When you’re not quite brave enough for a drastic colour change all over, but your natural hair is giving you boring vibes, highlights and lowlights are a great option. You can add a pop of colour to your locks to bring definition to those layers, whether it’s to brighten or to soften your natural tone. Through a touch of colour, you can drastically change your locks without going overboard, bringing depth and dimension that can easily be changed for a brighter look in the summer and a softer look in the winter. So, as your hair gurus, we have pieced together a guide covering everything you need to know about highlights vs lowlights.

A Guide To Highlights vs Lowlights

We all deserve to look our best and feel fabulous, and for many of us, our hair is the way we achieve it. However, when your hair feels dull and boring, it can really start to bring you down, so why not book in for a hair transformation with our professional hairdressers in Milton Keynes? It’s amazing what magic our hairdressers can do to your precious locks, transforming a dull brown into a vibrant and colourful head of hair with multiple highlights and lowlights for definition. You can incorporate a range of colours into your hair transformation, from blondes and browns to strawberry reds and silver. But how is this magical hair glow-up achieved? We’ll tell you how…

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    Lowlights vs Highlights

    By now, most of us know what highlights are, but for those that are new to the hair colouring world, we’re here to introduce you to one of the most popular hair trends. Highlights are created by lightening the natural hair to create multiple light colours; whether that’s a soft caramel or a vibrant blonde, almost anything can be achieved. A popular choice is to have the lower half of the hair as a balayage to give a modern and advanced version of an ombre effect. Another common option is to have the front of the hair lightened to frame the face; this looks best when the rest of the hair has a balayage. Highlights are also most common for those with darker hair or a darker blonde to lighten the hair.

    As you can probably imagine, lowlighting is the opposite of highlighting, where darker tones are added to the hair to create more depth. Usually, lowlights are used in conjunction with highlights to create multiple tones, especially for those that want caramel hair. However, they can be used on their own to darken hair without making your locks look too dark. For example, if you have light blonde hair, then you may have caramel and mousey brown lowlights added to create a soft tone ready for winter.

    What Techniques Can Be Used?

    The technique that is used to create your highlights and lowlights will depend on the hairstyle you wish to create. For example, if you only want a few highlights added to the hair, then foils will be used to separate the dyed hair, while a balayage can be created through multiple techniques. Let’s take a closer look at how you can create your favourite hairstyles with highlights and lowlights:


    A balayage is where highlights, lowlights or both are added to the hair from about the top of the ear down; it can also start from higher or lower, depending on your choosing. The colour will fade from your natural locks into your chosen colour and is most commonly done with brown faded into a lush caramel or dusky blonde colour. There are multiple ways in which your balayage will be achieved, and the technique used will often be dependent on the hairdresser’s training but will always achieve the same stunning results.

    Foils can be used for a balayage, where your hairdresser will use a toothpick comb to take very small sections of hair at a time and colour these sections at different heights before wrapping them in foil. Alternatively, your hairdresser will simply use the same technique, but the hair will not be wrapped in foils. When booking in at our hair salon in Milton Keynes, you will be able to ask as many questions as you like before committing to a colour and style. Our hairdressers will provide you with all of the information you require and which technique is best for the results you wish to achieve.


    If you’re looking to add small strips of colour to your hair to bring an interesting touch to the style without drastically changing your hair colour, then babylights are for you. This is where you add the tiniest bit of colour to have a dramatic impact. As you can see below, our beautiful client’s hair looks fresh and has depth, creating a brighter and more striking look with the smallest touch of colour. It’s amazing what you can achieve with babylights, and you can choose to have high or lowlights, or both added to your locks. The fabulous thing about babylights is that it’s a great way to slowly add more and more colour to your hair, easing you into your favourite tone.

    Parting Foils

    Parting foils is a technique most commonly used for balayage but can be used to create coloured sections throughout the hair. Take our gorgeous client as an example; she has decided to transform her locks with a streak of warm blonde through the front of the hair. This has been achieved through parting foils by dying only a section of the hair and leaving it to do its thing without disrupting the rest of her locks.

    The technique of parting foils is a great choice for those with high-maintenance hair, as it allows our hairdressers to almost balayage the hair right to the top of the hair near the scalp for a soft finish. This allows the client to enjoy their stunning hair for longer without the need to return for a root touch-up for at least eight weeks, as the hair will grow out into a beautiful balayage. This is also a technique that is best used to create various tones within the hair, ensuring that the hair does not have one block colour.

    How Do I Avoid Damage?

    A concern that many newbies have when it comes to hair dying is whether it will damage your hair. If you plan on doing a box job at home in front of the mirror, then is a very high chance that you will damage your hair, especially if using box bleach. However, when completed by our professional team, your hair is in safe hands, and you won’t walk away looking frazzled. We use L’Oréal and Olaplex products to keep your hair in tip-top condition when highlighting or lowlighting. L’Oréal hair colour is used for a vibrant result, ensuring that the colours achieved are bright, shiny and rich. Paired with this is the outstanding Olaplex, which is placed inside the hair colour before being applied to your hair, ensuring that even when bleaching, your hair doesn’t become damaged.

    After having your hair dyed by the team, it is then important to make sure that you maintain the vibrancy of your hair colour and the condition of your hair through home hair care. The first step is to purchase some Olaplex products (your hairdresser will let you know which ones you need), as these products work together to maintain the strength of the hair. Other products that we recommend purchasing include:

    Hair Highlight Ideas

    Now that you know everything that there is to know about highlights, it’s time to think about which ones will best suit you. As highlights can be added to the hair in various tones, you can choose to go dramatic with a whole head of highlights or incorporate a few babylights; the stylist can tailor your highlights to you. Take a look below at some of our favourite celebrity highlights!

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    A post shared by Bella ? (@bellahadid)

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    A post shared by Jennifer Lopez (@jlo)

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    A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce)

    Lowlight Hair Ideas

    Just like highlights, we have hair envy for many celebrities who dabble in creating beautiful tones with caramels, browns and even exotic pinks like Gigi Hadid. Our hairstylists love creating dramatic hair changes with a simple colour change and can help you to achieve all of the following styles and more!

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    A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid)

    So, What’s It Going To Be? Lowlights Or Highlights?

    You can achieve anything when visiting our hair salon in Milton Keynes, whether it’s a simple cut and blow-dry, adding length with lush extensions or giving your hair a pop of life through some colour. No matter your dream hair, our specialists in colour and hair extensions in Milton Keynes, can help you get there while also helping you to maintain healthy and strong locks. Whether you have a vision you wish to transform into or an image you’re dying to recreate, your hair gurus are here to make it happen.

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