Pros And Cons: Should You Highlight Your Hair?

Although highlighting your hair is not the same as coloring it overall, you still need to consider the pros and cons.

Hair highlighting is a fun and creative way to experiment with colors and shades in a variety of styles. Women have long colored their hair from the dawn of civilization, using henna and herbs for a variety of hues. Nowadays we still have plant dyes that make our hair more attractive and interesting, but it helps to understand how and why to use hair highlights.

Whatever shade your hair is, you can add one or more highlights to provide a textured or enhanced look to your style. Highlighting can be done several different ways to achieve a variety of effects:

1. Home versus salon highlights. If you feel comfortable using over-the-counter chemical kits for coloring your hair, you can pick up a highlighting product at a reasonable cost in most drugstores, supermarkets, and department stores that sell cosmetics or health and beauty aids. Or you can get a friend to help apply the solution at home. Just be sure you have adequate supplies, like a "bib," gloves, timer, etc., to avoid mess and to ensure the job gets done correctly. Be sure to do the strand and allergy tests first to head off potential problems. If you schedule a salon appointment, get the same stylist each time for consistency or experiment with differing looks.

2. Use a single lighter shade of highlights for a natural look. Your hair will appear to be sun-lightened or genetically dual-shaded for an attractive and yet not brassy look. This looks well with anything you care to wear, whether an office suit or an evening cocktail dress. The style is achieved by wearing a plastic cap with holes poked in it through which thin hair strands are pulled through and colored in a lighter shade.

3. Go for a multi-shade look. Hair painting can apply two or more varying shades of color to your usual hue for a textured look that makes a splash at parties or special events. Some products are temporary and wash out in time; others are permanent and must grow out to be eventually trimmed away. If you use the permanent brand of product, plan to have your roots touched up periodically to keep your hair looking fresh.

4. Walk on the wild side. For costume parties or really exotic events, you can get your hair painted or highlighted in neon colors or swirling hues that coordinate or clash. Younger patrons often prefer this type of look for a temporary creative endeavor. Ask your hair specialist to create a sensational style that will get you noticed but not mocked.

5. Find out what's hot. Browse hair magazines or fashion journals to see what's going on with highlighting this season. Then ask your stylist what will look good on you to enhance your complexion, hair texture, and style. Dare to be different but not dopey in selecting your next highlighted look.

Color highlights are a great way to add dazzle to your natural hair color without going to a completely different shade with hair dye. Keep an eye on the highlights of people you meet and then ask your salon specialist to give it a try on you next time.

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