Bangs or No Bangs? Find Your Perfect Match for an Oblong Face Shape

The shape of an oblong face is similar to that of a thin oval. If you have a slender face, the width of your forehead, the widest part of your cheekbones, and your jawline should be similar. Certain haircuts and styles will flatter any face shape. Your best friends in achieving balance are bangs and layers if your features have an oblong shape. Hairstylist McKenzie Lehmann says that texture is important for oblong faces. By adding texture to your hair, you can add width and make your face more symmetrical.

We have compiled 35 hairstyles that are ideal for people with an oval, elongated face. You will also find some expert styling tips on how to achieve them.

01of 35

Curly Shag

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Josh Brasted / Stringer / Getty

The shag is a great style to flatter oblong-shaped faces. It’s all about layers and texture. The shag is all about angles and choppy ends. It can hold structure and volume easily. Kerry Washington’s curly swag is stunning, but this cut can be used on any texture or length.

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Center-Parted Ponytail

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Ciara’s smooth updo complements her oblong facial shape. Lehmann says, “Expose your ears to give you a wider face.” Your updo should be placed at the center of your head or lower portion. You don’t want to place it too high if you have a long face because that will make your face look taller.

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Piecy Pixie

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Taylor Hill / Getty

Do you think oblong faces cannot be short? Do not believe it. Joan Smalls’ textured pixie is a great cut for women with round faces. It has soft bangs that shorten the forehead and the perfect length to highlight the ears to give the appearance of a larger face.

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Curtain Bangs

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Olga Kurylenko shows how bangs can balance an oblong face and even flatten a larger forehead. Lehmann says, “I love curtain bangs for oblong faces.” They are fashionable, but also shorten the look of the forehead and make it appear more oval.

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Blunt Bangs

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Liv Tyler has a pair of blunt bangs that skim the brows. They are as sweet as they can be. The slight part that shows a little of her forehead is what we love. It doesn’t crowd out her natural features.

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Curly Ponytail

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Leona Lewis’ low curly ponytail has a lot of texture. Her wide, voluminous curls are accentuated by the bottom ponytail. This adds width to her face. Although a swept back style is not the best for oblong faces, the curls add structure and give the illusion of wider face.

07of 35

Perfectly Messy bun

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Rihanna is a master at making a messy bun chic. The face-framing pieces that cascade past her chin enhance the loose updo.

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Angled bob

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The angled bob of supermodel Iman helps to define her neck, while the bangs enhance her forehead. This is a great haircut for women of any age, but especially for those over 50. Christopher Didier, a salon owner in New York, says that the angle of bangs can help round out the face. He says that a bang is always a good idea with shoulder-length or a short bob. It’s more flattering. “Shorter angles reduce the length of your facial features.”

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French Bob

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Taylor Hill / Getty

The rounded structure of Kelly Rowland’s quintessential French Bob creates an illusion of a rounder, more rounded face. The French bob, with its signature earlobe grazing length is a masterpiece of striking sophistication.

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Curls Sculpted

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We’ve got some great hairstyle ideas for your next glamorous occasion. Sandra Oh’s side-swept bob and sculpted curly hair are straight out of Old Hollywood.

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Teased curls

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When you have a long face, there’s no such as a thing as too much volum. Tyra Banks has bouncy and voluminous curly hair.

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Half-Up, Half-Down

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Mike Coppola / Getty

The half-up/half-down hairstyle of Kerry Washington is flattering on so many levels. Natural curls can add volume and width. The curly bangs are a great way to shorten your face. The shoulder length just adds the final touch.

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Long layers with Short Angles

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Volume is the key to enhancing a long or narrow face shape. Didier says that the best haircuts are those which round out the face. “For instance, long layers and shorter angles near your cheekbones or lip.” Didier suggests styling your hair like Kim Kardashian, with big waves and a volumous blowout.

14of 35

Blunt Bobby With Bangs

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Taylor Swift’s graduated haircut frames her face perfectly, from its length to the bangs. We’ve said this before, and we’ll repeat it: chin-length bobs or shags work best for an oval face. They create the illusion that your face is wider. Swift’s style is modern and can be worn by any age.

15of 35

Middle-Parted Waves

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Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty

Lehmann says that curling the hair in the middle will make it fall more symmetrically and give you the width you need. She recommends rotating the curling iron in alternate directions (try the Bondi Wave Wand for $58 to get natural, boho-style beach waves). She says to break the curls with your fingers and then spray a shine product. If you want to, add a headband similar to Lea Michele’s.

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Bouncy Bob

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The classic, bouncy Bob–as worn by Bella Hadid –is an excellent choice for those with long faces. This sophisticated style works well with both straight and wavy locks, whether they are thick or thin. This style is beautiful without bangs but blunt or side-swept ones would look equally stunning.

Byrdie Tip

You can highlight a defined bone structure by keeping the length near the chin, and slightly shorter at the back.

17of 35

Layered Lob

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The right haircut can make your face look round. Maggie Q’s layered lob is a perfect example. This is a good option for those with straight or fine hair. You can also play around with colors because of the simplicity. Highlights, anyone?

