Halo Hair Color: Techniques, Styles and More


stylist doing client hair

Source: Tyler Olson |

Multi-toned hair has gained a cult following over the years, and it’s no secret as to why people with all hair types, lengths and styles are loving it. Utilizing multiple shades of professional hair color has a great track record for enhancing natural hues and producing reliable, positive results time after time. Some popular hair techniques that commonly use more than one shade of hair color (or a single shade of hair color in addition to a visible or semi-visible base or natural color) include traditional highlighting, lowlights, balayage, ombré hair, toning and more. One technique in particular, known as halo hair color, is a unique combination of other multi-shade techniques and styles like face-framing highlights, babylights and balayage

The idea behind halo hair color is similar to that of traditional highlights, which aim to literally “highlight” or define via brightness. While traditional highlighting techniques can range from partial to full head application (and many levels in between), the halo technique focuses on specifically brightening the area around the face with blonde highlights to create a contoured and well-lit look at all times. Read on to learn more about halo hair color, inspiration and techniques.

Are Halo Highlights the Same as Balayage?

Though they might seem similar in style, the balayage vs. highlights comparison shows a few key differences between the two techniques. Most notably, balayage is a more involved technique that usually involves a stylist hand painting color onto hair. While varying in shade and intensity, a balayage look is distinct and mostly focuses on the lower region of the hair, while highlighting techniques, shades, intensity and overall placement can vary based on client preference and intended results. 

Halo Highlights vs. Money Pieces

Both money pieces and halo highlights frame the face for a brightening effect but with distinct looks. The money piece is a bold statement featuring a thick, chunky section of lightened hair near the hairline. It creates a high-contrast, fashion-forward look. Halo highlights, on the other hand, are all about subtlety. They consist of much finer sections of lighter hair concentrated around the face and crown, creating a soft, diffused glow. Think of the money piece as a spotlight and the halo as a gentle illumination. The choice ultimately depends on your client’s desired level of drama and maintenance.

halo hair style 2

@thesavvytouch via Instagram powered by Squarelovin

Halo Hair Color Technique

Halo hair color is a unique look because it targets the sections of hair closest to the face — and sometimes only those sections — in order to draw attention to the face and contour the face shape using light hair color. Blondes aren’t the only ones who can have fun with this hair color trend, either. Any hair shade — from light ash blonde to brown or even black — can have halo hair color with the help of a stylist and the appropriate hair products. 

The idea of halo hair color remains the same for those with darker hair. Instead of the face-framing color as blonde, the accent highlight would instead be a shade that is a few levels lighter than the darker base color, whether it’s brunette, auburn, dark brown or a bright creative hue. In order to lighten the darker base color, it’s necessary to use a salon-trusted professional hair lightener. Once the lightener has lightened the sections of hair to the desired shade, the lighter shade of hair color can be applied and easily seen when styled.

Maintaining Halo Highlights and Color

The halo technique’s magic lies in its low-maintenance nature. Unlike full-head highlights, the halo’s strategic placement keeps the grow-out less noticeable, with less hair lightened, particularly at the hairline and around the crown. Plus, the blended look prioritizes a transition between lightened areas and your client’s natural hair, softening the contrast between roots and highlights. Even as their hair grows, the strategically placed highlights around their face continue to flatter their features, further minimizing the need for frequent touch-ups. The halo technique offers a gradual, low-maintenance way to achieve a beautiful, sun-kissed look that lasts, and it looks amazing with just about any hairstyle.

To keep your client’s hair looking great between appointments, the only thing they need to do is use quality professional hair care products formulated for color-treated hair. Advise them to use a deep-conditioning hair mask once a week or so to keep their lightened hair from drying out. It’s really that easy! 

Styling Halo Hair

Whether you have blonde hair or brown hair, halo hair color and highlights are simply angelic. Perhaps that’s one reason why Victoria’s Secret angels have donned the halo hair look through the years. When styling halo-inspired locks, keeping the look soft and luscious is best to enhance the face-framing brightness. Popular styling techniques associated with this look include brushed curls that move away from the face, soft waves and even more feminine beachy hair looks with lots of texture and body. This color technique even looks great in simple updos like ponytails, so your client won’t have to spend tons of time watching hair tutorials and mastering techniques to show off their halo highlights in style. No matter how the halo hair look is styled, it’s sure to brighten the face and look great in person and in photos. 

halo hair style 3

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Final Thoughts

The original halo technique focuses on strategically placed highlights around the crown and hairline, creating a flattering “halo” effect. This technique differs from traditional highlights as it doesn’t cover the entire head, and the low-maintenance nature of halo highlights makes them perfect for busy lives. Talk to your clients about their hair color goals, and you will help them achieve the glowing halo highlights they crave. You’ll be amazed at just how this simple change lightens up their entire face.


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