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When it comes to hair color, who says blondes are the only ones who get to have all the fun? Brunettes can get in on the action too with highlights that add both shine and movement. The whole point of getting highlights is to make your hair look like it’s been naturally lightened by the sun. In order to achieve this, you should stay as close to your base color as you can. This means either getting highlights that are one to three shades lighter than your natural hue to get the best results. But the trick to getting amazing highlights not only lies with finding the right shade—the highlight technique you choose is important, too.
Want to color your hair at home? For those of you with light to medium brown hair, consider trying the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Bleach Highlights kit. Use it to either lighten all over, get amazing highlights, or create a cool ombre effect. Once you’ve chosen your look of choice, follow the provided instructions to lighten your hair where you want your highlights to be visible.
If you decide to hit up a salon and visit a colorist (or you just want to keep up on what the most popular types of highlights are), brush up on these hair color vocab terms. You might be inspired to try one out yourself the next time you decide to dye your strands!
If you’re thinking bronde sounds like a combination of the words blonde and brown, you would be correct! But there’s a little more to this highlighting technique than just that. One of the perks of opting for bronde is that it requires incredibly low maintenance—and it adds texture to your locks. This is a great option for those who have light brown hair because it looks natural. These subtle highlights are woven into your hair so more of your natural color peeks out. These highlights are one to two shades lighter than your base color and are usually around your face and other areas that would naturally be lightened by the sun.
This technique has been gaining traction over the past couple of years. But, you might be surprised to learn that this highlighting technique was developed by French hair colorists and has actually been around since the ‘70s! It’s a freehand hair streaking technique that’s more often natural-looking than the traditional foil-and-cap hair coloring technique. Balayage is a little brighter and a little lighter than bronde and has a major emphasis on a natural progression. You’ll know if you’ve done it right if it looks like you’ve spent a lot of time in the sun and the highlights are on the pieces that see the most movement (like around your face and crown). The highlighted sections are supposed to be chunkier than bronde, but the transition from your root to those lighter pieces is meant to be just as gradual. Brunettes love this technique because there is no strong line demarcating hair sections (such as your roots). That means the color looks natural as it starts to grow in.
For highlights that are little more intense than balayage, turn your attention to this next technique. Flamboyage is a new highlighting technique that literally means “flamboyant balayage.” How it works: Your hair is gradually lightened from about halfway through your length to the tips of your hair, and you’ll have balayage highlights woven throughout. It differs from traditional balayage because the ends are a little lighter (about four shades from your root color), but it still has a natural feel.
If you don’t love the look of traditional highlights, ombré highlights are always a good option. It gives your hair a ton of contrast from the root to tip and it works with any color. Use a darker shade to paint in roots for traditional regrowth or lighten the ends of your locks as much as your heart desires. There are so many possibilities to play around!
Lastly, there’s sombré (a.k.a. a softer ombré). This all-over lightening technique is great for those who are trying to avoid the stark contrast that ombré hair usually produces. To get sombré highlights, all you have to do is choose a hue that is a few shades lighter than your current hair color. You can go as light as you want, but you should remember to keep the transition both gradual and subtle.