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Your Ultimate Guide To Highlights

Types Of Highlights


Estimated Read Time:  4 minutes


Summary: In this blog we detail and explore what hair highlights are and the different types of highlights there are. We’ll discuss why highlights are popular and which ones may suit you. Read on to discover more about the different types of highlights…


What Are Highlights?

Highlights are essentially streaks of lighter hair through the main body of hair to give the overall mane a more dynamic, stylish, voluptuous, dimension-full, effortless finish. 

Blonde highlights got their popularity because they’re relatively low maintenance - you get a cool, stylish look without having to constantly top up a full head of roots. Their popularity has grown exponentially over the past year after salons closed across the globe to help protect the world from Covid-19, as they arguably allow the colour to grow out a touch more aesthetically and gracefully.

Blonde highlights have been on trend for centuries though. Originally, women would attempt to bleach their hair lighter with lemon juice and sunlight, and even rub honey into their strands. Then the techniques developed into the 60s and 80s which saw women sit in the salon chair wearing holed rubber caps where strips of hair were pulled through to receive dye. And then, of course, the renowned hair foils made an appearance on the beauty scene! This is a method still used today, where a strip of hair is covered in dye and then rolled up in foil. 

Hairdressers have developed the highlight trend further into styles like ombre and balayage, where they mix different tones and shades of dye to create a multi-tonal effect which is now considered very chic!

Types Of Highlights

There are now several types of hair highlights you can ask your stylist for…


Balayage is a recently popular highlighting method. This is where the dye is painted straight onto the hair with a paddle board and brush, and uses a freehand technique to move the dye through the hair creating a sun kissed look that’s natural and full of dimension. 


Ombre relies on your confidence with roots! This is a technique similar to balayage, but the dye is applied mid way down the hair shaft instead of at the top of the head! It embraces that heavy-root look, but purposely frames the face and fuels the aesthetic - therefore it’s arguably the ultimate low maintenance choice.


Ecaille, when translated from French, means “tortoiseshell”. So, in hair highlights this is where golden blondes and caramel colours are developed by mixing lighter shades with darker ones like chocolate brown and honey, and a more ‘ecaille’ look is created.


This is when the stylist blends brunette and blonde shades, so this is an ideal look to go for if you have dark hair to start with and want to explore going lighter!

Traditional full/half head of highlights

If you ask for a full head of highlights, you’ll get a lighter shade applied to your entire head of hair. A half head of highlights is when the colour is applied to most of the crown, side and the top layer of hair. If you have fine or short hair, a half head is more suitable for you. 


Babylights is when only the finest strands of hair are coloured. This technique gives the illusion that the the hair is more textured and multi-dimensional in a very natural, subtle way.

Peekaboo highlights

Peekaboo highlights are where the hair dye is applied underneath the top layer of hair, and often near the front of the head and about an inch or so down from the natural parting. When your hair is down and normally parted, it won’t be very obvious or noticeable. But then, when it’s up or moved, the flash of colour(s)/highlight will appear - like a peekaboo!

How To Highlight Hair At Home

Unless you’re a trained hair dresser, it’s always worth getting your highlight look applied and completed professionally at a salon. 

There are ways you can prolong your new look at home though! Check out our blog on How To Stop Your Color Fading here. 

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Sarah Milton

A passionate content writer, with a specific interest in the science behind hair care. Having created content for several years, I’ve grown my knowledge exponentially in the science behind hair growth, quality and texture, and what ingredients our tresses need to thrive. When not in the office, I’m walking my dog along the beach or invested in a brilliant television drama.


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