Blonding Terms to Use to Get the Look You Want

There's a reason highlighting is the most popular service at our salon. It's a great way to freshen up your look and does wonders for your complexion. Sure, single-process color is fun, but what better way to spice it up than some ribbons of dimension?

But what kind of highlights to choose? Let us help.

Often times, color terms and techniques can get confused or misunderstood when we're trying to communicate with our stylists. Instagram and Pinterest are full of posts about balayage and babylights, and new terms and techniques are constantly being created. How can we make sure that we get the result we want and that we're on the same page with our stylist?

Here is a comprehensive guide of every type of highlight:

Foil Highlights

These are the traditional O.G. highlights that have been around for ages. Basically, foils are used to separate strands of hair. You can talk with your stylist about what kind of look you're going for, that way you can determine how thick or thin the strands of hair are. Foils are typically placed close to the scalp and lighten the hair from roots to ends. This technique gives you that all-over brightened look. Typical maintenance is about 10-12 weeks.


Pronounced BAH-LEE-AHGE, this fancy french word means "sweeping" and refers to painting the color or lightener on the hair freehand. The stylist strategically places the highlights on areas of the hair that would naturally be highlighted by the sun. Balayage gives you that au-naturel, grown-out, effortless look. The best part about balayage is that usually the lightness is focused on mid-lengths and ends, and is blended towards the root, which means more time in-between appointments. You'll want to come in for a touch up every 3-4 months.


Imagine if there was a way to get that subtle, soft, delicate dimension like that of a sweet child in the summertime. Oh wait--that's what babylights are for! Babylights are very fine highlights that work best on fine hair. They're done in a similar way to traditional highlights, using foils, but the difference is in the amount of hair in and between the sections.


Bleaching is used to remove color or pigment from the hair. When we bleach the hair we are stripping away all the color but not adding any. Your final blonde comes from the toning process. Toner is a semi-permanent color used to correct tones in hair that has just been lightened. You can almost always expect to get one at the shampoo bowl after rinsing out your lightener. A toner gives the hair a shiny finish and is what gives you your final blonde.

So, those are the basics.

Of course, you can talk to your stylist about combining these techniques to create a custom look for you.

But, when else fails, a picture is worth a thousand words.



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