Choice is the domain of the oval face shape, thanks to a beautiful symmetry of bone structure.
“It’s the most versatile face shape you can have. Anything goes, from super short to long sweeping layers,” says celebrity hairstylist Guido Palau.
The neck area often takes on greater prominence with an oval face, and you can look to your neck for some guidance on hair length. For example, show off a graceful swan neck with an angled cropped cut or long fluid layers, or opt for face-framing layers for a thicker neck to instantly draw the focus to your facial features.
If you have straight or wavy hair
Since straight and wavy hair falls closer to the face on oval shapes, you can view the edge of layers as a way to spotlight specific areas of the face. “Cut layers to the cheeks, lips or chin, depending on the feature you want to highlight. You can get very creative with the way you cut those layers to fall on and around the face,” says Guido.
If you’re unsure of what feature to bring out, always go for the eyes—which makeup artists have long relied on as a no-fail feature to accentuate. Bangs that skim along the brows will frame your eyes, and an bang perimeter that subtly drops lower in length as you work your way from the nose to temples is an elegant way to sculpt an oval shape. Try pairing bangs with a length that hits at the collarbone, or just below, for a picture portrait-like frame. If you love your cheekbones, go for a sexy side swept bang instead to create a criss-crossing angle.
If you have curly hair
Choppy layers work like magic on the frizzier texture of curls, which will make the rich texture fall in a sleeker shape around an oval face. A bob that hits close to shoulder length will take advantage of the weight of length so that minimal styling is required, but it’s important that the cutting technique be adjusted to accommodate the thicker texture of curls. If not cut correctly, your bob might take on the unflattering shape of a triangle. To prevent that, hair should be carefully layered to cut out bulk and width that could otherwise pouf out at the sides.
If you want to wear your curly hair at a longer length, opt for sweeping layers that fall in graduated slices down the length of hair, to accentuate the elegant symmetry of your oval face shape. Remember that choosing to wear your hair curly or blown out straight can dramatically affect the length of hair, so take this into account when deciding how much you want to cut.
If you have highly textured hair
Since an oval head shape has even proportions all around, it’s especially important that your cut be even, or else longer pieces will instantly distract and draw attention. Be sure to first straighten coarse strands before snipping to ensure a precise cut.
Using the hair’s natural volume to create shape around the oval curvature of the head can transform hair into a statement-making accessory. Bob lengths can go for a power punch of halo-like volume, while longer lengths should extend below the chin to at least the neck, so that the face isn’t overwhelmed with too round of a shape.
Super-short hair should be cut with piecey layers for a tousled feel that captures the natural wave of highly textured hair. “Halle Berry is a great example of the original Audrey Hepburn pixie cut, but done in a textured version. It brings out strengths like bone structure and glowing skin,” says Guido.