Highlighted Hair Styles

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Highlighted Hair Styles Advice and Inspiration

The foil highlighting technique is a popular choice when it comes to hair colouring and is probably the most used method in salons today. Gone are the days when you were limited to capped highlights and one shade of blonde. The foil technique gives you the freedom to be creative and have some fun with hair colour.

Highlights are my personal choice when it comes to dyeing my own hair. My natural hair colour is brown but I do like to be blonde but at the same time I want to keep it looking natural, so i opt for 3 blonde weaves to 1 dark weave. The dark weave will help break up the root when it starts growing out so it won't be a obvious dark streak and my eyebrows are dark so it looks more natural on me.

Foiled weaved highlights should always been done by a qualified hairstylist as they require precision and accuracy. I've seen many clients trying to save money by doing weaves themselves and end up paying more to get their hair corrected. It's not worth the hassle, treat yourself at the hair salon and relax knowing you're in good hands.

Nowadays there is a range off different highlighting methods with each of them producing a different finished result.

Read on to discover the different highlighting methods, how they're achieved and what the finished result will look like.  It's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different highlighting methods so you can communicate better with your colorists and produce a great finished result. Also there are plenty off photos to give you inspiration for your next colour.

Weaved Foils

Foiled weaved highlights are great for a number of reasons such as?

  • Creativity - Foiled highlights give you the freedom to be creative with your colour and have a little fun.
  • Different Shades - Foiled highlights give you the option of having a few different shades put through your hair, so you don't have to stick to one colour. Gone of the days when you were only limited to one shade of blonde nowadays you can have a array of colours such as honey, golds, light reds and sandy blondes, basically any colour that will lift your hair is classed as a highlight.
  • Texture and Depth - Foiled highlights can also add texture and depth to your tresses, which is great for people with fine hair, it can give the illusion of thicker, fuller hair.
  • Subtle Change - If you are someone who is nervous about having their hair dyed or just want a subtle change then highlights are ideal. A few scattered highlights can add a sun kissed touch without a drastic change. 
  • Adventurous - On the other hand if you fancy more of a drastic colour change you can opt for a full head highlights which can totally transform your colour.
  • Re-Growth Line - Depending what shades you go for highlights can make a re-growth line less prominent, the different shades going through will break-up the re-growth line which means you can leave it longer between touch-ups. 
  • Sensitive Skin - If you have sensitive skin and prefer not to have hair dye put on your scalp then highlights are ideal. Highlights are little foil packages where the colour is applied to the hair on the foil and does not touch the scalp. 


As with all hair colouring there is some up keep to unsure the colour looks fresh and the roots are covered. Consider these points before opting for weaves. 

  • Price - Foiled weaved highlights can be pricy, while most salons have a flat rate for a full head weaves other charge per foil so it's a good idea to book a consultation with your colourist to discuss your options and pricing.
  • Up Keep - Highlights will need to be touched -up every 8-10 weeks depending on how quick your hair grows,  so take this in to consideration before opting for them.
  • Time - Depending on the hair length and thickness foiled weaved highlights can be quite a time consuming process and can take up to three hours to achieve with a cut and blowdrying. 
  • Products - To keep your highlights looking fresh, invest in shampoos and conditioners that are designed for highlighted hair.  
  • Condition - Unfortunately highlights can dry out your hair. So you'll need to give your locks a little extra care by using moisturising conditioners and hair masks to keep your tresses in tip top condition.

Foiled Weaved Highlights

Foiled Weaved Highlight Method 

Using a tail comb, pieces of hair are weaved out, then a piece of hairdressing foil is placed under the hair and the colour is applied using a brush. The foil is folded to allow the colour to process and to protect the rest of the hair. The strands of hair in the foil will be coloured, while the hair out of the foil will remain the original colour. The finer the weaves the more natural the finished colour will be, if you want a streaked look ask for thick weaves.

Development Time

Full Head Weaves - 1-2 hours to apply and 45 minutes to develop.

Half Head Weaves - 1 hour to apply and 45 minutes to develop.

Quater Head Weaves - 30 minutes to 45 minutes to apply and 45 minutes to develop.

This is just a guide as times will variety according to hair thickness, length etc. Also some salons will add heat to speed up the developing time.

Highlighting Terms 

Full head weaves - Full head weaves is a term used when weaves are place through the entire head, it doesn't necessarily mean all the hair is coloured, some hair will be left because they're weaved. (See the image bellow).

Half Head Weaves - Half head weaves includes the parting section of the hair and down each side of the hairline.

Quarter Head Weaves - Quater head weaves is just the parting section of your hair. 

Weaved Highlights Gallery

Hair Slices/Panelling/Flashes 

If you are a little more adventurous with your tresses then slices maybe for you. Slices also known as panelling or flashes are randomly placed blocks of colour which become visible with movement. They're usually placed under the parting so you won't have the worry of roots showing or retouching the roots and have the choice to grow them out. Hair slices offer a more creative colouring method with a bolder, statement finish, they're also ideal for fashion colours such as pink, blue etc. The great thing about hair slices is there is no structure to them such as weaved highlights, they can virtually be placed anywhere so you can be fun and creative.    

Slices Method

Using a tail comb, sections of hair are sliced, then a piece of hairdressing foil is placed under the hair and the colour is applied. Then the foils are folded to help the colour develop while protecting the rest of the hair.

Development Time

Times will vary depending on how many slices you have etc. Book a consultation with your stylist who'll be able to give you a better idea on how long it will take.

Hair Slices Gallery

Balayage/Hair Painting

Balayage is a freehand highlighting technique which creates soft multidimensional, sun kissed highlights and a natural finish. It's a great option for people who are a little nervous about having their hair coloured or for people who are looking for a subtle change and nothing too drastic. Balayage can be created on any length hair from short pixie styles to long tumbling tresses. Also one of the perks of having balayage is that you don't have to worry about having your roots retouched, you can leave them grow out naturally.     

Balayage Method- 

Balayage is a free hand highlighting technique where lightening product is applied directly to individual pieces of hair using a small application brush. The colourist will use a sweeping motion to apply the product, hence the name balayage which means "The Sweep" in French. To achieve a natural result, product is lightly applied to start of the highlight and gradually gets heavier towards the ends to give a sun kissed finish.

Development Time -

Due to this technique balayage can take more time to apply than basic weaved foils.  

Balayage Gallery

Frosting Cap

The frosting cap method was a popular choice to highlight hair in the 1980s before foils came on the scene in the 1990s. Even though the frosting cap has lost it's popularity, it's still used in some salons today. The frosting cap does have it's limitations such as you can only have one colour highlight, it can be uncomfortable specially on long hair and you haven't got the freedom like the other highlighting methods. While the frosting cap technique is a cheaper and faster option than foils or balayage you don't achieve the same multi-demsional finish. Personally I prefer the foil or balayage techniques.

The Frosting Cap Method-

A rubber cap is placed over the head and using a small hook, pieces of hair are pulled through the small holes. Then the highlighting mixture is brushed on and a plastic cap is placed over the hair to keep the heat in and help develop.  

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