How to Do Face Framing Highlights


Highlights can completely transform hair, giving it dimension and color versatility. Just as light and dark shades of makeup work together to enhance any given face shape, highlights are a great way to get a contoured hair look that is loved by stylists and clients alike. Of course, there are many different levels to the highlighting game. If a full head of highlights isn’t the vision, consider going for a look that features face framing highlights.

The name explains it all when it comes to this type of highlighting technique. Also known as the “money piece,” face framing highlights bring attention and a bit of brightness to the face. The result is an understated yet effective (and less expensive) alternative to all-over highlights. Here are a few things to know about face framing highlights:

Why Stylists Should Recommend Face Framing Highlights

This particular highlighting technique is great for a range of clients, from hair color first-timers to seasoned highlight-lovers. It’s a great way to get the feel of doing something big while keeping things relatively low-maintenance. The high-visibility and frontal placement of these highlights gives off a more noticeable appearance without having to go through the full highlighting process. Plus, it’s great for clients with a low budget or those who want to keep their hair care routine on the simple side.

Tips for Face Framing Highlights

The general idea behind face framing highlights is that it should create a softer look that draws attention to the facial features. No matter which professional hair color brand is used, it’s important to take into account the intended area that is meant to be highlighted. Stylists should think about the way the sun might hit the hair most directly and use this as a general guideline for highlight placement. It’s also important to know where the client parts their hair prior to sectioning it off so the highlights actually frame their face afterwards. From there, it’s all about getting the best color that blends perfectly with the rest of the client’s hair.

woman getting foil in her hair

Choosing a Technique for This Look

There’s a lot of buzz when it comes to balayage vs. highlights , but the truth is that the decision between the two is a decision based on client preference and intended results. That being said, what is the difference between the two techniques? While both balayage and traditional highlighting lighten the hair, they work differently to do so.

When using the balayage technique, lightener is applied using a freehand technique and starts farther down from the roots of the hair. The result is a multidimensional and natural-looking style that does not require foil or as much upkeep. For face framing highlight purposes, balayage might be the right choice for those who are looking for a more understated or sunkissed look.

When it comes to highlighting the hair, the process looks a bit different. Foil is applied to lightener-coated hair beginning at the roots to achieve a more distinct look. With this technique, stylists can choose exactly where the highlights are placed. This option is better for those looking for a more bold face framing highlight look.

Woman with blonde curly Hair

Framing Inspiration

Stylists should use their client’s current hair color as inspiration for face framing highlights. From caramel to copper and every shade in between, there’s an optimal highlight shade for every hair color. Once the perfect placement and coordinating highlight color are decided, face framing highlights are sure to be a success every time.


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