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Hair Contouring

Inspired by the make-up trend of the moment, hair contouring is a custom-made colour application technique that has revolutionised the use of hair colour and what it can achieve. This innovative technique uses the careful placement of colours around the face and, thanks to a play of light and shadow, can alter the appearance of your face shape by accentuating your best features and enhancing your natural skin tone without the application of make-up.

What is hair contouring?

Hair contouring is a colouring technique that uses a combination of free hand application and highlighting paired with the careful positioning of different tones and depths around the face to highlight and shadow targeted areas. Darker tones create shadows and are used to shorten or narrow the face shape, whilst lighter tones elongate and lengthen the face shape by reflecting light. This clever placement of colour and the careful selection of complimentary tones perform an optical illusion and make your face appear more defined and features more accentuated.

Will hair contouring suit me?

Definitely! Hair contouring is a 100% bespoke colouring service that is literally designed to suit your unique facial structure, features and skin tone. The colours are selected based on your skin tone and positioned based on your structure and features.

How can I work out what face shape I am?

The black outer lines in the diagrams below represent each face shape described. The benchmark oval shaped face that sits within the black outlines help to demonstrate which proportions of the face will need to appear “re-sculpted” using hair contouring to achieve the more symmetrical and well-balanced oval shape.

Diagram showing different face shapes and how each shape can aim to achieve the oval face shape

You have a round face if...
The length and width of your face is equal. Characteristics include a shorter forehead and chin and a rounded jawline. 

You have a square face if...
The length, width and jawline are equal in length. Characteristics include wider facial features, sharper jawline and shorter forehead. 

You have a rectangular face if...
This face shape has similar characteristic to the oblong face being longer than it is wide but with a more defined angular jawline and a broader forehead. 

You have an oblong shape face if...
The length of your face is approx. more than 1 ½ times longer than wide, with a broad forehead, cheekbones and jaw line. The shape will roughly resemble a rectangle with softer corners. 

You have a diamond shape face if...
Your cheekbones are the wider than your forehead and jawline. You have a triangular/ heart shape face if... You have a wider forehead and a narrower pointed chin, similar to an inverted triangle.

How will a colourist create bespoke contouring for me?

Contouring requires the eye of one of our expert colourist. Firstly they will identify your unique face shape and bone structure by brushing hair backwards and behind the ears to expose the full outline of your face. The benchmark that is most commonly used is the “oval” shape due to its well-balanced and symmetrical proportions. So, the next step is for your colourist to decode where the darker and lighter shades need to be positioned around your face in order to re-sculpt the appearance and achieve a more “oval “shape. To keep the effect looking natural and subtle, the colour shades chosen should not exceed two shades above or below your natural hair colour and tones should be selected to compliment your skin. The different colour shades and tones are then applied either free hand for a more subtle finish, or highlighted separately for more defined pieces. This combination allows the colourist to tailor the application to suit you.

Diagram explaining how hair contouring works

Round/Square face
To elongate a round or square face, your colourist will lighten the top of the hair and the ends using a free hand technique. Shadow and depth is created at the sides of the face use a darker shade. The lightness at the top of the head and shading around the sides will make the face shape appear slimmer and more contoured. 

Diamond/Oblong/Rectangular face
To widen the facial features of these face shape your colourist will keep the roots and the underneath of the hair dark to create shadow at the top of the head and around the jawline. A single highlight around the face is used to frame it and lighter pieces are weaved in front of the ears with an ombre effect to make an elongated face shape appear more oval. 

Heart/Triangular face
In order to soften the shape of the chin without widening the forehead your colourist will apply a darker colour to the top of the head and crown areas and will apply lighter pieces freehand through the mid lengths and ends to lighten under the jawline. The section around the hairline is also lightened to highlight the face. Ombre & Sombré techniques are well suited to this face shape.

Will it look natural?

The complexity of this technical consultation and application requires a professional to ensure colours are perfectly blended into the hair and suit your skin tone. The subtle shades, the ability of the colourist to use careful positioning beneath the parting and tailor the application method to your needs means that this colouring technique can look extremely natural…No one will ever know!

Is it low maintenance?

The combination of application techniques and subtlety of shades means that this technique can be extremely low maintenance with regrowth being soft and diffused.

Lumino Contrast Range Packshot

To protect and perfect your tailored contoured highlights, we recommend using our Lumino Contrast range by serie expert. This range helps to brighten and enhance the appearance of multi-dimensional tones in highlighted hair. Formulated to target the highlighted strands, it leaves them looking brilliantly accentuated with an added radiant shine.

Vitamino Colour Range Packshot

Washing your hair frequently and using hairdryers can take its toll on your colour so why not try New Vitamino Color A:OX to protect your bespoke contoured colour against fade, dullness and environment aggressors that can cause colour to fade. The Vitamino range leaves your tailor-made contoured colour looking shiny and your hair feeling nourished with prolonged hair colour radiance.