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Bring on the Color: Blending vs. Highlights

Friday, June 08, 2012 3:25 PM  |  by HD-Mary

Blending vs. Highlighted HairLooking to do something different with your hair? If you're leaning more towards a color change then you have a few options. You could make a bold statement and change your color altogether, or go for something a little more subtle, just to brighten things up a little and add dimension. If that's the route you're looking to take, then adding highlights or a blend of colors might be just what the hair-doctor ordered.

I can't begin to tell you how many times I've spoken to clients who want to make color changes to their hair system but misuse the terms “highlight” and “blend.” They think they want highlights when in reality they just want a color blend, or vice versa. We talk a lot about color, but not a whole lot about these topics. So I thought that I would shed some light on highlights and blending to help clear up any misconceptions.

Blending Color into Your Hair

Let’s start with color blending. This is really pretty simple! You would just need to choose two or more colors that you would like to see incorporated throughout your hair system. The total percentage of color needs to match 100%. If you choose two colors then you would just need to decide what color you want to be dominant.

For example: let’s say that you choose a 2T from our standard color ring (dark brown) as your dominant color and you want to use a 4T (lighter brown) just to add some dimensional color. Well, depending on how much dimension you want to see, you could use 70% 2T and then blend 30% of 4T throughout your system. This means that there are no intentional streaks of color, just strands of the lighter 4T color mixed in with the 2T. When the sunlight—or any light—hits your hair you'll see subtle hints of different color, but nothing drastic.

Adding Highlights to Your Hair

If you're looking for a more drastic change, or at least something that stands out more, then you want highlights. Highlights are intentional streaks of color that stand apart from the dominant color of your hair. These can be bold streaks or subtle streaks, placed strategically throughout your hair system.

You decide how little or how much of a statement you want to make! Again, you can choose two or more colors for the highlights, but you will need to decide on your dominant or “base” color first.

Ordering Tip: Sending in photos of the look that you want to achieve is extremely helpful. It gives your hair tech something to work from and a visual idea of how to design the look for your hair system.

Getting Your Color Right

It may sound simple, but there’s a science to this blending and highlighting thing. So be really clear about what you want when you speak to your tech. Make sure that you choose your colors wisely and don't be afraid to ask for help. If you've always had just one basic color and have decided to make a change, we're more than happy to help you choose a color that will match well.

Ordering Tip: You’ll need to send us a color sample or choose a color that you like from the color ring. Matching color to photos, magazine pictures or computer images just doesn't work. You can order a color ring by contacting us: 800-424-7436, or support@hairdirect.com

So let’s recap! A blend is basically two or more colors that are mixed evenly throughout your entire hair system. It is a very subtle way to incorporate dimensional color in your hair system. Highlights, on the other hand, are bold, intentional streaks of color placed strategically throughout your hair system wherever you want to see them. They can be placed anywhere: the front, top, crown, just in the front, or all throughout. It's all up to you and the look you want to achieve.

Shameless Promotion: When you have the color(s) you want, keep them that way! See our full collection of color-management products.

Now I want to hear from you! Have you been thinking about making a change and just didn't quite know how to go about it? Have I helped to clear the differences up between highlights and blending? I'm looking and hoping for your input/insight! So don't be shy! Post your questions and comments below.

Until next time...Happy Hair Days!

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About HD-Mary

I have always had a love for hair and all aspects of it. So after years of cutting/coloring/perming and styling family and friends hair I took the leap and put myself through Cosmetology school. I love creating/designing and educating clients. So, I have been referred to by a few in the office as "Obi Wan" because I love to share my knowledge. Hair Direct has allowed me to follow my passions and be a part of a great company to boot!


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