Does Short Hair Make You Look Fatter? A Comprehensive Guide on Hairstyles and Face Shapes

short hairstyles for black women
Table of Contents

One of the most common concerns when it comes to choosing a new hairstyle is the impact it will have on one’s appearance. A common belief is that short hair can make one’s face look fatter, but is this really the case? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how different hairstyles can affect the appearance of your face, taking into account factors such as face shape, hair texture, and personal preferences. So buckle up and get ready to discover the secrets of choosing the perfect hairstyle that flatters your unique features.

The Impact of Hair Length on Your Appearance

Your hair’s length plays a vital role in framing your face and defining your overall appearance. Changing your hair’s length can either reveal or conceal specific facial features, giving your face a different look. It is crucial to understand that certain hairstyles can make your face appear rounder, while others can elongate and slim your face. In the following sections, we will explore various short hairstyles and how they can impact the perceived shape of your face.

Short Hairstyles That Can Make Your Face Look Fatter

There are certain short hairstyles that may accentuate your facial features in a way that makes your face appear rounder than it actually is. Here are some of these hairstyles and how they subtly change the appearance of your face:

Teeny Weeny Afros

Teeny weeny afros or TWAs refer to small afros, which can make your face look plump. With no hair on the sides of the face, the cheeks and jawline become the center of attention, giving your head a more circular appearance. Additionally, the texture of TWAs plays a role in highlighting the round features of your face. Tighter curls tend to emphasize the circular features more than looser curls.

Sleek Ponytails

Smooth, slicked-back ponytails provide a neat look but also put all of your facial features on display, including your cheeks, chin, and jaw. If your face naturally lacks sharp jawlines and chiseled cheeks, a sleek ponytail will not provide structure or dimension to your face. Instead, this style may make your face appear more circular.

Bone Straight Styles

Bone straight hairstyles lack the volume needed to give your face structure and dimension. Without this lift, your facial features are not highlighted effectively, making your face look round.

Blunt Haircuts

Blunt haircuts are styles that are cut evenly all around. These haircuts can shorten and round out your face. The shorter the blunt cut, the more it exposes your facial features, contributing to a rounder appearance. Jaw-length or shorter blunt haircuts tend to have the most noticeable rounding effect on your face.

Straight-Cut Bangs

Bluntly cut bangs can shorten the appearance of your face, making it look wider than it actually is. They also highlight the fullness of your face, making the roundness of your cheeks and chin more apparent.

Short Hairstyles That Can Elongate Your Face

Short hairstyles can be chosen to frame your face in a way that makes it appear slimmer. In this section, we will explore these styles and how they give your facial features more depth.

Box Braids

Box braids are a flattering style for those looking for a slimming effect. These braids partially cover the jaw and cheeks, casting shadows that frame and elongate your face. Shoulder-length or longer box braids are best for adding length to your face.

Top Knot

Top knots or buns add height and volume to your head, making your face look longer. You can style all of your hair into a bun, or you can try a half-up, half-down top knot. Adding a few tendrils on both sides of your head at the crown can also enhance the slimming effect.

Side Part

Styling your short hair into a side part is an effortless way to add volume to limp hair while instantly slimming your face. To create a perfect side part, line up the part with the arch of your eyebrow, then tuck the smaller section behind your ear. You can also add extra lift by teasing your hair at the roots and setting it in place using a lightweight hair spray.


Layers add dimension to your face and lift to your styles. They help to sharpen the look of your cheekbones and jawline for a “hair contouring” effect. Various textures create stunning layers, including curly, wavy, and straight hair. You can create layers by cutting your hair or using heat-styling tools such as curling irons or flat irons.

Loose Curls

Loose curls add height rather than width to your hair, which thins out the appearance of your face. They also cover your cheeks and jawline to perfectly frame your face. You can achieve loose curls by using Flexi rods, a curling iron, or perm rods.

Messy Ponytails

If you shy away from wearing ponytails because you have a full face, a messy pony may be an alternative for you. Messy ponytails give you the confidence to show off your natural features. Unlike slicked-back ponytails, messy ponytails lift the hair at the crown of your head, instantly thinning the appearance of your face.

