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Locks looking dull and drab? Give them a major boost with some color. Highlights and lowlights are a fierce way to enhance your hair without changing it completely. They can boost your natural glow and even make you look years younger. Get the dish on the difference between these two techniques and whether foils or balayage are the best application method.
Give flat color depth with a few strategically placed lowlights. This coloring technique works by adding darker shades to strands of hair to create warmth and dimension. It's the perfect option for switching up your look at the start of fall. As a bonus, the addition of color covers any unwanted grays. For the most natural look, stick to lowlights that mix warm and cool shades such as apricot, caramel and chocolate.
To look beautifully beachy, opt for highlights. This coloring technique mimics those pretty, lightened strands you get from sitting in the sun all day. They're the best choice for gals who want to give bland blond or mousey brown hair a super style kick. Highlights are created by stripping away the color in your hair. These brighter strands are fresh, summery and bring out your skin's natural glow. Don't go for too much contrast or you'll end up with skunk stripes. Instead, get highlights that are only two or three shades lighter than your base color.
This simple, straightforward method is the most popular way to apply both highlights or lowlights. After selecting strands of hair, the stylist places them on a piece of foil and then brushes on lightener or color before folding up the foil. The more strands of hair selected for each foil, the chunkier your highlights or lowlights will be. Foils are fab because they're painless and allow you to get closer to the root than other methods. That said, this technique should be trusted to a professional. In the hands of a novice, foiled strands can come out looking shockingly bad.
Balayage and Caps
For highlights and lowlights that feel spontaneous, ask for the balayage method. This free-form technique involves painting the color directly onto the hair, sans foil, with a special brush. The result is scattered pops of color that look best when applied to the top of your hair, rather than the underside. If you want to go really retro with your color application, ask to have your highlights or lowlights done with a cap. This almost extinct technique involves pulling the selected strands through a plastic cap with tiny holes before adding the color or lightener. Caps have fallen out of favor because they put stress on long strands and don't allow your colorist to get as close to the root as other methods.