Remember the days when sitting in the barber’s chair was just a case of saying ‘short back and sides,’ and picking out glasses offered the choice of plastic or metal? Well, as good as they were, those were also the days your ‘do gave you ears like Dumbo and your specs could double up as replacement bin lids. Today, any man worth his salt in the style department needs to understand the different face shapes how that affects what he can (and cannot) pull off.
John Lennon frames on a round face? Nope. Skin fade on a diamond? Think again.
If all of this makes as much sense as taking a vegan to Nandos, read on for our fail-safe guide to finding out how to answer the question, ‘what is my face shape?’.
Face Shape Chart
There are seven different face shapes, as pictured on the below chart. If you can’t tell what your face shape is just by a quick glance, or it’s unclear where you fall between round and square, read on for a more accurate and detailed way to measure your face and determine your face shape.
How to Measure Your Face
Step 1: The Right Tools
Sure, you’ve probably got a builder’s tape measure knocking about somewhere, but good luck wrapping that rigid piece of metal around your head. To make things easier (and more accurate) arm yourself with a flexible tape measure, like the kind used by a tailor.
Then, grab a notebook and take the following measurements in front of a mirror, recording each as you go.
Step 2: Measure Your Forehead
In order to work out which face shape you have, you need to find out which parts are long, which ones are short, or whether they’re actually all the same.
The forehead is a good place to start, so measure across the widest part – this is usually around halfway between your eyebrows and your hairline.
Step 3: Measure Your Cheekbones
The width of your cheekbones is especially important when it comes to picking a hairstyle. Getting it wrong can throw features like your ears way off proportion.
Size yours up by placing the tape across the pointiest part, just below the outer corner of each eye.
Step 4: Measure Your Jawline
Even if you’re built more like Jonah Hill than Henry Cavill, there’s a jaw line in there somewhere.
Measure from the tip of your chin to below your ear at the point at which your jaw angles upwards. Of course, you have a jaw on both sides of your face, so multiply that number by two to get your jawline length.
Step 5: Measure Your Face Length
What’s the difference between a rectangle face and a square face? About two inches. That’s not a joke, it’s true.
To find out the length of your face, run the tape measure from the centre of your hairline to the tip of your chin. For follicularly challenged men with either shaved or bald heads, estimate the point where your hairline would be.
Determining Your Face Shape
Once you’ve got these measurements, note which is the largest of the four as this will be the giveaway. Compare your stats to the profiles below to see which best describes your face shape.
Oval Face Shape
If your face length is greater than the width of the cheekbones, and your forehead length is greater than the jawline, you have an oval face shape. The angle of the jaw is rounded rather than sharp.
Square Face Shape
When all the measurements are fairly similar, you have a square face shape. The angle of the jaw is sharp rather than rounded. This is often considered the masculine ideal, so congrats on your genetic lottery card!
Rectangle/Oblong Face Shape
With an oblong face shape (also referred to as a rectangular face shape), your face length will be the greatest measurement. The forehead, cheekbones, and jawline are similar in size.
Round Face Shape
When your cheekbones and face length have a similar measurement, you have a round face shape. Another key indicator is that they are larger than the forehead and jawline, which also have a similar measurement. The angle of the jaw is soft and much less defined.
Diamond Face Shape
Those with a diamond face shape will notice that the face length measures largest. Then, in descending order: cheekbones, forehead, and smallest is jawline. The chin is pointed. This face shape is easily confused with an oblong face shape, so make sure you pay attention to the other measurements aside from face length.
Heart Face Shape
If your forehead measures greater than the cheekbones and jawline, and your chin is pointed, you have a heart face shape.
Triangle Face Shape
The key factor for a triangle face shape is that the jawline measures greater than cheekbones, which measures larger than the forehead.
Once you’ve figured out your face shape, you can begin to make more informed choices on everything from your hairstyle and beard to your sunglasses.
FAQs About Face Shapes
How do I know my face shapes?
Take the measurements of your forehead, cheekbones, jawline and face length. Then, compare the measurements to the most prominent features in each face shape.
What face shape is best?
For men, some consider the square face shape the best. This is because it is a traditionally masculine look, with a defined jawline and sharp features. However, there are ways to use your hair, beard, accessories and style to bring out the features you may be ‘lacking’ naturally.
Do round faces age better?
Why, yes, they do! So even if you feel genetically inferior to your sharp-cheeked square-jaw friends, remember that round faces tend to store more fat in the cheeks, which helps with a more graceful aging process.