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Shoulder Length Finger Waves

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Jon Kopaloff / Getty

Jessica Alba will attest that a shoulder length cut frames and flatters like no other. Add some soft fingerwaves to give an oval face more volume.

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Asymmetrical Lob with Bangs

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Jon Kopaloff / Getty

Gabrielle Union shows how a messy ‘do, especially one with bangs, can do wonders for a long face. Lehmann explains how to achieve this style: “Blow dry hair until it is 60 percent dried and spray hair with CHI Aloe Vera curl reactivating spray ($18)”, she says. Use Dyson’s Corrale Straightener (500 dollars) to flat iron your fringe.

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Long, Tousled Layers

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Cuts that go past the shoulders are some of the best for those with oblong-shaped faces. If you cut your hair too long, this can lengthen your face. Gisele’s tousled hairstyle and layers will help you achieve balance.

21of 35

Bouncy Blowout

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Taylor Hill / Getty

Blake Lively’s glossy hairstyle is our inspiration for all future salon visits. Although she’s rocking some heavy lengths, the shorter, bouncier bits around her ears will draw the eye up and give the appearance of a larger face.

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Full Curls

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Tracee Ellis Ross’s curly lob hits the shoulders. We consider this the sweet spot, as it perfectly balances the facial features and fulfills any desire for a longer hairstyle. Curls add width to her facial features. If you want to add some volume, try a volumizer like Rossano Feretti Parma Favoloso 18 Hair Movement Enhancer ($50).

Byrdie Tip

Don’t thin your hair out too much. A hairstyle with more volume can help balance an oblong-shaped face.

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Beachy Waves

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Kelly Rowland’s boho look is easy to maintain. It’s important to make sure these waves don’t look “done.” What’s the trick? The trick? A middle part with plenty of volume at the roots and a loose, manageable wave. Revlon’s One-Step Volumizer ($60) is a cult favorite that can help you achieve this look.

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Updo with Bangs

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Jamie McCarthy / WireImage / Getty

Sandra Oh’s updo is a great example of a formal style that uses contrasting textures. Although stylists warn against having too much volume at the top of your hair when you have a long face, her bangs help balance things out. You have to also appreciate the intricate messiness of curly bangs.

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Weightless waves

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As seen on Jessica Lowndes’ thick hair, cutting your hair just below or at the shoulder is a good choice. This length will not weigh curls or waves down, and is easier to maintain every day. Use a lightweight styling product to smooth out flyaways (we recommend Verb’s Ghost Weightless Hair Oil for $20).

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Closed-Cropped Pixie

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Lupita Nyong’o’s cropped pixie haircut highlights her best features. It’s also easy to maintain. Add some style to your pixie by styling it with a beaded hairband or the accessory of the moment.

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Center-Parted Tightly Tousled Lob

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Alexa Chung’s center-parted style is universally flattering. Ask your stylist to add long layers for texture. These layers will make the edges of the cut lighter, and give it movement.

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Long, Retro Waves

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Kate Beckinsale’s center-parted hair is all about retro glamour, and it’s not difficult to recreate at home. Use a 1-inch barrel to curl sections of hair. Start with the hair closest to your ear.

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Pineapple Updo

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Leona Lewis’s updo with a front-heavy look is perfect for those with oblong faces. Her spirals have a pineapple effect, creating a cascade that falls in all the right spots to give her face fullness. To achieve curls such as these, you need to moisturize your hair. Try Ouai’s Moisturizing Thin Hair Treatment ($38).

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Faux Curtain Bangs

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Chloe Bennet’s center part highlights her beachy waves, and accentuates the features of her face. The intentional bend of those face-framing bits gives her all the fringe without the commitment. Create perfectly shaped curly hair using a wave wand.

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Modern Pageboy

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Ashlee’s pageboy style is dramatic and has a lot of shine. Side-swept bangs finish the look. This is a great style for thicker hair types that can create this volume. Pomades (we recommend OUAI Matte Pomade for $26) can help create texture.

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Classic Braid

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A classic braid is always a good choice. You can add a little twist to the classic style by adding some face-framing curly hairs. Widen an oblong shape.

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Jellyfish cut

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Andrew Fitzsimons, celebrity hairstylist, gave Joan Smalls a jellyfish cut for the red carpet of the American Music Awards in 2022. The layered, blunt cut perfectly frames Smalls’s facial features.

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Textured Length

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Blake Lively’s long and textured hairstyle is a great example of how the right haircut can change your face shape. Lehman suggests curling hair with CHI’s Lava Curl Shot Iron ($130) to replicate Blake Lively’s look. Apply a dime size amount of BioSilk’s Organic Coconut Oil to the strands and separate curls. She adds that this will also give your hair a shine.

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Center-Parted Waves

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Jerod Harris/Stringer/Getty Images

The easiest way to style hair with a center part is by adding a tousled texture. To get the beachy waves Hilary Swank has, divide your hair into small sections and curl it with a small, narrow-barreled curling iron.

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