Sophisticated and super kawaii. Score!
Like most Asian-inspired cuts, Japanese hairstyles are usually engineered to flatter rounder, wider faces. They mainly use a lot of precision, point-cutting techniques, and, as with most things, take so much into consideration when creating a bespoke haircut. The looks though still somehow circle back to what’s stylish and hyper-feminine.
And although they touch on trends—and their street subcultures can get a little freaky-deaky—in general they stick to decades-long classics like waves and a whole lot of layering for their day-to-day looks.
Pretty, face-flattering and always feminine—what’s not to love? We rounded up a few of our favorite iconic Japanese hairstyles for every face shape, because let’s face it, we could all use a precision-cut from time to time. It looks like they’ve perfected the art of the fringe too, and as one of the hottest trends out there, to that we say a huge domo arigatou! Read on:
The Best Japanese Hairstyles for You
1. Round Face: Wispy Bob with Bangs
If there’s a cut sure to give you a more youthful-looking appearance, look no further than the Japanese version of a chin-length bob. Tiny layers towards the ends all work to thin out a fleshy cheek area, while a slight bowl-cut shape is sexified with a thick, angled fringe that gives dimension to rounder faces.
2. Round/Oval Face: Round Pixie
Show off that soft, feminine jawline area with a rounder, fuller pixie or bowl cut. The top of the hair should be long enough to hit your brows, with the side layers long enough to tuck behind your ears for a girlier approach.
3. Oval Face: Long and Layered
Side-swept bangs that cut through to one side update this classic haircut, which also has subtle layers giving some movement under the chin area. The bangs freshen up this style for an oval face shape, and the look is versatile enough to be worn both up and down.
4. Oval Face: Candy Ends
Do candy-colored ombré the supercute Japanese way with layers sporting pastel balayaged lengths. Your facial structure can get away with as little camouflaging as possible, so skip on a funky fringe for this one and let some pretty pink or purple ends speak for themselves.
5. Heart-Shaped Face: Flippy Lob
Similar to the Korean dandy-boy bob but decidedly softer, the flippy lob extends past the shoulders, with layers that barely kiss the collarbones. The ends however are broken up slightly with layers that flip out, and the hairline is kept long to artfully drape beside (and narrow down) a wide forehead. Set a style like this with TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Hairspray Boost Hold Level 3 which won’t compromise movement.
6. Heart-Shaped Face: Cleopatra Bangs
A full-on micro fringe cuts down on the width of a forehead, while soft layers down the back give more swing to a sheath of hair. Japanese women favor softer bangs, so ask your stylist for a less severe version of the blunt fringe by point-cutting the ends and making the sides slightly longer.
7. Square-Shaped Face: Layered Bob
Tone down any harsh angles on the jawline with a bob that rounds at the tips. This simple yet wildly flattering cut also plays with texture all around, giving the wearer a more diffused silhouette especially at the hairline area.
8. Square-Shaped/Triangle Face: Feminine Shag
One of the year’s hottest hairstyles comes to the fore in this version, which features more blended layers all throughout, starting from the cheekbones to the nape (gals with sharper features can opt for a softening fringe, as above). These help soften a strong jawline while making the eyes and cheekbone area the focal point.
9. Triangle-Shaped Face: Airy Bob
If you’re a traditional triangle shape, choose a fun, fluffy airy bob without a fringe to keep the focus on and to open up your center features. Rounded ends also provide more width to narrow cheeks while tapering down a hard jaw. Inverted triangles (or face shapes with a broad forehead and pointy chin) should try a full fringe with this style to hide a wide forehead.
10. Triangle-Shaped Face: Side-Parted with Waves
One of the more popular Japanese hairstyles out there, side-parted waves are truly versatile. Create the illusion of a perfectly symmetrical oval face with waves that cascade down the sides of your hairline. Keep the length to a few inches below your shoulders to avoid dragging down your features though! A side part accentuates the look best and is super flattering for your face shape.
11. Oblong: Curtain Fringe
Shoulder-length to long hair with a 1970s-inspired bang—longer, with razored ends—makes the most out of a narrow face without weighing it down. You can also opt for cheekbone-length layers if you’re not big on bangs, but keep the overall look texturized and wispy for some modern appeal. To maintain the gritty texture of this look by keeping oil under control with a dry shampoo like Suave Professionals Natural Refresh Dry Shampoo.
12. Oblong: Pixie Shag
A hybrid that takes the best of both worlds—a long, floppy top that hits near the eyes, and ends that flip out near the nape—this style cuts through the length of a longer facial silhouette. The bangs are versatile and can be swept to the side for a more romantic take as well.