Skip to main content

Ask a Hairstylist: How to Wear Short Hair If You Have a Long Face

These cuts create balance.
Short hair for long face

Welcome to our Hair Consultations column. Bill Angst is a celebrity hairstylist and the owner of Angst Hair in Toronto, Canada. To request an online hair consultation, follow the instructions here

Q: Hi Bill, I’m desperately seeking a hairstyle that would suit my face shape (long), my age (41), and my lifestyle (active) without aging me.

From The Styling Edit Archives

Short hair for long face

Dee wants an easy hairstyle to flatter her long face and curly hair.

I am working with a challenging hair texture—it’s naturally curly. My natural hair colour is dirty blonde, but I lighten it. 

Should my hair be short with bangs? Should I grow it out? Thank you! — Dee

A: Dee, thank you for sending along your request for a hair consultation. I think that you are on the right track with your short hair idea. Shorter hair will make your smile and jawline pop, and will frame your pretty eyes.

I think that this sporty cut would work beautifully for you.

Jenna Elfman Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party 2011

Jenna Elfman at the 2011 Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party.

The length should hover near the top of your ears, with long bangs that sweep across the forehead down to the cheek. The layers shouldn’t be cut too short—you want to keep a lot of fullness, as this will help to balance out your face shape.

To wear it straight, it would take just a few minutes with a flat iron. But it will also look great with your natural wave.

Carey Mulligan Wall Street Money Never Sleeps New York City premiere 2010

Carey Mulligan at the 2010 New York City premiere of ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.’

Another option is a short bob. Your natural curls are perfect for this cut. 

Carey Mulligan Hollywood Awards Gala 2010

Carey Mulligan at the 2010 Hollywood Awards Gala.

I would recommend trying this look after you’ve had your way with the shorter hair, since you would need to grow out your current ear-length layers to achieve this.

Here is an option with curls and skinny, textured ends.

Jenna Elfman The Comedian Los Angeles premiere 2017

Jenna Elfman at the 2017 Los Angeles premiere of ‘The Comedian.’

And here’s how it could look worn sleek and straight. 

Carey Mulligan BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards 2010

Carey Mulligan at the 2010 BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards.

Again, notice the deep side part sweeping across the forehead. This is key for a long face shape as it visually “cuts” some of the length.

I also love this simple, all-one-length bob for you. 

Gretchen Mol Marc Jacobs Fall Fashion Show 2008

Gretchen Mol at the 2008 Marc Jacobs Fall Fashion Show.

This cut would create the illusion of a shorter face shape, since the widest part is at the bottom of the ears. 

As for your hair colour, I would prefer to see your hair a bit darker than you have it now. Your super-blonde is too light, and is bringing out the red tones in your skin. This darker blonde would make your skin glow.

Gretchen Mol Dior Artist's Ball 2004

Gretchen Mol at the 2004 Dior Artist’s Ball.