Everything You Need to Know About Hair Highlights
Have you been thinking about getting highlights? Highlighting can give your hair more depth and volume, brighten your complexion and enhance your facial features.
To create hair highlights, bleach or another lifting agent is used to remove colour from selected hair strands. A toner is then added to create a new, delicate colour on those strands while leaving the rest of the hair alone.
There are many different types of highlighting to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Foil highlighting is a classic form of highlighting that uses foils to separate the strands of dyed hair from the rest of the hair. You can use foils to create lowlights as well as highlights. Lowlights are darkened hair strands. Darkening selected strands of hair can give your hair more dimension.
To create foil highlights, the colourist picks sections of hair to highlight. She takes each section, places it over a square of foil and then applies lightener to the hair with a brush. She then folds the foil over the lightened section of hair, so unselected hair remains untouched
Using foils makes it easy for the colourist to control the placement of the lightener and ensure that it is placed evenly all over the head. She can create highlights ranging in width from thin to chunky, depending on your preference.
Foil highlighting can be time consuming, as the colourist has to place each foil correctly.
When your roots grow out, they will be noticeable, so you may need frequent touchups.
Cap highlighting involves using a hook to thread hair through holes in a plastic cap. Lightener is applied to the hair that is pulled through the cap.
This technique is simple, compared with other highlighting techniques. Because the holes in the cap are prepunched, the colourist does not have to decide where on the head to put the highlights. Its ease of use makes cap highlighting a preferred method for at home highlighting.
The colourist can control the placement of colour somewhat by adjusting the amount of hair that is pulled through each hole. However, there is not as much control as with foil highlights.
If you have long or curly hair, it can be painful for your hair to be pulled through the cap. The cap itself can be uncomfortable to wear and difficult to take off. Removing it can rip some of your hair strands.
This is an older technique, and one that we don't offer in our hair salon.
Ombre and Balayage
Ombre and balayage are two highlighting techniques that involve leaving hair darker at the roots and lightening the hair between the middle and the ends. With ombre, the colourist selects strands and then lightens them from the ends of the hair to middle, softening the colour as she moves up. To create balayage highlighting, the colourist uses a brush to paint only the front of hair strands, creating a sun-kissed look.
Balayage is a more subtle form of highlighting and is useful for creating a natural look, but not for creating a dramatic one. On the other hand, ombre highlights can range from subtle to dramatic, depending on the thickness of the blocks of colour that are created. If you have very straight hair, the transition from dark to light in ombre highlighting can be severe looking.
Both of these techniques require a great deal of skill, as the colourist must know exactly where and how to place the colour. However, once applied, both ombre and balayage highlights are very low maintenance. As hair at the roots is supposed to be darker, you can let your hair grow for a long time without having to return to the salon for a touchup.
If you’re worried that people might think you’ve neglected your roots, than ombre and balayage aren’t for you.
How to Choose a Colour
The colour of your highlights should complement the rest of your hair. Warm-toned hair requires warm highlights, while cool, ash highlights are best with cool-toned hair. You can lighten as little or as much as you want to. Choose a shade very close to your natural colour for a subtle, sun-kissed look or go for dramatic highlights that create a deep contrast with the rest of your hair. If you’re planning to create highlights more than two shades lighter than your natural hair, be careful - the chemicals needed for that degree of lightening can be damaging.
When applying highlights, a good colourist will use at least two different colours and vary the depth of the colour, so that highlights are lighter in some places and darker in others. This will give the hair a translucent quality.
Are you thinking about getting highlights? Visit the Hair Boutique on Gandy Street in Exeter for a free consultation with our hair colour specialist, or why not give us a call on 01392 499162. Colour specialists for hair highlights Exeter.