Babylights + Balayage: The Newest Way to Highlight
Not every client loves the rooty look that is achieved with balayage—many blonde clients insist on subtle, sun-kissed highlights that melt naturally into the base. So Jack Howard, International Colour Director for Neville Hair & Beauty in London has devised an adorably-named technique—Babylights—and thanks to high profile highlight clients like supermodel Karlie Kloss, the buzz is building.
The concept is super fine highlights that disappear into the hair, resulting in soft, multidimensional color. “Somehow along the way, foil highlights began looking a bit chunky, and that’s what the clients react to, which is why they love this natural, ‘you, only better’ look,” notes Jack.
Celebrity Stylist and Schwarzkopf Professional BLONDME Ambassador, Kim Vo, is familiar with these ultra-fine highlights, although he calls them Texture Lights. He loves using the technique on his Sunbré clients—brunettes with golden highlights, like Sofia Vergara. “To lift these shades without creating red, you have to texturize with two types of highlights,” notes Kim. “One highlight is very fine, which allows you to diffuse the underlying warmth, and then apply another type of highlight—the traditional balayage or Sombré.”
There are many application options when applying Babylights, notes Jack. “They can be done freehand, in super tiny sections, or applied with meche or plastic wrap, where you section off a weave section and split it in half, creating superfine pieces,” he says. “You can highlight heavily or lightly, depending on the desired result, but in any event the highlights must be micro to look super natural.”
Kim offers a few additional tips for his texture lights (babylights + balayage) technique:
· If you’re new to the process of micro highlights, use a lower volume of peroxide and create very fine foil sections—maybe just 3 to 5 hairs per foil—so that the lights are super delicate.
· Lightly dust the top of the hair by placing foil highlights with lightener + 10- or 20-volume developer. You can then add thicker balayage sections.
· Work with the highlighting material of your choice: foil, plastic, cotton, etc.
· “I think of Babylights as the supporting actor,” says Kim. “They are just as important as your main character (thicker highlights or balayage), and it takes both to produce the perfect, sun-kissed result!”