Hairstyle for a Petite with a Square Face

Brunette with medium length hair
Photo: Stockfour/Shutterstock
Q: I am 51 years old and would like to know what styles for medium length hair are good for me. I am brunette, petite, with straight, slightly coarse hair and a square face with wideset eyes. Thank you.
A: While it's extremely difficult to give specific hairstyle suggestions with just a description of a person's features, you do offer enough information for me to give you some guidelines to follow.
Choosing a hairstyle takes more than looking at the overall shape of a person's face. You have to consider the individual's physical build, hair type, density and wave pattern, and the balance of the facial features as well. Let's take the traits you mention one-by-one and the guidelines appropriate for each:
Square Face: With the square face, you want a hairstyle that has a softer, rounded silhouette. Choose a style that features layers to allow for some volume on the sides, and possibly razoring on the ends to give a smooth curve to the finish. Regardless of the overall length of the style, there should be layers toward the front which curve inward at the jaw line. Style the hair using large rollers (or large-barreled curling iron) to give the fullness and roundness you need.
Wide-set Eyes: For wide-set eyes, you want to create a frame that draws the viewers’ attention inward. This is accomplished by choosing a hairstyle that features inwardly swept sides or a long, curved bangs area. With the bangs option, they should follow a rounded line starting just above the brows and curving steeply at the outer corners of the eyes to almost ear-length. They can be textured to create a soft, wispy effect.
Petite Build: A common mistake often made when choosing a hairstyle is forgetting about the overall balance of the hairstyle to the person’s build. As a petite woman, you have to be careful in the amount of volume you use. You definitely don’t want “big hair”. For a good rule of thumb, take a look at yourself in the bathroom mirror. Use a bar of soap and draw the outline of your face on the mirror.
Next, make small marks to show the width of your body at the shoulders. Now, make new marks on each side to show the halfway points between the sides of your face and your shoulders. Any hairstyle you choose should fall inside these two inner markings to be in balance with your body.
Age and hair color are less of a factor in choosing a style. Hair color has very little impact on what styles would look good for you, and age is less important than your lifestyle. There are women in their fifties who lead active and vital lives, and their hairstyle should reflect that vitality, as well as being appropriate for the amount of time available for grooming and hair maintenance.
See also:
Photos of medium length hairstyles
Age appropriate hairstyles
How to create the illusion of being taller through your clothes
What makes you look shorter: long hair or short hair?