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All Your Highlights Questions Answered!

What is your Highlights Kit and how is it different?

The Shade’s Highlights Kit include everything you need to apply foil highlights at home, to achieve salon-worthy highlights with the finish that you prefer.

You can use our Highlights Kit to create highlights, babylights (super fine highlights) or foilyage (balayage with foils). These colouring applications let you achieve almost any level of highlights coverage.

Your Highlight kit will include either a toner or a semi-permanent colour to create the finish you prefer (select your option or our colourists can advise you on how to achieve the finish you prefer).

What’s in the Highlights Kit?

Lightening some of your hair is a two step process, so there are two separate kits included with every highlights order:

  1. A lightening kit with everything you need to lighten your colour by 3-4 colour levels
  2. A toner or semi-permanent colour kit to deposit tone on your newly lightened sections
  3. Illustrated step-by-step instructions

Initially you will also need our Highlights accessories bundle, which includes a reuseable pintail comb to slice and weave your highlights, alligator clips and a box of professional, high-grip no-slip foils.

How do I select the best toner or colour finish for me?

If you want to see a tonally balanced finish, you will need a cool based toner which will mute warmth and balance brassiness. Toners are typically cool ash, which is available at almost all colour level, and creamier beige blonde options too.

Our individually tailored highlights kits are each customised to include the toner or semi-permanent colour you need to meet your colour goals.

Cool toner options include:

  • Ash tones
  • Beige tones

If you wanted to add vibrant, warm tones to your highlights, options include:

  • Golden
  • Copper
  • Chocolate
  • Chestnut
  • Mahogany tones

How are highlights applied?

We use the classic salon foil highlight approach because it delivers beautiful highlight results.

Your illustrated instructions will show you how to section your hair and weave the pintail comb through a thin slice of hair to isolate some strands for lightening.

These strands are then lightened and wrapped in foils to process. After the processing time, you wash out the lightening mixture. You then apply either your toner or semi-permanent colour, to deposit pigments on your newly lightened highlights.

This approach is professional, and achievable and results in beautifully blended soft highlights.

What is foilyage?

Foilyage combines elements of foil highlights and balayage. Balayage is a French technique that means “to sweep.” It is characterised by lighter lengths and ends, with a naturally darker root section, creating a sun-kissed look.

We utilise foils to support the lifting process. Foilyage leaves a soft, lived-in low-maintenance finish with less noticeable regrowth and longer-lasting results.

How do I apply highlights?

We included illustrated step-by-step instructions to guide you through your highlights application from start to finish. The instructions include details on how to achieve highlights, babylights or foilyage (balayage with foils).

The highlights application is a two-step process. Start by weaving some fine strands of hair for your highlights. You then apply lightener to the strands which will become your highlights. Wash the lightener out after your processing time. Then apply your toner or semi-permanent colour to neutralise any brassiness and enhance the tone of your highlights.

Wash with the Colour Protection Shampoo and Conditioner to hydrate and seal in the colour and to add softness and deep shine to your hair.

How often do I need to apply highlights?

It can be a good idea to refresh your highlights every 2 to 6 months. You can refresh the tone or colour of your highlights any time by applying a toner or semi-permanent colour. Highlights will look their best if the tone is kept balanced, so it is best to refresh their tone with a monthly application of toner (or semi-permanent colour if you have a brighter, warm finish on your highlights). If you need help, our team of expert colourist are there to answer any questions or to recommend how often you should apply highlights.

Can I touch-up my roots and add highlights too?

We recommend applying your base colour before you lighten. You can then apply your highlights over your new or refreshed base colour. You can then touch-up your base as needed with the base colour – our colourists can recommend an application technique which will retain your highlights while keeping your roots covered.

We include instructions to touch-up your highlights at your roots too, so if you like full-length highlights, you can use our kits to touch-up your regrowth at your roots too.

Why can’t I apply highlights to permed, relaxed, henna or chemically-treated hair?

We do not recommend applying highlights on hair that has been chemically treated with anything other than hair colour, since we’re unable to predict or guarantee the results.

Is it hard to apply highlights?

Everyone can learn how to apply their own highlights at home.

Our highlights kit includes step-by-step illustrated instructions, showing you exactly how you apply highlights, covering several different applications – babylights, foilyage/balayage. We recommend that you practice the weave and foil technique in a ‘dry run’. This approach will help you build the skills to isolate fine strands and wrap them in foil before you are ready to apply foils with lightener.

Practicing the weave and foil technique, allows you to develop confidence and competence to achieve salon-worthy highlights at home (and save a lot of $ too!).

You can ask a friend to help you, but if you practice your highlights technique as we suggest in the instructions, then you will rapidly build the skills and confidence to apply your own highlights.

We recommend applying highlights 10-15 at a time, to ensure a manageable, professional finish. You can add more highlights after your initial application.

Our Highlights Kit combine our salon-quality, sensitive-skin friendly ingredients with the personalised service you can expect from The Shade. Our colourists are available 7 days a week to provide personalised colour advice.

Really happy with my new highlights! I was quite nervous, but I followed the instructions exactly, and I am thrilled with the results. The instructions outlined how to practice the slice and weave and foils technique before applying product. I wouldn’t have thought of that, but that was very helpful and when I applied the product I was confident and I think that really helped the whole process. Love my lighter, ashy highlights and the $$ I’m saving!

N. Preston

I just wanted to soften my ends, and I love my new foilyage/balayage! Can’t believe I did it myself. I have enough product left over to add more highlights, so the value is great and I love my new softer look, which blends beautifully. Mum said my hair looks expensive, lol!!

D. Waley

2 replies on “All Your Highlights Questions Answered!”

    • Hi Elle,

      We are currently creating a Highlights Kit video, and it should be launched within a couple of weeks.

      I hope this helps!


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