Thinking of going lighter with your locks? Highlights for hair can bring out your bone structure and make hair shimmer in the sun, but go the wrong route and the look can make you look odd very quickly.
There is no better way to change up your look than to add in some subtle color, especially now that summer is here. Here are some tips of highlights.
Frame the face: With highlights, placement is key; always place the brightest and fattest highlights around the frame of the face. Highlights should be darker and sparser at the root and lighter at the tips—think ombré but way more subtle. The same way the sun would lighten hair naturally.
Have depth and dimension: Over highlighted hair that reads like one color is unsophisticated and flat looking. Highlights should vary in size and lightness and should accent your base color, not overpower it. Speaking of base color, make sure your highlights match your hair’s tone. If you have a warm base, then you should have a warm highlight. If you have a cool base, then your highlights should be sandy or beige, and if it is a neutral base color then your highlights can be either warm or cool.
Although dimension is good, too much variation can look unnatural, never have more the three shades woven in your hair—a base, a highlight, and a low light.
Don’t go too light: Don’t ever have your highlights match your skin tone; this will make you look boring. You always want contrast between your skin color and your hair color. You don’t want too much of a contrast between your base color and your highlights, either. Don’t ever have your highlights more than three levels lighter than the base color, or they will look stripy.
Do care for your highlights: Your gorgeous, golden highlights are an investment, so treat them like you would any other prized possession. Here are some maintenance tips, start with using a moisturizing, low-sulfate, color-safe shampoo and conditioner and washing hair less often. A dry shampoo is your highlighted hair’s best friend, and also, don’t forget to prep hair before heat styling with a thermal protector.
You should also deep condition your hair once a week with coconut oil. To use, microwave a teaspoon of the oil for a few seconds and apply it to damp hair for 15 minutes, and then wash out.
Lastly, wear a hat or scarf and use UV protective products if you will be in the sun. The sun fades paint jobs on cars and the cushions on your patio furniture, and it does the same to your hair color. Similarly, salt water and chlorinated pool are also hazardous to your highlights. Before swimming, coat hair with a protective oil as a barrier for the hair. Rinse with fresh water once you are back on dry land.