21 May 2024

Face shape analysis: its importance in the salon

The study of face shapes is an excellent tool for selecting the haircut and styling best-suited to the salon client’s features and personality. Estetica’s Erika Marchese analyzed this topic with an image consultant, who for years has been collaborating with salons and the world of fashion and luxury. Here we identify the 7 main female face shapes and some practical suggestions for each one.

Marcell Figueiredo, Image Consultant

Marcell Figueiredo is an Image Consulting instructor at the Accademia del lusso di Milano. He works in image consulting and has been a Transmedia producer for over 10 years. Over the years he has specialized in areas more oriented to the professional careers, like Business Consulting, Personal Branding, Business Etiquette, Job Crafting, and SWOT Analysis for both private enterprise and companies. He follows many personalities, collaborates as a fashion editor and workshop editor for some magazines, brands, and stores in the world of luxury. We asked him about studying the shapes of women’s faces as an image consulting tool for salon uses. In this way clients can truly feel that they own their hair look day in and day out.

The study of the face shape is just one tool that every image consultant should know. Tell us more about it.

Face shape analysis, for both men and women, is one of the techniques that should never be underestimated during a consultation. It may seem easy, but it requires skill and experience to truly master this discipline.

The study of body shape and face shape together make up the typical techniques of image consulting and consists of a specific, precise, and accurate analysis of the features. This means determining the proportions between the forehead, nose, and chin. These proportion can help to better understand if the face is longer than it is wide. Does it correspond to an oval shape, oblong, or heart/triangular or diamond shape? Or if the height and width are similar, so it may belong to the round or square categories.

The objective is to define, enhance the client’s look and make her feel comfortable with the her face shape.

Moreover, by studying the face shape, we can help our client in selecting a hairstyle that will enhance her face, but also in selecting make-up, eyeglasses and sunglasses frames – and even jewelry styles and sizes.

The association with the world of hairdressing is immediate. Which synergies arise between these two professions to enhance the client’s look?

From a psychological viewpoint, in terms of a hair style or cut, there are 3 main elements that must not be underestimated: strength, seduction, and rebirth. For many people such a change goes beyond aesthetics and reaches into the realm of psychology.

This is why it is important to understand the reason for the change. It may boil down to different factors. For example, it may be a stressful period, a lifestyle change, or even the long-awaited discovery of a personal style.

I have always collaborated extensively with hairdressers and I think they should have a partnership with an image consultant.

With our expertise, we can assist them in making the right choice of cut, a cut that better highlights the client’s personality. We take into account eye color and even how to camouflage what may be considered as potential defects.

You have identified 7 face shapes for women. Can you make some suggestions for each one?

There are actually many more than 7. But after a 3-year study with different hairdressers and sector professionals, we have concluded that these 7 are the most recognizable.

1. Rectangular Face Shape

In the photo: Liv Tyler

The face is longer than it is wide. In this specific case we have a quite strong chin. The ideal cuts for this type of face shape are long ones with wavy styling. If we must apply the camouflage technique to soften the features, the hair must always be high volume and wavy at the ends.

2. Square Face Shape

In the photo: Demi Moore

In this case we have to soften faces with angular features, a strong jawline and high forehead. This cries for quite a long cut, ideally something soft and very layered.

3. Heart-shaped Face

In the photo: Cristina Ricci

Here we generally have a very wide forehead, with a V-shaped hairline and pronounced cheekbones. The perfect cut is the classic Bob. An alternative could be something a bit longer like a lob, provided it is wavy or voluminous.

4. Oval Face Shape

In the photo: Megan Fox

This face shape is considered the most harmonious and is preferred by most women. With an oval face one can wear practically any cut, from short to long, smooth or curly, with our without bangs.

5. Round Face Shape

In the photo: Selena Gomez

With a round face we can see that the width and length are equal. We have pronounced cheekbones and nothing particularly angular. In this case it is better to opt for a long, blunt cut which tends to lengthen the shape of the face.

6. Triangular Face Shape

In the photo: Renée Zellweger

The forehead of this face shape appears narrower compared to the jawline, which in this case is very strong. My advice is a short Bob with no bangs. Hair contouring is important to create the effect of reducing the chin and expanding the forehead.

7. Diamond Face Shape

In the photo: Reese Witherspoon

This presents a mix of oval and heart features. The cheekbones are like those of a heart-shaped face, while the forehead and chin are more tapered and angular. Long cuts are idea for this very particular and rare face shape.

And if a client doesn’t feel comfortable in the hair look that is best suited to her face shape?

I cross my fingers and pray not to lose my client! All kidding aside, it has honestly never happened. But we also need to move on to the second question. It is important to create synergy and partnership between both professionals – the image consultant and the hairdresser. Furthermore, never underestimate the psychological aspects. A good image consultant can ask simple questions to identify these. Then a good hairdresser will be able to evaluate the technical and creative aspects. Then they can move together in the right direction and avoid unpleasant situations.

Should the hair always match the dress for an event?

Based on studies conducted by the psychologist Albert Mehrabian in the 1960’s, we know that our appearance is our calling card. It is an integral part of our non-verbal language.

Fashion is a code we use to communicate with the world around us. It conveys aspects of our personality.
During a brief window of time we are classified and identified. So it is important to make the right first impression.

This is absolutely true! The hair look must alway match the dress code. The hair must be groomed to perfection. In the case of a formal event it is best to opt for loose hair or a half up-do. Something simple and straightforward.


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