The art of hair contouring

The art of hair contouring

By now, you know a thing or two (or three or four) about how to create the illusion of higher cheekbones, a thinner nose and defined jawline with the magic of make-up (thank you, Kim Kardashian!), but this is 2015 and regular contouring is so last year. There’s a new canvas for contouring: our hair. Yep, you read that right. The theory is that we can sculpt our faces with meticulously placed highlights and lowlights.

UK-based stylist and art director at Charles Worthington, Mark Trinder, pioneered the trend, claiming that you can literally alter a face shape by applying colour to specific areas of the hair. Pretty cool, huh?

But before you go crazy with highlighting your tresses, pause to identify your face shape.
Now, let’s look at each one below and figure out what you need to request from your colourist next time you’re in the chair:


Oval-faced beauties, you’re incredibly lucky! It’s the most desirable and versatile face shape for colouring, contouring and styling. Most of you will suit anything, but talk to your colourist about tones that will add depth, texture or shine to really accentuate your features.


Round faces generally have a strong bone structure, so opt for light tones around the hairline and ear to ear, and save darker tones for underneath the ears and the ends of hair. The former brightens and elongates the face, while the latter gives the face shape more of a point.


To slim down and shorten your naturally long face shape, apply deeper hues to the roots along the parting. Pair this with delicate, highlighted pieces from above the ears to the ends of the hair.


The trick here is to soften your wider facial features and strong lines. Aim for multi-tonal layers of light and dark at the ‘corners’ of your face, as well as around the jawline and temples for more depth and softness.


Anyone with a heart-shaped face should go for lighter pieces woven around the jawline and ears. This works to soften the bottom half of the face.

What do you think of hair contouring? Would you give it a try?

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