Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Highlight New Hair Growth

Q: I want to maintain highlights to break up the flat, solid brown that I'd otherwise have with single-process monthly color needed to cover grays. My stylist, whom I've been going to for years, tells me that she highlights only the "new growth" (uses foils), but I've been doing this for almost 9 months to a year now, and there are a couple of issues: I don't think it's really possible to just highlight new growth (roots). Do you?
Some of the blonde pieces are getting way too washed-out & bleached-out blonde looking. The highlights now just extend about halfway down the length of my hair, which looks a bit odd. Another issue is that, with highlights being added on top of highlights, month after month, the overall shade of my hair is lighter & lighter & seems to be in need of breaking up with some brown streaks now! When I've suggested mixing highlights & lowlights, my stylists seems averse to this. Why would this be?
We do the same thing each month. New highlights and then color deposited with a brush, before I'm put under the dryer, to cover grays. My hair feels so coarse, even though I use a quality moisturizing shampoo & conditioner.
Do I need to take a break from highlights? Should I suggest highlights with lowlights again? I loved the look of highlights, but I want them to look right. I also want my hair to look & feel healthy. I don't seem to have either of these going on for me right now!

A: Actually, a practiced stylist, who is proficient with the foiling technique can easily isolate and target only the new growth of your highlights.
This being said, it is possible that your stylist is not as proficient as she may have you believe. It is possible that she has managed to isolate the highlighted hair, but it sounds as though she is continuing to lighten the hair that has already been highlighted when she does the retouch service.
The aversion to performing both highlights and lowlights could also signal a lack of confidence in her skills with the foil color application. I know that you have been seeing the same stylist for a number of years, but you may want to consider trying out a new stylist.
It is very easy for a stylist and client to fall into a routine and these can often be difficult to break out of. However, it does sound as though your hair needs some very intense conditioning and damage repair, and you may have a difficult time convincing your stylist to give you the service you want and that your hair needs.
In the meantime, do take it upon yourself to give your hair some deep conditioning. Select a moisture rich conditioner and apply it to the hair, then cover it with a plastic cap. Wrap the head in a towel that has been warmed in the clothes dryer and leave the conditioner on the hair for at least twenty minutes. After time has elapsed, rinse the conditioner from the hair using cool water.
Do this at least twice a week until you find your hair is returning to a healthier-looking and feeling state.
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How to color hair
Foiling technique for highlights
How to find a good hair stylist