How Are Highlights Done in a Salon?

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When done correctly, the addition of highlights to your current style is a fun and easy way to change your look and accentuate your natural features. Highlights are less drastic than dying your entire head of hair, so this beauty treatment can give a natural and subtle boost to your look. There a variety of kits and products that encourage you to perform your own highlights at home, but since you are working with chemicals, it is advised that you visit a trained professional hair stylist to get your new highlights. Depending on your hair type and the final look that you are trying to achieve, your stylist may use different highlighting techniques.


The most common highlighting process that is performed in a salon involves foil highlights. This procedure can be done in full foils over the entirety of the head or with partial foils that only color some of the hair, for example, face-framing highlights. According to Hair Dye Salon, hair painting is another technique that is frequently used in salons. This technique can be used to achieve a similar look to the foils or to give the customer a “chunky” effect with her desired color. Lowlights are another option, and they incorporate richer and darker colors to give your hair dimension.


Your stylist can add highlights to your hair after it has been cut, or you can make an appointment just for the color. Once your hair has been thoroughly washed, the stylist will choose the method of highlighting. The stylist will mix your personalized color in a bowl that combines the necessary chemicals and dyes. This mix is then applied to the damp hair and allowed to sit and process in the hair. Some types of processing require heat activation, so you would sit under a hair dryer while the product soaks into your hair.


Highlights are a great way to spice up a dull shade or change your hair color without going through the full–and oftentimes damaging–single-process hair color treatment. Highlights allow you to target the area you want to emphasize and incorporate multiple colors to give your hair a natural and dimensional look. Highlights are also good because they will fade and grow out naturally and you will not have as many problems with roots as you do with single-process dyes.

Time Frame

According to Virtual Hair Care, the highlight process in a salon can take anywhere from one to three hours depending on your hair length and the type of highlights that you are getting. Highlights should be maintained on a regular basis. You should decide a schedule based on your hair-growth rate. Your stylist can help you decide how often you need to repeat the procedure.


The cost of highlights will vary depending on several factors including the salon you choose, the length of your hair and if you are getting partial or full highlights. If you are looking for a less expensive option, but you do not want to perform the process yourself, consider making an appointment at a local beauty school that should have prices that are much lower than salons.