Men, Here’s What You Need to Know About Highlights

We’re thankful that the frosted hair look of the 90s isn’t coming back any time soon – these were tacky, no matter how you looked at them! Thankfully, men can still get highlights from SmartStyle without appearing like they stepped out of the 90s. Think Justin Timberlake during his ‘NSync days. 

But before you head to the nearest Regis salon, a reputable nationwide chain of salons for men and women, you should first know these things about highlights. While the hair colorist knows what he’s doing, you may not know what’s being done to your hair and its result. At the very least, you know the basics so you can participate in the decision-making process – and it’s your hair at stake, too!  

Highlights Add Visual Appeal 

If you work in an industry where highlights are frowned upon, such as in business and finance, or you’re not comfortable with differently-colored strands, then highlights likely aren’t for you. This is because highlights emphasize the layers and texture of your hair with small yet noticeable lighter-colored strands. 

Your colorist will usually select small clusters of hair and then paint it with a hair dye a few shades lighter than your current hair color. The hair dye is applied around the hairline and then gradually down to the ends. Since your hair’s color, texture and layers are unique, your highlights will also be different. 

For this reason, your colorist will first look closely at your hairline and the way your hair lies naturally. He will then make the decision to choose the hair dye, from its color to its application. You have to trust him because he’s likely to know best – and in most cases, less is more for men, unless you’re going for the full-on 90s look. 

Highlights aren’t just for lighter hair color on specific strands. These can also increase the volume and texture of your hair so it’s recommended for men with limp hair. This is because the bleach, a product used to lighten hair, expands its cuticle resulting in more texture.  

Highlights Aren’t the Same as Dyeing Hair 

When you’re dyeing hair, you’re changing the overall color of your hair. But with highlights, these are supposed to look natural, not as if you dyed your hair in a vivid color, particularly one that isn’t found in nature (e.g., bright pink or purple). 

Highlights are intended to draw positive attention to the overall look of your hairstyle, a look with a natural feel to it. This is the reason why highlights should ideally be done by a trained colorist – too many things can go wrong and you may well end up looking like a troll, literally.  

Highlights Aren’t Suitable for Certain Men 

While men get highlights just as women do, there are certain men who should think twice about getting them. This isn’t a matter of discrimination but a matter of looking and feeling good with highlights in your hair. 

Men with thinning hair 

Unfortunately, balding men are well-advised to avoid getting highlights and other coloring treatments. While highlights add texture to hair, these are only applicable to fuller heads of hair

This is because the cuticle in thinning hair isn’t strong enough to withstand the chemical effects of the bleach, dye and toner. Instead of getting the appearance of thicker hair, it can actually cause more damage. (Men with thinning hair should use products with a texturizing effect instead) 

Men who want to grow their hair out 

Hair is subject to wear and tear, too, and coloring speeds it up. Plus, the application of chemicals used in highlights can compromise healthy hair when these are applied one too many times. In fact, reliable colorists will not lighten the same hair strands more than twice, sometimes not even twice in a short interval, because of the possible damage. 

So, if you want to grow your hair out, you shouldn’t have highlights. You should focus more on maintaining its health. Otherwise, you can have highlights for variety, movement and volume. 

Men who have dark brown and black hair 

If you have black hair, you shouldn’t have highlights! The contrast between your black hair and any other color, even dark brown, will be too much that it will look like you have frosted tips. 

This is true for dark brown hair, too, since highlights that are lighter than the lightest brown in the color wheel will be too noticeable. The overall look will be artificial, and highlights are supposed to look natural. 

But if you have dark blond or light brown hair, then your colorist can choose suitable colors for your highlights. The goal here is to achieve a more natural overall look sans the noticeable contrast between the natural hair color and the highlights.  

Most importantly, men’s highlights are different than women’s highlights! With men, there are a fewer number of highlights applied since the objective here is to let the nuances in the hair become more visible than when it’s an all-solid color.

Category: Hair Tips


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