Ask The Experts: Your Summer Guide for Brown Hair January 10, 2020 14:57

Your Summer Guide for Brown Hair

Highlights may be most often associated with blonde hair, but they’re not reserved exclusively for the with lighter hues.

Strategically placed lighter pieces can look just as gorgeous on brunettes, adding dimension and visual interest to otherwise solid colour.

Not to mention, the techniques to highlight brown hair are endless. “For the first time ever we can take every brunette and give them a lighter shade that looks good on them,” says Schwarzkopf Colour Ambassador and Salon owner Jennifer Morgan.

Ahead, the lowdown on highlighting darker hair, a few different ways to do so, and expert tips for maintain your stunning new shade.

THREE DIFFERENT LOOKS TO CONSIDER

BROWN HAIR WITH BLONDE HIGHLIGHTS

Putting light blonde highlights on dark brown hair is a potential recipe for disaster (think zebra-like stripes, not a great look for anyone), so this option is best for lighter-toned brunettes or expert toning .

Think about for highlights that are only a shade or two lighter than your base—veering into dark blonde territory—that will create contrast and dimension, without those unwanted harsh lines. “You can also ask your colourist to do a root shadow, darkening the area right at the root ever so slightly, to make sure the grow out is beautiful and there are no stripes on top,” suggests Jennifer.

BALAYAGE FOR BROWN HAIR

As compared to traditional foil highlights, balayage is a more free-form, hand-painting technique that works especially well on dark hair. Since you don’t get as much lift, it creates a much more natural end result with a subtle grow-out. Because of that, you can go longer in between colour appointments, says Jennifer, saving you both time and money. Balayage for brown hair is an especially good way to capitalise on one of the big hair colour trends: “We call it ‘the money piece,’ going lighter and brighter around the hairline,” explains Jennifer. “It’s almost like contouring for your hair, bringing out your best features, while still looking soft and natural.”

OMBRE

Popular for both blondes and brunettes, think of this as almost reverse highlights, where the mid-shaft to ends get gradually lighter but the roots stay dark. The big upshot here? It only looks better the more it grows out, so for those seeking an option with minimal upkeep, this is the best bet. Depending on how dark brown your hair is to begin with, it can also make for a more dramatic effect. The key here is to ensure you take good care of your hair, since it’s the ends—the part of your hair that’s already the most damaged—that is being lightened.

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF BROWN HAIR WITH HIGHLIGHTS

No matter which highlighting technique you choose, your maintenance M.O. is essential to keep your new hue looking fresh, healthy, and strong. The cornerstone of that plan is a strong product regimen (spoiler alert: we’re talking strengthening & toning), coupled with a few in-salon options. Here’s what you need to know.

WHAT IS FAB PRO SHAMPOO AND WHY DO BRUNETTES NEED IT?

No matter which way you end up lightening your brown base, there’s a risk of ending up with unwanted brassiness. Lightening brown hair exposes orange undertones, which ultimately can end up coming across as brassy, points out Jennifer. Your best bet for maintaining your new colour is to incorporate a blue & violet into your product regimen

fab pro gives us the power to perfectly match and maintain any hair colour, in-between salon visits with a customised colour maintenance conditioner.

WHAT ARE SOME OTHER TIPS FOR BROWN HAIR WITH HIGHLIGHTS?

Any hair that’s been highlighted is innately going to be more fragile and prone to damage. Swap your conditioner for a strengthening mask (like Alterna Restructuring Bond Repair) once a week to give your strands, particularly more brittle ends, a hefty dose of moisture and strength. Popping back into the salon for a Vibrance demi-permanent gloss is another good option; this will refresh your tone and keep your colour shiny, while still being very gentle on your hair, say Jennifer.