From lowlights to babylights, highlights can be confusing business. MOJEH rounds up the most popular hair colouring techniques for SS22, and the must-visit salons to get the look
If you’re looking to add some contour to your look, lowlights are the way to go. “They are usually a couple of shades darker than your base colour, and help to intensify your natural hair by adding richness and dimension,” says Italian-born Rossano Ferretti, who operates luxury salons all over the globe. “If placed carefully, they can make hair look thicker and more lustrous thanks to a clever optical illusion.” Woven naturally into the hair, and either hand-painted on or done with foils to add both depth and contrast, the result is a multi- dimensional ‘do that’s also much healthier for your hair. Your stylist may choose to use highlights and lowlights together in order to make the end result more natural and effortlessly textured. Perfect for any style and most shades of hair – “the more challenging cases can be on over-processed blondes,” adds Ferretti – lowlights are also praised for their ability to cover up greys and add volume around the roots while framing the face to bring out your best features. The best bit? Top ups are generally only required every three months, making it a blessing on the purse strings too.
The Salon: Nestled within the uber-luxe Abu Dhabi Edition, Rossano Ferretti’s latest salon brings together world-class talent and slick interiors for one of the most stylish haircare experiences in the capital. The Abu Dhabi EDITION, Al Bateen Marina. Book now
A freehand colouring technique which allows you to be as creative as you want with your finished result, balayage, which translates as ‘to sweep’ in French, results in sun-kissed, natural-looking highlights that grow out in an extremely soft way. “You freely add the highlights like painting on a canvas, and can make it as subtle or dramatic as you like,” says Maria Dowling, Dubai’s queen of colour. Combining both light and dark lowlights, Maria works by dragging the darker colour from the root down, while there’s also the option of using what Maria calls a root melt, where she smudges the root area, making it less obvious when the roots grow back. Ideal for lobs – long bobs that fall just below the shoulders – and longer hair lengths, balayage works best on mid-dark brown hair colours, or blondes wanting to add depth or dimension to lighter hair. What’s more, it’s one of the more low maintenance styles of highlights given the fact it rarely touches the roots and can be done using a semi- permanent colour.
The Salon: In transient Dubai, good colourists are like gold dust. If there’s one name on every beauty editor’s speed dial, though, it’s Maria Dowling. Can’t bag an appointment? Her trusty crack team of stylists are at hand to work their magic on even the most lack- lustre of ‘dos. Maria Dowling Salon, Al Meena Residence, Al Mina Rd. Book Now
Also known as halo lights, this face framing technique is the ultimate contouring experience for those looking to create depth or brightness around the face. “The highlights are focused just around the hairline at the front, which helps mimic the natural way the sun would lighten one’s hair,” explains celebrity hair stylist Cat Hawkes, co-founder and artistic director of Salon 971. Perhaps the most common way to achieve that sun-kissed look, there are plenty of other advantages to face framing, too – it’s quick, more purse-friendly, less damaging and lower maintenance than more intensive colouring methods. “Face framing looks stunning on a centre parting, but it can easily be flexible for side partings too,” adds Cat, who once channeled the look with copper highlights framing her vibrant red hair. Results can last up to six months if you’re looking for a natural grow out, making it the perfect way to brighten your hair without long, expensive appointments. Ask for foils for a bolder look, or freehand painting for a softer, more blended result.
The Salon: Cat’s very own beauty hotspot Salon 971 is the result of more than 25 years of international experience, and is home to some of the city’s most talented colourists. Platinum One Tower, Ground Floor, Barsha South. Book Now
Subtle, ultra-thin highlights that give your hair an overall lighter look without the obvious effect of colouring, babylights are the go-to for women who don’t want to look like they’ve spent hours in the salon. “They are tiny strands of colour which you can’t actually see as they are weaved so finely,” explains James Samuel, senior colourist at London’s A-list hair haunt Hershesons. “They are a great way to make the hair look lighter but in a much softer way, resulting in a lovely diffused effect.” Mainly crafted with foil, babylights grow out more softly than other types of highlights due to the size of the weave, which picks up only a few strands of hair at a time. This also means they can be low maintenance too, just as long as you don’t opt for a colour too different from your original tresses. “In that case opt for a root smudge too – an in between colour that brings your natural hair and your lowlights together for a much softer regrowth,” adds James.
The Salon: We’re sure you’ve heard of the name Luke Hersheson. He’s the man behind the tresses of Keira Knightley, Dua Lipa and Victoria Beckham, to name a few. Regarded as one of the best salons in London, Hershesons is where in-the-know fashion editors and models go for their colour, with styling services that are second to none. 8A West Halkin Street, Belgravia, London, England. Book now
- Words by Naomi Chadderton