Highlights are a confusing and complicated business, don’t they? Considering everything from balayage, freelights, babylights, hand painting and halo lights , the myriad of techniques for highlighting makes us face many decisions and choices. Do you prefer colours that run from tip to root or do you want it to blend seamlessly along the hair shaft? Should the colour slices appear purposeful or natural? Do the hair colour remain concentrated about the middle and the ends on each hair or the colour framing your face?

To help you understand In order to make things easier, we’ll discuss the different techniques of highlights and the overall impact they have on your hair. If you’re feeling confident and ready, start strapping in – there’s more than you imagine. If you would like to know more about the prices of the different techniques of highlights in Singapore, you may refer to our article here.

Traditional Hair Highlights

Traditional highlights provide a cohesive and even lighter effect, and can also provide a lot of brightness all in one session. This is great for people who prefer a uniform yet multi-tonal blonde shade and do not mind regular maintenance that happens around every 8 weeks.

The result enables consistent hair strands of a lighter shade that are evenly laid from roots to the tips. It’s classic and timeless without contrasting panels or any shadows. Most often, professional foil is used to create a customised weave size that can be tailored to fit your desired outcome or hair type. The more bold weaves will produce an appearance that is streaky, whereas the finer weaves appear more soft, blended and natural.


Lowlights can be created typically by applying panels with a deeper shade that entails the illusion of depth and dimension to an over built up hair colour. This helps make the rest of the lighter hair pop and appear more vibrant. It also makes the hair look lower maintenance by applying darker panels. Lowlights can increase the illusion of depth and contrast by providing an extra dimension that can make hair appear thicker and more striking.

There are a variety of techniques to use using meche, foils, freehand painting, or paper for adding panels of darker colour. These are usually placed under the outer layers of hair, to keep the final result looking more expensive.


Babylights can be customised to be either more natural or lighter than traditional highlights because of the small weave’s dimensions and the number of foils included. They tend to grow out more subtly because of the small size of the weave. They are an excellent choice for those with difficult hairlines to achieve a seamless and harmonious blending.

This finishing results in a lighter shade with micro-dimensional which makes it difficult to discern the different colour panels. The blending of fine tiny hairs in lighter shades with the rest of the hair to create an expensive and extremely natural result.

Foils are also employed for this babylights technique but the colourist needs to be precise and careful using an extremely fine weave pattern that will pick up just a few single hair strands with every weave.

Balayage Highlights

Balayage is a French word that means “to sweep” and it is a popular technique for creating natural sun-kissed highlights that will allow the hair to grow out in a natural, soft way. The result may be bold with high contrast or subtle depending on the amount of hue. However the highlights will usually blend seamlessly in and out, hence it is difficult to discern precisely how the placement of highlights is created.

When you directly paint onto your hair, the highlights will be blended and create an appearance that looks as if it is natural – this resembles the way that hair gets lightened naturally under the sun as time passes. Balayage is a fantastic start for a hair colour introduction because it requires minimal maintenance and is nearly unnoticeable when the hair dye is done with a subtle finishing.

The product that lightens the hair is applied directly onto the hair, and then applied in a sweeping motion. A board or paddle can be utilised to help in saturating those long areas of highlights. Sometimes the colour is directly applied to the hair using brushes and hands. You may also find out more balayage hair inspirations in the article here.

Ombre Highlights

An additional French phrase, “ombre” which means ‘shade’, and is often used in hairdressing to refer to the colour gradient of hair that smoothly fades from dark to light. This method requires no or little maintenance since, in general, the natural colour stays at the root of hair. This can be a wonderful option for people with natural dark hair, to transition toward blonde tones without the high maintenance required by the full blonde method.

The finishing can range from a smooth fade (from extremely dark to lighter shades) to a soft colour lightening of the colour towards the end. The most important difference between balayage and ombre is that the ombre ends look lighter whereas balayage will be towards the effect of hair highlights.

Lightening products are applied on the ends of the hair, one section at a time by using a blending method similar to the balayage technique. It then fades upwards to reveal the natural hair that is darker. All the hair ends are lightened and no hair is left out.

