Whether you’ve thought about it before or not, your haircut has a substantial effect on people’s perception of your face. So as you explore what haircut would look best on you, it’s helpful to know your face shape and the haircuts that best complement it.
Luckily, the oval face is the most balanced shape, which means you have a lot more flexibility when searching for the right haircut. So if you’re a man with an oval face looking to find your new haircut, keep reading to learn about some of the best haircuts for your face type!
Barbershop Terminology 101
Just in case you are new to some of the men’s barbershop terminology, it’s worth quickly reviewing some of the common phrases and definitions. Once you know the basic barbershop terms, communicating preferences to your barber will be easy.
If you can find a picture that showcases the haircut you want, that might be your best option. But as you personalize your preferences, knowing their language will help avoid miscommunication.
Especially as it relates to oval faces, some common barbershop terminology includes:
- Fades: Short hair on the sides that gradually fades into long hair on the top
- Buzz: Using an electric clipper to cut hair instead of scissors
- Quiff: Keeping a long piece of hair on top to brush backward
- Undercut Fade: Usually, a high fade in which long hair on the top overlaps the short sides
- Skin Fade: A specific fade haircut that goes skin-short on the sides
- Textured: Texturing hair creates more volume by cutting hair to subtly different lengths
- Neckline: How you cut the back hairline along the neck
One of the other reasons it’s great to learn these terms is that they will help you customize a haircut by matching different styles and fades together. And on that point, it’s also helpful to understand how clipper guard sizes work so you can communicate length to your barber.
10 of the Best Haircuts for Oval Faces Men
Of the approximately seven face shapes, oval faces—which are 1.5 times long as wide—are one of the most balanced shapes. But even though this balance gives you flexibility in finding the right haircut, there are still hairstyles that work particularly well with this face shape.
So let’s learn about some of the best haircuts for oval faces!
1. Crew Cut
One of the themes you will notice in learning about haircuts for oval-faced men is that shorter cuts naturally emphasize the balance of an oval face. And the crew cut, a haircut that fits under the general umbrella of buzzcuts, is one such short haircut that looks great.
Compared to the buzz cut, the crew cut has long hair at the front of the head, and the length gradually shortens as you move to the back of the head.
You have flexibility with how long you go on the top, but remember the general principle that longer haircuts work best with round face shapes.
And for the side, the crew cut can be paired with any number of fade styles like the taper. As your hair grows out on the top, you might even be able to style the crew cut with a longer style like a pompadour or a quiff.
Considering that haircuts for oval-faced men tend to be short and neat, the mohawk haircut might seem like an odd choice on this list. But the mohawk does not have to be the stereotypical longer version that you might be picturing, and it can work surprisingly well for an oval face.
The mohawk also proves just how flexible the oval face is—there are so many haircuts that naturally work with this shape! Generally speaking, today’s society accepts mohawks much more, and it considers them a way to push the limits of style.
Mohawk haircuts simultaneously signal strength and fashion, and they work particularly well for athletic people. The mohawk has tons of variations, but the hairstyle generally involves a section of longer hair on the top (a strip) with short hair (or even a shave) surrounding it.
The flexibility with a mohawk exists in how you style the strip and how you cut the sides—a popular option is to do a skin fade on the sides to help accentuate the long hair on top.
For the most contrast—as long as your mohawk is not too high—you can do a high skin fade on the sides. But as always, stay aware that high hairstyles will make an oval face look too long.
The buzzcut is simple and to the point, and it’s a haircut that works amazingly well with an oval face. Buzzcuts do not have to be boring and one-dimensional, and there are plenty of creative ways to spice up the style to be more interesting.
But if you have an oval face, a simple buzzcut is enough to bring out your natural balance. A buzzcut is any haircut that uses a buzzer (electric clippers) to cut the same length all around the head.
The guard size of the clipper determines the length, and many men with oval faces prefer to go super short. Even the shortest buzzcuts can look professional and formal, which is shocking considering how easy they are—you can even do a buzzcut yourself at home.
4. The Quiff
The quiff is the hairstyle that leaves some length on the top to go either up or to the side. You can think of the quiff as a short version of the pompadour, and it’s a haircut that works best for hair that naturally has a thick texture.
And similar to the mohawk, the quiff works best for oval faces when it isn’t too long or tall since too much height could potentially make your face look elongated.
Even if your hair is not naturally thick or curly, you may be able to get away with a short quiff when you use the right styling gel or mouse. In this case, the quiff is good for giving thinner hair textures the appearance of more volume and texture.
Aside from the long hair on top, you have some flexibility with how you style the sides. Generally, a quiff looks best when combined with something subtle like a tapered fade on the sides.
If you do one of the more radical fade styles like a skin fade, a high fade, or an undercut fade, you will draw too much attention to the length on the top.
With oval faces, drawing further attention to the top of your head, especially with a high style like a quiff or a pompadour, will ruin the natural balance of an oval face.
5. The Undercut
If you generally like the more extreme versions of a fade haircut—like the high fade or the skin fade—then you should consider using an undercut haircut. The undercut accentuates the differences in length between the sides and the top by overlapping the long top and the short sides
Like most of the haircuts on this list, you have flexibility with the length and the style you choose on the top, although shorter undercuts will work best for an oval face.
The undercut usually works best with a high fade haircut so that the top can properly overlap the sides, but it’s also possible with a medium fade.
