Difference Between Hair Glaze & Hair Highlights

If you're looking for a hair color pick-me-up, the options can be overwhelming. From a double process to streaks, hair color often needs a little bit of explanation. Highlights and glaze are popular options for a light or dramatic change.


Highlights are created when a lighter color or bleach is applied to selected strands woven through the hair. When darker color is applied, it is commonly called "lowlights."


A glaze is a clear or tinted top coat for the hair that can be used to add a slight color, though in clear form it is used for conditioning and shine enhancement. Glaze is typically a semi-permanent color that does not lift the underlying hair color.

Highlight Styles

When weaving in highlights, there are several options from selecting large chunks or panels, to creating thin streaks. For the most natural looks, highlights are blended by selecting every other strand in a section for color application.

Glaze Types

When glaze is used for conditioning and shine, the formula is clear and slightly foamy. For color applications, glaze is used to tint the color of the underlying hair and is often known as "toner" when used as the final color in a double process.

Length of Wear

Many highlights are permanent, though new growth will need to be retouched every 6-8 weeks. Glaze is semi-permanent, and the fade of the treatment depends on how often the hair is washed and conditioned, along with external issues such as environment.

In Tandem

When highlights are applied, many stylists will apply a toner to the highlighted sections of hair to tweak or refine the color. A glaze also creates "highlights" when a tint is applied to dark hair, allowing for a colorful shimmer in different lighting.