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Highlights vs Babylights vs Lowlights

August 19, 2019

If the word "highlights" makes you think of Girls Aloud in 2003 or that time you went against your mum's advice and liberally applied Sun-In spray without a mirror, you're not alone. But it's time to leave the stigma of highlights behind and introduce you to the new generation of highlights, babylights and lowlights. Leave your past experiences at the door and find out which is right for you:


Applying highlights creates a natural sun-kissed look, whether that be a full head, half head or T section of highlights.

During highlights, your Stylist will section off pieces of hair, then apply a colour mix that is lighter than your natural hair or bleach and fold it into foils.
Using foils makes sure the colour does not leak onto other parts of your hair, whilst also encouraging the lightener to develop. Foils help to achieve an even colour as it saturates the hair completely in product.

Sections of your own hair are left out of the highlighting process to create a natural blend of colours. Often highlights are a maximum of 3 shades lighter than your natural hair to prevent the stripy zebra look.

A different method of applying highlights is with a cap. Creating highlights with a highlighting cap was a very popular method in the 60's and 70's, and is still sometimes used today. A highlighting cap has hundreds of small holes, through which your hair is pulled through, and then coloured. Our salon does not offer this method as it can be uncomfortable and we want our clients to have a relaxing and enjoyable experience at our salon.


Babylights are more delicate than highlights. The main difference between the two is that during babylights, your Stylist will highlight more sections of your hair. The sections are finer than normal highlights which creates a more natural blend of colours. Babylights will create more of a one tone colour, rather than highlights which will create a blend of a few colours.

They use the same method of foils however babylights will take longer and cost more as it is a more precise process. Babylights are a perfect way to make the sun-kissed summer hair glow last for longer or if you're after a more all over colour. Babylights are also often used for a big colour change, for example going from brown to blonde would require babylights as each bit of hair needs to be lightened.


Lowlights are the opposite of highlights. There is no lifting involved, lowlights are all about creating a bit of depth by adding darker colour to the hair. To achieve this; your Stylist will either apply foils, a balayage or softly apply the darker colour to the root in a root melt. When used together, highlights and lowlights should create a smooth blend of colour, perfect for adding texture to fine hair. 

Root melt:

Adding on a darker root to your fresh babylights may seem counter productive if you're going for the sun-kissed vibe. However, a root melt (sometimes called a shadow root) that closely matches your natural hair and blends with your new colour will prevent the harsh regrowth line that requires trips to the salon every 4-6 weeks.

Adding a root melt is a reasonably quick process (roughly takes 20-30 minutes) that doesn't require foils and rounds off your new colour beautifully.

Where are these services available?

Our Exeter hair salon specialises in colour! If you would like to discuss your hair with one of our expert stylists, you can book in for a free consultation here, or call us on 01392 499162. We can't wait to hear from you ❤️

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