The only hairstyles you need to know about if you have a rectangle face

Hair styling tips and tricks to help soften a rectangle face.  

When you look in the mirror, do you have a rectangle face? To clarify, that is a face longer than it is wide, often accompanied by a strong, angular jawline. If that sounds like you, there are particular hairstyles which are best suited to you – as well as a few you should probably steer clear of.

If you suspect you might have a rectangular face, and have no clue which hairstyles will work, prepare to be schooled in styling! Don’t worry, though, we won’t be testing you at the end.

woman with long light brown beachy waves
Adding curls or waves will help to widen the look, instead of lengthening an already long face. Credit:

Beachy waves

Incorporating texture into your look will be key to balancing out a rectangle face. To do this, you can add curls, like these cascading beachy waves through your lengths. What this will do is add width to the look, counteracting the length of the face. Clever, huh?

Editor’s tip: You can’t get beachy waves without a sea salt spray, it’s practically the law.

Spray some of the TONI&GUY Sea Salt Texturising Spray through damp or dry lengths and it’ll help to create that characteristic surfer-style, tousled wave that we all love.

brunette model with shoulder length layered hair
Layers are life. Credit:


Following on from this idea of width-boosting styles, layers are another great way to fake more width around the face.

If your hair is all one length, it’s easy for it to look limp and weighed down, so you’d be amazed how much face-framing layers can help in opening up the face.

We’ve decoded layered haircuts just for you!

brunette street style model at pfw with birkin bangs
Break up the boxiness with Jane Birkin inspired bangs. Credit:

Birkin bangs

Fan of fringes? Us too, and you can absolutely rock bangs with a rectangle face.

The knack is just to remember not to go for anything that’ll look too harsh against a square jawline. Therefore, instead of straight across bangs –  which will only add to your angles –  try more dishevelled Birkin-style bangs instead.

You’ll be in good company, as all of the Victoria’s Secret girls have been getting these bangs this year!

brunette model with a rectangle face with a low bun hairstyle
If you want to make the most of your model jawline, sleek styles are the way to go. Credit:

Sleek updos

So far everything we’ve been talking about has been about softening out a strong jawline, but if you’ve got it, it’s okay to flaunt it! And the best way to do that is surely with a slick back updo.

If you do decide to embrace this feature, it’ll make for the ultimate runway-ready look, so expect to be scouted as you walk down the street!

woman with long curly brunette natural hair
If you’ve got naturally curly hair you can wear it as long as you like. Credit:


It’s a bit of an unwritten rule that if you have a long, rectangle face, you should probably avoid growing your hair to Rapunzel lengths, as it’ll only drag you down.

However, if you’ve got naturally curly or afro hair, you can ignore this and grow as long as you like. As the hair grows outwards rather than down, the soft texture will actually look gorgeous against a prominent face shape.

Editor’s tip: If you have curly hair and you’ve never tried the VO5 Frizz Free Cream, you need to.

It pretty much does what it says on the tin, controlling curls while also protecting them from heat damage caused by your blow dryer. It can also be used on dry hair too, to add further definition and tame any unruly flyaways.

Read our tips on how to blow dry curly hair.

blonde model with a rectangle face with 70s style parted bangs
Steer clear of harsh, blunt fringes and try a softer look. Credit:

’70s bangs

’70s curtain fringes, with their centre partings and draping sides are becoming popular again, and it’s great news for those with rectangular faces. You basically get all of the benefits of bangs, without any of the cons.

The flippy out sides help with – you guessed it – extra width (are you sensing the theme here?) and as they descend across the face, they’re also helping to cover up some of the top of your head, too, taking away some of that vertical length.