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Getting and maintaining highlights requires a certain level of commitment. Those lovely blonde accents woven throughout your locks might look perfect when you walk out of the salon, but after some time, the colors dull and your dark roots appear.
Most hairstylists recommend going back for a touchup every 8 to 10 weeks. If your hair grows fast, paying for color that frequently can add up quickly. Not to mention to the more often your hair’s being bleached, the more you need to proactively prevent damage and work to keep your locks healthy and shiny.
Fortunately, recent hair color trends like ombre and babylights have made imperfect color the norm. If you plan accordingly, there’s no reason you can’t make your highlights last twice as long, saving you time, money and keeping your hair healthier. No one else has to know you didn’t start with ombre, right?
Here, top colorists share their tips and tricks for maximizing time between highlight appointments:
1. Choose balayage over foil. The way your highlights are applied can make a huge difference in how elegantly they grow out. “If you choose foils, your visits to the colorist are more often,” says Miguel Angarita, colorist at Mizu New York. “Foils have a more structured and more defined look, therefore roots are seen sooner.” Instead, opt forbalayage — the painting technique creates a more natural look that will grow out in a less noticeable way. If your colorist only does foil, ask him to shadow or soften your color at the root to erase any harsh lines that will show up when your color starts to grow out.
2. Ask for ombre. Carrie McCard, stylist at Rita Hazan, said this style of gradual lightness is the best option for those who want low-maintenance highlights. “It keeps your lightness underneath and you won’t get a demarcation line ( look like you have roots) when your highlights start to grow out.” Not into the big color gradient some ombre styles are known for? Ask for sombre (subtle ombre), and explain to your colorist that you like the ombre look ,but don’t want it to be so dramatic.