Dyeing Your Hair Tips: Highlights, Lowlights, Or Both?

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Dying Your Hair

So you want to change your hair color. It could be due to those unsightly gray or white hairs that are showing up with age. Or it could be that you are just in the mood for a change, however subtle it may be. That's great. Now you have a few options to choose from. Do you color it all one color? Maybe you will get highlights and lowlights? How about both?

Before you make this decision, you will want to know the basics of these coloring techniques and the methods used to apply such color. It is also helpful to understand what the differences are. This knowledge, in combination with a few photos of hair you really like, will ensure that the stylist gets your hair right and styles it to just how you want it.

Hair dye is the coloring agent that is used to color hair. These dye colors come in a menagerie of shades and tones ranging from dark to light. Some are natural-looking colors like a blonde, brown or black, while others are bright and even neon-like such as pink, blue, green or purple. Most often, people choose to get highlights and lowlights put into their hair. These are not a solid coloring of every strand of hair on your head. Instead, they are strands of either a higher or lower color of hair that are woven throughout your hair to add dimension, volume, and depth.

There are several ways that highlights and lowlights are applied to hair, each with differing results. A good stylist should be able to use each of these techniques to achieve your desired look. Even if you don't know the names or understand the ins and outs of them, your stylist can judge which one, or a combination of both, should be used on your hair based on the results you want.



This technique is typically used when you want a thicker, more chunky approach to highlights and lowlights. Balayage is also the choice for those that prefer a more natural or carefree color option. Since this is done freehanded, there is less symmetry in the coloring of your hair. This gives you a more dramatic and casual look. Your stylist will do this by taking swatches of hair and painting on a lightening or darkening agent.

After each piece of hair is painted, it is wrapped in cellophane. This process is continued around the head until the desired amount of hair is colored. The balayage approach tends to be defined by lighter tips and sometimes a more ombre look. However, this method uses more peroxide than the foil method (which we will talk about next), so it isn't for everyone.



If you are looking for a typically blonder look and one that is more symmetrical, you opt to go with foils. Foils are done on top and underneath the hair and tend to blend more easily with your base or natural hair colors. This works to give you a more even distribution of color. This process is done by sectioning the hair into swatches, similar to the balayage method.

Then, however, the stylist will leave that hair into thick or thin strands depending on your preference. These strands are then painted with highlights and lowlights and wrapped in foil. This foil both protects the surrounding hair from getting color on it and ensures that the wrapped hair stays wet and strong. Some stylists prefer this method because it gives a more controlled and exact look to the hair color. However, this is an option that is completely up to you, as it is your hair.


Why Is It Used?

Hair dye or color is used to achieve many looks and changes in your hair's color. For many people, hair dye is used to cover up or disguise gray or white hairs that start to grow and become visible as we age. No one likes to look old. So, to avoid this look and add some youth back to their appearance, people choose to color their hair to what it used to be. Some may even experiment with other colors as well.

However, often times people will dye their hair just to change their look, whether they have any age-related factors. For example, if they have naturally blonde hair and are looking for a change, they may opt to have their hair dyed a darker shade of brown or may even go jet black. Some people want dramatic, appearance-shattering changes, while others just want to add a touch of something lighter or darker here and there. Highlights and lowlights can do so much to change really the look or your hair.


About Highlights And Lowlights



Highlights are classified as any color you put into strands of your hair that is lighter than the natural or base color of your hair. There is a common misconception that highlights have to blonde. That is not the case. Simply any lighter color will do. This makes your choices of highlight color even more numerous. For those that want a subtle change, you and your stylist can choose colors that are near your original or base color but still lighter. This will allow your color to not look as dramatic as if you chose a color is that is several shades lighter. For example, if you have dark brown hair, you can opt to go with a caramel or copper tone.

This might be a better alternative for you rather than going with blonde highlights that are at least three shades lighter than your hair. If you already have very light colored hair, this might not be the best option for you as a lighter shade may be harder to find and make any difference in your hair. This is a popular choice for the summer months when you want your hair and skin to have that perfect sun-kissed look without having to spend a lot of time under those harmful UV rays.



Lowlights are just the opposite. They are classified as any color that is darker than your natural or base hair color. These colors, just like highlights, are strands of color that are woven throughout your hair. These tend to work a little better on lighter shades of hair as it may be difficult to find a shade or tone darker than already dark natural hair color. Adding lowlights to your hair adds dimension and depth to your hair. It can also make it seem more natural. If you look at a child's hair, you will notice several shades of hair that appear naturally.

If you have ever dyed your hair a solid color or have done lots of highlighting, your hair may pretty much be all one shade or tone. To add a more natural look your stylist, can add lowlights that add subtlety to your hair. This will also keep you from having to come in for a touch up every six weeks due to your darker roots. These lowlights will keep these darker roots looking natural and tie everything together more seamlessly. Lowlights are often a choice made in the winter months when lighter shades of hair can make your paler skin look more washed out. The added darker colors help to add a warmer tone to your skin while still allowing your hair to have that natural sun-kissed look you want.


both with highlights and lowlights

Many people get both highlights and lowlights when they color their hair. This adds even more dimension and can also add the look of volume to your hair. Your stylist can talk with you about all the color options and the tones you could or want to go with. For example, you may get some highlights on the top to frame your face, while also getting some lowlights underneath to add a more natural dimension to your hair. Some may choose to get highlights and lowlights in bright vibrant colors as well. However, as we stated before, those with either very light hair or very dark hair may have some difficulty with this.



No matter what method you choose to color your hair with and what color you dye it, the choice is completely up to you. It's your canvas to paint how you want. Just remember to do some research on what styles and methods you like the best. You may find that you like chunkier highlights and lowlights and, therefore, go with a balayage coloring technique. Or maybe you want a little more precision and symmetry in your color, like that found in using foils.


Choose at least one, maybe even a few photos of hairstyles and colors that you really like to take with you to the salon. These will go a long way in helping your stylist understand exactly what look or end result you are going for. They may also be able to help you narrow down your choices to get the perfect look for you and your hair needs no matter the season or occasion. Highlights and lowlights can be a fun way to get rid of those pesky grays or just make a few subtle changes. Look into your options and see what hair possibilities await you.

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