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Highlights for Your Hair

Are a few gray hairs starting to make their presence known or are you ready for a new pick-me-up? Highlighting may be the answer to give you a color change, brighten dull hair, camouflage a few gray hairs without binding you to monthly touch-ups. This article is meant to give you some ideas for your new look and some suggestions to save you the agony of correcting mistakes.

To give your hair the appearance of being lightly kissed by the sun, try some subtle highlights. The most natural looking highlights are golden. It is wise to start with a shade no more than two shades lighter than you own hair color. If your natural shade is very dark, the highlights will be brown or red, giving an attractive contrast. When having these applied professionally, discuss the color choice with your hairdresser beforehand and remember to use the word ‘subtle’.

Your hairdresser will most likely use foil or a plastic wrap to separate the sections or will use a specially designed cap and pull tiny strands of hair through. If you choose to highlight your hair at home, you will find highlighting caps available at the store. The hair is pulled though the holes in the cap with a crochet hook. If the hook that comes with the cap is not small; I suggest a #9, go to the sewing notions department and you will find one there. Even with a very small hook, you must be careful to pull only small strands of hair through the cap. Before putting the cap on, brush your hair to remove any tangles and let it fall naturally. You may use all the holes in the cap or choose to highlight only the top and around your face. This gives you a very natural look.
When the amount of hair pulled through the cap is satisfactory and appears evenly distributed, apply the highlighting preparation and time according to manufacturers suggestions. Remember, timing that is too long may give highlights that appear gray or in the case of dark hair, may be too light and appear unnatural or brassy.

This same technique can be used if you have a lot of gray hair and want to put the original color back in. This is used when you don’t want to darken every gray hair, but just take the color back a few years. Instead of using a highlighting preparation, a tint is applied to return your hair to it’s natural shade. In this instance, it is better to either place the strands evenly over the entire head or mainly toward the back, leaving more gray hair around the face.
Again, apply the tint and time according to the manufacturers recommendation.

In every instance it is better to stay with a color that is not extremely light in the case of highlighting or extremely dark in the case of replacing your natural color. Always use tiny strands of hair until you have enough experience with the technique to try some variations. I will discuss some of these in future articles.


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Learn to do your own hair color or to make educated choices at the salon! This book contains all you need to know, from choosing a color to putting it on and avoiding problems.


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