Choosing the Right Short Hairstyle for You

Before selecting a short hairstyle, consider several factors to ensure you pick the perfect style for you.

Consider Your Hair Texture

The texture of your hair will determine the final look of your short hairstyle and how well you can maintain it long-term. For instance, if you have naturally kinky, curly, or wavy hair, a bone straight bob may not be the best option for you, as it would involve constant straightening and could lead to hair damage. Choose a hairstyle that is compatible with your texture to preserve the health of your hair.

Consider Your Face Shape

Faces come in various shapes, and no single style will look the same on everyone. However, some styles pair better with certain face shapes. Here are some suggestions to help you choose the right hairstyle for your face shape:

  • Blunt cut bangs usually look better on someone with a square or oval-shaped face rather than a round face.
  • Layered cuts pair well with a heart-shaped face.
  • If your face is round to begin with, try a pixie cut!

Consider Your Facial Features

Short hairstyles allow you to accentuate the facial features that you love. On the other hand, if there are features that you don’t particularly like, you can strategically pick a style that will hide them. For example, if you have prominent cheekbones, you can choose a short hairstyle that exposes them. Or, if you loathe your forehead, you can try a bang to keep it out of sight.

The Role of Hair Color in Slimming Your Face

Hair color can also play a role in making your face appear slimmer or wider. Depending on your skin tone and personal preferences, you can experiment with different hair colors to find the one that flatters your features the most.

High Contrast Skin Tone

If you have a high contrast skin tone, with dark hair and dark brown or brightly colored eyes, you can try experimenting with cool-tone red hues to dilute the black color.

Warm Skin Tone

For those with a warm skin tone, warm-toned blondes (strawberry blonde, honey blonde, caramel blonde) will flatter your features. You can also try adding cool-toned blonde highlights for a slimming effect.

Low Contrast Skin Tone

If you have a low contrast skin tone, try dyeing your hair using the balayage technique in soft blonde tones or cool chocolate brown hues. This can help create a slimming effect on your face.

Fatphobia and Its Effects on Hair Choices

Fatphobia is the stigma, bias, or fear of being fat or heavyset in our society. This can lead to internal struggles such as anorexia and bulimia or interpersonal issues like an irrational fear of being friends with fat people. It is essential to recognize that beauty standards, including those related to hair, are often connected to societal expectations and can cause more harm than good.

Understanding the context of fatphobia is crucial when searching for a flattering hairstyle. Remember that what flatters your body and face is highly dependent on your tastes and preferences. Embrace your unique features and choose a hairstyle that makes you feel confident and beautiful, regardless of society’s expectations.

The Importance of Hair Health

When selecting a hairstyle, it is essential to prioritize the health of your hair. Regardless of your chosen style, your hair should be clean and moisturized. Talk to your hairstylist to determine the best hair care routine for you based on your hair texture and lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions to help you make the best hairstyle choice for yourself:

What Are the Benefits of Short Hair?

Short hair offers several advantages, including:

  • Less hair to tangle up with hair accessories
  • More cost-effective (stretching out shampoo and other hair products over time)
  • Easier maintenance

What Are the Benefits of Long Hair?

Long hair also has its benefits, such as:

  • More varied hairstyles
  • Protection from the cold
  • Less money spent on haircuts

Does Your Hair Affect Your Weight?

While it might seem like a trivial concern, the weight of your hair is unlikely to have any significant impact on your overall weight. Even when wet, your hair will not contribute more than an ounce to your total weight.

Does Long Hair Drain Nutrients From the Body?

The notion that long hair drains nutrients from the body is a misconception. Your hair’s length does not affect your overall health or nutrient levels.

Do Obese People Have Thinner Hair?

There is some evidence suggesting that obese people may be predisposed to thinner hair. If your hair is thinning and you’re struggling to determine the best hairstyle for you, consult with a professional hairstylist who can help you find the perfect cut for your unique features.


While the idea that short hair makes your face look fatter may hold some truth, it ultimately depends on various factors such as your face shape, hair texture, and personal preferences. By understanding your unique features and experimenting with different hairstyles, you can find the perfect style that flatters your face and makes you feel confident. Remember, beauty standards are subjective, and embracing your individuality is the key to looking and feeling your best.

Share this post
You Might Also Like: