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Beauty Boss: Foil or frost? Baby or balayage? How to select the right highlights

© ShutterstockHow to pick the right hair lightening technique for you.
How to pick the right hair lightening technique for you.

As spring makes a welcome return, the lighter nights inspire us to consider lightening our hair too.

But with countless new ways to achieve the golden touch, a trip to the hairdressers can be confusing. Celebrity hairstylist – and Jerome Russell Bblonde brand educator – Jason Collier is here to talk us through some of the options.

Traditional highlights

This is a foiling technique in which strands of hair are lightened from the root to the ends, to create a uniformed colour.

Halo lights

Lightens hair around the hairline, the sides of the head and at the nape. This brings lighter shades to dark hair.

Baby lights

These are super-thin highlights weaved through the hair, with smaller gaps left between foils to create a more natural blend.

Balayage

A French word meaning “to sweep”. Highlights are hand-painted or “swept” on the surface of random sections.

Frosting

Involves bleaching individual strands of hair while leaving adjacent strands untouched. Hair frosting can give an overall salt and pepper look, blending the lighter, bleached strands in with the darker strands.

Dimensional

This adds dimension throughout the hair with a contrast of darker shades, lighter shades or highlights.

Ombre

Roots and mid-lengths have one colour which fades into another colour towards the ends.

Chunky

These tend to be very thick to give more of a contrast and use more vibrant colours.

Ring lights

Ring lighting involves creating a halo of highlights to frame the face and really make features pop.

Free lights

Used for people with a hair level of 7 or above.

Low lights

Unlike highlights, lighter than the base colour, low lights are hints of colour darker than your base colour, woven into the hair.

Foil lights

Can be a good technique for brighter, higher contrast strands of colour.

Hair painting

The top and bottom of the strands are painted freehand to create a natural-looking colour.