The Highlight Glossary

The Highlight Glossary

You’re scrolling Pinterest for your next look and you find it! The perfect inspiration photo. So you call me (hopefully 🙂 and schedule your appointment for partial highlights. The picture didn’t seem to have a lot of highlights, so that’s what you ask for. But if that’s what I schedule you for, chances are we might not have enough time or you might get a shock when you find out what it would take to get you to look like her.

I wanted to take some time to break down some of my favorite inspiration pictures – and what you would ask for to get it.

Money Piece by @chrisweberhair

Money Piece – This is a bright piece around your face that can be subtle or bold. It requires the baby fine hairs around your hairline to be put in foils as well as the first few pieces of your hair to ensure a seamless blend.

Usually this is part of your highlight service but if this bright piece is what you’re looking for, make sure you ask your stylist for this hot new trend!



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Balayage – To balayage means “to sweep”. The lightener is painting onto the hair in a sweeping motion. Because this service is processed open air (not in foils) it is very natural and can only get your hair 2-3 levels lighter in one sitting. If your hair is virgin, this is an excellent option to ease into highlighting because it’s such a subtle look. If your hair is previously colored, this might not be the best for you because it will be challenging to get your hair much brighter.

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Foilyage – Similar to balayage, the application is the same however the product used is different. As a client, this is not important for you to know. What is important is that your hairdresser puts the sections into foil to have added incubation and heat conduction. If your hair is previously colored or you want brighter results than a traditional balayage can give, this will be a great service for you!




Root Explanation by @suetyrellstylist

Highlights with a Root Tap/Smudge/Melt – If you want your ends bright but a “rooted” look, as for highlights with a root tap, smudge or melt. Whether to ask for a partial or a full would depend on how long and dark or light your hair is now.

If you like a natural grow out or you like to wait a long time before highlighting, I highly recommend a root tap. I almost always do this on my clients now and while it is an additional cost, the money they save by not having to come back as soon surpasses the price of the add on.


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Tip Out with Highlights –  Perhaps you’ve never dyed your hair. Maybe you want to go really light but you want to also be natural…maybe you’ve only ever had your hair highlighted and it’s getting kind of stripy or you really want your ends bright… then ask for a tip out in addition to your highlights. A tip out means that the hair that is left out between your highlights are teased and placed in foil with lightener to get them bright as well.

Your hairstylist should know the proper things to ask when doing your consultation and looking at the photo you’ve brought for them. However, having a slight idea of what it will take will allow you to budget your money and your stylist’s time accordingly!


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