Golden Hour Highlights: The Summer Haircare Trend Taking Over Hollywood

8 min read

Photographers cherish the pre-sunset golden hour for its magical glow, and celebrities are harnessing the honey hues this summer in the latest haircare trend to take Hollywood

Forget sun-kissed skin, this summer is all about sun-kissed strands. Enter: golden hour highlights. “Golden hour highlights refer to a hair colouring technique that mimics the warm, soft and flattering light seen during the golden hour before sunset,” explains Caroline Brooks, founder of The Glass House Salon & Spa in Dubai. “These highlights typically feature shades of golden, honey or caramel tones that add dimension and warmth to the hair.”


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Celebrities including Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner, Kaia Gerber and Madelyn Cline are all adopting the trend this summer, with the former opting for barely-there highlights and the latter using face-framing placements. “Highlights placed strategically around the face can brighten the complexion and add dimension to the hairstyle, while highlighting the ends of the hair can create a sun-kissed look,” advises Caroline. Have a finer hair type? Add your highlights around the crown area to create the illusion of depth and volume.

So, you’ve got the colour, but what is the best way to show it off? “Layered hairstyles can enhance the dimension and movement of highlighted hair,” suggests Caroline. “The different lengths and textures of the layers create depth, allowing the highlights to pop. Shorter haircuts can also showcase the highlights more prominently due to the reduced length and contrast to the base colour.”

Highlights as a whole are not a new invention, however there are distinctions between golden hour highlights and other techniques such as balayage, so be sure to specify when discussing with your hairstylist. “While both involve adding highlights to the hair, there are some distinctions between them. Golden hour highlights specifically focus on creating warm, golden tones in the hair, mimicking the natural sunlight. Balayage, on the other hand, is a freehand highlighting technique that can include a variety of colours and tones.”


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While golden hour highlights may be celebrating the beachy, been-on-holiday look, keeping your new ‘do protected from the sun is key for longevity. “Before exposing your hair to excessive sunlight, apply a leave-in conditioner or a protective hair oil to create a barrier between your hair and the damaging elements. Also, look for hair products that contain UV filters or specifically mention sun protection.” Avoiding heat from tools is important, too. “Excessive heat styling can further damage highlighted hair. Try to reduce the use of hot tools and opt for heatless styling methods when possible.” Book now

Read Next: How To Protect Your Hair From Heat Damage This Summer

  • Words by Savanna Smith