Highlights, Lowlights, Babylights & Balayage: EVERYTHING To Know

It can be confusing to tackle hair lingo. If you’ve ever had an unsatisfactory experience at a hair salon (which unfortunately is the reality for many of us), it’s essential to know what to ask for. Sometimes, a simple picture won’t cut it. Here’s a list of hairstyling terms decoded for your benefit:



Highlights are pieces of hair in series that are lightened a few shades lighter than your base color (or natural hair color) to give an overall lighter look to your head of hair. ‘Chunky’ highlights were more popular in the past as thick sections of hair would be lightened at once. Now, people prefer more natural-looking, thinner sections of strands to highlight their hair. Some people choose to rock platinum-colored high lights on dark hair for rockstar vibes or strands only a shade or two lighter than their base color for a more natural, sun-kissed look.



Lowlights are the opposite of highlights. They are sections of hair that are darker than your base color. Their purpose is to create dimension within the hair that simple highlights may lack. Just like highlights, you can choose to color thinner or thicker sections of hair to create the look you’re going for.



Babylights are currently all the rage. It is a perfect alternative to getting highlights, as babylights require less maintenance and achieve a more natural look than typical highlights. The technique to achieve this look is to color smaller/thinner pieces of hair with less separation in between each chunk so that it seamlessly blends into your base color. Since babylights look less harsh, the line of demarcation (the hair that has grown out since your last dye-job) looks less severe than regular highlights. This means more spaced out visits to the salon and more money in your bank account!

Note: Prepare to sit in the salon chair for hours since the process for babylights is a long and tedious one.



Talk about a trend sweeping the hair scene; the balayage has taken over! This technique has graced the heads of every influencer and celebrity at one time or another. The ultra-chic look achieves hair color perfection, and it’s all due to the precise application of hair dye on the hair. The main takeaway to a balayage is the contouring effects and personalization it offers. Instead of systematically coloring strands, your hairstylist paints pieces that frame your face and blend from your base color to your ends to create a revamped version of the ombre.

There you have it! If you’re planning a visit to the salon to freshen up your looks or go lighter for the summer, make sure you’re equipped with all the lingo necessary to achieve your dream look!