Chrissy Teigen’s hair is contoured to elongate her face. (Photo: Pinterest)
Until now, beauty bloggers have managed to contour every inch of their bodies, except one: their hair. But, the inevitable next step has been taken, and luckily it’s way less weird than it sounds. “Hair contouring is a big trend this summer,” says Jax Williard, a colorist at Fekkai Soho. “Clients have been requesting more face-framing highlights, which gives a stronger look.”
So, how does it work? Not with makeup, but it does involve painting your hair. “The balayage highlights are painted based on your face shape and what parts of your face you want to accentuate,” says Williard. “As opposed to the ombré look, which seems to be fading out, this coloring technique has the color starting higher up and really contours the face.” This trend is defined by dimensional color and chunky, not streaky, highlights. Since there are dark colors near the top, it’s a great option for women looking to transition out of their ombré hair for a more updated style.
Jasmine Tookes’s hair is contoured to make her eyes pop. (Photo: Instagram)
Lots of people want to go lighter for the summer, and Williard says this trend is definitely the best and most modern way. “Going lighter for summer is an overall trend. However, hair contouring is a pretty new concept and different way to achieve the lightness you’re looking for,” says Williard. “It is also the best way to enhance or downplay your features. It is such a personalized technique; that is why we are loving this look.”
To get the look, talk to your stylist about what features of your face and neck you want to enhance or downplay. “If your strongest feature are your eyes, but you’re not so fond of the roundness of your face, then the colorist should focus the lightness around your eyes and bring it all the way down past your neck to lengthen the face,” Williard advises.
Still, he knows how easy it is to get mixed up with your hairdresser. To leave the salon as happy as possible, communication is key. “Everyone has a different interpretation of ‘natural highlights’, or 'natural ombré’, but the best tool to get on the same page is pictures,” he says. “Try to find pictures of a color that would be achievable for you. Your natural base color, skin color, and other features should be taken into account. Use just a few pictures, so that the colorist does not get confused with what you are looking for.”
Sara Jessica Parker’s hair is contoured to make her face appear wider. (Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Romain Colors of Marie-Lou & D Salon agrees. “More often than not, it’s the verbiage that we use that can often get people set on divergent paths. One person’s “golden blonde” is another person’s “natural blonde”, which can lead to some real confusion if client and colorist are not in agreement on which shade is what,” he says. “I always recommend having photos of inspiration or a direction you want to go with your color change, that way your colorist can see from your point of view what you have in mind. Relying on emotional names like ‘vanilla blonde or ‘caramel highlights’ can lead to so much confusion without that visual reference, trust me!”
If you want the most natural look possible, Williard says your hair colorist should use balayage, “Try to find someone who knows how this hair painting technique works; someone with a bit of experience or a good training in balayage,” he says. “Hair contouring can help you and your stylist get on the same page as well. You can express that you would really like to enhance your features in certain areas, and make sure the rest of the highlights are blended.” But, be sure to be specific. “Balayage is not a hair color trend at all, it is the technique that we use to create an unlimited number of looks from very natural to extreme,” says Romain Colors. “So, just saying you want balayage is the equivalent to saying you want foils, which makes no sense. It is always better to have reference pictures at the consultation.” Be particular with your hair colorist. If may feel picky, but you’ll both walk away happy!