You might have noticed I enjoy making jokes about losing count of these columns. I’m funny like that. But now, like, seriously... I’m lost. It’s been emotional. But above all it’s been a while. (Column 12? 13? IDFK). You’re probably by now so handsome as to be unrecognizable from your previous, offensive self. But here’s the icing for your cake of sexiness: picking the perfect hairstyle for the shape of your head AKA face shape.

So let’s get to this business of geometry. No two faces are the same. And no matter how much you idolise the hair of your favorite rap virtuoso or comic book hero, that doesn’t mean it’d suit you. It’ll surprise you to learn this, but it turns out silver hair like that of ‘90s R&B thong-fetishist Sisqo does not suit me. But perhaps that’s more to do with the indistinguishable paleness between face and ‘do than a shape issue.

I digress. What shape is your face? Seriously, what fucking shape is THAT? You look like one of those cress-growing potato heads. Jeez, man. I mean, BIG. HEAD. Picking the right haircut for your face shape is as essential as anything can be in grooming. Which is to say it’s kind of important but not really. So here goes. Appraise your shape. Then do your ‘do.

Step 1: Diamond sharp

Pretty obvious one, this. Your face might have all the width of a square-jawed man but your jawline tapers down to create a diamond. You needn’t look further than a runway to notice that fashion types love this face shape and that the model breeding programme is still a sharp-countenanced success. If this is your face, lucky you.

To balance out the cut of your jib, you’ll need width near the forehead line. A simultaneously simple and awesome way to achieve this is with a tight fro, or tight curls. You’re going for a maximum of Lenny Kravitz length here if your face isn’t particularly big. It’s when your jaw is longer that you should consider a bigger fro. Always remember: it’s about balance.

Step 2: Square like a brick

Manly AF. You look like Brad Pitt and some linebacker had a baby and raised it exclusively on protein shakes. This shape bears little explaining. Your jaw is squared off to your head. Not too long. Not too short. 

You’re pretty safe to experiment with this shape; most cuts will work fine.

The perfect compliment, though, is something with a bit of height, preferably with neat parting, which juxtaposes the rugged jawline. Ask your barber to taper down to the ears and neckline and to blend into the longer top. You want a quiff of 4-6 inches that leads back to a shorter crown. It’s softness added to a hard face.

Step 3: Round (fat?)

Maybe you were born with a circular face. Or perhaps you’re a fucking nightmare for Twinkies. Either way, roundness in the face can be a blessing and a curse. It’s far from a negative thing. But if you’re susceptible to weight gain you can quickly end up looking like an animated pudding. Warning sign: your friends describe you as cuddly.

Balance it out by squaring it off. Luckily tight fades are in, so this should be your countermeasure. Ask your barber for a drastic step change between the top of your head and the sides and back, which should be faded down to the neck and jawline. To really amp up the squaring of your face, fade to bald with a slight separation. Then you can grow a square beard to add length at the bottom of your face too. Then you’ve carte blanche to smash the cookie jar.

Step 4: Oval (or obLOOONG)

Oval allows for experimentation. You can wear hair high, away from your head, if that’s your thing. Or you can try a high-and-tight to butch-up what is ostensibly a feminine shape. But if you find that your face appears to be too long for your (her?) tastes, then you can address this with a mop.

Scruffy hair is kind of having a resurgence. So you can allow medium length growth with a fringe. Ensure your barber textures the life out of this so you don’t end up getting the shit kicked out of you for looking like an emo. Request length be kept around the ears, too, which will add width to what could otherwise be a super narrow face shape.

If you still don’t look good after those changes then I’m afraid you’re going to just have to dye it silver.

Hit me with your grooming questions below so I don’t have to come up with column ideas for myself and can just answer them next week. – Alex Harris

Knock, knock. Who is it? Groom service.

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