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Rachel Scott
Updated on August 18, 2021

We all love some good make-up contouring but what would you do if I told you that this same concept could be applied to your hair? The latest and greatest trend in new ways to highlight hair is none other than hair strobing. You may have heard of strobing for your face but now this innovative technique can be applied to your luscious locks for an incredible new look.


The look was developed by a team at Andrew Jose Salon in London alongside colorist Nalan Derby. They were the first to really pay attention to customizing face-framing highlights in the same way we view highlighting in make-up. For strobing a client’s hair, Derby makes a personalized map of each client’s face and uses it as a guide to highlight the places most appropriate for achieving a brightening glow based on your already existing beauty.

Since its inception, the strobing trend has spread like wildfire heating up the looks of celebs everywhere, including early adapter Gigi Hadid. And who doesn’t want the effortless depth of Gigi’s gorgeous hair?

Dozens of models including Jourdan Dunn and Victoria’s Secret angel Romee Strijd have taken the effortless look of strobing to the next level.

The look contours hair just as bronzer would your cheekbones. Face framing highlights, also called baby lights mimic natural light that normally lightens your hair and brightens your face. The strobing effect comes in as these highlights are blended with thicker, more chunky highlights strategically placed by your colorist.


The coolest thing about strobing hair is its ability to be ultimately personalized; your colorist works with your specific face shape to highlight parts of your hair that will help lighten the area around your eyes and cheekbones, helping to draw other’s eyes in to give you a show stopping head of hair. While strobing is literally designed for everyone, the highlighting of cheekbones works wonders as hair color for a round face. That may be why it works so well for Gigi’s sweet look!

But you definitely don’t have to have celebrity status to pull off hair strobing. In fact, that’s the beauty of this trendy style: anyone can wear it because it’s meant to bring out the best you and no two strobing styles can really be the same.

Because hair strobing is so personalized, it’s easy to adjust the look to fit your face shape and highlight your best features accordingly.

1. Round

Your face is as long as it is wide and your chin and jawline are softer and rounded. For a round face, you’ll want to create a longer, slimmer look by focusing highlights towards the bottom of your hair. A stylist should add lowlights at the crown of your head and draw out your cheekbones by avoiding highlights at your hairline.

Classic round-faced beauty Emma Stone follows the rules with highlights focused near the bottom of her hair and no highlights on her bangs that would draw attention to the center of her face otherwise.

2. Oval

Oval-shaped faces are longer than they are wide and you’ve also got a soft, rounded jawline. Gals with oval-shaped faces are lucky to have more balance in their face and can try some bold strobing options. Essentially it’s the easiest face shape to pull off a myriad of looks! Highlights underneath your hair can illuminate that perfect face and strobing along the cheekbones can bring out your best feature.

3. Heart

Your face is heart-shaped if your forehead is the widest point on your face and your chin tapers down to a point. Balance out more narrow cheeks with highlights focused around the crown of your head. The lightest of your strobed lights should be around your chin to give the illusion of a rounder face.

4. Square

Your face is square-shaped if your forehead, cheekbones and jawline are about the same width and you’ve got a strong jawline. Sideswept bangs can work wonders to soften out a square-shaped face. In terms of strobing, place highlights evenly at the front of your hair. Highlights at the temples and cheekbones also helps to soften up your look.

Even highlights around Ciara’s face soften her jawline and give her a glow. (Take note: the baby bump surely helps)

How It’s Done:

Your colorist should work with color that is two shades darker or lighter than your natural hair color. This way, the colors can be sure to compliment your skin tone. This aspect is very important for achieving a natural look. The whole idea behind strobing is perfected effortlessness.

While I highly recommend utilizing a professional for hair strobing, the look can be done at home. It’s essential that you have a good eye for color and light (an artistic eye is preferable). Start with hair contouring by blending in your existing color to your natural tone.

Next, have a look in the mirror and decide where the natural light hits your hair and where your cheekbones begin. This will help you apply the contour (one or two shades lighter) to your hair so that your eyes pop.

To keep the look natural, section off parts of your hair and add highlights to create shade and light throughout your natural hair color.


It’s a little ironic that a low-maintenance look has taken the world by storm amidst all of the extensive contouring tutorials and body shaping that consumes our make-up and styling trends. However, strobing works because it looks beautiful on everyone. What is important is making sure that this brilliant coloring style lasts.

When it comes to hair strobing, as with all highlighted hair, the upkeep is essential. Doing so will help your color last longer so you won’t have to make as many trips to the salon. Look for shampoos and conditioners that help maintain color, like Pureology’s Hydrate line. It’s sulfate-free and has a patented Anti-Fade complex to help keep your salon color last longer. Pureology also offers treatments for brunettes, redheads and blondes (goodbye, brassy tones).

There’s really no reason why you shouldn’t try hair strobing the next time you color your hair. Most of us are already getting highlights at the salon, so why not use them to our fullest advantage? Looking and feeling your best is always a good idea.

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