By Master Stylist Vicki Ogden-O’Fee
Highlights in hairdressing can be quite a broad term.
This week I am writing on:
- What, Who and Why you would have highlights.
- Looking after highlights and the importance of a toner service with your highlights.
- Before and after of clients having Highlights is salon at V For Hair and Beauty Merivale.
WHAT are highlights
- Hair highlighting is changing a person’s hair colour, using lightener or hair colouring to colour the hair strands. There are different types of highlights, these include: foil highlights, free hand hair painting, streaking through a streaking cap, and slices/panel work to accentuate your hair style. Highlights can be done in natural or vibrant colours.
- The difference between highlights and streaks is that while in highlights thin slices of hair are taken to colour them, streaks involve thicker volume of hair pulled through a streaking cap, this is a good technique on very short hair. Though highlights are sleek, streaks give bolder appearance to the face. Since highlights can be weaved a lot thinner, they can impart a softer look.
- Highlights vs foils Foil/ highlights they are the same thing and involve sectioning off hair and weaving strands — thick or thin depending on the look you’re going for — and painting them with a lightening agent before wrapping them in foil.
WHY should have highlights
- If you would like to go lighter, the recommendation is to do highlights or baby lights. If you are thinking about going darker, you want to build dimension in the hair by going with lowlights.” … If your eyes are grey, green, or even brown with lighter flecks of colour, blonde highlights are a good choice for you.
- Highlights are a great way to accentuate your haircut/style. They can give a three-dimensional look and give the appearance of more/thicker hair when done on fine haired client.
- Highlights are a great way to help disguise new growth and from having a harsh regrowth line when you have had a base colour. Highlights can be done at the same time as a base colour or at the next visit to give your base colour longevity.
- Highlights can be used when going grey gracefully when done in the correct way they can be a beautiful way to accentuate grey hair.
- Highlight are the perfect way to lighten and brighten your hair and you can accentuate your facial features.
WHO can have highlights
- People who are wanting to start experimenting with colour that haven’t had any hair colour before. Highlights are a great way for Males and females to brighten and lighten the hair.
- Highlights are a good option for students or anyone on a budget as the maintenance can be done to match your budget.
- Fashion conscious people who want the latest style and look.
TONER – to tone or not to tone is often the question?
When you have blonde hair it’s ideal to have it healthy shiny and bright, not many people want flat matt blonde hair. Some people end up with flat matt blonde hair through incorrect advice on low lighting and toning.
Many clients ask why I need a toner. Well when hair is lightened it has had the cuticle opened and the natural and or pre coloured pigment removed to the desired level. Sometimes getting to this desired level needs to be done over several appointments.
Clients hair lightened and dried off before toner applied.
Same client with cool champagne toner, hair is shiny and beautiful.
Toners are used for several reasons…
- Once the hair is lightened it is in its raw state and a toner needs to be applied to achieve the desired tone.
- Sometimes we need to use a toner to counteract unwanted tones e.g. if the hair is reflecting too much gold reflect.
- Another reason we tone is to deposit a fashion tone this can be chosen from a huge array of colours, some of these include natural ash, pearl, soft auburn, creamy beige, violet, champagne, soft raspberry.
- Many clients change the tone of their blonde at different salon visits depending on the season, fashion or simply to just change things up a bit.
Simply applying silver shampoo is not a substitute for toning, silver or coloured shampoos should be used in conjunction with a toning service along with a good colour care conditioner and regular in-salon and at home treatment for maintenance.
By toning the hair, it deposits pigment back into the raw blonde, gives shine and a great reflect. A toner is a great way to also smudge new growth at say 4 weeks after the initial highlight service, clients come back at 4 weeks have the toner reapplied this deposit the desired pigment again and adds shine and lustre with the bonus of smudging new growth.
To maintain a great blonde, we recommend that every three to four months having a deep cleanse service to lift all unwanted pigment and leftover toner, so you are starting on a fresh palate again.
Creating and maintaining a beautiful blonde initially, can take several appointments at the hair salon, and is an ongoing art perfecting this with your regular stylist. Having a regular stylist is a huge factor to creating a great blonde as they know your hair history.
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