We all want options, but sometimes having too much can just be as bad as having none at all. Choosing the right men’s haircut amid a myriad of styles out there can be paralyzing (thanks for that btw, internet). The plan of attack? Set your parameters beforehand, and refuse to be sidetracked with anything that doesn’t fit the bill! Call it strategic shopping for your hair, if you will, using what nature gave you as basis.
To be more specific, in the case of men’s haircuts, whittling down your choices begins with figuring out your face shape. Contrary to what some men might believe, there is not one cut to rule them all—there are certain hairstyles that work better with certain facial features, which is why a particular look on your fave celebrity might not have the same result on you.
To illustrate, we give a few simple rules for picking the right men’s haircut for your face shape with easy-to-understand picture guides. Screenshot to your heart’s content for your next barber’s appointment:
The Right Men’s Haircut For Each Face Shape
Face Shape: Oval, Heart, Reverse Triangle
Haircut: Short Crop
Men with an oval, reverse triangle or heart-shaped face, where the jawline is slightly narrower than the forehead, can pull off a super short, cropped look. These facial shapes don’t need much camouflaging and can get away with a just a bit of texture up top to create some lift (we like using a wax or paste, such as Dove Men+Care Sculpting Paste, for an easy, low-maintenance rumple). For a more masculine feel, ask your barber to give you a slight temple fade so your hairline is sharper and more angular.
Face Shape: Rectangular, Long/Oblong
Haircut: Caesar Cut
The right men’s haircut for those with longer faces is one that cuts off some length at the top. For guys with a rectangular face—long, but with an angular jaw—a Caesar hairstyle, which is a shorter, more modern version of a bowl cut, helps cover up all that negative space and give some softness up top via a short fringe. The fringe can be worn flat on the forehead or slightly brushed to the side at an angle, which is a flattering look for oblong faces as it also widens the sides, making your features more proportioned. A soft styling cream, such as Axe Natural Look: Softening Cream, helps keep your style naturally shiny without a helmet-like effect.
Face Shape: Round, Diamond
Haircut: Pompadour, Quiff
Men with round and diamond face shapes have soft or thin jawlines, which can make them look more youthful. However, this can also lead to a less chiseled look—either a good or bad thing, depending on your preference. However you view it though, having this facial shape also means that you can get away with more tousled, volumized looks, particularly those with some structure on top to balance out the softness at the chin area. We love the look of pomps and quiffs when styled with a pomade, such as Bed Head by TIGI Slick Trick, which gives a bit of a dapper shine with some swaggy hold.
Face Shape: Square
Haircut: Close Fade
Guys with square faces have a lot of angles to work with, so the right men’s haircut would have to have some roundness at the top. A close fade, such as a high and tight or a temple/Brooklyn fade (where the notches are quite sharp and angular at the temples) mimics the symmetry of your jawline and shows off the round shape of your skull bump to a very flattering effect. Clean, crisp and macho, this is a low-maintenance look if you’re willing to go in for bi-monthly touchups. Since your scalp is fairly visible, make sure it stays hydrated and flake-free, especially during the winter, with a nourishing system like Clear Hydration Fix Shampoo and Clear Hydration Fix Conditioner.
Want more inspo on the right men’s haircut looks for 2016? Check out some cool hairstyles to sport for the fall/winter season.