How to Decide if Your Hair Should Have Highlights or Block Colour


Should you have highlights or block colour hair?

Hair Texture and Highlights or Block Colour

Once you have figured out how to find the most flattering kinds of hair colours to suit your complexion so you look glowing, healthy and gorgeous, the second consideration is that of block colour versus higlight and lowlights.  The answer to this conundrum comes down more to hair texture and cut.

Highlights and lowlights look great, add dimension and define:

  • Curly hair
  • Short textured hair
  • Wavy hair
  • Layered hair

Block colour is best on smooth straight and sleek hair with minimal layers (or layers that are there to remove bulk but not provide lots of dimension or movement).

When to get highlights and when block colours look best


If you tend to wear your hair sometimes smooth and sometimes wavy or curly, then very fine highlights (otherwise known as babylights or micro higlights are the way to go.  They mimic natural highlights created by the sun.

Balyage techniques such as Sombre (that’s a soft ombre) work better on wavy hair rather than dead straight hair too, highlights can just look a little ‘zebra’ on very straight hair.

Then of course, you’ll want to think about the texture and sheen of your clothes so that they harmonise beautifully with your hair and skin.  Discover how to choose the right textures in your fabrics to flatter.

Further Reading:

Not Going Grey Gracefully parts 1, 2, 3 and 4

How to choose a flattering hair colour

Going blonde – choosing the right shade

How to know if your hair colour is wrong


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  • Imogen, I am looking forward to attending your color class in LA in May or June…until then though I am having a color quandary. I have light brown hair between a 6 or 7 if you are familiar with hair color. I’ve been highlighting my hair with caramel and copper to help minimize the look of a few gray hairs. However the grey around my face is increasing to the point that more drastic measures need to be taken. I think it is time to go to a full dye job or at least demi permanent color. And I need hair color advise. So…
    First, is it true that women should go lighter in hair color as they age?
    Second, is it true that they should add warmth to their hair as they age?
    Third, My hair is really thinning and even my relatively short style is getting to fine to be attractive. Will lightening my hair color increase the appearance of volume in my hair or just wash me out?
    Fourth, I have both warm and cool elements in my natural coloring…at one point I was told I was a summer. But I love wearing vibrant colors. My lips are cool, as is my natural blush… but that of course can be changed up with make up, my skin is fair and my eyes read gray, but they seem more warm than cool gray to me. Would I be best to stick with a solid neutral color or will that just make me look like a helmet head?

    • Hi Sherilyn,
      1. In general yes as the hair is lightening up – but how you do it depends on whether or not you are warm or cool naturally and your skin colour. Dark colours can look harsh, and if grey you have to constantly dye so you don’t get what I call – the skunk stripe.
      2. Nope – only if your skin is warm. If you have cool skin, keep your hair cool (I have cool blonde hair, warm blonde or warm anything makes me look pink).
      3. Light colours will bulk your hair some as dye does give it more body. But you probably need a shorter haircut that doesn’t have lots of layers (that can make it look finer).
      4> without actually draping you I can’t tell you. Eyes are only a small proportion – it’s skin colour that is the most important when considering warm or cool.

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