How to Find the Best Parting for Your Hair Type & Face Shape
We’re loath to make hair styling feel like a maths equation – it’s way more fun that way! – but trust us, there are certain formulas that can guide you towards a style that looks and feels great. We’re all unique but recognising the broad characteristics of your face and hair will help you to […]Back to listings
We’re loath to make hair styling feel like a maths equation – it’s way more fun that way! – but trust us, there are certain formulas that can guide you towards a style that looks and feels great. We’re all unique but recognising the broad characteristics of your face and hair will help you to solve all-important styling dilemmas, like where to part your hair.
Picking the right parting can be the key to framing your face in a flattering way or achieving a style that accentuates specific features. This will be easier if you know what face shape and hair type you’re working with.
First things first, you’ll need to work out your face shape if you aren’t sure what it is. This can be a bit of a faff but will give you a useful frame of reference for all sorts of face related advice relating to everything from hairstyles to sunglasses. Here’s how to do it:
1) Tie your hair back so it doesn’t obscure any parts of your face and allows you to see your hairline.
2) Grab a measuring tape and a pen and paper to jot down your measurements as you go.
3) Measure the width of your forehead. Run the tape from hairline to hairline
4) Measure the width of your cheekbones, from just beyond the outer corner of one eye, across the bridge of your nose to the same place on the opposite side of your face.
5) Measure your jawline. Run the tape from the base of your jawline – just below your ear – along the edge of your jaw to the middle of your chin.
6) Then repeat this measurement on the other side of your face and add the two measurements together.
7) Measure the length of your face by locating the middle of your hairline and measuring from that point to the tip of your chin.
8) Compare your measurements to the shapes below.
Oval face shape
The width of your forehead is smaller than the width of your cheekbones. Your cheekbones are the widest part of your face.
Your face is longer than it is wide. Your jaw and chin aren’t very sharply defined.
If you’ve got an oval face and occasionally find yourself wondering why hair stylists always seem so pleased to see you, it’s probably because your face can rock pretty much any parting. This gives you, and your stylist, carte blanche to experiment with middle, side or deep partings, none of which should look misjudged.
Square face shape
Your forehead is more or less the same width as your jaw. The width of your cheekbones is also similar and the sides of you face follow a straight line from jaw to forehead. The width of you face is more or less the same as its length.
Slightly softening a square face is often flattering, so your aim should be to lengthen you face a little, which can be achieved with a side swept parting. Also, try to keep the hair around your face soft so it doesn’t accentuate the angularity of your features.
Round face shape
The width of your face is roughly the same as the length.You have a rounded hairline.Your jawline could be described as rounded rather than sharp and pronounced.
If you have a round face, you’re probably aiming to elongate it a little and draw the eye to the centre of your face, effectively creating more of a diamond shape. One way to achieve this is to opt for a middle parting, which should create the impression of symmetry and length. A deep side parting can have a similar effect.
Diamond face shape
The width of your forehead less than the width of your cheekbones.Your cheekbones are wider than your jawline. Your chin could be described as narrow and pointed. Your cheekbones are the widest part of your face.
You could go either way with a diamond shaped face, opting to accentuate sharp – and desirable – features like high cheekbones with a middle parting or soften them with a side parting. In truth, sharp, chiselled features can look stunning with most partings, it really depends if you want to accentuate those strong angles or soften them.
Heart face shape
Your forehead wider than your jawline.Your hairline could be described as rounded. Your cheekbone width is roughly the same as your forehead width. Your chin could be described as narrow and pointed.
If you’re concerned that you chin can look sharp or pointy, you’ll probably find that a middle parting can accentuate that impression, so steer clear and opt instead for a deep side parting. This should break up your chin line and soften your cheekbones a little.
Oblong face shape
The width of your forehead is less than the width of your cheekbones. Your cheekbones are the widest part of your face.
There are no sharp angles on your jawline and chin. Your face is longer than it is wide.
Slightly widening an oblong face is usually flattering, so aim to add roundness with a middle parting. A fringe and layers are also recommended if you want to shorten your face a little and accentuate your cheekbones and jawline.
Thin or fine hair
The main aim with thin or fine hair is to give it as much volume and body as possible. One way to help achieve this is a side parting, which can create the impression of thick, sweeping volume, as opposed to a middle parting that can look flat and limp. A deep side parting can be particularly effective.
The same principle applies to thick hair, only reversed. If you want to tone down your voluminous locks a little, consider a middle parting, which should have the effect of balancing out its volume in a flattering fashion. Alternatively, you may prefer to go big and really celebrate your bounteous tresses with a side parting that accentuates sweeping volume on one side of your parting.
Natural hair doesn’t always have an obvious parting and leaving it that way is never a bad idea. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment with parted styles – you can create some stunning looks by sectioning your hair with a combe. Middle partings can be a big and bold look if you have voluminous, natural curls.