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Hair highlights

If you’re looking for a little more pizzazz in your tresses, or perhaps seeking to cover up the first incursions of gray hair, highlights may be your first and best option.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: August 9, 2016

Highlighting is the changing of color on select strands of hair, as opposed to all of the hair at once. Typically, highlights are lighter or brighter than the base (original) hair color. If a darker color is used, they are then called “lowlights.”

Highlights can be used to brighten the base color, or they can be used on top of previously-dyed hair to add contrast and depth to the new color. There are several different methods of applying highlights.

Foiling is the application of highlights to hair strands separated by crinkled foil. Balayage is a fancy (French) name for hand-painting the hair with dye. Chunking is the application of highlights in thicker, more dramatic strips.

Frosting is a highlighting technique more often associated with hair bows and popped collars. It involves bleaching individual tips of the hair with hydrogen peroxide, giving hair a pale, frosty look.

Who's Done It?

It almost doesn’t make sense to list celebrities that have had highlights—that would be practically all of them! You have probably noticed highlights on Beyonce, Jessica Biel, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Chris Hemsworth and David Beckham.