Hair highlighting/lowlighting refers to changing a person's hair color, using lightener or haircolor to color hair strands. There are four basic types of highlights: foil highlights, hair painting, frosting, and chunking. Highlights can be done in natural or unnatural colors. Color highlights come in four categories: temporary, semi-permanent, demi-permanent, and permanent. Hair lightened with bleach is considered permanent.
Hair with blonde highlights
Basic foil highlighting
Foil highlighting is the process of using foil to separate strands of hair which will be lightened from strands of hair which will remain its natural color. The process is done by applying lightener to the hair that has been woven and separated using an applicator brush. The foil is then folded to protect the hair and surrounding area during the "processing" time. This is the amount of time required to achieve the desired results. In highlighting hair, hydrogen peroxide mixed with pigment is used to change the color of the strand. This process is also used in applying "lowlights" to the hair. In this process, hair dyes are used to create strands of hair that are darker than the natural color.
Hair painting is a method of highlighting hair that may be done at home. Hair painting methods are often permanent and employ a simple hair-painting brush. Hair painting is also used with temporary and semi-permanent types of brushes. While brushes are commonly used in hair painting, one may also use combs to paint or highlight thin-sized strands of hair. Balayage is a technique referring to free-form painting on clean, styled hair. The results are subtle, and more natural looking than foiling or chunking.
Frosting refers to the process of free-hand lightening the tips of the hair, and is generally performed on men with short hair.
Chunking refers to a style of highlight which is larger and thicker than a traditional highlight, rather than to a method of creating highlights. Chunky highlights are generally offered in a wider variety of bold natural colors, as well as a large number of artificial, or unnatural, colors and are used to create more contrast, rather than subtle texture, as in traditional, thinner highlights.
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