How To Determine Face Shape

Having one’s hair cut and styled involves a great many variables. One of the most important things to consider is the shape of a person’s face. This is because the hairstyle can be used to accent a person’s better features as well as to balance those features that are less than flattering. Therefore, before one can even choose the hairstyle, it is important to understand how to determine face shape.

Determining the shape of one’s face is a relatively simple matter that one can do in his/her own home. Materials needed include a mirror that is well lit, a tape measure, and something on which one can write down measurements.

To measure one’s face, the starting point should be the measurement from cheekbone to cheekbone. Place the end of the tape measure on the prominent bone just below one eye and measure to the same point on the other side of the face. Record this measurement to refer to later.

The next step is to measure the jawline. If you feel below your ear you will find the back of your jaw bone. Place the end of the tape measure on the outside of the corner of the jawbone and measure across to the bottom of the other side of the jaw. Record this measurement.

The next measurement should be of your forehead. To obtain this measurement find a point approximately halfway between the eyebrows and the hairline. Measure the width of the forehead at this point and record the number.

The last measurement you take will be the length of your face. Starting in the center of the hairline, measure straight down across the nose to the tip of the chin.

Now that you have these measurements, you can determine the shape of your face in the following manner. There are seven basic facial shapes. They are defined in this manner: an oval shaped face is one on which the length is equal to 1.5 times the width.

A round face is approximately equal in width and length. An oblong shaped face is one that is longer than it is wide but does not meet the 1.5 measurement that defines an oval. A heart-shaped face has a narrow jaw line and wide cheekbones and forehead.

A triangular shaped face is just the opposite, the forehead is narrow and the jawline is wide. If a person has a square face, the width and length are approximately equal as with the circle, but the facial features are more angular. A faces diamond shaped if the jawline and forehead are narrow but the cheekbones are the widest point.


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