Best Cut, Color & Style for a Square Shaped Face


Part Four of our Face Shape Series… The Square Face Shape.  In this series, we are looking at how a haircut or color can affect your face shape and vice versa. (See last week: “Best Cut and Color For A Heart Face Shape”).

First off, don’t cry square-shaped guys and gals. You’re in good company. Some of the most beautiful people in the world tout this face shape, including Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Kate Moss, and Lily Aldridge.

Notwithstanding, we always still envy what we do not have, so if your striking angular features bother you here are a few tricks of the trade to add softness and narrowing.

It is amazing how your hair color and cut can accentuate or minimize facial shape, structure or traits such as eye placement, nose size, and chin width. The face shape should actually be the primary factor to consider when choosing a haircut, style or hair color that will both enhance your favorite features and minimize your well…not so favorite characteristics.

Quick review about our series…There are 6 different face shapes: Round, Oval, Square, Oblong, Diamond and Heart.  Our goal when choosing our perfect style is to mimic the “Oval” face shape as it is considered the most flattering, proportionate shape that can wear any style.

The square face shape is nearly as wide as it is long.  If you measure from the edge of your temples to where your jawline starts it is almost equal to the distance between your right and left jawline. You likely have sharp, angular features, including a sharp jawline.

Again, our goal is to turn that

Mariska Hargitay hair cut, short hair styles, best cut and color for a square face shape

angelina jolie hair styles, best cut and color for a square shaped face, long hair styles, celebrity hair styles

As our goal is to turn that square into an oval shape, what would we want to do? Square faces tend to have strong, angular features, especially a pronounced jawline, so cuts that create softness are optimum.  We definitely want to elongate the face to minimize the square shape and as we learned in our blog post on round faces, we elongate by giving the eye a reason to look up and down or vertically.

A great way to accomplish this is with a longer one-length cut. Even a longer bob, shoulder length or longer, can create this lengthening outcome. Both commonly touted by square face-shaped celeb Gwyneth Paltrow. Keep your style sleek and straight.  Layers work well as they add softness, but remember we want to minimize adding width, so layers should stay below the collarbone to allow narrowing in the widest part of the face.

gweneth paltrow hair styles, long one length hair cuts, middle part hair styles, best cut and color for a square face shape

Long bobs are great on a square face, as long as they’re soft and layered. Avoid a sharp, blunt bob that hits right at your chin; it’ll only accentuate your jaw, creating a boxy effect. An A-line bob, shorter in the back, is perfect for the square face as it also causes a vertical silhouette.

Curly hair is perfect for this face shape as it softens the angular features, so let your tendrils soar.

A side part is optimum as it softens the face and distracts from the even features.

Margot robbie hair styles, long bob, lob hair cut, celebrity hair styles, best cut and color or a square face shape

A center part could work well with a curtain bang, but it also could accentuate the even shape of the face so go for a look that allows your hair to sit narrowly on your face, rather than wearing it behind the ears.

Curtain bangs are a perfect fit for this shape as they soften the angular jaw line. However, stay away from harsh straight across bangs as it accentuates the jaw by visually creating two parallel horizontal lines sitting on top of each other.

best hair cut and color for a square face shape, olivia wilde hair styles, bangs, celebrity hair styles

Similarly, for the gorgeous men in our lives.  Like round faces, since the length and width are similar with the square face shape, the best haircuts are very short men’s haircuts, like buzz cuts or crew cuts, to longer styles that add volume to the top, such as messy crops, pompadours, and traditional slick backs.

Check out the looks on Brad to see what I mean.

mens hair styles, brad pit hair cut, best cut and color for a square shaped face, medium length hair for men

mens hair styles, brad pit hair cut, best cut and color for a square shaped face, short hair styles for men, buzz cut, celebrity hair styles

Some light stubble is also perfect to soften the sharpness of the chin and jawline.

So, how can hair color make a difference? Dramatically…

Use Color to Narrow and Soften the Square

When it comes to color, you want the eye to follow a vertical silhouette.  One all-over color, like Demi Moore, creates a vertical silhouette with the right cut.

best hair cut and color for a square shaped face, demi moore hair styles, long dark hair, one all over hair color

If you are looking for dimension, full highlights, soft balayage or a lived-in look are all great options. Ombres or highlights that start around the jaw line are not recommended. Keep the brightness toward the top of the head and ends, while creating deeper side to narrow the widest part of the face.

A “Money Piece” is not recommended as the harsh disconnected line continues the angular lines of the face.  You can keep brightness around your face, but avoid thicker hard lines.

Best hair cut and color for a square face, hair dimension, full highlights, soft balayage, lived-in hair look, long hair, middle part

Styling & Accessories

Sleek and straight soft waves are perfect for this face shape as one narrows and the other softens. The side swept bang is also the perfect go-to as it softens and takes attention away from the jawline.

Upstyles that creates a vertical line and narrowing on the side are the best option.  You can create vertical lines through height, like Nicole Richie’s top bun coupled with a fringe, here.

nicole richie hair styles, top knot with bangs, side swept bangs, best hair cut and color for a square face

Or by keeping your style low and pulled back like Margot Robbie.

margot robbie long hair, low loose braid, best hair cut and color for a square face

Accessories? A scrunchie or scarf-wrapped top bun and peek-a-boo side swept fringe is an awesome option.

head scarf hair styles, orange and grey scarf, hair accessories

Shop Head Scarfs

A braided pompadour, like our model here styled by owner, Natalie Palomino, with added hair pins are also perfect, as the hair pins or barrettes causes the eyes to move toward the height of the hair.

braided pompadour hair style, red head, hair pins, hair accessories, half up hair styles, best hair styles for a square face shape

Want to recreate this look? We have you covered:

1.    Separate the hair on top of your head. This section should include the hair between the hairline and crown and recession to recession

2.    Begin braiding at the crown moving forward toward the hairline.

3.    Braid the hair completely until you run out of hair and use a small clear rubber band to secure.

4.    Fold the braid in half, pulling the end back toward the crown.

5.    Pull slightly throughout the braid to loosen it and make it appear fuller and more romantic.  We like using Living Proof Dry Volume Blast to create texture and hold for the braid while giving it fullness.

6.    Fold under the end of the braid and secure at the crown with bobby pins.

7.    Place a hair pin or pretty barrette, like ours at shop NorthAuthentic, on either side of your recession to add an extra splash! Voila! You’ve got a half-up style with a little extra edge!

Another perfect styling option is a hat.  As a hat can do the same thing as fringe (softening of the jawline).

Any hat with a larger-sized brim is perfect for someone with a square-shaped face. The concern in this case is to balance out the square jaw line by making it look narrower and softer. If the brim is too small, it does the opposite of our goal. Likewise we also do not want a hat with a short square crown like a boater hat as this will visually create two parallel lines, like the heavy straight bang, accentuating the jawline.

Go for a hat with a rounded crown like our Lack of Color Sunnydip Fray Seagrass Fedora.  Your go-to hat for summer! Also, cowboy hats create length also softening the jawline.

lack of color sunnydip fray fedora, straw hat, wide brim hats, hair accessories, summer accessories

Want to know more about your face shape? Stay tuned for our monthly series where we will be dissecting each shape and sharing the best looks for you!

North Salon offers complimentary consultations with our Artists to help you find the best look for you. Call us at (949)627-9998 to schedule and get a one-on-one analysis.


Natalie Palomino