The 20 Most Flattering Haircuts for Oval Faces
Let’s start with the good news: If you have an oval face shape (that is, it’s equally wide as it is long), you have a sea of options when it comes to choosing the right haircut. That’s because your oh-so-symmetrical features look good with just about any style. Seriously—consider yourself lucky. Some of us are contending with fiveheads (that’s an XL forehead, mind you) and chipmunk cheeks that belie our age.
Still, no matter your face shape, we understand how daunting it can be to choose which cut you want to commit to (especially when the world is your oyster). This is where we—along with some famous faces you may recognize—come in. Presenting the 20 best haircuts for oval faces.
1. Long Layers
Take it from the woman who broke the world record for fastest person to reach a million followers on Instagram: There is nothing wrong with adopting a signature cut. Jennifer’s long, sweeping layers are easy to style and frame her face nicely on either side.
2. Shoulder-Length Waves
Lobs (long bobs) are definitely one of the most flattering styles to try—especially when they’re paired with a loose, tousled texture as seen on Julia here. The center part lengthens your face, while the added volume from the waves draws out your cheekbones, creating a nice symmetry overall.
3. Full Fringe
A set of blunt bangs works great with oval face shapes (particularly if you have a larger forehead). Customize their thickness to suit your individual texture, but make sure the length sits at or just below your eyebrows for the most flattering effect.
4. Layered Bob
Similar to Julia’s tousled lob above, this cut is a touch sassier thanks to its shorter length but is equally flattering on oval-shaped faces. With subtle layers throughout for added movement and choppy ends, this cool shag cut is a great option for ladies with natural waves.
5. Side-swept Pixie
A common fear for women who are considering a pixie cut is that it will make their faces appear too round (which, by the way, is entirely untrue—see Ginnifer Goodwin). For our oval-shaped faces, a pixie cut is a surefire way to show off your facial features nicely. And it’s easy to style—especially when you leave some length on top like Charlize here.
6. Cropped Pixie
Or you can go even shorter and keep some volume on top for an elongating effect like Lupita here. Tip: This is also a great cut for petite ladies, as the shorter length draws your eyes up (and doesn’t weigh down a smaller frame).
7. Polished Curls
For a classic cut that’s both low-maintenance and easy to style at home, keep the length just below the collarbones but above the chest. Using a large-barreled curling iron (we’d recommend 1.25 to 1.5 inches depending on how thick your hair is), add loose curls throughout the mid-lengths and ends.
8. Sleek Lob
Paired with a center part and stopping just below your jawline to complement your impeccable bone structure, of course. Option to tuck both sides behind your ears to further open up your face (and keep your hair out of the way).
9. Lob with Side-Bangs
Take a page from Julianne’s book and try long, side-swept bangs. Choose one side (you know, the one you always angle toward the camera when taking photos) and have your stylist cut long bangs in sweeping layers to accentuate your jawline.
10. Long Waves
Here’s another cut that will never go out of style: Long, polished waves with soft layers around the face (aka the Jessica Alba). The loose curls soften your features and are easier to execute than you’d think. Prep your strands with a thickening spray at the roots and blow-dry. Next, wrap large sections of hair around a curling iron and let your curls cool for a few minutes before brushing them out to finish.
11. Banged Bob
Zooey Deschanel is no stranger to bangs. In fact, we dare say she is one of the celebrities who is most responsible for popularizing full fringe in the last decade. Whether worn with long, loose curls (à la her 500 Days of Summer look) or a chic and sleek bob, her bangs remain virtually unchanged with tapered ends and a brow-skimming length that always complements her oval face. Tip: For fringe that doesn’t look overly curled, blow-dry bangs using a paddle brush (never a round one) and move the hair from one side to the other until they are completely dried.
12. Side-Parted Pixie
It’s hard to imagine Katy with long dark hair at this point because her platinum pixie suits her features so well. With a deep side part, some longer pieces on top and cropped sides, this cut perfectly frames oval faces and adds volume to straighter strands. All you need is a little pomade or styling cream to keep the ends polished.
13. Grown-Out Pixie
And when the top starts to get longer, sweep your hair over to one side like Jada here, while you transition into your next style. (Or you could rock this length indefinitely because damn if it isn’t cool.) Word to the wise: You’ll want to keep your sides and back shorter while you grow things out or things can quickly veer into a mullet territory.
14. Wavy Bob
If you do decide to grow out a pixie cut, we would recommend trying a wavy bob next. The loose, beachy texture offers a great disguise for uneven ends (which is inevitable when you’re between styles). To get a similar look at home, mist a texturizing spray on damp strands and scrunch them to coax out natural waves; if you have straight hair, use a flatiron to add some bends throughout.
15. Shoulder-Skimming Lob
Here’s another (sleek) iteration of the ever-popular lob. Take a cue from Emma and add long, blended bangs on one side to soften up your features. At home, make sure to run a flatiron over your strands (we swear by T3 SinglePass Luxe 1’’ Ionic Straightening Flat Iron) and apply some shine serum on the mid-lengths and ends for a lustrous finish. Tip: Massage the serum over your hands first, before applying it to your hair to control the amount that’s being applied.
16. Long Shag
Or a very long shag cut, as demonstrated by Jessica Biel here. With longer pieces that hit the tops of your cheekbones on either side, this cut opens up like a set of drapes that subtly frame your face without getting in the way (in case a full set of bangs aren’t your cup of tea).
17. Mid Shag
Similar to Jessica’s cut above, but with a slightly heavier bang on either side and a couple inches shorter. Tip: Add a blend of highlights around your face to brighten and lowlights throughout to create dimension.
18. Angled Lob
Remember when we said the lob is the most flattering cut for anyone? Case in point: It’s a great length for ladies with natural curls because it gives you enough weight to keep your hair from puffing out (but not so much that it drags down your ringlets). Tip: If you don’t have one already, get thee a diffuser to direct the air flow of your blow-dryer so you can speed up styling without disrupting your curls. Finish with a light misting of shine spray.
19. Feathered Shag
Meet the modern day take on the iconic Farrah Fawcett cut. With a side-swept bang (that’s easy to grow out) and feathered layers throughout, the biggest difference in the two styles lies in the texture—which is beachier and looser now, less curled and perfectly coiffed as it once was.
20. Shaggy Lob
And we can’t talk about a shag without mentioning Alexa Chung, the British "it" girl who is pretty much the poster child for the cut itself. Worn with a set of curtain bangs and trimmed to a collarbone-skimming length, the look is equal parts edgy and effortless. To get Alexa’s tousled texture at home, you just need some sea salt spray and a flatiron to add a few extra bends (particularly if your hair tends to fall on the straight side).
And a final note that bears repeating: When styling full fringe, always use a paddle brush to gently work your hair from side to side until they’re dry. This will ensure you get chic curtain bangs that lay nicely across your forehead (and not curled under like an '80s news anchor).