Not every look or makeover requires all-over colour, which is where hair highlights and lowlights come in. Highlights are achieved by placing the colour on various, carefully selected, segments of the hair to help create depth, tone, and shade in your natural hair colour. The chunky-looking, stripy highlights of the past are no longer the biggest trend, now a more dimensional, subtle look has become the go-to way to help refresh tired locks. Instead of being limited to one type of highlights, there are quite a few you can choose from – with each referred to by a specific name. Some of the most popular include:
Ombré hair colour is gently graduated from roots to tip, or the other way around. Ombré can be done in either bright colours, or natural hues. For a natural look an ombre application usually leaves your natural colour at the top and gradually fades into a lighter highlighted tone towards the ends of your hair. Get the best of both worlds with lighter and darker tones, or use bright dye to add some colour to the end to change it up a little.
Balayage is one of the most popular salon techniques these days. It involves painting the highlights on by hand with a brush. This technique focuses on highlighting where the sun would naturally hits your strands mimicking natural summer highlights, elevating your colour and adding dimension.
Lighter strands not your thing? Opt for lowlights instead. While ‘lowlights’ might sound counterintuitive when it comes to building dimension through highlights, adding darker tones can create a dynamic look. Instead of lightening sections of your hair, this technique uses darker tones in a similar method of application for a new look without a full head commitment.
Most highlights for hair are done with permanent colour, but they are much easier to change out than a full-coverage dye job. If you’re an at-home hair colour novice, it’s usually best to consult a professional colourist before trying out a new hair highlighting technique.