Effects of Highlighting

Highlighted hair
Photo: Starik 73/Shutterstock
Q: What negative effect does having highlights do to your hair?
A: Well, highlighting is generally performed using a bleaching agent on selected strands of the hair.
Depending on the level of lightening you want to have, you may be able to use a simple high-lift color formula in a one-step process, or you may need to use bleach and toner color in a two-step color process.
The single-process lightening color formulas are gentler on the hair than the two-process color services. Even so, all of these color-lightening services leave the hair even more porous than it previously was. This is because the hair color mixtures use an alkaline base to expand the hair shaft and raise the cuticle layer to allow the lightener/color to penetrate and remove the existing color.
Because of this, the highlighted hair can more easily dry out and become damaged during normal exposure to styling and environmental conditions. To protect and care for the highlighted hair, you need to be sure to use a good moisturizing conditioner every day and avoid using high levels of heat when blow-drying or thermal styling the hair.
See also:
Highlighting and highlights
Will coloring damage my hair?
After care for colored or chemically treated hair