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How to Choose the Perfect Haircut for Your Hair Texture & Face Shape

Here are a few rules I always follow when choosing a new style

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How to pick the perfect hairstyle

Caiaimage for Getty Images

In this article, you'll find out what hairstyles work best for thin hair, thick hair and curly hair. You'll figure out how to pick the perfect haircut by face shape and hair texture.

Check out my picture down on the bottom of this page. I have a long face and a high forehead (I was once dubbed 'IMAX' by a frat guy in college). In my lifetime, I've had short hair, shoulder-length hair and long hair.

Of all the hairstyles I've had, a shoulder-length cut with side-swept bangs (like Nicole Richie's hairstyle, pictured here) looks best on me. It works with my face shape AND my hair texture, which is the key to all great haircuts.

Consider Your Face Shape

The secret to great haircuts is two-fold: first you must consider your face shape and secondly, you need to choose a cut that works with your hair's texture. Find out what your face shape is.

Just as there are flattering styles for all face shapes, there are also unflattering styles. Get the scoop on which cuts work and which ones don't with your face shape in The Best & Worst Styles for Every Face Shape.

Not everyone should worry about her face shape, find out if you should in Does Your Face Shape Really Matter?

Choose a Cut That Works With Your Hair Texture

Each one of us can classify our hair into one or more hair texture types: Dry, coarse, curly, wavy, straight, fine, stringy, limp, oily. If you have thin, stringy hair that tends to fall flat, your hair will look fuller the shorter it is. Coarse, curly girls need to weigh hair down with length: The shorter you go, the higher the frizz and fluff factor. Same thing with bangs. If you have curly, coarse hair, bangs are an invitation to frizziness. Straight hair can fall flat, but cutting in layers adds body. And no matter your hair type, damaged hair never looks good. Cut it off.

Learn much more about hair texture in 10 Things Every Woman Should Know About Hair Texture .

The Most-Flattering Haircut on Everyone

I was struck a couple years ago by a passage in my favorite beauty bible, Confessions of a Beauty Editor. The writer, Linda Wells, stated that almost everyone at Allure Magazine where she works has shoulder-length hair. Turns out shoulder-length hairstyles are universally the most flattering on nearly everyone.

long hair can make a long face appear longer. Short hair can make a round face appear rounder. Short hair is especially dangerous on super curly hair. If you are petite, you could look like a 15-year-old with super long hair. But shoulder-length hair looks good on all women no matter their size, face shape or age.

See more shoulder-length hairstyles
Learn more about "The Perfect Haircut"

Who Can, and Can't, Go Long?

Long hair generally means below the shoulders. Women who generally shouldn't go long are super-short people (you'll forever look age 12) and women with long, narrow faces (like me, wahhh). Women who look fabulous in long cuts have oval or square faces. That said, anyone with hair below their breasts is taking a risk of looking outdated.

See photo galleries of long hairstyles

There is One Long Cut That's Universally Flattering

The 'v-cut' is long in the back and shorter along the sides. This cut works because the length is in the back and not around the face. Lip and chin-grazing layers on the side add to the sexy allure.

The Basic Dos and Don'ts For Short Hair

Short hair comes in a variety of lengths. In order to figure out which length works for you, consider your best and worst assets and your height. Super short hair on very tall women can look too masculine or it can look very powerful (depending on how you see it). Short hair on women with round faces can make the round face appear fuller. If you have a round face, grow your hair longer than your chin. If you have a pointy chin, avoid hair that falls right at the chin. If you have great eyes, consider short hair with side-swept bangs (like these) that hit right at the eye.

Remember, a good hair cut masks your downfalls and promotes your best features. See: See:

10 secrets to styling curly hair
Bang hairstyles
My best hair care tips in one spot

Why You Should Consider Upkeep

If you're like me and you hate going to the salon or if you tend to put it off for months on end, ask your stylist for a cut that will grow out nicely. Eva Scrivo of Eva Scrivo Salon in NYC told me a great haircut should last 3 months.

Uh-Oh, What About That Forehead?

Small forehead? Consider bangs that start further back on the head and that are as long as possible.
Big forehead? Bangs are flattering because they cover up the 'IMAX' screen. Side-sweeping bangs are the most flattering look for you. According to 'Confessions,' bangs are flattering when they are longer at the temples than in the middle.

 

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