Short and Curly Hairstyles for an Oval Face Shape

Solange Knowles represents the deconstructed curl trend at a gala event in Los Angeles.

Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If you have wider cheeks, a narrow jaw and a narrow forehead, you have a classic oval face shape. While women with square-shaped and heart-shaped faces employ many tricks to camouflage parts of their faces, your facial type is the most balanced and demands little more than highlighting it. No matter what short, curly hairstyle you choose, if you plan to cut your hair, start with dry rather than wet hair. Not even hairstyling pros can predict how much curls shrink once they are cut and then dry. Cutting dry hair means you can accurately shape it as you progress.

Rolling Waves

Maintaining your oval shape means not overtly lengthening or widening it with your curly hairstyle. Avoid styles that spike the top of your hair. Minimize hair poof on the sides but create flow with rolling waves. Wet your hair and massage your scalp to clean it. Squeeze out extra water and apply leave-in conditioner. If you have thick, curly hair, even if it's short, you'll need a conditioner the consistency of mud rather than lotion. If your hair is thin, you do not need additional styling product. Thicker hair may require a gel to preserve the waves. Part your hair on the side to create a side-swept bangs look. Blot away any excess moisture with a T-shirt rather than a towel. After your hair dries, gently separate each curl, but avoid brushing or combing, which adds frizz.

Deconstructed Curls

Solange Knowles has led a trend in sporting less-coiffed, more natural-looking curls. Like the afro hairstyle, this look has volume and drama. It radiates outward rather than hanging in front of your face. Deconstruct your curls by washing and conditioning them as usual. Finger-comb gel through your curls. Let them air dry, or use a diffuser attachment on a hair dryer. Separate your curls, starting at the ends and working toward the roots. Turn your head upside down and shake your hair. Spritz on finishing spray to hold the volume and add sheen.


Go bold and beautiful with your curls by adding natural bounce to the top of your hair. This cut and style works wonders for curly hair, because it releases the curls held hostage by the heavy top layer of hair. Trim away the top layer of hair. Cut each curl individually to avoid getting a wedge shape in your hair. Pump up the volume by using spray gel or hair wax. These tools define your curls, giving them spring and bounce. Highlight your cheekbones by sweeping back the sides of your hair with bobby pins.

Haircut Maintenance

Short, curly hairstyles do not stay that way for long. As curly hair grows, the delicate ends tend to get damaged, which increases frizz. Curls may gain volume before they get long, throwing your oval face shape off-balance. You need to trim wavy or curly hair every six to eight weeks to keep it looking and feeling healthy. Minimize combing and avoid brushing curly hair to reduce frizz.

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