Posted by All-Nutrient Professional on Dec 28, 2016

Haircuts and makeup aren’t the only things that can enhance your facial features or minimize flaws. The lights and shadows of dimensional haircolor can do the same—if they’re strategically placed.

As the New Year draws near, it's time to get a fresh perspective on haircolor.  It has its own power when you think of it as cosmetics for your hair. With just the right hues, contrast, and placement, you can shed pounds off your face without even stepping foot in the gym.

Artful Illusions

Trendy color panels and blocks are perfect for minimizing or emphasizing features. For instance, if you have a long neck, it can be downplayed with a darker shade underneath. Have a short forehead? Lightness or brightness in the fringe or at the hairline (sans bangs) it makes it appear larger.

When you want your eyes to become a focal point, ask your colorist to add lighter panels near them—think of lighter splashes on either side. Even if the color is just slightly lighter than your own, it can dramatically change how you look. 

Softening techniques like balayage and more-subtle-than-expected ombré can also be customized to draw the eye up, to the side or to the ends. Just remember, if you have a heart-shaped face (more pointed chin) you don’t want attention at the ends. The same applies you have a square jaw line, Draw the eye upward with lights and brights on top.


Take Off 10 Years - Or 5 Pounds!

Multi-dimensional color can even make you look younger. Try lighter colors on top via a few highlights to draw the eye upward, away from the first-to-show-age, under-eye area. Or, add both highlights and lowlights to your hair—especially if it is blonde. Not only will hair look shinier and younger, the 3D approach avoids the too-blonde look that can wash out and age skin tones. Keep it on the soft side!

Brunettes may want to keep it soft, too. Skin tones can get pale or ashy as you age and too-dark hair makes you look like a Vampire. Anyone remember Gloria Vanderbilt, who had near-black hair for years, and then softened it up? Brunettes should always add lighter pieces of sandalwood, caramel or even buckwheat honey.

Redheads will also find that intense, high-contrasting colors look cartoonish at a certain age. A touch of copper highlights beat cherry, hands down. Today, the best colorists are even finding ways to make gray look great. Hair that is all gray or totally silver is just too monochromatic. Pre-softening this hair can get rid of dull frizz. Then, add soft and subtle highlights and lowlights, and even gray can say elegant, not old.

Well-shaped brows complete the years-off illusion when you also get them colored, if they contrast too much with your new hue. 

You can also shed 10 years instantly, depending on where your highlights are placed. Subtle, warmer highlights are instant age defyers when they follow an inverted T-shape. (It should run a quarter-inch behind your front hairline and down your natural part.) Think of it as your hot spot because it’s right where sunlight hits hair, and it also draws the eye upward. Best streak tweak: Have your colorist place foils diagonally for a softening effect. Straight ones can add a harsh edge.

To shed the pounds, darker lowlights placed close to your face are like calorie-free chocolate. Why can darker color at the sides can slim a wide face? The basic art principle that lights advance, while darks recede. (It’s the same reason you use lighter blush on the top of your cheekbones and a darker shade in the hollows.) When face-framing lowlights connect to highlights that move diagonally across the top and sides, your face gets a noticeable slimming effect.

Just remember that less is more. The biggest losers in a not-so-great way are brunettes who go blonde via hoards of highlights. Not only does the hundred-highlight look add years, it makes fine hair seem even thinner, which can blow up your face.

Topics: haircolor