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Do highlights or lowlights make you look younger?

Whether you want to conceal your grays or add dimension to your hair, highlights and lowlights can both be effective options. But which technique makes you look younger? The answer depends on a variety of factors.

How highlights can make you look younger

Highlights can make you look younger in several ways:

  • They lighten your overall hair color, which creates a more youthful look.
  • Strategically placed highlights around the face can brighten your complexion.
  • Highlighting helps minimize the appearance of gray hairs by blending them with other shades.
  • Subtle highlights give hair dimension and movement for a more voluminous look.

When done correctly, highlights can camouflage gray hairs so they blend seamlessly with the rest of your hair color. This makes gray hair much less noticeable. Highlights also reflect light, which creates the illusion of shinier and fuller hair.

It’s best to opt for fine highlights applied throughout the head rather than chunky, stark chunks. Subtle highlights help brighten your complexion and play down age spots and wrinkles. Dramatic highlights with obvious regrowth tend to look artificial.

You’ll get the most youthful results from highlights when you:

  • Go just a shade or two lighter than your natural color
  • Use a combination of highlights and lowlights
  • Concentrate highlights around your face
  • 维持颜色的真实本色,别做明显或不自然的染色

How lowlights can make you look younger

While highlights lighten hair, lowlights do the opposite – they make hair darker in strategic areas. Lowlights can also create a more youthful appearance when done correctly. Here’s how:

  • Lowlights add depth and dimension, creating the illusion of thicker, fuller hair.
  • Shadowing at the roots helps disguise any emerging grays so they blend with the rest of the hair.
  • Lowlights around the face can minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Going darker often appears less harsh than going lighter as we age.

The objective with lowlights is to enhance your natural hair color in a subtle, nuanced way. Harsh blocks of dark color can look unnatural. Instead, opt for lowlights just a shade or two deeper than your natural color. Concentrate the lowlights around your face and hairline to help soften wrinkles and flaws.

As with highlights, you’ll get the most natural, youthful results from lowlights by:

  • Making sure lowlights seamlessly blend with the rest of your hair.
  • Strategically applying them just around the face and hairline.
  • Balancing lowlights with complementary highlights.
  • Using matte lowlight formulas to avoid harshness.

Should you choose highlights or lowlights?

So should you go for highlights or lowlights if you want a more youthful hairstyle? As you can see, both can be beneficial depending on your particular needs and preferences. Here are some factors to help you decide:

Consideration Favors Highlights Favors Lowlights
Your natural hair color Light to medium blonde or brown hair Dark brown or black hair
Amount of gray hair Minimal gray hair Moderate to extensive gray hair
Skin tone Fair or olive complexion Medium to dark complexion
Hair condition Dry or damaged hair Healthy, strong hair
Face shape Round or square face Oval, long or angular face
Forehead Low or receding hairline High, broad forehead
Eye color Light eyes Dark eyes
Skin flaws None or minimal Moderate to extensive

As you can see, certain factors may lend themselves better to highlights or lowlights. For example, if you have dark hair and a lot of gray, lowlights may disguise it better. If you have a round face shape, highlights around your face can create a slimming effect.

Consult a colorist

While the guidelines above can help point you in the right direction, consulting an experienced colorist is key. They can evaluate your unique facial features, complexion and hair condition to determine if highlights or lowlights (or a combination of both) will have the most youth-enhancing effects.

A skilled colorist will also know how to strategically place highlights and lowlights in a way that looks natural and not overly “done.” Subtlety is crucial for an anti-aging look.

With the right formulation and placement from a trusted colorist, both highlights and lowlights can maximize your youthful radiance. Schedule a consultation to determine which technique is best for your hair.

Maintenance is key

Proper maintenance is crucial for making highlights or lowlights look their best. With highlights, new growth will look obvious as your roots grow out. Plan to touch up the highlights every 4-6 weeks.

Lowlights require less frequent maintenance. The new growth blends more seamlessly. Still, expect to have lowlights refreshed every 6-8 weeks.

Regular toning appointments in between full color services are also a good idea. This helps keep brassiness at bay and your highlights or lowlights looking shiny and fresh.

Use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner designed for color-treated hair. Limit washing to 2-3 times per week if possible. The less you shampoo, the longer your highlights or lowlights will last.

Additionally, minimize direct heat styling and wear a hat in the sun. Heat and UV rays can cause color to fade faster. Avoid chlorine and salt water as well.

Experiment with fun colors

While subtle, natural highlights and lowlights are generally most flattering, you certainly can experiment with fun, bold colors too. Vibrant highlights in hues like pink, purple and blue can give you an edgy, youthful look.

Just keep in mind that bright shades often fade quickly. This means more frequent touch ups to keep the color looking bold and crisp.

Radical color experiments are best saved for when you feel like changing up your look dramatically. Go for more natural highlighting and lowlighting if your goal is specifically to look as youthful as possible.

Other anti-aging hair color techniques

In addition to traditional highlighting and lowlighting, other hair color techniques can provide an anti-aging effect. Options to consider include:

  • Balayage: The colorist hand-paints highlights on the surface of the hair for a seamless, face-framing effect.
  • Ombré: Hair gradually blends from darker at the roots to lighter at the ends.
  • Sombré: Like ombré, but the roots remain dark and blend into subtle, soft highlights.
  • toner: Reduces brassiness in blonde and gray hair for a more natural look..
  • Babylights: Ultra-fine highlights to lighten hair in a subtle, multidimensional way.

A professional colorist can help you determine which technique will provide the most anti-aging benefits for your particular hair.

Other ways to look younger with your hair

While strategic color can help turn back the clock, the cut, style and condition of your hair also impact how young it makes you look. Some other anti-aging hair tips include:

  • Get frequent trims (every 6-8 weeks) to prevent split ends and keep hair looking healthy.
  • Add layers to give hair bounce and movement.
  • Avoid flat, severe styles. Instead opt for volume and flow.
  • Cut hair shorter as you age to prevent flat, thin hair from dragging down your face.
  • Condition religiously and use treatments to boost shine and smoothness.
  • Conceal thinning hair with flattering styles like waves, layers or face-framing bangs.
  • Invest in quality haircare products suited for your hair type and concerns like dryness or frizz.
  • Protect hair from heat styling to minimize damage that can age your look.

Your hair’s cut, condition, and style combined with smart color techniques can keep your locks looking lush, healthy and youthful.

Consult the experts

While things like at-home hair color kits may seem convenient and budget-friendly, nothing beats seeing a professional for beautiful, natural, youth-enhancing highlights and lowlights. A skilled colorist will:

  • Take your unique hair characteristics and goals into account
  • Determine whether highlights, lowlights or a combination are best
  • Formulate the ideal shade(s) to precisely meet your needs
  • Strategically place color in a way that complements your features
  • Seamlessly blend highlights and lowlights so they look realistic
  • Provide personalized maintenance advice going forward

If looking younger is your goal, a professional color service along with attentive at-home care is your best bet. The results will be natural, flattering and youth-enhancing.

The bottom line

When done correctly, both highlights and lowlights can provide an anti-aging effect and make you look younger. It ultimately comes down to your particular hair characteristics and needs. For the optimal, most customized results, meet with a skilled colorist.

With a professional’s experienced eye and expertise, you can achieve beautiful, luminous locks that turn back the clock. Continue the youthful look with proper at-home care and maintenance between salon visits.

While hair color alone won’t erase wrinkles or age spots, strategic highlighting and lowlighting can help you put your best, most youthful face forward. So embrace these hair color techniques to shine a light on your most flawless, radiant self!