Is Short Or Long Hair Better For Round Faces? (Best Styles)


If you have a round face shape, you’ve likely asked yourself whether short or long hairstyles are more flattering.

Round faces are characterized by soft, curved edges where the width matches the height.

Picking the right hair length can help balance facial features.

While short hair may seem like the automatic choice, both short and long styles have potential to complement a round face shape when done correctly.

The best option depends more on individual factors like facial proportions, hair type and personal preferences.

In this blog post, we’ll take an in-depth look at how various short and long hairstyles can either balance or emphasize different features on round faces.

From pixie cuts to lob haircuts to chin-length bobs, you’ll discover multiple flattering short style options.

We’ll also explore how longer layers, waves and face-framing pieces allow some people to beautifully wear their hair past the shoulders.

By the end, you’ll understand the surprising truth that both short and long hair may work for your face, depending on the right cut and styling techniques.

Keep reading to find your most balanced and beautiful look!

Understanding Your Face Shape

It’s important to accurately identify your face shape before determining the best hair length.

The round face is typically seen as circular, with curved edges and a width equal to its height

However, some faces appear more oval or even heart-shaped.

Those with slightly longer faces that taper at the chin, like an oval, will often suit longer hairstyles better than a perfectly round shape.

Long layers, side-swept bangs, and face-framing pieces can help elongate an oval face for a more slender look. 

Heart-shaped faces, which are wide at the forehead and chin but narrow at the cheeks, have more flexibility.

They can often pull off shorter bobs or longer styles swept to the sides with highlights to draw attention to the best features around the cheekbones and eyes. 

No matter the shape, understanding the bone structure below the skin, like cheekbone width, jawline angle, and forehead size, will help you and your hair stylist pick the right cut and layers to balance out your face.

Face Shape Quiz

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Hair Texture And Type

Texture is another major factor to consider when choosing hair length for a round face. 

Fine, thin hair that lacks volume and thickness needs shorter styles to avoid looking stringy or limp if worn too long.

Layers cut just below the chin with wispy bangs are a flattering option. The shorter cut adds fullness and bounce without weight. 

For those with thick, coarse hair that retains curls and movement well, there are more options in terms of length.

Loose waves, gentle finger curls, and styles swept to one side suit thick hair on round faces, as the texture provides instant shape and lift without appearing heavy.

Wavy and curly hair types should opt for cuts with subtle texture and movement rather than blunt bangs or a blunt cut, which can lay heavily on the face.

Medium lengths hit the sweet spot, allowing curls or waves to shine through without becoming oppressive in terms of volume or style maintenance.

Hair Color

Lightening or darkening your natural hair color through highlights, lowlights or all-over color is another way to balance out a round face shape.

Dark shades tend to make features recede into the roundness, so lightening with highlights is often a better choice.

Consider your skin tone, eye color and other facial features when selecting hair colors and placement of highlights.

Light or platinum shades around the face can draw attention to best assets like eyes and cheekbones.

Lowlights added in, like chocolate brown or honey blonde, add subtle dimension and prevent a flat appearance.

Placement is key – highlights framing the face and sweeping outwards from the part are especially flattering.

Color should always complement the face, emphasizing positives rather than conflicting with its natural shape.

Best Hairstyles For Round Faces

For many faces, medium haircuts around chin to shoulder length like a long bob or chin-length bob offer the best balance.

This versatile 10-14 inch length provides angles and layers to shape the face without overwhelming it.

Face-framing pieces that graze the cheekbones and jawline are particularly flattering. Wispy bangs that sweep across the forehead draw attention to the eyes.

Volume throughout the crown and roots prevents a squarish appearance.

Experimenting with different textures is important too – fine hair may suit a long bob with subtle finger waves or a deep side part while thick hair can handle a short, choppy bob with lots of movement and lift at the crown.

Consider your facial features, bone structure, body shape and skin tone as well when choosing the perfect medium hairstyle.

With the right cut and style, you can beautifully suit any hair length for a round face.

Short Hair Styles

Pixie Cuts and Bobs

Pixie cuts and short bobs that hit around the jawline are often considered the most complementary for round faces.

The reasoning is that shorter hair helps minimize the roundness and width of your face, creating the illusion of a longer face.

Short styles like a pixie haircut also show off facial features without hair framing the face.

Layered cuts with side-swept bangs, curtain bangs, or a short fringe are especially good at drawing attention to the eyes and lifting the roundness.

