Lowlights involve darkening strands of hair by using colours that are darker than your natural colour. In contrast, highlights use colours that are lighter than your natural shade.
After a bit of extra light in your hair? Whether you want to restore radiance to dull hair or just fancy a change of colour, lowlights and highlights are the easiest way to transform your shade to something altogether much more interesting. But which one is right for you and what do you need to know before you commit to your new colour?
Lowlights and highlights are essentially partial colouring techniques, adding a different shade to certain strands of hair so your barnet ends up having depth, texture and various complementary hues.
The technique used differs from black colour hair dyeing and involves sectioning off the hair to target the parts you want transformed. This way you can have a multi-hued more natural looking finish.Celebs like Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lawrence are great ambassadors for highlights and lowlights as their hair is always full of light and dark accents which adds body, movement and interest to their lush locks.
Highlights or lowlights are perfect if you want to give your barnet a bit of a colour boost, they’re also a great way to start off dyeing your hair for the first time as you retain some of your natural shade too.
To achieve highlights your hair dresser will use a paste usually containing a bleaching agent and peroxide. They then apply it to the hair using a special brush and either foils (strips of foil or plastic used to separate strands of hair from the rest) or a cap (where hair is pulled through little holes – although this technique is more rare).They allow you to have a sun-kissed effect with lighter strands running through your hair in a just-back-from-holiday hue. They’re also great for lighting up the face; illuminating and injecting life into your hair’s colour can work wonders for your skin tone! It’s advised to have them done before the summer to prevent the colour changing after exposure to the sun.
People with all hair types can have lowlights and highlights, whether it’s straight, curly or frizzy. On curls, this technique gives more depth and on the straightest of hair, it gives the illusion of more volume. It’s true that blonde lowlights and highlights are a big trend but more chocolatey tones are also very popular – think Kristen Stewart or Mila Kunis. As well as the classic lowlight/highlight technique, there are variations to play with too. “Dip-dye” hair colour, which involves lowlights on the roots and highlights on the ends, is one trend that keeps on going – and is a fun way to play with colour – just check out Olivia Palermo!
Lowlights/highlights don’t work that well on very short hair. If hair’s too short, it won’t create the effect of depth and volume you want, rather it can end up looking messy and disconnected.