Highlighting Hair the Healthy Way {For Curly Girls + Stylists}

I think one of my favorite things to do behind the chair is foiling hair! I love getting into a rhythm and in that meditative zone it provides for me. But I also just love knowing it will come out with such tried and true beautiful results!

I'm all about keeping clients looking natural. I think what we are born with is beautiful just the way it is, but highlighting the hair accentuates it that much more - much like what being at the beach will do for you! So, I'm a big fan of creating dimensional looks in the hair using foiling techniques. Yes, balayage + hairpainting is all the rage now because of it's natural looking results, but I'll tell you why I still hold true to the foiling...

First of all, if you're a curly girl, you must seriously consider adding some highlights if you don't already. The reason why is that you want to capitalize on that dimensional effect your curls naturally create - highlighting the undulation of the curl to create a light and shadow effect so you can actually see your curls better. Keep in mind that highlighting doesn't have to mean blonde - it can mean caramel, honey, toffee, milk chocolate etc. and can be placed on your hair in a very fine placement so it looks natural not streaky! ;)

Secondly, especially if you're a curly girl, it's best to highlight with color instead of lightener whenever possible so that you preserve the integrity of your hair. Curly hair is naturally very porous and lacking protein, so lightener will only cause more of that damage (yes there are new products to help with this!), while color will keep it conditioned and lift and tone at the same time, so that you won't deal with fading.

The third point I want to make is that highlighting with color creates a more natural look, helping you with the grow out phase (you won't see a strong line of demarcation at the root). My Curly Guru Master, Ouidad herself taught me to always lighten hair about 2-3 levels away from your natural. When foiling with color, you can control the amount of lightness you desire without accidentally lifting past the level and having to tone it, which results in a vicious cycle of constantly having to tone/glaze back.

It's important to know that if you color your hair, you have to highlight using lightener because color doesn't lift color. So I always recommend to my clients - gray haired ones included, to opt for highlighting and lowlighting to create dimension and have lots more options, rather than doing a single process, whenever possible! It's a softer, more natural look, better grow out and healthier for the hair all around. 

When we free hand paint the hair to achieve that child like beach look that is balayage, it's best to use lightener, however. It's all about the viscosity of the product on the brush that allows us to paint onto the hair, and color becomes too runny unfortunately. BUT, there's a new balayage technique that I learned by J. Beverly Hills that's perfect for lifting the hair to the exact point where it stops processing, leaving a natural sun-kissed look without unnecessary damage from heat or wrapping it in saran. Win-Win!

If you're thinking highlighting is just a summer thing, think again - each season can offer different tones and depths to dimensional color placement. Fall is the perfect time for warmer hues - golden, golden copper, apricot, rose gold or caramel on brunettes. Also, if you highlight and lowlight (your natural level base color) in a 3:1 ratio, it appears lighter, 2:1 it stays the same lightness, 1:1 it appears darker. 

You can book in for a face frame (just highlighting around the hairline), a partial (top and sides of the head), a full highlight/lowlight (the whole head) or hairpainting service on my online booking system.

See you soon!