After checking out the best bangs for inverted triangles and hearts, this week we move to the flip side (literally): the pear-shaped face. (Catch up on the other ones—round, long and square—and then stay tuned for diamond and oval to come!)
There's no doubt about it, a pear-shaped face—also called a triangle—can be a real hair challenge. But when you find a style that works, it's probably the most satisfying out of any of the face shapes! The right bangs can be an awesome tool for pears to help widen the top half of their faces while narrowing the lower half. There are some incredible optical illusions happening in my picks for the best bangs.
For this shape, it's extra-important that you keep your hair texture in mind; as you'll soon see, curly hair can throw a real wrench in your plans by creating width right where you don't want it. If you're a pear, bring these ideas to your stylist so you can have a conversation about which bangs could work for you.
Do You Have a Pear-Shaped Face?
Kelly Osbourne has to be the most well-known pear face right now—and kudos to her for rocking a HUGE variety of styles. (Truly, I could make an entire post on Kelly's hair alone.) As she demonstrates, a pear-shaped face is narrowest at the top and widest at the bottom. The forehead is always narrower than the jawline, which may be angular or rounded.
The Best Bangs for Pear-Shaped Faces
Heavy, straight bangs: Not everyone is keen on heavy bangs, but now we understand why Sophia Bush rocks hers—I don't think you'd ever guess that her face is pear-shaped under there. What the bangs do is create a strong horizontal line and add a lot more weight at the top of the face, so that it's in balance with the lower half. The caveat is that you have to be okay with your face looking a bit fuller/rounder, like Sophia's. That is, unless you have a narrower pear face like Kate Walsh, who is next...
Heavy, rounded bangs: Kate Walsh is another great example of how well the heavy bang can work on a pear-shaped face. The rounded shape and just-below-the-brows length is perfect for bringing out her eyes as well. Because her face is on the narrow side compared to Sophia's, the heavy bangs just give her an oval shape instead of round.
Long, soft bangs: Do you have to wear a heavy bang with a pear face? The answer is no, and Ali Larter demonstrates why. As long as you keep your bangs on the longer side (i.e. below the brows) and very light and soft, they can add the interest you need on the forehead to distract from what's happening around your jaw.
Side-parted curtain bangs: Curtain bangs, which are basically long bangs that fall on either side of the face, can be a fantastic diversion tactic for a pear. Just keep a few important things in mind: first, make sure your bangs stop below the jaw, like Jenna Ushkowitz's. (If they stop short of the jawline, they'll only draw more attention to it.) Second, you want to part your hair off to one side instead of straight down the middle. A centre part will instantly make your face look more triangular, when you're trying to achieve the opposite. And finally, they need to be straight, not curly, as curls will create more width.
Side-swept bangs: Gosh, I love this picture of Billie Piper! Just goes to show you that a pear face is no impediment to sexy. Her deep side part with a little flip of bangs to cut across the forehead is a fantastic idea. It breaks up the triangle, and helps to elongate her face. Note that the bangs stop at around eye level—you either want them to stop here, or below the jaw.
From The Skincare Edit Archives
Architectural bangs: Surprise! You can wear your bangs off your face, and Kelly Osbourne delivers an awesome example of how to do it without accentuating a narrow forehead. She's gone for a graphic, structured shape that's actually wider than her jawline, so it balances everything out. Maybe not your everyday hair look, but this would be amazing for the right occasion.
The Worst Bangs for Pear-Shaped Faces
Wondering what not to do? Here are a few noteworthy examples:
Centre-parted curtain bangs: So here's when curtain bangs are not so awesome. Crystal Reed's stop a couple inches above her jaw, and they're parted in the middle. It's pretty much the perfect recipe for accentuating her triangle shape instead of camouflaging it. This look would work if she grew them out a little more and changed the part line; otherwise, she's better off doing a deep side part a la Billie Piper.
Curly curtain bangs: Here's another potential problem with curtain bangs. If you've got curly hair like Minnie Driver, then bangs that are parted near the centre and stop around the jaw-line are not a great idea. The curls just create more width in the exact spot where you don't want it. Minnie should either rock a short curly bang (trust me; they can be awesome!) or go bang-less but get her curls cut in a more halo-esque shape, so they create more volume at the top.
Centre-parted bangs: Aw, look how Jenna Ushkowitz created a baby triangle on her forehead to echo her overall face shape! How meta. I don't think this is terrible, but if her forehead were filled in more with the bangs (i.e. a cut more like Ali Larter's), they could do a better job of diversion. I think in general, you want to be very careful about centre parts of any kind when you have a pear-shaped face.
Sleek, side-swept bangs: While side-swept bangs can work when they're airy and voluminous, like Billie Piper's, they're not so ideal when you do them all slick and sleek, like Kelly Osbourne. While they do take attention away from the jawline to some degree, I think they'd work even better if the whole hairstyle was looser and softer.
Side-swept bangs with flipped-out layers: Jennifer Aniston provides another example of when side-swept bangs go wrong. Hers would be fine... except for how the rest of her hair is flipping out at the sides and bottom. The direction should be inward, not outward, for a pear shape. This bang with loose, straight hair (like Billie Piper) would be great.
Short, textured bangs: Tiffani Amber Thiessen definitely needs to update her bang style. Going longer and more blunt would not only look more modern, but it would also balance her face shape better—similar to Sophia Bush.
What’s your favourite style of bangs for pear-shaped faces?
If you have this face shape, which hairstyles have worked for you?
What’s the worst style for pear-shaped faces?