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In the world of hair color, there are a lot of trends to keep up with these days. From purple balayage to mushroom brown to shadow hair, it can seem overwhelming. But there’s a new highlighting technique that’s currently trending on our social media feeds, and we think it’s here to stay: ribbon highlights. This gorgeous highlighting technique is one you’ll want to look out for, and maybe even try out for yourself! We’ve got the scoop on ribbon highlights, including what they are, how to get them, and the best ways to maintain this pretty hair color trend.
Similar to the balayage technique, ribbon highlights add depth and dimension to hair, but the highlights aren’t concentrated on just the ends of the hair. The ribbon highlighting method goes like this: begin with a solid color base, then weave a lighter hue throughout the entirety of the hair in ribbon-like pieces. The result creates a gorgeous contrast between light and dark pieces that, especially when styled with a curling iron, resemble ribbons! Instead of the highlight being heavy on the ends of the hair, the lighter-colored ribbons twist throughout the full length of the hair (whether you have short hair or long hair). Picture this, for example: A medium-brunette base color, with thin strips of caramel colored locks woven throughout like pretty ribbons.
Since this highlighting technique involves coloring full strips of hair, from grown-out roots through to the ends, you’ll want to book an appointment with a professional colorist to get the look. You’ll also want to keep in mind that achieving a ribbon-like look could require some bleaching or lowlights. If your hair is already a lighter brunette or blonde shade, you’ll have to add in some darker hues in order to achieve a little contrast. As always, with any new hair color, you’d be smart to bring in a picture to give your colorist a better idea of what you’re going for.
Whenever you try out a new hair color trend, you should also adjust your hair care routine to best suit and maintain your new ‘do. For ribbon highlights, actually, for any type of highlights, you’ll want to use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner system, like the L'Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Shampoo and the L'Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Conditioner. This particular system is color-safe and sulfate-free. You should also aim to use a hair mask two to three times per week. Use one that coordinates with your shampoo and conditioner, such as the L'Oréal Paris Everpure Repair Remedy Balm.
Now that you're the proud owner of ribbon highlights, you’ll want to pair them with hairstyles that show off your beautiful new color. We’ve got a couple of ideas, below.
As we mentioned earlier, one of the prettiest ways to style your new ribbon highlights is with a good old-fashioned curling iron or even large hot rollers. The look to go for: large, loose waves. Before you pick up your hot tools, be sure to prep your hair with a heat protectant, like the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Hairspray, which provides heat protection up to 450 degrees. Once you have your loose curls in place, use a bit of hairspray, like the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Weather Control Hairspray, to ensure that your look will last.
Another great way to show off the dimension of ribbon highlights is with simple, air-dried locks that have a bit of texture. After you get out of the shower, spritz your damp hair with a texturizing spray, like the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray. You don’t even need to reach for your blow-dryer—just let your locks dry naturally and scrunch up your ends a bit if you’ve got naturally straight hair. Need a refresh on the proper way to air-dry your locks? Read our article How to Air Dry Your Hair for everything you need to know about this low-key styling method.
Want to learn about (or try out) more hair color trends? We’ve got the lowdown on two of the latest looks in our articles, Embrace the Purple Hair Color Trend with Vanilla Lilac Hair and Spice up Brown Hair with this Sweet Shade: Chili Chocolate Hair.