With endless options for coloring and enlightening hair these days, what’s the difference between getting streaks vs highlights at the salon? While subtle, there are some key variances between highlights and streaks in methodology, results, upkeep, and cost. Read on for a breakdown of hair streaks vs highlights.
Defining Highlights and Streaks:
Highlights involve lightening selected strands of hair to create dimension, for both natural and dramatic effects. They are applied through various techniques like foil highlighting, balayage, or hand painting. Highlights may cover a significant portion of the hair with a seamless grow-out.
Meanwhile, streaks are a type of highlighting, but focused into narrow strips of lightened hair. Streaks create deliberate contrast against the natural base for a fun, bold accent. Since they cover less surface area, streaks tend to deliver more affordable pops of color.
Hair Streaks vs Highlights: Key Differences
Here is how hair streaks and highlights compare regarding some major factors:
Highlight placement aims for a subtle, natural look, while streaks are positioned purposefully for visibility. Stylists focus streaks around the face for maximum impact.
2. Width of Lightened Sections:
Highlight widths graduate from fine to thick for a diffused effect. Conversely, streak widths stay narrow and consistent, typically 1/4 inch or less.
3. Grow Out and Upkeep:
The seamless grow-out of highlighting requires regular touch-ups. If allowed to grow out, streaks simply fade without awkward roots. Upkeep is only necessary if you want to maintain vividness.
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Subtle, close-to-natural illumination is the hallmark of highlights. Meanwhile, pronounced, artificial-looking strips of color define streaks.
With more intensive processing, highlights come at a higher cost. Price-conscious colourists can get a bold punch of colour with affordable streaking services.
6. Best Candidates:
Those wanting a soft, low-maintenance color are better suited to highlights. Streak lovers tend to have a younger clientele looking for something fun and edgy.
Hair Streak vs Highlight Techniques:
Application techniques also differ between streaks and highlights. Here’s a quick overview:
1. Foil Highlighting:
Stylists isolate strands with foil before applying lightener for controlled, custom coverage and lift.
The stylist handpaints lightener in broad strokes directly on the hair for a diffused, multi-tonal finish.
3. Hand Painted Highlights:
Using a brush, lightener gets painted onto specific sections of hair, often for fine highlighting with lots of variation.
Lightener mixes with activators to achieve strong lifting power and longevity, painted onto narrow strands no wider than 1/4 inch.
What’s Best for You?
If you’re on the fence between streaks and highlights, consider your lifestyle, maintenance preferences, and the look you’re going for. For an affordable, low-commitment color, streaks can’t be beat. However, for a seamless grow-out and understated effect, subtle highlighting is likely the better choice. Consult your Wellshop stylist to determine if streaks or highlights best suit your hair.
While hair highlight vs streak differences come down to just width and placement, those factors make a significant impact on cost, grow-out, and the effect. Streaks produce an intentionally bold strip of color against the natural base shade. Highlights focus on creating multi-dimensional color in a more subtle, diffused approach.
If you’re on the fence between streaks and highlights, consider your lifestyle, maintenance preferences, and the look you’re going for. For an affordable, low-commitment color, streaks can’t be beat. However, for a seamless grow-out and understated effect, subtle highlighting is likely the better choice. Consult your Wellshop stylist to determine if streaks or highlights best suit your hair, or come in for a consultation, and you can discuss your options with the professionals. The experts at Wellshop will get to know your hair goals and help you determine the best coloring technique for your individual needs.
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