Highlights 101: Different Ways to Brighten Your Hair

woman sitting in a salon chair after a hair appointment


Explore Different Hair Highlight Techniques Before Your Next Salon Appointment

Hair highlights add dimension and enhance your hair by blending strands of lighter colors throughout your tresses. Highlights are one of the most popular coloring techniques. If you walk into just any salon and ask for highlights, your stylist will probably have a few questions for you to determine exactly what you’re looking for, especially with techniques that deliver varying results. Hair highlights can make a statement, change your look, or enhance your natural features. Get hair highlights to accentuate your facial features, compliment your skin tone, or even throw in a bright color to really stand out in the crowd!

Highlights for hair never go out of style – there are endless ways you can enhance and bring out your natural hair using highlights. Plus, it’s a versatile way to change up your look! Depending on the color of your hair, different highlighting techniques and colors will look different. These popular highlight techniques may be right for you; ask your hair stylist for a highlight consultation to learn more about each.

Foil Hair Highlights

When you imagine highlights for hair, the foil technique is likely what you think of. Depending on your hair color and type, your stylist will apply lightener to your hair and wrap strands in foil, resulting in the brightening of treated hair.

The best thing about foil highlights is you get to decide how much or how little you highlight, and where your highlights go. Highlights for brown hair are typically done using foil, since it takes more lightener to lift the color. This is a precise method that’s perfect won’t disappoint even the pickiest of people!

Balayage Hair Highlights

This advanced coloring technique uses brushed-on hair highlights to create a perfectly blended, sun-kissed look.

This is a free-hand technique, meaning your stylist does not use aluminum foil like traditional highlights. The stylist brushes the dye directly onto your hair to create a natural lightening effect.

Balayage is great for anyone who wants low maintenance hair highlights. Even as your hair grows out, the balayage will keep the subtle, natural look.

Ombre Hair Highlights

Ombre hair highlights create a subtle gradient that gets lighter from the roots down. This is a popular style you’ve probably seen but haven’t known what to call it! Ombre highlights can be done with an array of colors and hues, which makes them perfect for everyone.

Your stylist will paint on the highlights, gradually adding more hue and brightness toward the ends of your hair. This is a delicate process that takes a skilled colorist, so make sure you find a stylist you can trust!

Babylight Hair Highlights

Babylights are a subtle, easy way to add just a touch of brightness to your hair. These work best as blonde hair highlights, as the light, subtle pieces add dimension and depth.

However, with brown hair, you get a very natural, blended look because the highlights are much thinner and softer! The softness of these hair highlights create a youthful look – they’re called babylights because of their natural, child-like pattern!

Chunky Hair Highlights

Chunky hair highlights have made a huge comeback since the 1990s, and for good reason. These highlights aren’t meant to blend into your hair; they’re meant to stand out!

The highlighted sections are wider than average and starkly contrast against your natural hair. This is a fun and flirty style that’s perfect for anyone who wants a nostalgic, yet trendy look.

Peek-a-boo Hair Highlights

Peek-a-boo highlights are perfect for that indecisive person who isn’t quite sure what style they want. When you get these highlights for your hair, your stylist strategically places them on your underlayers. This hides the highlights when your hair is down, but when you style your hair in different ways, you get to show off the brightened pieces!

Face-Framing Hair Highlights

Face-framing highlights add brightness to the hair that frames your face. This opens up your face and is a great way to make a subtle statement. This style is a natural way to lighten your hair. Plus, the upkeep is surprisingly easy. You don’t need to worry about your roots showing through or maintaining all-over hair highlights; simply refresh your framing pieces, and you’re good to go!

Get Your New Hair Highlights at a Local Salon Near You

When you have an idea of what kind of highlights you like, it’s best to go to a professional salon for a consultation and to perform the coloring service.

At-home hair highlights can be risky. Plus, many of these techniques require in-depth skills, specific chemicals and important tools you likely don’t have at home!

Make sure to ask your stylist about after-care for your highlights and book future appointments so your highlights stay fresh and glossy!

Not sure what would look best on you? Expert stylists can assess your hair and guide you in the right direction. No matter what, there’s a highlighting style for every hair color and style.