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Hair Hightlighting
by Doris Möller


Highlights Ideas. When to do Hair Highlighting and How to Choose the Best Hair Color for Your Hair Highlights


One of the best and most versatile ways of coloring hair is to have hair highlights. Having highlights can also be the most economical way to color your hair. The color does not wash out with every shampoo nor do you need to re-color the re-growth as often as with another permanent color. With highlights you want contrasting hair colors which includes your natural or base color. Usually the highlights are lighter than your base color. (When strands of hair are colored darker than your base color it is called "Lowlighting").

 Hair Highlights Ideas. They can give you the most natural looking hair colors or the most outrageous colors. Hair Highlights create three different effects and you may want to have an idea what kind you want and what would look good on you before you start. Let's have a look what effects you can achieve with highlights. (Also check out the article on this Web site, "How You Can Be Sure Your New Hair Color Really Suits You"

There are a several reasons why you may want to highlight your hair. One is to color small or large sections of your hair in a totally different color(s) than your base color. This will create a look that is extreme but can be great fun if that is all you are looking for. This method of "highlighting" is the new trend. However this type of highlighting is not intended to enhance your looks. It will not be congruent with the rest of you, your skin tone and your eye color. However if you want to go "crazy" with different hair colors and want people to notice you then this is the type of "highlighting" you want.

The second reason to highlight your hair is to lighten your hair. This is the best way to create stunning light blonde hair colors provided you are the right color-type. There are two color-types best suited for this kind of highlighting: the Soft-Cool (Summer) color-type and the Soft-Warm (Spring) color type. (Check out the different color-types in the article "How You Can be Sure That Your Hair Color Really Suits You" on this Web site).

If you are a Soft-Cool color-type your highlights should be light enough without looking yellow. When the highlights blend in with the rest of your hair color they create the most beautiful cool blondes which look much better than a one solid blond color. (Hair that is colored all over). The exception to this is white/gray hair that is colored very light blonde in one solid color. The trick to doing these highlights is to make sure that they are not too white or yellow. This type of highlighting also makes white/gray hair look very light blonde eliminating the gray look.

If you are a Soft-Warm (Spring) color-type and want to brighten your hair you can also benefit from this type of hair highlighting. But your hair highlights will be light gold, medium or dark gold. You can combine two colors such as a light and a darker gold. These color tones are amazingly striking and can make your whole face light up.

The third reason for highlighting your hair is to make your hair color more interesting. Remember that if you want to look your best you should always consider your color-type. For instance if you have brown or dark brown hair, you can add some red highlights. However, if you add so many highlights that your hair color looks more red than brown, the effect is lost because the color is wrong. Add enough strands to enhance the color, but not so many as to get a totally new tone.

Which highlighting technique is the best, streaking cap, foil, etc.?
Regardless of what highlighting technique is used, the main objective is to separate the hair strands or sections with the applied hair color from the hair that is not highlighted. No one method is the only method. Here are some basic techniques.

There is the streaking cap where strands (to be colored) are pulled through holes in the cap. This is a method that has been around a long time and works well. The addition of silicon caps has made this process more comfortable. It is best suited for short hair and one color highlights and, is much faster and less expensive than foil or Saran Wrap. (The hair should be colored close to the roots). If bleach is being applied at the same time as is done when using a streaking cap (for a very light blonde) it doesn't remain on the hair as long compared with foil. The shorter time the bleach is on, the better it is for your hair. Using a streaking cap is also better for the environment.

Then there is the method of highlighting hair with foil or Saran Wrap. Again, sections of hair which have color applied are wrapped in foil or Saran Wrap to avoid the colored hair coming in contact with the uncolored hair. The advantages of this method are that now you can have more than one tone and it is suitable for long hair.

Another highlighting technique involves the use of cotton wool to separate the colored hair from the uncolored hair.

The exception to the hair separating highlighting technique consists of "painting" highlights on your hair. In this case you dip a brush that looks like a mascara brush into the prepared color. Take a strand and lead it through the brush with the color and place it on your hair. You do not need to separate the sections of hair from each other because the strands of hair are placed on top of the head and not through the entire hair. It is almost impossible not to touch some of the hair underneath with the color of the hair that has been painted. When this occurs the color will "bleed" and make blotches on the hair underneath. "Painting" highlights is also called "balayage".

Should you have a toner on your highlights? A toner is often used at the end of the highlighting procedure to add a more intense tone or to neutralize a tone. (For example to eliminate yellow or orange). The disadvantage of using toners with highlighting is that they wash out after a few shampoos and you are left with a color that has changed. The highlighting should be done in such a way that a toner is unnecessary.

You'll find more information here on: How you can be sure your new hair color - highlights really suit you

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