With the help of makeup, makeup artists perform a variety of miracles: they visually narrow the face, raise the cheekbones and enlarge the eyes. And why are hairdressers and colorists worse? They are also capable of much - they came up with, for example, hair contouring. This is a set of procedures worth talking about in more detail

Hair contouring - what kind of coloring is it?

This is the name of an integrated approach to cutting, coloring and styling for a visual transformation of the face. The effect of hair contouring can be compared with sculpting.

Playing with light and shadow, stylists fulfill various wishes of clients: make facial features more clear, increase or decrease the forehead, narrow the face.

Of course, the client receives only a visual effect, but in the photo before and after the stylist's work, we see that hair contouring is an effective procedure, albeit not an easy one.

Basic principles of hair contouring technique

Hair contouring is a coloring technique reminiscent of facial sculpting and strobing. Only instead of bronzer and highlighter, masters operate with paints from different colors. With dark shades, the volumes are hidden, and with light ones, on the contrary, they are emphasized. Despite the complexity of the procedure, it is considered relatively gentle on the hair, since only small areas are dyed.

Features of hair contouring depending on the type of face

Let's move on to the main material - to coloring options taking into account the shape of the face.

Visual correction of a round face

Stylists offer to correct a round face by mixing colors on the strands near the face. The roots and tips are painted in a light shade, and the darker color is used on the segment from the forehead to the chin.

Sometimes dark paint is applied only to the inside of the hair, creating a shadow effect on the face.

Square Face Contouring

If you have a square face and dark hair, you can lighten a few strands of the face. For example, some stylists place light accents in the temporal zone and chin area.

In this case, blondes are offered to first tint their hair in a darker shade and only after that lighten the strands near the face.

Triangle face contouring

Girls with a triangular face tend to complain about the big contrast between their forehead and chin. Stylists offer the following solution: darken the hair at the roots, and around the face, on the contrary, lighten.

The main thing is to make sure that the color transition is smooth, otherwise you can get an undesirable visual effect of dividing the face into two parts.

Visual correction of an oval face with hair contouring

In the case of an oval face, the key advice is do no harm. Girls with a classic face shape have a lot of options for maneuver, so you can expand the list of requirements. Why not add visual volume to your hair with balayage coloring and an intricate haircut?

Or emphasize the color of the eyes by choosing the right shade of paint?

Hair contouring for a heart-shaped face

For those with a narrow chin and a wide forehead, there are two strategically right moves. First, lighten the hair in the area from the ears to the lower contour of the face. Second, add some highlights to the forehead to balance out the coloration.

The last step will be superfluous if you make ombre coloring: it will be in harmony with the heart-shaped face anyway.

Optical correction of a long face with hair contouring

When talking about coloring for an elongated face, experts often cite Sarah Jessica Parker as an example.How she just didn’t experiment with coloring, although, in our opinion, it was possible to visually expand the face not only with the help of complex ombre and balayage techniques.

We would start with a haircut. Long hair with an elongated face only accentuates this feature of appearance. Balances the proportions of a classic mid-length bob.

And if we talk about facial hair contouring, it is important to follow a simple rule: darker strands should be present at the roots and tips, and lighter strands at the level of the face.

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How long is your hair?

  • I love and wear a supermini!
  • Average, that is, just below the shoulders.
  • I'm one of those who worry in the hairdresser's chair, no matter how they cut off an extra couple of centimeters from my long curls.
  • It's hard to describe - I have a classic bob.
2 / 6

What do you like most about your appearance?

  • Thick hair - I can become the face of a brand of any shampoo!
  • Face shape.
  • Eyes! I try to focus on them.
  • Eyebrows.

What would you like to change?

  • I like everything, so I vote for natural.
  • Wide forehead. Maybe cut off the bangs?
  • Round face.
  • Hair color.
4 / 6

How would you rate the shape of your face?

  • Either oval or round.
  • The face of love oh, that is, heart-shaped!
  • Closer to square.
  • Narrow and elongated.
5 / 6

Do you wear bangs?

