Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Partial Highlights or Full Highlights

You’ve contemplated it and you’re ready to lighten or those tresses – congrats! Highlights can be a big commitment no matter what your natural color is. It’s all about the look you are trying to achieve and just how light you want to go. But it’s also about understanding all the impacts of each option. Your hair makes a statement that says a lot about you, so it is an important decision to consider. There are so many fun options and cool looks you can achieve with a little bit of strategy behind it.

What’s the most critical aspect to consider is the health and condition of your hair. That can make your decision super-easy (partial), but if you’re locked and loaded and ready to commit to a full head full of lighter tresses, you’re going to be all about the full highlights.

But less digress for a moment and talk about the true difference between both (besides the amount of time they take). It’s always recommended to consult with your hair extraordinaire (stylist) first, as they can usually provide some pretty good feedback and recommendations. But if you’re ready to see someone new, moved to a new city or whatever your circumstances, it’s good to have a few pictures of hairstyles and colors that you like (Pinterest is great for these ideas!).

Now let’s get down to the basics. What are we really talking about when we distinguish partial or full highlights?

Partial Highlights

This can range anywhere from seeking a more natural look, to accentuate around your face, or just achieve the effect of a different color by covering the top half of your hair. Partial highlights are typically less expensive, better for those who have damaged hair as you are only highlighting a few sections, will look more natural (since you’ll see your base color) and are easier to maintain as when you have new growth, it won’t be obvious. Plus, you can gradually decide which way, or color you ultimately want to go with when you just do a little at a time. Partial highlights can also mean low lights, which essentially is getting darker colors added to your hair instead of light. It’s the same concept.

Full Highlights

A full highlight means you will be highlighting your hair in every section of your head. You can go to something slight, or you can go for a dramatic effect such as going blonde if you are a brunette. These are painted all around your head and offer a more dimensional look. Sometimes people will alternate partial highlights and full highlights cost effective strategy, since your new growth only shows up at the top of your head. While more expensive, and more time consuming, full highlights can achieve your desired look faster. It could mean more time in the chair though.

Ask For Professional Help

Now, again, if you are undecided, it’s always great to ask a professional for help. And really pay attention to the condition of your hair as it can mean a world of difference for any future look you might want to go for (i.e. if it’s damaged and you want full highlights, you may experience further damage, breakage, etc.). Think of your long-term game and the steps it will require to get there. If you have all the time, money and desire to go full – by all means, go all in! Just consider how much maintenance you want to put up with. If you’re a bit of a commitment-phobe, scale back and start slow.

Which Is Better For You?

Both options will require some special care. Aside from the visits you schedule for upkeep, you will also need to keep your hair healthy with trimming and using a purple shampoo. Purple shampoo is a temporary hue that helps many types of light and blonde hair look and stay the color you intended. Whether you’ve gone platinum, cool ashy blonde, silver or just want to brighten up your natural hue, purple shampoos can eliminate a brassy look and keep your color in check while you shower. Just use caution and only use purple shampoos one to two times per week.


In the end, it’s hair, you can change it back, grow it back, cut it off, or make whatever major change you’d like. It’s your life and your hair! And the best route is to go for a professional color job, as the take-home box kits are full of harmful chemicals that can leave your hair feeling like sandpaper, turning green (I speak from experience) or having your hair fall out. While it is the cheaper option, it’s really not worth the negative effects it could have on your beautiful hair.

So, start surfing, find your look and make a consultation appointment (these are typically free). I’m sure your stylist wants you to be happy with the outcome and will be happy to assist with professional expertise.

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