You can style the top with one of the other hairstyles listed here such as the man bun or the slick back, or develop an entirely new style for yourself. Lastly, it’s good to know that the undercut haircut tends to pair nicely with a beard.
6. Taper Fade Comb Over
Sometimes the best haircut is a combination of different styles that you customize for yourself. In this case, you can combine the taper fade style on the sides with a comb-over on the top to make a haircut that is neat and short on the sides but leaves enough length on the top for some styling.
The comb-over and the side part are similar in approach, and they both do a great job of combining style and professionalism into one haircut.
While other fades like a skin fade or a high fade have more radical and adventurous energy to them, the taper fade is subtle and works well with the comb-over. A low taper fade is probably your best bet with a comb-over, but you can experiment with a mid fade as well.
7. Messy Quiff With Undercut
Continuing with the theme of combining different styles, the quiff, and the undercut work well together, especially when you’re going for the messy version of the quiff.
Some quiff styles are neatly styled with gel or mouse and have a compact organization to them, even if they are tall. But with the messy quiff, you are embracing your longer hair and letting it run wild.
Since you are not styling this quiff, which helps it look messy, this style is probably best for hair that naturally has a thick texture. The key to this style is the undercut style, which naturally brings out the contrast as you read above.
Choose this haircut if you are okay with a lot of length on top, and don’t mind if your face is elongated somewhat. Oval faces are flexible, but some people might not like what this haircut does to their face structure.
8. Low Fade Haircut
A low fade is less of a specific haircut and more of a general approach to how you will cut the sides. With a low fade, you start with short hair on the bottom hairline and gradually start lengthening the hair beginning from the bottom third.
Compared to the more radical fades like a high fade or skin fade, the low fade is subtle and professional. Low fades bring less attention to the difference in length between the top and the sides.
In terms of the top, you have lots of options with how you style it. Much of your decision will depend on how long you plan on making it.
For shorter styles—the ones that work optimally with male oval faces—you might consider a subtle side part or a small quiff. And for longer hair, you can go with a large quiff (perhaps a messy style) or something larger and more intense like the pompadour.
Read Next: Low Fade vs. High Fade
9. Pompadour With Fade
The pompadour is a style that has been around for a long time, and it’s usually reserved for longer hair—you can think of it as a longer and wilder quiff.
You can take the inclusion of the pompadour on this list with a grain of salt since a tall version of this style might put your face out of proportion. But a subtle pompadour, combined with the neat look of a fade on the sides, can work great with oval faces.
Pompadours are sometimes called “pomps”, and they all involve long hair on the top that is slicked back and tall. The classic pompadour involves a huge volume of hair that you hold in place with wax, but it’s possible to do a more subtle version of this style if you want to avoid too much height.
Lastly, a subtle fade like a taper fade on the sides will help bring out the length on top, although you want to be careful with pulling too much attention to the top, which will elongate an oval face.
10. Slicked Back
When it comes to looking stylish with little to no effort, the slick back is a classic. Although not as easy to style as something like a buzz cut, the slick back is neat and masculine. When kept in place with wax or gel, you can have a classic professional look that works in pretty much any situation.
The slick back is particularly great for oval faces because it allows you to have length on the top without adding too much height. Unlike hairstyles like the quiff or the pompadour, the slick back can be quite long without elongating an oval face.
And when you combine a slick back with a fade style on the sides, you will draw people’s eyes to the neat styling on the top. For an extra fun take on this haircut, consider doing a wavy slick back.
Oval Faced Men Haircuts FAQ
Now that you’ve learned about some of the great haircuts for oval faces, let’s answer some of the most commonly asked questions about this topic.
What hairstyle looks best on an oval face male?
When it comes to finding your best haircut, no one style will fit all people—that’s why it’s so valuable to learn about the haircuts that fit your specific facial structure.
And in the case of male oval faces, some of the best haircuts are buzz cuts, crew cuts, and the quiff. Adding fades to the sides also helps complement an oval face.
Is short hair good for male oval faces?
Generally speaking, shorter hair tends to look better on oval faces, although you want to be careful about going so short that you further elongate the appearance of your face.
The main rule with oval faces is to generally avoid longer haircuts that tend to stretch out your face. Besides those considerations, oval faces are generally flexible when it comes to matching a good haircut.
Is a buzzcut good for an oval face?
Buzzcuts generally work extremely well with oval faces because of how the shorter cut and evenness accentuate your facial structure—in the case of the balanced oval face; this accentuation is a good thing! Along with the buzzcut, you can further enhance your look with a short or medium-length beard.
Why are oval faces attractive?
The main reason why oval faces are attractive is because of their symmetry—facial symmetry tends to increase a human being’s perception of attractiveness in another.
This balance exists between the width and the height as well as between the chin and the forehead. And in addition to this natural symmetry, oval faces are one of the easiest face shapes to find a good haircut for.
Is an undercut good for an oval face?
Undercut haircuts do work particularly well with an oval face, especially short undercuts with sharp angles, because of how they accentuate the balanced features of an oval face.
While undercuts can make a round face look rounder (in a bad way), an oval face only looks better when you bring out the naturally balanced shape.
Best Haircuts for Oval Faces: Final Thoughts
Hopefully, you now have a much better idea about what haircuts work particularly well for oval faces. It’s hard to believe how much a haircut can sync up with your face until you see it in action.
But having this knowledge ahead of time will help you to find the right haircut. Lastly, don’t be afraid to mix and match different styles to find something that uniquely works for you!