post: Kristin Ess graphic design: Eunice Chun

The oval face shape has long been held up on the “perfection pedestal”. We always hear people talking about how the oval is the perfect face shape. Sure, almighty oval is often more versatile when it comes to haircuts + styles but the “perfect face” by definition actually has nothing to do with shape at all- it has to do with ratio (which we’ll talk about in my next post after we finish face shapes). An oval is typically 3 parts long to 2 parts wide. In other words, the width of your face is about 1/3 less than the length of your face. There are also no major corners on an oval face shape– not around the hairline or on the jawline. If you missed the chart to find your face shape, you can find it HERE! Let’s discuss some great hair options for the oval face, shall we?

  • UPDOS Okay, this is the place where the ovals may have a slight advantage in the hair race. Playing around with new updos is ideal for someone with an oval face and is a little less work and here’s why– we always want to check proportion + balance in the mirror when doing an updo, but ovals don’t have to worry about off-setting a part of the face with extra volume or soft pieces falling in front like you do when you’re trying to soften a SQUARE jaw. Lucky for ovals, they can wear almost any updo, waves, chignon, braid or top knot– or in Eva’s case a super-chic satin tuban headpiece.
  • SIDE SWOOPHeavy side swept bangs are nicest on an oval shape when there’s a little volume behind it, especially with an updo. With little or no volume behind a heavy side sweep, an oval face may appear “shortened”. If you’re really not a fan of volume behind your side swoop, try parting it a little more toward the center so it doesn’t shorten your face too much.
  • CENTER PARTIn the image above (bottom, middle) you see that Eva tucks one side of her center parted hair behind her ear. If that piece were pulled out from behind the ear and both sides were running along her face it could actually make her oval face shape appear oblong. You don’t want to crowd an oval face shape because it will go narrow very quickly. Always try to keep at least one cheekbone clear.
  • BLOWOUTSGo sleek, beachy/textured or voluminous. Again, whatever you do just don’t overcrowd the face!
  • HAIRCUTSThe rumor is that a true oval can pull off almost any haircut, but I’m here to demystify that theory. You have to think of your features! Face shapes aren’t the only important thing and a good hairstylist will make you aware of that. You have to consider other things– do you have a prominent nose? Do you have a weak chin? Do you have a long neck? Do you have wide set eyes? Do you have a short forehead? Do you have a large forehead? Do your ears stick out? Do you have a crazy cowlick? Do you have big/small eyes? I can keep going if you want… Just because you have an oval face shape doesn’t mean you can have any haircut so make sure it’s flattering for what you’re working with!

Are you an oval? Tell us your experiences, favorite haircuts and styles below! xo