Highlights vs. Lowlights

Highlights are meant to compliment your hairstyle, and face.  They can be any tone or shade you desire; they are lighter than you original hair color. Generally they are placed at the crown and around your face for optimum effect. The thicker the highlights (thick highlights are also known as chunky highlights), the less natural they look. The thinner the better. Want to mix them beautifully? Go for contrast, with highlights that are even, thin and natural looking.

hair highlights
Image by Torley via Flickr

For a general idea of shades to use, look at the following:

  • If you have dark hair, go no more than three shades lighter than your natural color.
  • If you have black hair, red highlights enhance the contrast and cut of your hairstyle; blonde or caramel highlights blend well, so they are the most popular highlights; purple highlights soften dark hair color and add subtlety, highlighting your bangs. Feeling quirky and fun, by trying multicolor highlights.
  • If you have brown hair, it has shades of red to go through first. If done incorrectly, it will turn brassy. Some shades of platinum blonde are fine on brown hair; do not use platinum blonde on dark brown hair, or it will turn your hair green.
  • For light brown hair, try a color two shades lighter than your original hair color; copper highlights look great; try copper and gold highlights for a gorgeous look.

Lowlights are meant to add definition and depth to your hairstyle. Adding lowlights the third time you get your hair highlighted, will blend your highlights with your natural color which looks fabulous and prevents salon trips every six weeks to cover dark roots. Tones of blended copper and gold are often the best lowlights to use. As always, consult your stylist.

Anastasia is a salon hair stylist in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Out of town appointments welcome.

Threading or Waxing Hair Removal

Time or some ouch factor – your choice:

Image by lanchongzi via Flickr

Body hair can be a source of embarrassment especially if it’s in obvious areas like the face, arms and legs. This has led to several options in removing body and facial such as plucking, shaving, waxing, threading, and laser hair removal.

Plucking and shaving is tiresome and has to be done daily. For these two reasons, women prefer a more lasting method. Laser hair removal is permanent, but can be a very expensive procedure, which leaves threading and waxing.

Technically, both methods are effective and allow the person to enjoy a lengthier time of being hair-free. So, which method should you select?

Threading is an East Asian method of removing hair, and was brought to the Western world less than a decade ago. The areas that can be threaded are facial hair like the eyebrows, upper lip and forehead. Just like it sounds, threading involves the use of a thread to snag a row of hair follicles, twisting them with the thread before pulling them out with some degree of force. The pain is very minimal and the result is an amazing hair-free, smooth finish.

If you have a lot of facial hair, the process can be slow and tedious. However, for the amount of time you have to invest, you are saving your skin from being pulled every which way, since the skin is not put under any stress at all. As a result, you have less chances of developing premature wrinkles and sagging skin.

You might think that threading is similar to plucking, but here you could not be more wrong. When you pluck, you use tweezers and this tool tends to cut the hair. When the hair grows and becomes visible again, it will be thicker and could start growing under the skin (known as ingrown hair). Threading pulls the hair root out so, when the hair grows back, it is not a stubble.

As for waxing, you need quite a bit more patience and tolerance for some pain. It hurts. There is just no way to avoid the pain. Waxing involves applying hot, thick liquid wax over the hair, covering the wax with a thin cotton strip, allowing it to dry before stripping it abruptly away. Ouch!

The reason waxing has become very popular, though, is because the effects are a smooth finish and, eventually, less hair will appear. Unfortunately, since the wax is applied to the skin, there is significant pressure on the skin, and this can cause irritation and rashes. On occasion, if you have ultra sensitive skin, you could develop pimple-like rashes.

Aside from upper lips and eyebrows, waxing on other parts of the face, like the sideburns and chin is not advisable. Your face is much more sensitive than your arms, underarms, and legs. Of course, every person reacts differently to waxing and wax. The best thing to do would be to test an area before going full blown with the procedure.

The downside of waxing is having to wait for the hair to grow back about an inch or two before being able to wax again. The wax has to be able to hold on to the hair, and if the hair is very short, it will not hold.

In conclusion, both methods are effective and have different benefits and drawbacks, which means the choice is personal. Do you want to sit through a lengthy threading session, or would you rather endure the pain of a short waxing session? If this is your first time to have your facial and body hair removed, why not try both methods, and then decide which methods you prefer more?

Anastasia is a salon hair stylist in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Out of town appointments welcome.