  • Yes! I can't imagine myself without straight bangs.
  • No, it's not mine.
  • Making the strands of the face shorter than the rest of the hair was a great decision!
  • I really want to, but I can't decide.
6 / 6

How do you rate the quality of your hair?

  • Top five!
  • The volume at the roots is clearly not enough for me.
  • The ends need a haircut for a long time, but I'm sorry to cut them off!
  • It's time for bangs correction. Everything else is ok!

Contouring with hair color

Hair contouring, as you can see in the photo, has a lot of variations. We discussed the best choice depending on the shape of the face. Does the original hair color affect the choice of coloring? Let's see.

Dark base

Trying out contouring on dark hair is the easiest, because in most cases you need to work with light colors. Try to choose shades of the same "temperature" as the bulk of the hair. We do not recommend diving deep into the world of blonde: sharp contrasts are not in fashion. Light brown and milk chocolate shades will best cope with the task.

Roman Moiseenko Color Expert L'Oréal ParisI do not recommend drastically moving away from the natural tone, the allowable variation is plus or minus two shades. If your natural color is too light, don't go too dark. For the procedure, use tinting agents, such as Casting Crème Gloss ammonia-free cream paint (provided there is no gray hair).

Light foundation

When contouring blond hair near the face, you can play with the “temperature regime”.Bright blondes most often have to darken certain areas of the hair, and in the case of a dark blonde, it is not forbidden to switch to the lighter side. Paints of platinum and pearl shades will work great: they will give beautiful highlights to the strands.

Red hair

It is usually discussed how contouring will work on dark or light hair, but we are ready to go further and try on (including in the photo) the desired effect on red curls.

Coloring according to all the rules of contouring will not only correct the shape of the face, but also help to give the hair visual volume. Prepare copper-gold shades one or two shades lighter than your base color.

We recommend not to limit yourself to coloring strands only on the face. Why not contour the hair around the perimeter, as in the photo?

Hair contouring ideas: before and after photos

The most interesting thing is to consider real examples of coloring with contouring elements. We will not torment you and offer you a look at the photo before and after the procedure.

Contouring on red hair

The photo shows that the oval of the face has become more harmonious, and the eyes more expressive. Moreover, the hair coloring technique in this case was simple: the master performed contouring using light-colored paints, capturing only curls near the face and a few strands around the perimeter.

Blonde contouring

In this case, hair coloring was the first step, contouring was the second. On a light brown base, single light strands harmoniously look, which place corrective accents (in this case, on the example of an oval face).

Contouring on dark hair

Before us is a girl with a heart-shaped face. The stylist did the coloring very competently, making complex contouring on dark hair. It can be seen that closer to the ends, the strands are painted in a light tone, and closer to the roots, the curls on the inside remain dark.

Popular hair contouring questions

Finding out what hair contouring is is one thing, but understanding how to do it in practice is quite another. We answer popular questions about this coloring method.

How do I contour my hair if I have a heart-shaped face and bangs?

In order to balance the proportions of the face, it will be correct to hide part of the forehead (or the entire forehead). When coloring, lighten the ends of the hair completely, and the strands near the face and bangs - partially.



Share your color hair contouring ideas. Is it being made?

Yes, color contouring can add texture to styling or hide split ends most effectively.



I have medium length dark hair and a round face. Which hair color will suit me in terms of hair contouring?

If you go the easy way, you can make an ombre. But the effect will be more pronounced if the hair is lightened at the roots and ends, and darkened at the face.



Can hair contouring be done at home?

The complexity of such coloring lies, rather, in understanding and knowing the laws of harmony - what paint to paint which area to get the desired effect. And to carry out the procedure itself is not so difficult if only selective strands are stained (mainly on the face).




Post Contour Care

Follow our simple tips to maximize the effect of contouring and keep your hair in good condition.

  1. When contouring, the hair is lightened, even if only partially. So, there is a risk that over time the strands may turn yellow. Shampoo and mask with purple pigments will help to neutralize unwanted tone and restore the brightness of curls.

  2. Switch to products for colored hair, even if you changed the color of only a small part of the curls. So you keep its brightness and can avoid the dullness of the strands.

  3. Use heat protection before styling with hot tools. This is important even if your hair is natural. And the dyed strands require increased care.