Angled and Choppy Bobs

Another flattering short option is an angled or choppy bob cut in various lengths from chin-skimming to shoulder-grazing.

Thinning scissors create texture throughout for movement.

The angles and layers shape the face instead of puffing it out. Side-swept bangs are often very complementary.

Soft Curls and Waves

If you have curly or wavy hair, short styles can work well for round faces.

Soft curls and loose waves add texture, dimension, and movement without weight or thickness that would make a round face look wider.

Curly hair also has more volume at the roots for a rounder face.

Long Hairstyles

Long Layers and Framing Pieces

Wearing hair long past the shoulders helps balance out a round face with its length and volume.

Long layers, face-framing pieces, and side-swept bangs create angles that visually elongate an oval shape and slim down the widest point of the face.

Waves, Curls and Half-Up Styles

Textured, tousled styles like finger waves, loose curls, and half-up dos add dimension without weight.

Celebrity styles from Emma Stone and Chrissy Teigen showcase how to wear long hair beautifully for round faces.

Choppy Layers

Layers of different lengths throughout long hair create texture, movement and dimension without extra weight or thickness.

Choppy, face-framing pieces gently shape the hair around the face for a softly contoured look.

The layers elongate an oval or round face by breaking up its width with shorter pieces that hit right at the cheekbones and jawline.

Celebrities like Emma Stone showcase how choppy layers flatter and subtly define the features of a round face.

Long Bangs

Sweepy, side-parted bangs that graze below the brows and cover the forehead are known as “curtain bangs.”

They draw attention up and away from any roundness in the lower face.

The bangs are wispy and airy so they don’t create a harsh line or flatten out the face.

On round faces, curtain bangs paired with shoulder-length hair or longer create elegant framing and balance for the features.

Styling Tips

Once you find the right cut for your face shape, how you style your hair is also important to achieve the most flattering look.

For short hairstyles around the chin or jawline, blow drying with a round brush while leaning forward can help add volume at the roots and build fullness. This prevents short cuts from laying flat on a round face.

Medium length hair just below the shoulders often looks best with some gentle waves or texture throughout to break up any width. Natural beach waves or tousled curls add dimension without weight.

Long hair that reaches the upper back can tend to pull down features on a round face. It’s best worn down with some movement and body, or half-up in a loose ponytail, bun or braid. This lifts the hair off the cheeks.

Accessories are a non-bulking way to change up styles.

Headbands, clips, flowers or scarves placed high on the head draw attention upward.

When styling, use lightweight hair products like mousses or cream serums for definition instead of heavy pomades or gels which can flatten hair against the face.

Let hair fall and frame the face naturally instead of slicking all strands sharply back from the forehead.

Regular trims every 4-6 weeks are important to maintain the shape of short cuts or layering in long hair.

With the proper haircut and styling techniques, any length can beautifully suit a round face shape.

Other Questions You May Have

Is a pixie cut or short bob really the best for my round face?  

While short haircuts are often recommended, the right hairstyle depends on your individual face shape and features. Those with oval or heart-shaped faces have more flexibility with longer styles too.

Consult multiple stylists and thoroughly study your face shape and proportions to find the perfect cut.

Consider your facial features like eye shape, forehead size, jawline and cheekbones to see which short style or longer cut would be most flattering.  

What if I have thick, wavy hair: can I still pull off short layers?   

The good news is thick, wavy hair holds movement and texture very well in choppy short layers without adding excess weight. Thick hair that holds a wave or curl pattern is ideal for short cuts that require lots of layering and texture to elongate an oval or round shape.

How can I wear my straight, fine hair long if I have a round face?  

There are a few techniques to create the illusion of length on fine, straight hair for round faces. Incorporate long layers throughout with extra fullness and volume at the crown to add height without puffing out the face.

Make sure to include face-framing pieces that graze the cheekbones and jawline to draw the eye up and away from any roundness.

Soft waves or a subtle side part can also make hair appear thicker and longer.

What hair part – center or side – is best for my shape?

For round faces, a side part is generally more elongating than a center part. A deep side part helps break up the roundness by separating the hair to either side of your head. This creates the illusion of a thinner, more oval shape.

However, those with round faces that also have prominent cheekbones or a wider forehead can wear a middle part if styled properly.

Sweeping the hair back from a center part with long bangs can draw attention up and away from the roundness.

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