Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Highlights explained

Hello beauties!

Before we get to the post today, I'd like to send a massive shoutout to my bestie, Liani, who's having her birthday today! Liani, I hope you have a fabulous day, filled with love and good things, and that you thoroughly enjoy every moment of it. Next year this time, you'll have an almost-one-year-old to share in your joy too! I love you lots and I'll see you soon!!

We're continuing with our hair basics today with an explanation of different kinds of highlights. Please just keep in mind that I'm not a hair-professional of any sort. I do makeup, not hair. What I write here is learned by searching the web and getting the opinions of professionals. OK? OK. :) With that out of the way, lets get straight to it.

Before we get to the different kinds of high- and lowlights, just a basic explanation of the methods that can be used to create these effects.

Foil high- / lowlights are achieved by placing strands of hair and the bleach / dye into foil strips, which helps to accelerate the bleaching / dyeing process. With this method, different colours can be used at the same time and this is more precise, because the colourist can place each colour exactly where he / she wants it.

Cap high- / lowlights are achieved by placing a punctured rubber cap on the hair. The hair is pulled through these holes with a hooked needle (kind of like the needle you crochet with). This can be done at random, for softer, less obvious high- / lowlights, or in a specific pattern. The exposed hair is then bleached or dyed to get the desired effect. Only one colour can be used at a time in this method, and this is more suitable for shorter hair, because it can cause damage to longer hair when pulling the strands through the cap.

*Free-hand / Balayage
In this method, the colourist paints the bleach / dye onto the strands of hair freely. The hair is parted in the style the person usually wears it, and the freehand high- / lowlights are painted onto the hair. The painted hair isn't wrapped in foils, or covered in any way. This method created very soft high- / lowlights, which aren't as structured as foil highlights, and created the least obvious effect. It's almost as if the sun bleached the hair naturally.

OK, now onto the stuff you want to ask your hairdresser for.

Highlights :

Highlights are streaks of colour in the hair, one or two shades lighter than the natural haircolour. This can be done in many different ways, which I'll explain as we go along. But the basic highlight is one we've all (or most of us anyway) had in our lives.

The reason to get highlights done is to create a subtle difference in tones in your hair colour (natural or not), which creates multi-dimensions. This is the same reason to get lowlights done, which we'll talk about next.

Lowlights :

Lowlights are streaks of colour in the hair, one or two shades darker than the natural haircolour. As with highlights, this can be done in many different ways, but most people incorrectly refer to lowlights as highlights as well. For example, if you have blonde hair and you put in red highlights, you're really lowlighting your hair. But because the general populace refers to this as 'highlighting', your stylist should know what you're asking for anyway.

To sum up, any colour stripe you dye into your hair darker than your current hair colour, is a lowlight.

Please keep in mind that all the following techniques can be done with both bleach and dye, making each of these options suitable as high- / or lowlights.

* Chunks
This is when larger or thicker pieces of hair is separated into the foils, creating very obvious chunks of high- / lowlights. The hair can be dyed / bleached into various shades and colours to create a pretty diverse look. But this look is higher maintenance, as the roots have to be touched up every three or so weeks (depending on how fast your hair grows).

* Peek-a-boo / slicing
This is when the dye / bleach is placed underneath other hair (aka it doesn't start at the top of your head), and the high- / lowlights peek out from underneath your other hair. This is a pretty low maintenance look, because the roots of the coloured / bleached hair can't be seen, as it's covered by other hair.

*Face framing
This is when the high- / lowlights are done in such a manner that they frame the face, meaning it's focussed around the face, and not all over the head. Which is how it differs from ombre, but I'll get to that in a moment. This is another kind of highlight that's pretty low maintenance, because the high- / lowlights don't tend to start at the root. I've also heard people refer to this as butterfly highlights.

This is when the lower half of the hair is dyed / bleached a contrasting colour to the top half, with the colours fading into one another gradually and creates a gradient.This goes all the way around the head, unlike face framing highlights which focus on the parts around the face. You all know ombre, because it's still the biggest trend around, so I won't prattle on about it for much longer. And you probably guessed it, this is a low maintenance look, because the roots don't have to be retouched every so often.

Sources :

And that's a wrap for today. I hope you found this informative, and you'll know what to ask for when you go to the salon next time!!

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,


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