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Choosing the Right Wedding Hair Style for your Face Shape

Published: 20/Sep/2012      Tags:

Now that bookings are flooding in for 2013, I would like to dedicate a post to my newly booked brides! Have you ever has a professional facial analysis done by a hairstylist or makeup artist? If not, you’re in luck. My aim with this article is to review some of the most popular hairstyles for Vancouver brides this year, and to explain which face types they will flatter…and which they will NOT.

Victoria’s Nemesis 2012

First up is the number one inspiration photo of the year.  This is literally the first image result in Google for “half up hairstyle” and better known to my clients as Victoria’s Nemesis for 2012.  Most brides ask me for this style (at the very least they show it as inspiration during their consultation), and I have to explain that this radiantly gorgeous girl has a very square face, which is something I rarely see unless I look in the mirror. Yes, I am a square and I love it! The downside is that my jaw and chin look mannish if I don’t wear a soft hairstyle. Such a face shape reqires a lot of width at the top to balance the lower half, as well it needs softness around the hairline to make the face look more dainty and oval.  As you can see, this hairstyle fits her needs perfectly! The main problems with this photo are: 1) The model is so lovely that brides immediately think, “YES!  I want to look just like THAT for my wedding”, 2) Whoever did this style is so good at facial analysis that they have flawlessly balanced her features and face shape, and everyone sees the whole picture instead of what is really going on…

…WTF is with the top of her dress? Its up to her collarbones at the center front, totally gapes, and the neckline shape makes zero sense (is it cut like she has 3 breasts?!).  Anyway, that’s got nothing to do with the hair. Look at the top – it’s rounded and wide like a bicycle helmet.  The width at the sides is about 1/3 of the width of her face (see the hair on the left side and how far it peeks out around her cheek?).  The size of this hairstyle makes a square face look petite and fine-boned. Wispy layers frame in her hairline and soften her jaw, then the curls below her chin are fine and thin-looking compared to the massive volume up top – this maintains a narrow silhouette from her cheeks downward and gives the illusion of a slim jaw and long, dainty neck when they’re pulled forward as they are.  I have to say that this hairstyle is a true magnum opus among wedding hairstyles…but it looks horrid on anyone without a square face.

The occasional bride has asked that I do this style for the trial regardless of any explanation why it wouldn’t look good.  After all, the purpose of the trial is to try out a style! I usually have to change it for them once it’s done and they see it in all its glory. One bride (oval face shape) described it as a ‘fat jellyfish’.  Another (diamond face shape) said that it made her look like an ice cream cone or an alien.  Both of these comments were completely true and humorously accurate! Other brides this year have benefited so much from my work with the two abovementioned ladies, and my thanks goes out to them for their openness and honesty 🙂 Anyway. If you are thinking of this updo for your Big Day, I will happily do it if you walk in with a square face.  Otherwise I will do my very best to convince you to let me tailor the style to suit you. The good thing is that it’ll look right for you, and the bad thing is that it’ll look different than the photo.

Retro Waves are loaded with hairspray and gel!

Next up is another doozy. This is the retro waves hairstyle, and while it looks stunning, this is not a loose, flowing look.  It’s hairsprayed until it’s so stiff that it takes days to brush out; this is the point, as when ladies of the 50s and 60s had their hair done it was made to last a full week until it was redone.  Here is Amy Adams looking classy as always.  Her style has been done in a wet set with gel and loaded up with hairspray so that it stays behind her ear and out of her eyes.  I bet if you watched a video clip of this look, that her hair doesn’t move much.  Anyway, my point is that this style can be made to flatter most face shapes as long as the waves are set in the right way. A round or oval face can wear this style just as Amy is. A square face will look a little strong in this style unless the hair is left untucked in front of the ear. For heart shaped faces both sides need to lie behind the shoulders and down the back, with a low-sweeping side bang. Diamond shaped faces don’t usually look too good with finger waves. Triangle shaped faces need a lot of volume and roundness on top, with closely fitted side sections cascading forward onto the shoulders and tucked behind both ears.  Finally, rectangle or oblong faces can pull off finger waves as long as they’re shoulder length or shorter, tight to the head and flat on top with a deep side part.

I prefer to modernize retro waves with a jeweled clip, feathered piece or flower. This also makes you look like a bride instead of a celeb on the red carpet. You can totally wear a veil with an all-down style, too – it just needs to be attached properly and cannot just be slipped in.

A big High Bun by Victoria

Next we have the high bun style. As you all know, I adore this updo! Many women feel a little naked with their hair pulled so tightly back, but this style looks so elegant with a big pair of earrings or a tiara wrapped around the base of the bun. Because of the height of the style in my photo, it’s quite suitable for a round face, as it allows for the cheekbones to be sculpted and the tension actually gives your whole face a lift. For oval faces it’s best to drop the height of the bun to around the crown area so it’s more balanced and doesn’t lengthen your bone structure. I would only do a bun for a square face if the bun was smaller and if the veil was worn high on the head. Buns look fantastic on heart shaped faces as long as it’s accessorized by a low veil placement and big chandelier earrings; drop the bun itself right to the nape and make it lush and big so you can see it below the ears from the front. . For oblong and diamond shaped faces it’s best to drop the bun below the crown. Triangle shaped faces shouldn’t wear this style at all.

I like to suggest this style for brides who usually wear their hair in a ponytail, because they’d be used to seeing it up and away from their face. Another thing I want to mention is that the bun style doesn’t HAVE to be cleen and sleek. you can fuzz it up and make it look sexy and high fashion, plus you can even do this with natural curls. There are many options for different bun styles.  Check out Janet Jackson’s curly and tall versions!

Those are the top three for this year, but there are many more that are popular right now, of course.  Would anyone like me to add an analysis of a style they’re thinking of? Let me know!

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