While some hair trends are best left in the past (i.e. perms, mullets, the infamous “Snooki” poof), some styles quickly experience near-extinction in the salon long before they’ve had their deserved time in the spotlight. Case in point: lowlights. The often-overlooked technique of adding darker hints of color has been used for years to create dimension and contrast, but, thanks to balayage’s popularity, it’s basically fallen off the grid. Or has it?
Changing hair color isn’t always as easy as Instagram makes it look. Most individuals are not born with naturally blonde locks however most of them want to look like they are. Highlighting is one of the top salon services these days and despite leaps and bounds being made with products, getting desired colors can often take more than just one appointment. Your clients are human and can often change their minds at the drop of a hat, after a breakup or at a scroll of Instagram. If you’ve spent months or even years working on bringing your client brighter only to have them rush in and want to be darker for a season, what are you to do? Instead of giving up and completely going 180 start discussing other ideas that can help bridge the gap between light and dark while adding dimension as well!
Here, our top five reasons why we think lowlights are slated to make their long-awaited comeback in 2019.
1. Lowlights add contrast
You might think that going lighter and lighter at each appointment will make your hair appear, well... lighter. However, quite the opposite can sometimes be true. Nothing makes lighter strands stand out more than juxtaposing them against darker hints of color. When done right, lowlights can enhance the brightness and vibrancy of any shade. Alternatively, you can also use them in smaller sections (similar to babylights) to take your client’s hair color down a few levels without dying the whole head completely.
2. Lowlights add dimension
If you consistently visit your stylist, high five to you! You're on the right track! However, listen to them if they suggest something new. Similar to adding contrast, lowlights can prevent your hair from looking monotone. Lowlights break up the lighter pieces and add depth and movement to your strands.
3. Lowlights enhance texture
If you're looking for new exciting ways to add texture — aka the buzziest hair word of the century — to your look, color might be the place to start. While utilizing certain cutting techniques are sure to add texture to a style, some hair types need a little extra nudge to get the look right. Even fine, straight strands can look textured with lowlights.
4. Lowlights are relatively low-maintenance
And, who doesn't love a hair service that is low-maintenance? Show of hands.... don't worry we'll wait. While you may need to visit the salon on a regular basis to touch-up your highlights, lowlights are a little easier to maintain because growth isn’t as obvious. (Tip: It is a good idea to get them touched up every 6-8 weeks to prevent the color from looking muddy.) Home care is also key no matter what hair color technique you're rocking. Plain and simple, if you are getting your hair colored – no matter what shade – you'll want to pick up a shampoo and conditioner to keep your color looking your best. Sometimes a tinted shampoo can be best for your shade or you might want to pick up a general formula for color-treated hair. While you're in the chair, be sure to ask your stylist which formula is best for the style they are creating!
For blondes and highlighted brunettes a violet shade shampoo is best:
For all hair colors:
5. Lowlights are customizable
Much like highlights, lowlights can be tailored to create any look you want to achieve, whether you want to go from blonde to chocolate brown or just want a few pieces to accentuate a “sun-kissed” look. They can vary based on the size of the slice and the weave and the placement within your look. They are just as customizable as highlights are and each stylist can create a unique system to create their own signature style. You can also create a combination of lowlights with a gloss so that your client can try out a darker shade without the full commitment. They can also be a great way to start transitioning your client. Sometimes going darker all over can be too big of a change, even when they ask for it. So adding in lowlights and a gloss over time will help them transition or let them try it out before returning to their original shade!