With sweeping cheekbones, a strong jaw line and raised forehead, a long face shape has historically been considered the most regal of all. And since it makes the strongest geometric statement from the group of face shapes, the right haircut is of vital importance.

“The different ways of cutting layers and bangs can have especially dramatic results on a long face. Make sure you do your research and find the most talented stylist in your area to cut your hair,” advises celebrity hairstylist Guido Palau, YouBeauty Hair Advisor.

Whatever your choice of cut, it’s strongly advised that you don’t allow hair to hang down in one solid length. Doing so will make the face look drawn and steal strands of movement, which can age a face and make locks appear lifeless. “Doing something with bangs is essential for a long face. Even grown out bangs that hit around the cheekbone give great definition,” says Guido.

Getty ImagesLiv Tyler
Liv Tyler

If you have straight or wavy hair
While short and long styles can look equally great on a long face, you’ll want to stay from the exaggerated versions of either side. “Avoid extremely long or extremely short cuts, as they tend to elongate your face even more,” advises Guido. A no-fail option is shoulder length, with lots of flowing layers cut into the hair. The shortest layers should begin at the chin for a fluttering cascade of movement.

Bangs can balance the narrow proportions of your shape by creating width that opens up and brings attention to your face. Classic bangs typically end at the point where your eyebrows end, but you can cut bangs further beyond that point on a long face shape, and even soften some layers into the outer portion of the bang for a seamless transition. With center tips that hit at the eyebrow, bangs bring a soft and flirtatious touch to your look. If you want to push the envelope or make more of a statement, a thick and blunt bang can prove particularly transformative.

Getty ImagesCourtney Cox
Courtney Cox

If you have curly hair
Great news: the rich texture of your hair is the perfect complement to your long face shape. “Curly hair is great for long faces because it adds width before you even do anything to it!” says Guido. Since there’s already volume at the crown of a long face, you’ll want to stay away from short layers, and instead look to longer layers to provide the ideal side balance. A curly length that hits just above the breast or below the collar bone looks especially stunning on long faces. 

Using a razor to texturize the ends will give curls a modern look, though it’s important to seek out an expert with experience and specialized training in razor cutting if you go this route. Razoring the ends, which results in a fragmented instead of straight line, allows curls to bounce up from the release of their heavier bulk and weight. Poor razoring technique can exacerbate frizz, while a knowledgeable stylist with skills can define your curls into individualized perfection. A word of warning: razoring is not something you want to attempt to do to yourself.

Getty ImagesIman

If you have highly textured hair
When paired with a long face, textured hair can look equally amazing in its natural state or ironed into sleek, straight locks. The one essential trick is that a section of your hair should somehow be cut to caress or sweep over the forehead in order to balance the proportions of your face.

The simplest strategy is to go for a bang, and there are several options from which to choose. If you have length to work with, a long, side-swept bang that swoops over to one side of the face à la Veronica Lake will transfer focus from the forehead to full lips and sultry eyes. A blunt bang that is ironed straight across the forehead can inject a youthful and age-defying effect with its shine and fullness. And if your locks are short, cutting pieces to wave on the forehead will have a similarly refreshing effect.

With bangs in place, you should encourage that natural pouf texture of hair to rock out, as it strikes the perfect note of harmony with the slimmer proportions of your face. Unlike what you’ve probably heard elsewhere, heat and humidity are truly two of your best styling friends.