Chunky Highlights

Also called as chunks, this is a fantastic option for those looking to make a statement. The results are striking and eye-catching , but the maintenance can be difficult as the final finishing tends to be bold.

The highly contrasted panels or ribbons of colour are painted on the hair. In general, there is an obvious distinction in both the shades however it is possible to have only one lighter shade incorporated into the dark natural hair.

Chunky highlights can be attained by using freehand painting or foil techniques, based on the specific client’s case. Normally the larger sections are taken and older panels will be lightened. These chunks can also be blended up with the roots to achieve a smoother and subtle look, or up to the scalp directly to create an enhanced stripy finishing.

Dimensional Highlights

Dimensional highlights play with shades and light to provide the appearance of character and depth of the hair. In general, the placement of bold or lighter highlights are through the layers and around the face, while the placement of fine highlights is in the body of hair, giving the overall appearance with more depth.

For those hairstylists who are towards the high-end territory, this is considered a tailored-made and customised technique. It’s an excellent method to enhance and emphasise your hair shape or the hairstyle by making certain areas to be lighter while others are placed darker. A professional stylist will put the colour in the optimal way to match your hairstyle and texture.

This technique can be achieved by using freehand painting or foils. The key is to alter the sizing of the slice or weave to make certain parts of hair lighter, and leaving the rest to be darker.

Halo Lights (Ring Lights)

Halo lights, sometimes referred to as ring lights, are perfect for people who prefer keeping their hair as natural as possible, but still like a pop of colour near the face. Maintenance is minimal as the colour is applied only around the face and not allover the hair parting

This technique creates a lighter face-framing finishing by cleverly placing highlights nearest to the face, leaving the remainder of the hair darker. It’s a fantastic and quick way of brightening your hair with no costly and lengthy hair appointments.

Similar effect and finishing can also be achieved with foil to achieve a striking bold appearance or by painting freehand for the more subtle, blended look.


Similar to balayage techniques, this freehand lightening can provide an extremely fluid and soft blended effect to your hair. In addition, this kind of style typically will grow out in a very natural way which overall requires very little maintenance. The hair strands are lightened in a blended technique to create panels of colour that are finer or bolder based on the outcome you desire.

Usually, strands of hair are hand painted with a blending technique. Occasionally, sections are isolated in the foils that are unfolded if more lifting is needed. Sometimes the use of a paddle or board is employed to assist in saturating the ends.

Foil light

Also referred to as ‘singles’, this foil light technique is an excellent method for hair texturing to place pops of colour that they look most appealing. There is no need for any maintenance at all since the results are quite soft and subtle. Foil light can be tuned to be more subtle or bold and this depends on the number and size of pieces that are coloured. Most of the time, because it involves the placement of foil, it is a great technique for higher and brighter contrast colour strands.

The hair strands are painted before being encased using foils to ensure maximum colour lift. As foil conducts heat this helps to boost the highest potential of colour lifting.

Hair painting

Hair painting can be used to create a subtle blend of lighter colours with a bold and striking finishing and also to grow out to be as natural as possible. The root regions are blended harmoniously which means that there will be no harsh demarcation lines. The result could be significantly lighter, if you want it to be, but it always has the natural softness because of the blended painting effect.

The larger slices of colour are painted using lower saturation to entail an overall lighter finishing with no obvious signs of highlighted hair strands.


Fresh out during the 1990s, this method is also known as ‘shoeshine’. It is an ideal technique for textural lightening on hairstyles with shorter lengths. It is blended into a slight random fashion as well as lighter on the hair ends . It’s a pretty choppy and soft look that adds texture and depth that leave the root region to be the darkest.

Frosting is accomplished by hand painting in sections by sections of the hair instead of using a brush. By focusing on the outermost layer of the hair, this technique preserves the natural colour closer to the scalp.


Look no further, visit our Hera Hair Beauty salons and have a consultation with one of our skillful and highly experienced international hairdressers to discuss how our different hair highlighting techniques will work for you.

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