In my years as a colorist, I am often surprised that a lot of clients don't really know the difference between a highlight and a lowlight, or the different techniques used to achieve the desired results. I have seen many clients that know the name of the process used (foil, bayalage) but they don't always understand what’s involved in each one. So before you go to the salon for a highlight or lowlight service, prepare yourself with some knowledge and please bring a photo.
“Highlights” is a term that refers to the strands of hair that are being lightened beyond the base color. Most commonly assumed that these are only blonde, but actually a highlight only refers to a color that is lighter than the base color. The size of the highlights, the lightness, the tone and the selection of placement are all up to the colorist to determine through the consultation process. Highlights are not a standard service, it is customized to the individual client. Some of the details a colorist will take into account are, the look you want to achieve, the texture of hair, how light you wish to go, and most important the condition of the hair. An understanding of the highlighting techniques as well as understanding lowlights will help you know what to ask for at your next color appointment.
Clients looking for a natural highlight look should consider Balayage. This technique is designed to create very natural looking highlights that grow out without developing a noticeable root line. Salons that offer this technique normally consider themselves artists in the craft of Balayage. Hair colored with this technique is hand painted on by the stylist in a sweeping motion that moves from the root to the ends, concentrating the coverage at the ends. The result is a color that looks naturally sunbleached. This process can be time consuming (normally 2-3 hours) and requires a steady hand and a good eye for color change. This end result can be subtle or more intense depending on the clients desires. This isn't just for blondes, it can also be applied to brunette’s and red heads. Pricing can vary.
Foil Highlights are ideal for clients looking for a symmetrical highlight (all over lightening). This technique can blend more with the natural or base color resulting in even distribution of lightening. Foil application involves sectioning and weaving strands (thick or thin)depending on the look you are going for. The foil serves to protect the lightening product from getting on the other hair sections and also keeps the product moist which aids in even color processing. A skilled colorist can achieve many different looks with the foil technique. Options are a full foil, partial or a few select foils for effect.
Lowlights unlike highlights add color to hair. Lowlights can be added to silver hair to bring more depth to the look or added to highlighted hair for depth and color that will appear more natural. Lowlights can be added to any base color for additional warmth to the hair. The application technique can be done with foil or with balayage. If you request a highlight and lowlight technique be prepared for an additional salon charge.
As stated earlier, if you are not sure what you want, bring a photo or two, a point of reference will assist the colorist in determining what look you are trying to achieve.
Coming Soon...Ombre’, Sombre’, BabyLights