by Victoria Kirby
You choose your shampoo and conditioner based on your hair type. Same goes for your styling products and sometimes even your brushes and hot tools. But did you know that there are several different types of salon highlights, each of which flatters certain hair types or shades? Neither did we, until we spoke with colorist Jet Rhys of Jet Rhys Hair Salon in San Diego. She breaks down the lingo and offers tips on what to ask for at the salon.
Foil highlights. Even if you’ve never had highlights, you’re probably familiar with this approach. It’s ideal for women with fine hair, since the dye bulks up strands, while the increased dimension creates the illusion of fuller hair.
Balayage. Want highlights that don’t look like, well, highlights? This technique, in which the dye is painted on by hand (meaning no foils), is especially flattering on women with curly or wavy hair to create natural-looking streaks. On each section of hair, the color is applied lightly at the roots and gradually gets brighter toward the ends, which mimics the way hair would be lightened by the sun. It also makes for less obvious roots as the color grows out.
Slicing. When you really don’t want to look like you’ve been to a salon, this is the most subtle way to brighten your shade. These super-thin highlights are woven under the top layer of hair so the color peeks through. They’re a great option for someone who doesn’t want to be in the salon every six weeks for touch-ups, since there are no obvious roots as the color grows out.
Ribbons. Also called “blue ribbon highlights,” these are ideal for natural blondes. The highlights are created with a tint instead of bleach, so they’re gentler on the hair and create a less intense shade of blonde.
Are you asking for the right process at the hair colorist?
If your hair colorist told you she wanted to slice you, would you make a run for it?
Well, you shouldn’t — “slicing,” along with “ribbons,” and “shine lights” are merely the latest ways to get gorgeous locks.
As highlighting techniques have evolved, there are more modern ways to lace light through your strands, so that your face looks brighter and younger than ever. Some of these new techniques even feature the benefit of a more camouflaged grow-out, saving you both time and money.
Sounds amazing, right? Thing is, in order to experience this new technology, you’ve got to speak the lingo, so your colorist knows what you’re asking for.
StyleList caught up with Jet Rhys of the Jet Rhys Salon in San Diego for the skinny on these insider terms, so the rest of us can experience these new face-altering hair color tricks.
The colorist isolates a very thin section of hair with a pick comb in order to highlight, so that they can get in very close to the root. The effect can be very subtle or dramatic, depending on how thin or thick the slices are. “Traditionally, you weave hair in and out with highlights. This method grows in more naturally since you can get close to the root, giving you more bang for your buck!” says Rhys.
Super skinny sections of hair are colored to enhance your hair’s natural movement. Shine lights typically run two shades lighter or darker. and have the effect of making hair sparkle. “Sometimes adding lowlights can add a little sad cloud over your hair color. This technique instantly adds color to your skin and breaks up an over-lightened head of hair,” says Rhys.
Medium sections of hair are lightened randomly, resulting in a more artistic flair, instead of the regimented pattern of classic highlights. “This can give you a fabulously fierce highlighted look!” says Rhys.
Hair color is carefully hand-painted freestyle — without foils — onto select strands for a naturally sun-touched look. “It’s a great way to personalize your color and it pairs amazingly with textured or wavy hair,” says Rhys.
Blonde on Blonde
This term describes slowly lifting a lighter hair color base to prevent brassiness, and the resulting need for bleach. “In the past, we would have to place so much bleach on the hair to remove the brass and it would strip away shine and health. The new technique is so gorgeous and touchable – like Nicole Richie’s beautiful buttery shade,” says Rhys. In order to pull off this subtler process, your base can’t stray too far from the shade mother nature gave you.