One of the most asked questions about color in the salon is: “what kind of highlights work for me?” Many women don’t know the difference between highlights and lowlights, let alone the various techniques used to achieve the look of them, or the different effects each type gives. Before you step foot in the salon asking for highlights, arm yourself with the basic knowledge (and a photo!) first.
Highlighting is a term used to describe the placement of bleach/lightener to certain parts of the hair to give dimension. More often than not, highlights are looked at as being blonde. However this is not always the case, as highlights are more simply defined as hair lighter than the base color.
The type of highlights you receive are highly dependent on a few different things. Those being, the look you want, how light you want to go, your hair type, and most importantly: your current hair color. Keep in mind that when going from dark hair with a desire to go lighter, patience is key. If your colorist suggests a few sessions, take their advice! We’re not all Kim Kardashian, we can’t go from Black to Platinum in one day (and we STILL don’t even know how she did it).
“Balayage” is actually a French word, which means “to sweep” or “to paint.” It allows for a sun-kissed natural-looking hair color, similar to what nature gave us as children. The balayage technique has been the hair game changer from 2014 up until the present. No longer do we think of highlights as awful stripes in our hair! Balayages are best for extremely thick, coarse hair. It’s used for a more casual, grown in type of look, also known as “beach hair.” Because this technique doesn’t require foils, a higher level of peroxide is used to ensure enough levels of lift are given. This technique is also great for those who want less maintenance, as when it grows out, it looks natural and gradual.
Ombre for Dayssss:
“Ombre” is the French word for shadow. It’s described as the transition from darker hair to lighter hair. The “Sombre” is also a type of ombre, however it’s more subtle, whereas a typical ombre is much more dramatic. In comparison to the balayage, there are no dark pieces going throughout the ends with an ombre, so in a sense, there’s less dimension. Unlike the balayage, the ombre does tend to have a heavier maintenance load. As it grows out, the hair color may look more harsh as well. This is a very tedious technique for your stylist, and definitely should be done by a professional colorist (that EVVEMI can match you to!). We’re trying to accomplish the ombre, NOT the homebre ladies!
If a high contrast or symmetrical look is your desired aesthetic, foiled highlights may be for you! Foiling is done by slicing/weaving strands, and saturating them with bleach/lightener before being placed inside foils to process. Foils are needed in order to avoid the lightener touching darker parts of your hair. This allows more control over where the highlights will be placed, much more so than the balayage, which is freehand painted. A multi-dimensional look can be achieved with just the use of different peroxide levels in varied areas. In addition to foiling with lightener, you can also foil with darker colors to add into darker pieces which will provide even more dimension.