The royal-approved hair trend which will make you look instantly more radiant

Queen Mary of Denmark showcased her new highlights at her husband's 56th birthday
Queen Mary of Denmark showcased her new highlights at her husband's 56th birthday - UK Press

Face-framing highlights – or ‘money pieces’, as Gen Z-ers have labelled them – is the hair colour equivalent of using a brightening face mask. While they were popularised by the likes of Beyoncé and Bella Hadid, Queen Mary of Denmark debuted a regal take on the look on May 26 when she stepped out onto the Palace balcony for husband King Frederik’s 56th birthday.

The effect of slightly lighter strands around the face is a tried-and-trusted technique deployed by colourists to add a brightening effect to a hairstyle. Jennifer Aniston has long been a fan of face-framing highlights, too, whether they were part of her “Rachel” style in the 90s or the shorter bob style she’s currently sporting at 55. Although younger celebrities such as Sofia Richie and Kylie Jenner favour larger sections of brighter hair colour for a more obvious look, subtle face-framing highlights offer an excellent beautifying effect in midlife.

Jennifer Aniston has long been a fan of face-framing highlights
Jennifer Aniston has long been a fan of face-framing highlights - FilmMagic

“Face-framing colour is the perfect introduction to colour if you’re colour-shy, and is a subtle way to shake up your look,” says Cos Sakkas, who is the global creative director of Toni & Guy. “It’s a softer take on the chunky highlights trend and the great thing is it can be applied to all hair types and lengths.”

'Applied to all hair types and lengths': Sofia Richie is a younger adopter of the style
'Applied to all hair types and lengths': Sofia Richie is a younger adopter of the style - WWD

The beauty with face-framing highlights is that your colourist can customise the colour to suit your skin tone, as the right shade will brighten your complexion. “The key is to have them look as naturally sun-kissed as possible,” adds Sakkas, who describes the highlights as “make-up contouring but for the hair”. These highlighted pieces can accentuate your skin tone, jawline and cheekbones.

“These highlights are the first thing people will notice as they frame the face and give long hair a luxe finish when combined with a smooth blow dry, and soft waves,” says Sakkas.

'Your colourist can customise the colour to suit your skin tone,' Haria writes
'Your colourist can customise the colour to suit your skin tone,' Haria writes - WireImage

Seniz Alkan, a senior colourist at Neville Hair & Beauty explains that these “money pieces” are like instant radiance-boosters for your hair. “By adding lighter strands around your face, you create a bright, dimensional effect that draws attention to your best features,” she says. If you’re blonde, aim for shades that are just a few tones lighter than your base colour. This subtle contrast enhances dimension without looking too stark.

Meanwhile brunettes can play with bolder contrasts, explains Alkan, with caramel, honey, or even blonde shades working well – much like Queen Mary of Denmark’s style. “This creates a striking effect that really pops,” she says.

For any hair colour, a balayage method (whereby strands of hair are painted) can work wonders, as it allows for a soft blend that looks natural and sun-kissed. It will also grow out naturally without needing frequent top-ups. Sophisticated and royal-approved, indeed.

Advertisement