Updated: Jan 15, 2020
In our teen years we reach the peak of color richness, the highest concentration of color, over time this gives way to a more matte, lackluster version of our original hair color.
As we mature we become aware of our facial features and attributes, we seek to underscore those by using "accent tools" such as hair highlighting techniques that help us draw attention to the desired areas, this can vary in intensity from one to several levels of lightening according to the sought-after effect.
Highlights are an intrinsic part of hair color and design. It can visually broaden or narrow your facial features, bring the focus of attention to the targeted areas of the face such as eyes or cheeks, accentuate texture, create contrast, add dimension and movement to your cut and style, and it can be adapted to all hair textures.
A classic technique of chiaroscuro: mid 17th cent.: from Italian, chiaro ‘clear, bright’ (from Latin clarus) + oscuro ‘dark, obscure’ (from Latin obscurus). is my point of inspiration which I personally use to visualize the effect I'm after on a client.
Highlights need not look mechanic or monotone in pattern, they can be incredibly organic and natural looking, or bold-commanding attention. Your hairdresser will work with you to determine the proper size and placement. Just remember these simple guidelines: If you have fine hair, your highlights should be fine and delicate. Thicker hair calls for thicker highlights. Fine highlights on thick hair disappear. Thick highlights on fine hair are too heavy and can look sloppy and amateurish.
Contouring Your Hair
Highlights can even celebrate facial features similar to makeup contouring. "On a narrow face, highlights strategically placed on either side can make it look brighter and fuller," or if your eyes are further apart, highlights at the top of your head will bring eyes together and attract light to the top of head. Highlights do not need to be elaborate, a few well-placed highlights can create wonderful movement transforming the look of your haircut guiding the eye to all the right places.
Highlights have a reputation of being time consuming to create, and they can be, depending upon the effect you are after, but the general trend has gone to touches, dashes, brief accents of color well placed that can create the desired effect in surprisingly short time. As always, consult with your hair professional for accurate advise and best results.