Highlights, Lowlights—Here’s an easy explanation for the differences in both!

by Jane Moss

Summer is the time so many of us consider getting that sun-streaked look. You may talk to your colorist about highlights—but when he (or she) mentions lowlights, you might not know the difference. 

First, let’s talk about how we break down color at Brick & Mirror. We use a simple 10-degree scale: Black is #1 (the darkest) and #10 the lightest blonde. When we use the term “highlight” or “lowlight,” it has to do with the numbers we’ll use in your hair—how high we’re going determines the color. Colors inlcuding #6, #7, #8 and above are going to be highlights that will get you blonder. When you go to numbers at the #5, #4, #3 range, you’re going to go darker in color. Because the most natural-looking hair is dimensional, we’re going to recommend a nice mix of highlights and lowlights. Keep in mind that “low” doesn’t necessarily mean “black,” it means any number lower than your highlights’ number.

Say, for example, you’ve been highlighted with #9 and #10, and over time your hair is starting to get very blonde. At this point, we will recommend using some lowlights--#7, #6, for example—to give your hair that natural, light and balanced look that makes people ask, “was she on vacation?” 

To watch our video that explains the process and shows you the color deck, click here. And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel where you can learn all there is to know about Brick & Mirror Beauty Bar!


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