These are the opposite of chunky highlights.More
Here's the bad news: There's yet another trendy highlighting term to learn in addition to the already mile-long list that includes words like palm painting, fallayage, and foilyage. The good news: The term in question — strandlights — describes a technique that creates what may very well be the most natural-looking highlights you've ever seen.
Popping up all over Instagram, strandlights involve taking just a few individual, spaced-out strands — not thicker swaths of Hair — and separating them into foils. "The main difference is the size of the weave that's used for the foil," says Nikki Ferrara, colorist at Serge Normant at John John Frieda in New York City. "It’s not piecey — it’s more of a very fine slice of hair that's put into the foil." Those lightened pieces end up blending in beautifully and creating an all-over brightened look without color-treating (read: damaging) a larger amount of hair or creating a chunky look.
Texas colorist Liz Haven helped the trend catch fire with a few recent Instagram videos depicting the strandlighting process. "This strandlighting technique details any color story to sun-kissed perfection," she writes in the caption of the video below. "The density along with the placement guarantees a perfect low-maintenance brightness every time. I promise you, if applied correctly, there is no horizontal line of demarcation when this grows out. Easily encouraging anywhere from 3-4 months in-between applications." She also notes that she didn't use a root-smudge application to create depth and melt — it's all about the strandlight placement.
It's not just an American trend. Amazing strandlight results have recently been posted by colorists all over the world, from Abu Dhabi to Scotland. Check out some of the prettiest examples we found.
If this seems like the look you want, Ferrara says your best bet is to "show the colorist pictures or direct them to the videos if they haven’t heard of strandlighting. I feel confident that most colorists who are proficient with foils would be able to pull something like this off." Your colorist may also know the term "slicing," which Ferrara says is very similar to strandlighting. "Slicing is an older technique that creates a visible highlight, and when done well, it’s really pretty."
No matter what you call it, these highlights are clearly a perfect way to lighten up for summer without a whole-head overhaul.
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