Highlighting Styles Explained

Highlighting Styles Explained

If you’re looking for a way to brighten up your hair color during these dark days of winter, you may be considering adding some highlights. The problem is that there are so many options to choose from. Foils, balayage, ombre, hand painting- what’s the difference and which one is best? Today we’ll explain the different highlighting styles and techniques to help clear up any confusion and assist you in choosing the right style for you.


Let’s start with the traditional highlighting method. Sections of hair are coated with color and wrapped in foil. This keeps it separated from the rest of your hair as it processes. The resulting lighter strands stand out from your base color creating a lot of dimensions. The chunky highlights that are trending right now are usually created with this technique.


Ombre is a multi-toned color that begins with a darker color at the roots fading to a lighter shade at the tips. Brown to blonde is the most popular ombre style, but you can create a variety of looks with this style using virtually any color combination. Fantasy colors like lilac to pink, dark to light blonde, red to gold, or dark metallic pewter to shimmering silver are just a few ideas for this style. You can even reverse it so that it starts with a lighter color at the roots and transitions to a darker shade at the tips. This is a very easily personalized and versatile highlighting style.


Balayage is not a highlighting style, but rather a technique. Coming from French, the term literally means sweeping. So the name describes the technique in which your colorist sweeps the color onto your hair creating a gradient color. This method of applying the highlight color to your hair results in a very natural sunkissed look that is low maintenance, requiring little to no touch-ups. 

Freehand Painting

Balayage is a form of hand painting that applies color only to the top of your strands. With freehand painting, your colorist applies color to both the top and bottom of your strands which creates the look of foils, but with a softer more artistic appearance. The possibilities with freehand painting are endless, and you will have your own unique look every time. The recently popular unicorn and holographic hair colors are a form of freehand painting.

Still not sure? The hair color experts at Voga Salon will be happy to help you choose the best highlighting style or technique to achieve the look you want. Give us a call at 913.685.1832 or download our free mobile app from iTunes or Google Play to reserve your appointment. You can find us at 13357 West 135th in Overland Park.



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