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If you’ve ever had—or thought about having—your hair colored, then you’re probably pretty familiar with highlights. After all, this hair color trend is a classic for a reason. You may even know a thing or two about lowlights. But if you really want to show off your beauty knowledge, it’s time to get in the know about babylights.
This summer’s spin on highlights is everything you could want in a warm-weather style: babylights look youthful, fresh, and fun. If you’re still wondering exactly what babylights are, we’ve got the answer. Below, we’re sharing everything you need to know about babylights, from what they actually are to how to get them to how to care for highlighted hair. Keep reading to find your next hair color obsession.
Think about how your hair looked after spending a summer day outside when you were a kid. We’re talking about those light highlighted streaks that would pop up over the summer months, only to disappear by the season’s end. Well, babylights are a highlighting technique that imitate the lightened strands of your youth. Super-fine highlights are brushed on to create a baby blonde, sun-kissed look. Talk about nostalgia, right?
Deciding to DIY or seek out a professional to dye your strands can be a tricky choice. If your hair is previously dyed, damaged, or very dark, it’s generally a good idea to visit a professional colorist. When it comes to babylights, keep in mind that you’ll need to bleach your hair in order to lighten it—and if you’re starting with a dark brown base, it could take multiple sessions to achieve your desired result. You’ll also want to consider how much time you’re willing to commit to a new color—highlights, including babylights—do require a certain amount of maintenance, so make sure you’re OK with having to get regular touch-ups.
If you’d like to try your hand at creating babylights at home, try the L’Oréal Paris Touch-On Highlights in H90 Iced Champagne or the L’Oréal Paris Frost & Design in H85 Champagne. When DIY dyeing, be sure to follow the instructions on packaging to achieve even, precise babylights. (Find more tips for highlighting your hair at home here.)
Color-treated hair requires special care—and babylights are no exception. So, once you have babylights, it’s important to put together a hair care routine that’s tailored to dyed locks. That starts by using a system of shampoo, conditioner, and mask formulated for color-treated hair, like the L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Shampoo, L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Conditioner, and L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Ultra Recovery Mask. Once or twice a week, swap out the conditioner for the mask. After using the shampoo, apply the mask and leave it on for 3-5 minutes, then rinse out. When you’re showering, remember to turn down the dial. Hot H20 can strip your strands of essential oils, so rinse off in lukewarm water instead.
Really, it’s all up to you! Babylights will look great styled every which way. Beach waves? Check. Straight? Check. Updos? Check. Our favorite? Braids. Play into your nostalgia by styling your newly colored locks into a youthful look. Start by spritzing the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray onto towel-dried hair to help enhance your hair’s shape. Once your hair has dried, part your hair down the center into two equal sections. Next, put each section of your hair into a fishtail braid, securing the ends with hair ties. With your fingers, pull at pieces of your braids to loosen and rough them up. This will help add a messy, casual texture to your look. If you want a more streamlined style, simply skip this step. To finish your braids off, give your mane a light misting with hairspray. Try the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Extra Strong Hold. And there you have it—gorgeous babylights sans any heat styling!