Everybody has experienced a bad haircut at some point in their lives, and there’s honestly nothing more disappointing than leaving the hairdresser with a butchered head of hair. Bad haircuts can totally ruin your look, change the way your face looks and be a pain to manage. You’re pretty much presented with the option of shaving it all off and starting again, or covering up with a hat for months, especially if you’ve got a short men’s haircut. There’s not really anyway to disguise a poor hair misstep! At least with long hair you can hide it with careful styling or some hair accessories.

Picking a hairstyle that isn’t right for your head shape is one of the quickest ways to find yourself with an unflattering haircut. There are a few factors involved in finding the right haircut and taking into consideration your head shape is one of the key ones. The length and thickness of your hair will also come into play in finding the right haircut as well, as will your hair type and your lifestyle.

Avoid making critical hair mistakes and get it right the first time, with our guide below on finding your face shape and choosing the right haircut.

Hair type and texture

The type of hair you have and texture you’re dealing with can be equally as important as your face shape in trying to determine the best haircut for your face and one of the first things you should consider. The way your hairstyle sits or level of styling maintenance requires differs based on the texture of your hair and might influence which hairstyle will work and which won’t. Whilst different styling tools like your blow dryer, hair straightener or styling hair products like gels and wax can help you to achieve different looks, it’s usually best to work with the texture of your hair rather than against it – you’ll get better results and spend much less time on styling.

Wavy, thick hair

Wavy, thick hair man

If you have naturally wavy, thick hair then lucky you! Wavy hair will look great with many hairstyles, and look very full no matter what you do. It can involve a little bit more styling effort, but will look cool and effortless no matter what you do with. If you’ve got nice waves, then lean into it with longer styles, or a bit of extra on top. Define your waves with some mousse or styling crème. Waves can be easier to work with than curls, but thicker hair can look a bit heavier with some styles. Try and get some length variation in your hair to avoid your hair looking to heavy or like a helmet. Steer clear of slick-backs and page boy haircuts. Some styles are better with fine or straight hair. If the cut or style you’re going for is going to require you to straighten out your hair or try to hide your waves on a regular basis then you’ll probably find it’ll be a high maintenance look and eventually unmanageable.

Curly hair

Curly hair man

If you’re lucky enough to have curly hair then you have a lot of good haircut options on your disposal. Curly hair looks great on men. It’s fantastic kept a little bit longer on top with a fade on the sides for and edgy, young look or an undercut style to take some of the weight out of it. Avoid haircuts with a uniform length with curly hair because you’ll end up looking a bit like a mop head.

Straight, coarse hair

Straight, coarse hair man

If you have straight, coarse hair there’s no reason to despair. Whilst straight, coarse hair can present a styling challenge, it does tend to hold its shape very well. The trick with this hair type is to find a style that works with the natural direction and shape of your hair – don’t work against it with fridge or gravity defying looks; you’ll find your hair unwilling to cooperate.

Straight, thin hair

Straight, thin hair

If you’ve got straight thin hair then you might struggle with styles that require a little more volume. Luckily, you can make your hair look full bodied with a smart undercut style, angular layers or a choppy cut. Straight, thin men’s hair also looks great in a dapper slick-back or another smooth, professional style. Straight hair looks great with hair product and is easy to style for the working world.

How to figure out your face shape

Once you’ve identified your hair texture you should move onto figuring out your face shape.There are a few common face shapes out there. Different haircuts will look better with different facial proportions. Some face shapes are easier to determine than others, whereas others will have subtle differences so it can be difficult to tell different shapes apart. Tiny differences in proportions can really impact on the way your haircut sits however, especially if you’re a man rocking shorter hair, mid-lengths and longer hair tend to be a little bit more forgiving of different face shapes.

The quickest way to figure out your face shape is to measure your face! You should take a small tape measure and check the distance from one cheekbone to another, the width of your forehead and jaw and the distance between your chin and forehead. You should get the average of these measurements.

The main face shapes and the general measurement guidelines to follow.

Round face shape

The main feature of round faces is when the length and width are about the same. Round face shapes are similar to square face shapes, but much less angular. On a round face shape, the cheekbones are the widest point on the face, whilst the sides of your jaw are rounded.

Round faces will look better with some contrast; you should find a haircut that has some sharp angles and volume to offset the roundness of your face. Choose a haircut with shorter sides and a longer top, this will lengthen your face and soften the roundness of your face. Creating a side face will also make your face look less ‘round’ and a little bit longer. Avoid fringes and buzz cuts with a round face, as this will emphasise the roundness and you might end up looking like a moon face. The secret to a good haircut with a round face is to avoid making your face look wider.

If you have straight hair, then go for a short back and sides with a little bit of length on top that can be styled into a quiff. If your hair is wavy then use your natural volume to give you a bit of extra height, keep a bit of extra length in your hair and use some sea salt spray to get the most out of your texture. If your hair is curly then go for a clean fade and high top for some extra height and contrast.

Oval face shape

If your face is about one a half times the length of the width of your face then you likely have an oval face. Like round faces, oval faces will have rounded corners. The jawline tends to be smaller than the forehead and curved in. Oval faces usually look like inverted eggs. Men who have oval faces are lucky because almost all hairstyles suit this face shape.

Oval faces are fairly balanced so they’re one of the easier face shapes to choose a haircut for. The most important thing to avid is a fringe as this can throw off your face balance. If you’re trying to make your face more masculine then choose a style with sharp angles and a little more volume. If you want to enhance the round edges of your face and make it look a little softer then go for a little bit more length around the sides.

If you have straight hair then consider leaving it longer on top and sweeping it back of your face, or go for a shorter crop with similar length all over. If you have wavy hair then work with your natural texture and let it grow out a little bit. Curly hair looks great with a face, and you can go a bit shorter on top with an oval face shape.

Oblong face shape

If your face is more than one and a half times the width of your face then you might have an oblong face. If you have an oblong face your forehead, cheekbones and jaw should all be of a similar size, which can make it look like your face look rectangular.

The oblong face shape is fairly forgiving and looks great with most hairstyles, since it’s a bit more of an elongated shape, it’s best to avoid anything that will make your face look too long, so avoid going to short on the side and too long on top.

For straight hair let your hair grow out a little bit and get your barber to texturise it a little bit. With wavy hair, go for a similar length all over and let your hair fall how it wants. If you have curly hair, then cut it a bit shorter and rock an afro look.

afro hair man

Square face shape

If the length and width of your face is about the same, but your jaw is the widest part of your face then you probably have a square face shape. Square face shapes are all about angular jaws and straight sides of the face.

Square face shapes can be very masculine, which is great as you can lean into and get an undercut, fade or even buzz cut for a clean, classic look.

Diamond face shape

If you have a diamond face shape than your cheeks will be the widest part of your face, your forehead will be the second widest part of your face, followed by your jaw. Diamond shapes will be longer, with an angular jaw and higher cheekbones.

Diamond hair balances the best when its shorter on the side and longer on top. An undercut or a fade look great on this face shape. If you want a more masculine look then go for a sharp side part. Straight hair is great with a bit more length on top, whilst wavy hair looks best when it doesn’t have to much weight on the top. Curly hair looks best when it’s grown out for a bit of height and width.

Triangle face shape

If your jaw is much wider than your forehead and you have a point chin, then you have a triangle face. This is a face shape with angular lines.

Once you’ve thought about your face shape, you should also consider other factors like the texture of your hair as this can impact on the type of haircut you get.

Triangular face shapes look great with a bit more volume on the top and sides, but should be kept a bit more texturised so it doesn’t look too soft.