Knowing the best ways to incorporate lowlights can give your clients a colour boost while restoring that radient appeal.
With the ombré trend (and its variations) continuing throughout spring and straight into summer, many of your clients will continue requesting highlights. But in order to create that natural look, one that’s complementary to your clients, you’ll need to combine lowlights, which are created when a darker colour is deposited on the hair. Here’s how two of the industry’s colour experts, Wella Professionals’ Jean-Sébastien Tremblay and Joico’s Sue Pemberton, breakdown the how, when and why of this often-overlooked colour technique.
According to Tremblay, “Lowlights are the best service to bring back a balance of dark and light, depth and movement to the hair.” Lowlights can be used on any hair colour, but Pemberton says that it’s a preferred colour service for clients who like having darker pieces than their current hair colour. “I would suggest depositing darker colours in sections for any client who would like depth and dimension,” says Pemberton, adding that blondes in particular, can achieve a softer, more natural colour with lowlights.
While skin tone and eye colour are big factors for every colour service, when it comes to lowlighting (and highlighting), this service can give a client a big boost. “Some clients like their hair to be lighter around their face while others prefer darker hair; the tone of the colour can be placed to help achieve that look,” explains Pemberton.
When it comes to already-highlighted hair, Tremblay reminds hairstylists to chose a shade that is in the same colour spectrum as the hair’s base colour to achieve that soft transition, especially for hair that has already been highlighted. “Lighter colour should be on top of the hair, and darker colour should be on the perimeter,” explains Tremblay, “which means that lowlights should be used underneath the hair.”
According to Pemberton, lighter blonde levels present a big challenge when working with lowlights. “Generally, going darker from a blonde means that you’ll need to add pigment that is lacking in the hair first, then apply the final colour,” explains Pemberton, who recommends using gold base colours to help tone the colour and reduce brassiness.
For multi-dimensional hair colour, Pemberton suggests combining lowlight and highlight colour services which will add more depth and flow. At the same time, a good home care routine is important for colour maintenance. “In many cases lowlights are done on porous hair, which will fade quickly,” says Tremblay, “I recommend a good home care maintenance regimen, in order to bring porosity to a lower level.”