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Hair Highlighting

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Hair Highlighting
Hair highlighting involves playing around with hair colors to best effect by creating strands or bands of lighter shades. Hair streaking and frosting are also popular hair coloring treatments.

Hair highlighting allows you to mimic the effects of the sun with hair colors. You can accentuate or emphasize the haircut by creating contrast and dimension with hair highlights. Different hair colors add or subtract from your original hair color and offer it a range of hues and shades.

A professional hair stylist can suggest the hair color that can flatter your hairstyle as well as your skin tone and natural hair color. You can also find out the hair coloring or streaking method that will do wonders for you. You can experiment with hair colors to give you the look you desire - cool and sophisticated, casual and trendy or wild and wicked!


Hair highlighting

Hair highlights are spot colors applied to selected strands of the hair. Highlighting of the hair involves lightening the hair shade by at least 2 shades. You can give your hair the sun kissed look and even frame your face with the right amount of hair highlighting. When done well, hair highlighting can add depth and volume to your hair. Lowlights are not yet very popular with most women.

This involves darkening some strands of hair to achieve a different look. While a hair highlight lightens and brightens the hair, a lowlight darkens and deepens it. Hair colors for highlighting must be carefully chosen. Opt for blonde, gold and chamomile tones. The reds, plums and aubergines work best for lowlights.

The process of applying hair highlights involves wrapping strands of hair with aluminum foil after applying bleach. Yet another method is to use a plastic skull cap with holes all over. Hair is pulled through these holes and then bleached. With this method, you can ensure that sensitive skin is not exposed to chemicals.


Hair color

Colored pigment of the hair shafts reflect the light and consequently you can add or subtract from your original hair color. Hair coloring involves chemical reactions. Hydrogen peroxide is the developer or the oxidizing agent that aids the color forming process. This developer removes the sulfur from the hair. Ideally, the developer should not exceed 30% volume. Ammonia is alkaline and works as the lightening catalyst when the hair color comes together with the hydrogen peroxide.


Ammonia separates the hair cuticle and allows the hair color to penetrate the cortex of the hair. The alkaline color penetrates the hair shaft and hydrogen peroxide causes the color molecules to bond. Semi permanent hair colors add only a minimum amount of color molecules to the shaft of the hair. These hair colors do not alter the hair's natural pigments. The color molecules of semi-permanent hair colors are small and do not penetrate the hair shaft sufficiently. As a result, these hair colors get washed away after several shampoos.


Permanent hair colors work on a double action process - they lighten your hair's natural pigment to form a new base and then add the new color. The color molecules expand within the cortex to a size that cannot be washed off. Hair colors are graded according to the degree of lightness or darkness, 10 being the lightest and 1 being the darkest. The color wheel for hair colors can offer you anything from golden brown to coppery shades and chestnut and mahogany or even café au lait.


Hair Streaking

Hair streaking is similar to frosting and highlighting. Each can be used to best effect on different hairstyles. While frosting involves bleaching of individual hair strands, tipping is all about bleaching only the end of the hair. Frosting the hair involves giving an overall salt and pepper look to the hair. Hair streaking is more pronounced when compared with hair highlighting. The effects of hair streaking are striking, since there are bands of color. In the highlighting process, the blend between colors is subtler


Natural hair coloring

Women have been using natural hair colorants for thousands of years. These natural coloring products were extracted from plants and minerals. Henna and black walnut shells are natural agents containing pigments that lend themselves to coating the hair shaft with color.

Though natural hair coloring agents are relatively safer and non-toxic, some people develop allergies to them.


The henna shrub is widely found in West Asia and North Africa. The henna leaves are dried and powdered fine and then used as a natural base for hair coloring. Other than imparting its characteristic brownish red color, henna works as a good hair conditioner and adds body and texture to the hair.

Henna coats the hair shaft with a semi-permanent protein known as hennatannic acid. Henna does not create any dramatic color changes but instead coats and seals the hair shaft. It merely darkens your natural hair color. Color derived from henna is transparent and hence cannot lighten dark hair but instead add highlights to dark hair.


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