Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Highlights & Dyeing

Q: I am trying to decide whether to dye my hair or not. See, I have brown hair with natural blonde highlights. And someone told me that if I dyed my hair that my highlights will not come back. If that is the case I won't do it. I was wondering if this was true.
A: The answer to your question depends on the color you are trying to achieve by dyeing your hair. If all you are trying to achieve is a minor change in the tint of your hair (say perhaps to add a little more warmth) you can select a color with a light level equal to or lighter than the shade of your highlights and use that. When mixed with a 10-volume developer, the formula will only deposit color. It will add the color tone to the darker hair and the highlights, but your highlights will still be present, albeit in a different color tone.
If you don't want to alter your highlights at all, but you want to add some more depth to your color, you should consider getting lowlights. Lowlights are applied the same way highlights would be, except that a darker, richer color is used to add more depth to the color. This is best done using foils to make targeting the color more precise. This will allow you to give yourself a darker-looking, richer color overall, without sacrificing your natural highlights.
Foil coloring is best done by a trained professional, and is more expensive than standard color application. The results are well worth the expense. However, if you choose to do your own lowlights, I recommend using a cap and taking care to pull only the darker hair through the cap. The cap method is quicker and easier to perform, and can be done by yourself.
The thing to remember with haircolor is that as long as the color you are applying is lighter than the natural color, you can retain the lightness of the natural color. For example, if you applied a medium brown color (say color level 4) to your natural hair (say color level 6 with level 9 highlights) you would make both the natural brown and the highlights the medium brown color and would lose the highlights. However, if you used a light strawberry blonde (say color level 9), your natural brown color would take on a warm tone and the highlights would be strawberry blonde.
Related posts:
How to color hair
Highlights Q&A
Foil highlighting
How to apply highlights with a highlighting cap