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River Oaks Hair Salon

Salon Efrain Highlights

What are highlights?

Traditionally, the term referred to lighter pieces of hair.

People naturally get highlights from sun exposure.  The sun lightens pieces of the hair, taking them to a lighter color than your natural base color.

Early highlighting techniques attempted to mimic that approach, using lighteners to add strands of lighter color to your natural color.

Highlighting has evolved beyond its origins.

People can use a variety of different techniques to add highlights to their hair.

People use highlighting techniques to add darker tones to hair (lowlights) or add fun streaks of contrasting colors. 

If you are looking to change sections of your hair instead of an all-over color change, you want some version of highlights.

Why Get Highlights?

Highlights are a versatile way to change your look.  People like them because they:

  • Add a youthful appearance
  • Require lower maintenance than full hair color
  • Can be customized to create different color combinations
  • Add texture to hair
Find the perfect hairstyle for you

Additionally, highlights:

  • Make hair look fuller
  • Add dimension to hair
  • Blend grey hair into the natural hair color without a demarcation line

Highlighting Techniques

There are four main highlighting techniques:

  • Foil highlights
  • Hair painting
  • Frosting
  • Chunking

In addition, each of these techniques can have different variations.  Two popular versions of hair painting stylists are using are balayage and shatush.

Foil Highlights

Using foils is the traditional way to create highlights.

The stylist uses foil to separate strands of hair from the rest of the hair. The foil keeps the bleach from getting onto other areas. 

The stylist applies lightener to the smaller hair strands. 

Foils allow stylists to control the size and placement of highlights precisely.

Stylists can use foil highlights to achieve a variety of looks.  The two most common are:

  • Full head highlights
  • Babylights 

Babylights are tiny highlights that are designed to mimic the look of sun-lightened hair. 

Babylights are traditionally white-blonde. Because of their size, they can create a natural appearance, even in darker hair tones.

Stylists can also use the babylight technique for different colors of highlights.

Hair Painting

Hair painting is a freehand technique.  The stylist uses hairbrushes, combs, or other tools to apply color to pieces of hair. Some stylists even use their hands.

The look simultaneously looks more natural but allows stylists to be more precise.

While the application method is freehand, stylists may use other tools or accessories to keep colored hair separated from surrounding hair. 

Stylists are using hair painting to create some of the most on-trend looks in modern hair color.


Frosting is a highlighting technique that was very popular in the 70s and 80s. It lightens larger strands of hair.

Frosting can use a frosting cap, where the stylist pulls the hair through holes in the cap and then lightens it. Stylists can also use foils or even hair painting to create a frosted appearance.

Frosted hair is usually higher-contrast than other coloring applications.

Because the look is less natural, it has fallen out of favor for many people.

However, frosting can still be a helpful technique, depending on a person’s desired outcome.


Extremely popular in the 1990s, this technique has largely fallen out of favor.

Chunking involves creating highlights that are larger than traditional highlights. Instead of highlighting strands, it highlights chunks.

It was once popular to have high-contrast super-light chunks against a darker natural hair base.

While that look is no longer on-trend, the chunking technique may be incorporated with bright colors or “mermaid” hairstyles.

What Are Lowlights?

Stylists create lowlights using the same techniques as highlights. However, instead of using a lighter color than the base color, they use a darker color.

As colorful hair trends have become more popular, people seek “highlights” of different colors. Technically, some of these colors may be lowlights.

Women looking for balayage should go to Salon Efrain

Stylists create lowlights using the same techniques as highlights. However, instead of using a lighter color than the base color, they use a darker color.

As colorful hair trends have become more popular, people seek “highlights” of different colors. Technically, some of these colors may be lowlights.

The reason we have a consultation before any new client color process is to ensure we are communicating.

We may use different terms for techniques. As long as we clearly understand your color goals, we can help you achieve them.

Are Highlights Right for Me?

Highlighting is a versatile technique that works for most hair types. 

Highlighting brightens the appearance of hair and can be used on all hair colors.

Highlighting works well on various hair types.

Highlighting can be used in combination with all-over color processing for increased depth.

However, highlights are not for everyone.  If the hair has been overprocessed, it may not be strong enough for highlighting.

How costly is Shatush?

Which Highlighting Technique Should I Choose?

It would help if you did not choose any of them.

Instead, you should choose a look. What look do you want to achieve?

Things to consider are:

  • Do you want the look to be dramatic?
  • Do you want the look to be subtle?
  • Do you want only lighter strands?
  • Do you want face-framing highlights?
  • Do you want all-over highlights?
  • Do you want darker strands?
  • What type of maintenance regimen do you want?
  • Is your hair grey or greying?

During your consultation, your stylist will ask you about your color goals.

The stylist will then explain what techniques they would use to create your color goals.

They will choose those techniques for a variety of reasons:

  • To create the color that you want
  • To keep your hair healthy
  • To work with any existing color on your hair
  • To work with your hair texture
  • To meet your maintenance goals

Plan Your Consultation

We want you to have the hair of your dreams. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Consultations are where we find out what you want and discuss how to achieve it. We discuss the:

  • Look you want
  • Techniques to achieve that look
  • Maintenance requirements for the look

Bring in your wish-list pictures of hair you love.

Not sure what look you want? No problem.

The whole reason we require consultations is to make sure that we understand your vision and can bring it to life. We look forward to meeting you.