Balayage and Face Shapes: Flattering Highlights for Every Face Shape

October 11, 2023

Understanding the Impact of Face Shape on Hairstyle Choices

When it comes to hairstyling, your client’s face shape is a key factor to consider as it can significantly influence which hairstyles suit your clients best. But, have you considered how your chosen color technique and placement could be used to optimize different face shapes and even make them look different? Balayage is one of the most versatile and stunning color techniques for enhancing various face shapes. Why? because this color technique and the tones you choose can be custom-blended by altering the width and angles of lighter and darker strands. This can help frame your client’s face and has led to Balayage sometimes being called a non-invasive ‘facelift.’

Read on to find out how opting for face contouring Balayage techniques will help your clients look their best!


Balayage: A Versatile Technique for Face Shaping Highlights

Your client’s face shape is their personal canvas, and the right style can accentuate their best features. 

Let’s take a closer look at how to determine your client’s face shape and why it is a crucial factor in choosing their perfect hairstyle. Before you begin, here are some pro tips for your consultation process: 

  • Pull your client’s hair back during the consultation to evaluate their face shape. You may want to print out a face shape map to keep at your station.
  • Apply face contouring color to the hair at natural fall.
  • Use light and dark colors when contouring.
  • If you want to add width to an area, use a lighter color. To reduce width, use a darker color.
  • Make sure your lightener has a creamy consistency and choose your perfect product depending on your desired lift! We recommend Magnet™ Blondes Ultimate Powder 9 for dark bases and Magnet™ Blondes Ultimate Powder 7. Ammonia-free* for bases 7 and above.

Round Face Shape: Highlight Placement and Styling

Balayage is a highly versatile technique known for its ability to create subtle and natural-looking highlights. Its adaptability makes it an excellent choice for customized highlights that suit various face shapes.

Round faces are characterized by soft curves, and the right face contouring Balayage placement can help create angles and dimension.

  • Balayage Technique: Opt for vertical Balayage highlights that start slightly above the ears and gradually get lighter towards the ends,
  • Why: Vertical highlights add length to the face, creating the illusion of a more oval shape, which flatters round faces.
  • Babylights: These ultra-fine highlights add delicate touches of color throughout the hair, creating a soft, sun-kissed effect.
  • Face Contouring Balayage: Strategically place slightly darker Balayage on the sides of the face to create the illusion of cheekbone definition.
  • Round and square faces benefit from lighter tones around the hairline.
  • Root Shadowing: Gradually darken the root area to provide contrast and elongate the appearance of the face.


Oval Face Shape: Enhancing Proportions with Balayage

Oval faces are considered the most balanced and versatile in terms of hairstyling because they have balanced proportions. However, Balayage can still enhance your client’s look.

  • Balayage Technique: Consider a sun kissed Balayage with delicate, all-over highlights for a natural look.
  • Why: Oval faces are already well-balanced so subtle, all-over highlights enhance natural beauty without altering proportions.
  • Dimensional Balayage: Add dimension by using multiple shades of highlights to create depth and movement in the hair.
  • Face-Framing Highlights: Place face contouring highlights around the face to draw attention to your client’s features and create a beautiful frame.

Square Face Shape: Softening Angles with Face Framing Highlights

Square faces are characterized by strong angles and a structured appearance. Balayage can soften these features and add a touch of dimension.

  • Balayage Technique: Utilize soft, face-framing highlights that start at the jawline and gradually blend into the rest of the hair. Soften the angles by highlighting hair at the jawline and temple areas.
  • Why: These highlights soften the strong lines of the jaw, making the face appear less square and more balanced.
  • Balayage Lowlights: Incorporate lowlights to add depth to the overall appearance of the hair.
  • Gradient Balayage: Gradually lighten the hair from the roots to the ends, creating a seamless transition that softens the face shape. For square/round face shapes, apply highlights to the hairline area surrounding the face. To contour the jawline, keep the color dark on top and on the ends.


Heart-Shaped Face: Balancing Features with Strategic Placement

Heart-shaped faces have a wide forehead and a narrower chin, creating a distinctive look. Balayage can help balance these features beautifully.

  • Balayage Technique: Apply highlights predominantly on the lower half of the hair, focusing on the chin and neck area.
  • Why: This technique balances the width of the forehead with the narrower chin, creating a harmonious look.
  • Balayage with Contrast: Use varying shades of highlights to create contrast and balance between the wider forehead and the narrower chin. Heart faces look more balanced with dark roots, and Balayage highlights under the jawline.
  • Balayage Ombre: Gradually lighten the lower portion of the hair for an ombre dip-dye effect, adding balance and softness to the face. For a heart-shaped face, darken the top of the head to create the illusion of a more oval face. Add lightness just under the jawline to soften angles and brighten skin tone.


Diamond Face Shape: Creating Dimension and Symmetry

Diamond-shaped faces are known for their unique, angular features. Face contouring Balayage highlights can create dimension and symmetry for this face shape.

  • Balayage Technique: Use Balayage to create diagonal highlights that run from the top of the forehead to the lower part of the face.
  • Why: Diagonal highlights add dimension and symmetry to the unique angles of a diamond face, enhancing its beauty.
  • Contrasting Balayage: Incorporate contrasting highlights to create sharp angles and enhance the distinct features of the face.
  • Balayage with Face-Framing Highlights: Combine diagonal highlights with face-framing highlights to draw attention to the eyes and cheekbones.


Once you have completed the color and style, don’t forget to recommend aftercare to keep your client’s Balayage radiant until the next salon visit! We recommend the RE/START™ Color range and the Nutri Color™ Filters Toning Filters – Revlon Professional to use between color services.

To discover more inspirational articles, trends and tips head to our 24/7 educational platform, #AlwaysOn (for clients only, so click the link to become one). You can also shop our entire product range by heading to our online Revlon Pro Shop.


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