Highlights vs. Lowlights: Everything You Need to Know


before and after hair with highlights

Source: Shumskayat |

The days of one-dimensional hair are long gone. Today’s clients crave locks with depth, personality and texture, but achieving flawless, Instagram-worthy strands can be tricky. The good news, though, is that you don’t need a magic wand to give your clients these coveted looks. Instead, it all boils down to mastering the art of dimensional color using professional hair color.

This is where highlights and lowlights come in. They open up a dazzling array of possibilities for creating customized masterpieces for every client who sits in your chair, and they’re the ticket to achieving the dimensional color everyone craves.

The Dynamic Duo: Highlights and Lowlights

Let’s break down these color techniques and unlock their secrets. Highlights are sections of hair strategically lightened using a professional hair lightener. This creates a bright, sun-kissed effect and adds a pop of color and dimension. Think of them as sunshine peeking through the strands. 

There’s a whole world of highlighting techniques at your disposal — from the ever-popular balayage (a natural, hand-painted effect) to the dramatic ombré (a stark contrast between dark roots and lightened ends) and the delicate babylights (fine, subtle highlights that mimic natural hair lightening).

Now, let’s talk lowlights. These are sections of hair darkened with a shade a few tones deeper than the natural hair color. They add depth and richness, mimicking the natural variations in hair color and creating a multi-dimensional effect. Picture lowlights as rich chocolate swirls woven throughout lighter brown hair. 

Choosing the Right Technique: Highlights vs. Lowlights

brunette hair with highlights via Instagram powered by Squarelovin

The key to unlocking the full potential of highlights and lowlights lies in a thorough consultation. This is where you, the hair magician, get to understand your client’s desires and translate them into a reality that flatters their features and complements their lifestyle.

Think of the consultation as a fun, collaborative brainstorming session. Consider your client’s natural hair color. Are they a brunette craving some summery light highlights or a blonde looking to add richness with lowlights? What’s their desired outcome? Do they want a dramatic transformation or a subtle touch of dimension? 

Hair health is also crucial. If your client has previously colored or damaged hair, lowlights might be a gentler option. Don’t forget to highlight (pun intended!) the importance of being transparent about their hair history. Previous coloring attempts can impact the lightening or darkening process.

Highlighting the Beauty of Brunettes and Blondes

Highlights can add a new dimension to rich brunette locks. Caramel or gold highlights add warmth and a sun-kissed glow, while ash or beige highlights introduce a cool, sophisticated touch.

Lowlights are a powerful secret weapon for blondes. Recommend them to combat brassiness, add richness and dimension and create a more natural, multi-dimensional blonde look. Think of them as bringing the blonde back to life with a touch of depth.

What About Redheads?

Redheads can rock highlights and lowlights, too! Experiment with both to enhance the vibrancy and depth of their fiery locks. A few blonde highlights can add a playful touch, while strategically placed lowlights can add richness and dimension to create a stunning, sultry look.

The Magic of Combining Highlights and Lowlights

Now, let’s talk about the real showstopper — combining highlights and lowlights. By using both techniques, you can create truly stunning, multi-dimensional color that looks like it was hand-painted by a hair artistry genius (which, of course, you are!).

Maintaining Luminous Highlights and Lowlights

hair style with highlights

@chloeatluxe via Instagram powered by Squarelovin

Educating your clients on proper aftercare is the key to helping them maintain their gorgeous new color. Explain the importance of using professional color-safe salon shampoos and conditioners to prevent color fade. These specially formulated products are gentle on color-treated hair and help lock in those beautiful highlights and lowlights. 

Deep conditioning treatments are important, too. Encourage your clients to incorporate them into their routine to keep their hair hydrated and prevent breakage, especially after highlighting.

Wrapping Up

In the battle of highlights vs. lowlights, both options are clear winners. By understanding the science and artistry behind highlights and lowlights, you’re equipped to create a personalized color masterpiece for every client who sits on your chair. With your professional expertise and a dash of creativity, you can transform dull locks into multi-dimensional works of art that turn heads for all the right reasons. So, brush up on your highlighting and lowlighting prowess and start creating the gorgeous looks today’s clients crave!


Share Your Feedback

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments