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If our favorite celebrities have proven anything, it’s that highlights and lowlights can help create a serious hair color transformation. With just a touch of color variation, manes become full of depth and dimension for a look that sways with movement. Does it get any more goddess-like than that? We think not! And that’s exactly why we’ve rounded up the very best highlight and lowlight colors for spring 2018. Below, you’ll find all the most gorgeous highlighting and lowlighting hair color trends to take your look to the next level this season. It’s time to get inspired!
First and foremost, it’s important to know the difference between highlights and lowlights. It’s pretty simple: Whereas highlights are lighter than your base strands, lowlights are darker. And of course, keep in mind that highlights require bleaching—and the darker your starting color, the more work may be required to reach the desired level of color you’d like. What’s more, since both highlights and lowlights require a certain skill, it’s often best left to the professionals (although in some cases you can definitely highlight your hair at home). Now that you know the basics, here are the ways that they can be applied.
Babylights. Think back to when you were a little girl and rocked natural highlights just from sitting in the sun in the summer. Those tiny, natural-looking blonde streaks are emulated with the babylights technique by brushing on super-fine highlights for a baby blonde look.
Balayage. Also known as hair painting, balayage is a dyeing technique that involves hand painting the highlight or lowlight color of your choice directly onto your strands. Most commonly, this technique is used to paint blonde shades onto darker hair for a truly natural-looking, sun-kissed mane.
Chunky. As the name suggests, chunky highlights are, well, chunky. While they can look seriously stunning if done right, they can go seriously south if done incorrectly. Think: a skunk-like appearance due to too much contrast. Yikes! Be sure to bring photos with you to the salon to ensure your highlights come out looking the way you envision.
Frosted highlights. Made by bleaching the tips of your hair to create a multi-dimensional blonde effect, frosting is typically performed on men and women with short hairstyles—just think back to your favorite ‘90s boy bands and you have the right idea in mind.
Ribboned. If you have naturally wavy or curly hair, you’ll want to consider getting ribbon highlights if you’re looking to color your hair. Designed to follow the coil of your curls, these highlights create gorgeous dimension that looks completely natural—unless, of course, you go with a pastel route.
Slicing. Ever seen a slightly lived-in ‘do that looks perfectly highlighted or lowlighted with choppy, care-free color? That’s slicing for you. Created to add loads of depth, this non-uniform technique can allow you to make a serious hair statement.
Now that you know the options you have to create the look that you want, it’s time to discuss the season’s hottest color trends. Below you’ll find the five must-consider hues to change up your strands for spring.
1. Ash blonde lowlights. To create a more multi-dimensional effect for light blonde hair, a series of ash blonde lowlights can do just the trick. Just make sure that your colorist applies them in a balayage technique to help ensure it looks super natural.
2. Blorange highlights. If you’re all about the season’s peach trend but not ready to embrace a whole head of slightly fluorescent hair, these highlights will be just enough to satisfy your craving. Pair them over a blonde or light brown base to instantly transform your look.
3. Mauve highlights or lowlights. Regardless of whether you have light or dark hair, incorporating mauve can be nothing short of stunning. If you have blonde hair, mauve lowlights can give a slightly edgier look, whereas mauve highlights on dark hair can help brunettes embrace the rose gold hair trend without having to bleach and dye their whole head of hair. Either way, the color is universally flattering! Get the look temporarily with the L’Oréal Paris Colorista 1-Day Spray in Rose Gold.
4. Pastel highlights. Want to add a touch of variation to your next beauty statement? Pastel highlights may just be the answer. Whether you go with baby blue, millennial pink, turquoise, or lilac, you’ll be able to get in on the season’s mythical creature beauty trend for a hair look unlike any other. To try the look at home, first bleach any areas you’d like to highlight with the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Bleach Highlights, then follow up with the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color in your shade of choice.
5. Warm honey highlights. Spring may have just begun, but there’s no shame in wanting to rock a summery, sun-kissed head full of hair. With warm honey highlights, you can add golden dimension to your hair to help instantly brighten your complexion and overall look. Give the L’Oréal Paris Touch-On Highlights in Toasted Almond a try.
For more of-the-moment hair color ideas, here are the Best Hair Color Trends for 2018.