For those of us with a square face shape, it can seem daunting to choose a hairstyle that complements our face shape, jawlines and hair texture. Luckily, there are far more styles to choose from tailored just for square faces than you may think. And you’re in great celebrity company as the likes of Zoé Kravitz, Margot Robbie and Zendaya all know how to dress up their square face shape with their cuts and styles—whether it be a bob or a long shag.
The main takeaway when brainstorming styles if you're totally unsure? Go for the 'opposite' of your face shape. The idea behind this is that while rounder faces work well with blunt cuts, square faces pair well with rounded layers, soft fringing and lots of texture. Think: feathered layers, side partings and asymmetrical cuts.
“Feathered layers are great for mimicking a more oval face shape and will be more flattering on the face,” explains Sam Burnett, Creative Director and founder of Hare and Bone. “Parting hair on the side” can soften square shapes, and asymmetrical cuts make the face appear slightly longer.
Having said all of that, styles like angled blunt ends can actually be incredibly flattering on some people, so there really aren't any concrete rules. If you want to try a particular haircut or style, we say go for it!
Wait, do I even have a square face?
Before we dive into the inspiration, first thing's first, let's make sure this guide is definitely for you. Square face shapes are characterised by a stronger, more angular jaw line and your forehead, cheekbones and jaw will all span the same width.
If you look at your face head-on, the sides of your forehead, your cheekbones and the curve of your jawline should line up as if forming an imaginary square. Ta-da!
Okay, now we’ve cleared that up, let’s take a look at some of our favourite hairstyles for square-shaped faces broken by your desired length.
Short hairstyles for square faces
If you’re scared of chopping your ends off because of your face shape, allow us to change your mind because a short style is actually really flattering for square faces. Burnett explains that layering is a great way to soften the jawline if that’s your wish. Alternatively, we’re all about accentuating your jawline too, which can be done with a striking pixie cut or micro bob. A micro bob is the perfect way to elongate your natural jawline but "definition is key", says hairstylist and founder of Arkive Headcare Adam Reed. "If your hair is straight and smooth, I would iron it and use a shine conditioner."
1. Side part pixie cut
Sometimes going all out with your cut and taking it super short is a risk that’s well worth taking — and when it looks as good as Jennifer Hudson’s cut, you’ll never go back. If you prefer to soften the look a little at home, you can add a bit of texture spray and give it a slightly undone finish.
2. Wavy bob
If you want to try out the blunt bob trend without going fully blunt — which can look a little harsh for some square faces — try adding a wave and texture like Olivia Wilde has done here. She wears a side parting and has added movement via a slight wave in the ends to soften the entire look.
3. Pixie crop
Let the beautiful Zoë Kravitz persuade you to finally go for the pixie crop, which was pretty much made for square-shaped faces. For this look, she's added chopped fringe pieces to direct our attention to the centre of her face.
4. Shaggy layered crop
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Bring the drama with a shaggy ultra layered crop cut. Ask for an angled cut along your jawline and very short layers throughout the lengths of your hair. This draws the attention to your hair and not your face, should that be something you want to do.
Medium-length hairstyles for square faces
If you prefer the length of your hair to be a lob or longer, there are plenty of celebrities to steal inspiration from—think Margot Robbie, Priyanka Chopra and Natalie Portman with wispy layers, messy volume and centre partings. The best part is that shoulder-length hair suits all face shapes.
As for styling, contrary to many people assuming short hair is the hardest to style, medium-length hair can actually be quite tricky. “It looks great, provided it’s maintained well,” Burnett notes. “If an individual's hair is prone to frizz then it’s best to keep the hair on the longer side of medium,” he explains. “The longer and heavier the hair, the more controlled it will be.
5. Modern shag cut with layers
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The modern shag cut is perfect for people with square faces because it’s got a ton of choppy layers and often worn with a wispy fringe. This is one of the styles that can be low maintenance and looks great spritzed with some texture spray.
6. Straight middle parting
Some say you can’t go poker straight with your hair but you absolutely can, and Ciara shows us how. A middle parting and slightly flicked-in ends makes the face look longer. Use a smoothing cream (Hairstylist Lewis Pallett loves Aveda’s Smooth Infusion Cream) to avoid frizz and flyaways.
7. Half-up, half-down
If the classic half-up, half-down hairstyle often reminds you of a school disco style, allow Jennifer Aniston to proof otherwise. Mixing a bunch of techniques here, she wears lots of choppy layers in the front with a a half-up style to pull some of the weight out of the front, finished off with '90s tendrils in money-piece blonde highlights.
8. Natural curls with a fringe
Indya Moore wears her natural curls and a fringe, which of course, looks beautiful with her face shape. Spritz some curl refresh spray, such as the The Curl Company Curl Reviving Styling Spray, in your lengths to keep your curls defined.
Long hairstyles for square face shapes
Long hair looks incredible on square faces and even better when it’s full of volume. Celebrities like Yara Shahidi and Priyanka Chopra have mastered the art of long hair styling and give us all the inspo to try at home. You can make side fringes fully work to your advantage, add loose waves to soften any looks and also go full ‘70s with epic volume to play around with complementing your face shape.
"The biggest thing to remember with long hair is that it needs to look healthy," says Burnett, so don’t put off those regular trims and make sure you’re using conditioning treatments post-shampoo.
9. Relaxed waves
Subtle layers, a middle parting and loose waves are guaranteed to complement your face shape when they look as good as Priyanka Chopra’s here. Use a large barrel curling tong and a little texture spray to achieve this relaxed and elegant look.
10. Side-swept fringe
If you've got long hair and want to wear it up, but still want to leave some pieces out, this is an ideal option. Playing around with a fringe can really alter the appearance of your face shape and it can be a fun way to experiment. Yara Shahidi wore a fringe with her bun updo for a relaxed feel which is full of volume.
11. Hollywood waves
If you fancy something with a little more oomph than relaxed waves then try old Hollywood waves, which always look great on square face shapes. Don't believe us? Take inspiration from Jessica Chastain who wears a side part with swooping money pieces and stunning tighter curls.
12. '70s shag with layers
A photo posted by on
This cut combines so many wonderful styles, including a classic ‘70s shag but with more length and curtain bangs. There are plenty of layers throughout, the fringe is choppy and there’s a ton of volume on the crown of the head. This instantly softens the jawline and focuses all of our attention on the epic cut. The great thing about this cut is that it'll always be "on trend." It's something that hairstylists never stopped creating, the mullet, wolf cut and the shag are similar styles that are in constant evolution, serving as "a continual inspiration for hairdressers and social media has always made it cooler and really relevant," says Reed.
Want to recreate these looks at home? Start with these key products
Sam McKnights Cool Girl Barely There Texture Mist does exactly what it promises; it helps you achieve that effortless, undone texture that'll turn any hair day into a "cool girl" one.
If you often confess to being "rubbish" at doing your hair then the Hershesons Almost Everything Cream is for you. You can apply a dollop on damp hair or dry hair whenever your ends need a pick-me-up. It works especially well to smooth out any frazzled ends and flyaways.
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Tori is a freelance beauty journalist and contributor for Marie Claire. She has written for various titles, including Allure, Glamour, Elle, Refinery29, Brides, and more. Currently training to be a nail tech, Tori is a total nail enthusiast and always has time to talk all things nail art. When she’s not writing about beauty and testing products, Tori can be found walking her rescue dog Pip, drinking great coffee, and eating as many croissants as humanly possible.
- Lucy AbbersteenBeauty Contributor
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