Contouring. Facial massage. Botox. Even vampire facelifts. These are all things people might do in the hopes of getting more angular cheekbones, lifted eyebrows, and a generally more defined and youthful face. We understand the desire, but this mission (if you're on it) takes work — and heavy cash flow. But we've got interesting news: something as simple as a haircut or just trying out a new style for a night can have a similar effect. "Hair can be used to soften hard lines or hollowed faces," says stylist Jon Reyman, founder of Spoke & Weal salons. "It can [also] work to draw attention from a drooping chin or aged neck." All the hairstylists we chatted with for this story agreed. "A haircut can definitely not only affect a person's face, but also enhance a person’s bone structure," says Hansen Liu, a stylist at Marie Robinson Salon. So, if you're looking to add a little life or lift to your look, but want something a bit more casual (and non-committal) than full-on Kardashian contouring or even injectables, a hair change may be in your future. Ahead, find 14 hairstyles to consider — but remember, every face is different. It's a good idea to consult with your stylist about which cut will work best to get your desired result.
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A Pixie A cut like Jennifer Hudson's will bring peoples' eyes up when they look at you — and that's never a bad thing. Hairstylist and extension specialist Adel Chabbi says that when it comes to lifting your face, the shorter the hair, the better. "To create the appearance that one's cheekbones are sharper or more defined, [it helps to] keep hair off the face. Long hair overall [can] drag the appearance down and create heavy weight," he says. Of course, a pixie isn't for everyone, but even just a trim in general will help. "A lot of times, when the hair is grown too long, it loses shape and will make a face look tired or not as fresh," says Liu. "By bringing up the length a little bit, or adding some layers, you can give the hair [new] life."
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A Topped-Up CropIf you want to push the cheekbone-defining effects of your pixie even further (err, higher), create a lifted look by brushing your hair back and away from your face, à la Ruby Rose. "The whole general idea is to keep the sides tight and [create] lift on top of the head," says Chabbi.
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The Lob"If you want to keep your hair longer, the lob haircut is a great choice for any face shape," says Liu. Reyman agrees — especially with some layers. "Adding angled layers cut to the cheekbone will add definition," Reyman says. "I think the most iconic example of a layer accentuating and lifting the cheekbone is Jennifer Aniston’s ' Rachel.' Her layers actually point to her cheekbones." We think the J Lawr lob might just be the modern-day version.
Photo: Kris Connor/Getty Images.
The Bob"The best hairstyle to bring out the beautiful jawline would be a bob," says Liu. "It could be a classic bob or a textured bob, as long as the length is right at the jaw. Not above and not below." Chabbi prefers a straight-across bob, like Rihanna's, if you're going for definition. "[On Rihanna's] there were no layers and the shortness of the hair kept her face overall lifted," he says.
Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images.
Double Up And if you really want to kill it — as Taylor Swift surely does — go for the bang-bob combo. It's probably with good reason Anna Wintour has sworn by it for so long. It's the equivalent to putting a picture frame around your cheekbones and jawline to say, "Look at me!"
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Piece-y Bangs Fringe also works magic on those with long hair, like Dakota Johnson. "Adding bangs to a hairstyle will bring out your cheekbones, soft layering in the front will also do the trick," says Liu. "The placement of the layering is key, starting the soft fringe around the cheekbones."
Photo: Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images.
Baby BangsThey're not for everyone, but short, straight-across bangs like Asia Chow's can have a major impact. "Adding fringe or removing length can pull the face into proportion," says Reyman. "Jagged, short, or Bettie Page fringe gives a subtle lifting effect to brows."
PHOTO: VICTOR VIRGILE/GAMMA-RAPHO/ GETTY IMAGES.
Curly Bangs The bangs trick works on curly haired girls, too. Just check out model Mica Arganaraz, who's sporting a look that just happens to be one of our favorite styles.
Photo: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images.
Side-Swept BangsFor those with heart- or oval-shaped faces, Liu suggests cutting side-swept bangs over a blunt fringe for a softer effect.
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Volume At The Crown Another trick for those shy about getting a cut? Subtle teasing around the crown and top of the head like Carrie Underwood's super chic look. "Adding height to the hair will lift the face up and lengthen [rounder faces]," says Reyman.
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images.
Behind-The-Ears Tuck Tucking hair of any length behind the ears can have the same effect as strobing. "Your cheekbones will accentuate themselves right away and your face will look overall clean and youthful," says Chabbi.
Photo: Jason LaVeris/Getty Images.
Face-Framing Updo If it's a softer bun or chignon you're after, Chabbi suggests incorporating a flattering side part (like Julianne Hough's here). Leave some messy pieces in front to frame and lift your face.
Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images.
High Pony Good news for lazy girls: A gravity-defying topknot or high ponytail (like Hailee Steinfeld's) can have magical face-lifting powers, too. "The easiest hairstyle to make the eyebrows appear lifted is a high ponytail or an updo style," says Liu.
Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images.
The Bardot And finally, for those who want to keep their hair long or wear it down without bangs, whatever — this one is for you. "The longer haircut that can work to make cheekbones looks defined is the look seen on Brigitte Bardot and recently, Suki Waterhouse," says Chabbi. "Flawless, long layers framed around the face create a sophisticated and sexy look that defines the cheekbones." Plus, it's freaking gorgeous.
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