7 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Pricey Highlights
The Debrief: (Good) hair today, gone tomorrow
Illustration by Jayde Perkins
So, full disclosure, highlights are expensive. No getting around that. So if you really want to save your pennies, just embrace home dye-jobs and be done with it. When I first got highlights done, I went for a dirty blonde. Lowkey, like. The next time, I thought maybe just a little bit blonder. And then before you know it, you’ve got a habit that costs £120 a pop. But someone told me yesterday that my hair looked like Jennifer Lawrence’s, so I am NEVER LOOKING BACK.
Since I can’t afford to get my highlights done all the ruddy time, I asked the follicly blessed folks at Myla and Davis (where I get my hair done) for their top tips. They must be good, otherwise I wouldn’t travel to East Dulwich (East. Dulwich.), which is practically abroad*, to get my hair done. Which I do. By the time I get there (tube, train, bus) I’m determined that I will never leave Hackney again. And by the time Ellie is finished with my hair, East Dulwich is my new favourite place in the world. Why would I ever leave? If I lived there, I could have glorious hair all the time! But I digress. Here’s the game plan for getting the most out of your highlights:
1 – Good Highlights
This might seem obvious, but the better the hairdresser, the better your hair. A really good hairdresser will take their time (and we’re talking fucking ages here, and a boat load of foils on your head) to do really fine highlights, so that you don’t get a hard line when your roots start to come in.
2 – Balayage
They literally just paint it right on there. Freehand. Looks more natural than highlights because there’s not a root line, so you can go longer between top-ups – months instead of weeks. I alternate between highlights and balayage for a more natural blonde and less time in East Dulwich (sorry, East Dulwich. It’s actually lovely there. Like a village. A really far away village).
3 - Silver Shampoo
Which make your hair more silver-y, and less brassy. My roots are quite ashy, so the less red my blonde is, the better – it helps them to blend on in there. Pro:Voke’s touch of silver is an oldie-but-a-goodie: it only costs about three quid, and made my blonde look a bit brighter and more newly done, as well as less yellow.
4 – Dry Shampoo
When I was a brunette, it used to really annoy me that Batiste left that white powdery residue on my hair. But it’s great for blondes – it lightens up the roots a treat. Bumble and Bumble’s Pret a Powder has the same effect, but with the added bonus that it plumps up my hair (volumises, whatever) so that it looks better in general, especially when I can’t be bothered to wash it.
5 – Add A Wave
Wearing your hair super-straight or slicked back will show up roots more. Mine falls pretty straight naturally, so tonging in a bit of a wave helps to hide regrowth. Because I’m quite lazy, I also tend to shove it into a half-up-half-down on top of my head that makes me look like a pineapple – but a blonde pineapple, so I’ll take it.
6 – Conditioner
Sounds obvi, but if your hair looks healthier, the colour looks better. Pureology’s Platinum blonde shampoo and conditioner are great for everyday (or in my case, every other day) washes – they made my hair look brighter and shinier without leaving any residue or feeling too heavy. If you’ve got a bit more time on your hands, whack a conditioning mask (or masque if you’re feeling fancy) on to smooth down dry ends. Bumble and Bumble’s quenching one smelt great while I had it on, and I definitely looked less frazzled after. At least, my hair did – my face still looked equally frazzled. But one thing at a time, you guys.
7 – Go Grunge
When the roots get really bad, I suggest that you start wearing plaid shirts and DMs for a while so that they look intentional. See Binx Walton – and an aggressive amount of regrowth - on the Alexander Wang AW16 catwalk.
And then, obviously, a trip to East Dulwich. Best take a book for the journey…
*Myla and Davis actually have salons in Herne Hill and Brixton too, but I don’t go there, even though Brixton would be really easy to get to from work. No, I go to East Dulwich, because that is where Ellie is, and Ellie is great.
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