Hair Coloring: What Are Lowlights?

What you need to know about coloring your hair with lowlights.

Feeling tired and dull? Has your look lost its luster? Bored by that reflection in the mirror? The problem may not be in your head, but on your head. Take action by trying out some new hair color.

Coloring your hair is one of the quickies and easiest ways add style and sass to your look. For years, men and women have turned to highlights to achieve lightened, brightened locks. When done correctly, highlights can add life and vibrancy to even the dullest mane. But these single-tone dye jobs can also leave hair looking flat and phony.

That's why so many people are now turning to lowlights. Weaving both highlights and lowlights throughout your hair has become one of the hottest ways to achieve depth as well as dynamo results.

But before you visit your stylist (or, for the

truly brave, try this at home), it's important to educate yourself about the best ways to achieve your desired results. Understanding your coloring options can help you avoid dying disasters and ensure a great new hairstyle. For most people, natural-looking color looks best. Using lowlights as a coloring technique will allow you to freshen and update your "do" without causing dramatic change.

What's the difference between a highlight and a lowlight?

Simply put, highlights lighten and brighten your hair color, while lowlights darken and deepen it. Common highlighting hues include blonde, gold and chamomile tones, while lowlights are likely to be reds, plums and auburn shades. Two or three colors can be used throughout the hair to create shimmering, true-looking contrasts.

Will lowlights work for me?

Lowlights can enhance any hairstyle by adding texture and warmth to hair. They are especially great for fist-time blondes, anyone looking to ease out of platinum color into a more natural-looking hue, and all those recovering form an overly dramatic dye job. Lowlights work for all hair colors, lengths and types. To achieve the most natural look, never go more than three shades lighter or darker than your root color.

How can I keep lowlights looking great?

Like highlights and other nonpermanent color, lowlights can become dull and drab over time. Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner after each wash. You should also try washing your hair less often. Always wear a hat outdoors to prevent wind and sun damage, which can cause fading. And use a rubber cap or massage hair with a capful of olive oil before swimming.

How much should I expect to spend?

The cost of lowlights can vary depending on your location, your colorist, how many highlights or lowlights you have ("full head" or "half head"), and the length or your hair. For a full head weave with two colors, you can expect to pay between $90-150.

Depending on your hairstyle, color should be touched up every six to 12 weeks. Shorter and layered hair needs to be touched up more often than longer, even-length hair.

Lowlights may be the cure your hair-do blues. They're certainly are a great way to cover gray hair, change your look, or just have some fun without making too dramatic a change.

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