Highlight Brown Hair

Woman with wavy brown hair
Photo: Jeanette Dietl/Shutterstock
Q: My hair is long. A year ago my hairdresser bleached my hair to remove the color which was dark red. I now have chocolate brown hair. My natural hair color is a medium brown and I have 60% white hair.
Can I highlight my hair to a light blonde or light honey color? Is it best to trim or cut my hair medium length before or after the highlights? Thank you for your assistance.

A: Given the level of gray in your hair's natural color, you will definitely want to consult with your stylist about the method of highlighting your hair that will be used.
The higher levels of gray can result in brassiness in the hair color if the highlights are too light. And the highlighted hair can still appear "flat" as a result of the color applied to un-pigmented hair. Because of this, your stylist may need to use multiple colors of highlighting to give you natural-looking dimensional results.
If he/she is skilled in coloring and highlighting techniques, I'm sure you will be pleased with the end results. I do want to caution you against using highlights that are too light with darker hair colors. The process of lightening permanent hair color can be as harsh as bleaching naturally dark colored hair. You want to be sure to protect your hair and make changes that will be flattering and still keep from damaging the hair.
As for whether or not to cut the hair before you color or highlight the hair, that answer will depend largely on how much of a change in length you plan to undertake. If you're only planning to trim the hair or remove an inch or two in length, your stylist may decide to wait and cut the hair afterward.
However, if you are planning a significant change in length, you can reasonably expect the stylist to want to cut the hair first, since that will mean less hair to work with, and make things go much more quickly in the color/highlighting application.
See also:
How to color hair
The different types of hair color
How to choose natural-looking highlights
Is it better to color your hair before or after it is cut?