Wednesday, September 1, 2021

What Is The Difference Between Highlights And Streaks?

Summer is over and the look you sported is slowly disappearing.  You don't want to loose it so you've made an appointment with your hairdresser but you aren't sure which to ask for.  Both highlighting and streaking adds depth to your hair using color but again which is a better choice? 

First off, highlighting is defined as a partial coloring of the hair using small segments of fine hair that is shaded so that the highlighted sections blend in with the original hair colors.  For a brunette, highlighting adds warm tones and for blondes, the highlights and brighten the color. Unfortunately, highlighting is not recommended for redheads because it is difficult to get the correct shades for the right look.  

Highlighting is created using a free hand method so it doesn't use any foil. The nice thing about highlighting is that it can be used on any length hair, any texture, and both curly or straight.  Highlighting requires less care because it looks quite natural, fades naturally, and only needs touch ups every three months or so.

As far as highlighting goes, one can do a partial or full application.  In partial highlighting, color is placed around the face to either brighten or frame the face. Its also known as a "half head of highlights" These highlights are often placed around the top half or top half and front sides around the face. This method causes less damage to the hair, is more affordable, and can be placed around to make the head of hair look sun kissed. 

The downside to partial highlighting is that you will not see the colored areas as easily when your hair is worn up in a pony tail.  Furthermore, you won't be able to change your hair color easily to a complete blond since you still have so much of your original color. It tends to look more natural.

Full highlights is defined as highlights that are found throughout all of the hair and is referred to as a "full head of highlights". It might include a balayage, or a range of colors all over the head.  The colored sections go from the front, around to the back, from the top to the bottom of the neck.  It allows your strands to go from blonde to brown, range from natural to dynamic depending on the colors used. It is more expensive that partial highlights and can damage your hair depending on how often you get your hair highlighted. 

On the other hand, streaking creates highlights using larger strands of colored haired the chosen colors are brighter with more of a difference in shades. It is much easier to see and the strands are more prominent than with normal highlighting. Streaking tends to offer more character to the color but do not aim for something like blond streaks with brown hair or brown streaks with blond hair. Since streaking is often applied using foil, it requires touch ups more frequently because of the differences in shades.

Streaks can use highlights or lowlights.  Streaks using highlight require strands be bleached to make them sufficiently light as to provide contrast.  The advantage to doing it this way is that one does not have to bleach all the strands opening the hair up to damage.  The other choice is lowlights which were developed to work on gray hair originally. In this technique, they use a darker color on the selected strands which adds the illusion of more volume. 

Now, even after all of this, it feels as if highlighting and streaking are almost the same process and in many ways they are.  To me, highlighting uses colors that are only one or two shades different while streaking has hair sections that have more difference in color.  I tend to cheat in that I keep pieces of colored hair to attach to my hair so that one day I can use green streaks and the next day pink.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. 

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