What Are Babylights?



Small things can make a big impact, and this definitely goes for some highlighting techniques. While traditional highlights can do a lot for a head of hair like adding dimension, vibrance and shine, some clients prefer a more subtle approach to professional hair color. This is where babylights, the little sisters of highlights, come into play.

Babylights are the answer to everyone’s prayers, at least since we grew tired of the stripey platinum blonde highlight trend of the early 2000s. Though it might be a current trend in the evolving salon and hair artistry scene, babylights are in a class of their own and will likely stick around due to their timelessness and versatility. Highlights and subtle all-over hair color mesh together to embody this flattering and refreshingly natural color technique.

Here’s what stylists should know about application, care and styling of babylights.

Defining the Term

Because there are different styles and techniques when it comes to highlighting the hair, it’s important to know exactly what it means when a client asks for babylights. Unlike traditional highlights, which are bold, widely noticeable and usually add a significant amount of color to hair, babylights work on a much softer level. Babylights are commonly painted using a freehand technique, though some stylists prefer to use foil for some parts of the application process.

Babylights are made by taking a very small section of hair (much smaller than a traditional highlight) and adding lightener via freehand painting or foil application. Instead of applying the lightener to the hair from root to tip, it is common to apply the color to a section at the crown of the head and another area closer to the ends, leaving a little room in between. The result is an understated and versatile look that mimics the way sunlight might lighten the hair naturally.


Babylights vs. Traditional Highlights

To help make decisions easier for both stylists and clients, it’s vital to know the difference between popular highlighting techniques. Balayage, babylights and foil highlights are all achieved by a different set of steps. However, they should all be fueled by a top-quality lightener, such as the formulas in our impressive lineup of PRAVANA hair color options. From there, each highlighting technique is completely unique.

As explained above, babylights are created by taking tiny sections of hair and applying the lightener to the sections of hair around the crown of the head and the ends of the hair. The color is blended a bit around the middle to avoid any harsh starting and stopping points in the color.

Traditional foil highlights, on the other hand, involve a more streamlined process. Professional lightener is applied to a predetermined (usually larger) section of hair from root to tip and then folded in foil until the desired color is reached. This produces a more bold, elevated hair color aesthetic. Balayage is arguably the most artistic of the three techniques as it involves hand painting and full stylist discretion in terms of placement. Balayage is natural-looking and creates an ombre look that’s a bit more noticeable when compared to babylights.

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Find a Happy Medium for Your Client

Babylights are a wonderfully subtle option in the world of highlights. They can really do a lot for a head of hair, especially if it’s extra fine. When applied correctly, the wearer gets fantastic color payoff, dimension and an extra-healthy hair look.


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