Thinking About Getting Highlights? Read This First

Photographed by Amelia Alpaugh.
There's a reason all the girls in L.A. go for highlights — single-process color is striking, but those ribbons of lightness do so much for your complexion. Highlights can accentuate eye color, bring out cheek bones, and even slim faces. They show off the lines of your hair cut, create depth, and the illusion of fullness. They are a great introduction to hair color — and, despite what you've heard, they work for all hues.
Ahead, you'll learn about some of the most important factors to achieving a perfect highlight: size, placement, amount, and lightness level. With the right colorist and technique, you'll get the streaks you want in no time.
The two most common techniques used for highlighting are balayage (freehand painting), and foil. Different artists will use one or the other depending on the desired look and their personal preference. But a skilled colorist can achieve any look using either technique.