August 26, 2015
It’s no secret that contouring is the hottest trend in makeup, with everyone striving for the perfectly chiseled face, but, lo and behold, makeup’s go-to technique has now been translated to your strands! Hair contouring is the newest phenomenon in hair coloring, which can enhance your features and give your face flawless dimension. We asked owner and lead stylist of SalonCapri, Nick Penna, for the inside scoop on this hot new trend.
What, exactly, is hair contouring?
Hair contouring is a color application for your locks that consists of using light and dark tones around the face to highlight and contour specific areas that accentuate your face shape. The darker tones we use create a shadow, while the light shades highlight and make certain aspects pop, creating the same effect as makeup contouring. We use specific hues to complement your skin tone and carefully place highlights and lowlights depending on your features and face shape.
What techniques do you use when contouring?
Typically we use a combination of freehand techniques (such as balayage) with highlighting. Since this is a customized look, the technique truly depends on your face shape and complexion, but contouring works best when a stylist can freehand color on strands to achieve a personalized look. The difference between the light and dark shades used will never be super drastic either (no need to be nervous).
Which celebrity’s hair contouring do you love?
I really love Drew Barrymore’s look. She has a rounder face shape so her lighter highlights have been painted around her hairline. They contour her face nicely and are complemented by the darker undertones also used.
What techniques would you use on different face shapes?
For round/square face shapes, the goal is to elongate the face. Your stylist should lighten the top and ends of hair, and use a darker shade at the sides of hair right next to the face. Using light shades at the top and bottom will give the illusion of a longer looking face while the dark tones try to narrow out the face shape.
For oblong faces, contouring can help widen the face. The color should be dark at the roots and under your hair to shadow the top and bottom of the head. Highlights will be added around the face to create an illusion of a wider shape.
For a heart shaped face, contouring aims to widen the jawline area without widening the forehead. The technique calls for applying lighter color at the end with dark shadows at the roots, an ombré works best for this face shape.
Why do you think this trend is popular?
I think people love this trend because it is so personalized. Depending on your specific complexion and face shape, you leave the salon with a completely original look that not everyone will have. It suits the client’s exact needs and is a natural look that enhances your individual features.