
Pixie cuts can also look good on gals with this face shape. The small, piecey tresses emphasize the cheekbones and give your face better definition.
If you’re looking to slim out your face, a deep side part and long, side-swept bangs can do just that. Adding body at the roots by using a volumizing spray also helps with the slimming effect, but be careful to not add volume on the sides.
Sleek ponytails at ear height or higher are great ways to add definition as well. Once again, make sure the ponytail isn’t big, poofy or bouncy to avoid bulk.
You fall into this category if your brow, cheekbones and jaw are all nearly equal in width. Taylor Swift and Rihanna both have oval shaped faces.
Straight, blunt bangs work especially well for women with long, oval faces by breaking up the length and adding width. Similarly, collarbone-grazing bobs and side swept bangs can reduce the length and add softness to your face.
Hair that’s shoulder length or longer with a center part works beautifully with longer faces. Add some soft waves for a wonderfully romantic look.
You have a heart face if you’re wide at the brow but have a significantly more narrow jaw. Think Zoe Saldana or Jennifer Garner.
A bouncy bob that ends right below the jaw can de-emphasize your triangular shape and fill in the area around the chin.
A pixie cut works well with this face shape as well. The secret is to have soft side-swept bangs a la Carrie Mulligan. This helps to soften your hard features.
For those with longer hair, long layered waves also can help fill in the area around the chin. Your waves should start from the ear down to avoid emphasizing the pointy bottom.
A deep, clearly defined side part and bangs swept to the side are great to bring attention to the eyes for women with this face shape.
You have a square shape if the length of your face is almost equal to its width. Salma Hayek and Demi Moore are good examples.
The versatile bob works well on square shaped faces. The trick is to have a soft, tapered one that hits around the chin. For longer hair, graduated layers are a good choice. Keep the shortest layer even with the chin to soften a strong jawline.
Waves that start right below the ears are another styling trick to help reduce the severity in the jawline.
You can also wear your hair really long and straight with a center part to soften hard, squared angles.
Hair trends come and go but your face shape will stay the same your whole life. Before you try out a new style, make sure it’s one that will serve you the best and this guide is a good place to start.