If you want to freshen up your color without going crazy then babylights might be the perfect minimalist solution for you.
They are silky wisps of color added to your mane to create a natural, low maintenance look.
So if you are the least bit color shy they may be just what you’re looking for.
And yeah, I know. Hair lightly kissed with lighter tones were first a “thing” a few years back. So they probably don’t qualify as a trend anymore. Understood.
Still, and if you’ll forgive me for gushing, even now it’s quite likely just a handful of well-placed babylights will make you forget all about other more common highlighting options.
Of Course You May Have Questions
Here’s the one’s answered for you. Browse in order or jump straight to the answer you need.
- What are Babylights, Anyways?
- What Can They Do For Me?
- How Are They Done Exactly?
- Are Babylights Just for Blondes?
- Does Your Cut or How You Style Your Hair Matter?
- How Long Will I Be Sitting in My Colorist’s Chair?
- How Much Maintenance Is Involved?
- What’s the Difference Between Balayage and Baby Lights One More Time?
What The Heck Are Babylights, Anyways?
Okay so babylights are what you might describe as a delicate shimmer of color that’s nowhere near as chunky as balayage. In other words they are super thin highlights used to create a subtle variation in your hair color without changing that color – much.
Often it’s pointed out they are so fine they leave you with hair that looks similar to what you had as a child.
Or like your tresses were lightened naturally by the rays of the sun.
Which is to say with baby lights it’s all about keeping it natural.
So the big idea is to leave the salon looking like you spent a week at the sun drenched beach rather than an afternoon in your stylist’s chair.
What Can They Do For Me?
For one using color to add dimension is a clever way to give your hair a thicker look, don’t you think? Making this coloring technique a god send for those with fine tresses.
There’s also the extra sense of movement you get from these color jewels.
Finally any lightening done around your face is a great way to enhance your facial features.
How Are They Done Exactly?
Basically accents one or two shades lighter than your natural color are sprinkled about using either foils (for greater control) or free style balayage for a more casual result.
Think ultra-thin, as in a few strands worth, rather than thicker streaks of color. Focusing on a few strands at a time leaves the shade of most of your tresses unchanged.
This is the point to get. It all comes down to placement. Typically these accents are put in at your hairline, in the general vicinity of your part, or the tips of layers or the ends of your hair. Those are the areas most often emphasized to create the look.
Ideally you want them to get subtly yet progressively lighter from the scalp down to the tips. The ends are where the color should be the lightest.
Expect your colorist to take a so called “weave” of your hair. Oh and “weave” is stylist speak for the small section of hair to be painted. To further refine things that initial weave may then split roughly in half.
You can see things get almost down to the strand level here which is why this process takes so darn long.
The idea is to put in delicate whispers of color scattered strategically around your head. Like I said some will focus more on the locks hanging around your face and towards the ends. Taking care to steer well clear of anything even remotely suggesting you’ve crossed over into ombre territory.
But the payoff for coloring that is best described as subtle, faint, or almost threadlike is regrowth that isn’t in any way obvious. Making any maintenance next to non-existent too.
Are Babylights Just for Blondes?
Yes you often do see blondes walking around with baby lights in their strands. But that doesn’t mean those with darker locks are left out.
Regardless of the underlying color, babylights involve playfully streaking in a little lighter shade than the current color.
That means they can be tailored to any color. For instance using say a caramel color in brunette hair can transform your appearance in mesmerizing ways that has to be seen to be believed.
Does Your Cut or How You Style Your Hair Matter?
Another good question. While this technique works with long or short cuts, obviously there are styles and lengths that can get more out of this soft and subtle coloring technique than others.
So ideally you’d want to have locks that are collar bone length or longer. Being shoulder length gives these thread like wisps of color something to get lost in.
Yet that’s not to say they can’t work with bobs or lobs.
Certainly this is something to discuss beforehand with your stylist to make sure you’re a good candidate for these.
How Long Will I Be Sitting in My Colorist’s Chair?
Ahhh there’s the rub. While this is certainly a less is more technique you still need something done, right? And it’s a time consuming “something” at that. Some would say tedious even.
I mean you’re dealing with itty bitty sections after all. It’s going to take coloring a few to see the impact.
And given the nature of these fine slices it’s not out of the question to expect to spend maybe two hours or more in some cases. Given the nature of the beast there is simply little that can be done to save time here.
How Much Maintenance Is Involved?
Good to see you’re thinking ahead. This is hair coloring after all, right?
And if we know nothing else about hair color we know it requires pampering and looking after. Often sooner than we might like. And usually there’s an awkward growing out period to endure too.
Luckily, like most recent highlights variations such as balayage and ombre, professional maintenance of babylights is minimal if the color is put in right.
Which is to say since these highlights are finely woven into the fabric of your natural color the roots blend in almost undetectably as your mane grows. Meaning the more your mane grows out the softer it will look. Seamless even. Which is nice added benefit, no?
Because of that your schedule will not be cluttered with return visits to your colorist any more often than every maybe 75-90 days in most cases.
Hair coloring really doesn’t get much more low maintenance that than.
Besides spreading things out like this also insures you won’t be coloring the same hair again and again which as you know is never smart anyway.
But that’s kinda like the first part of what can be read as a two-parter. There’s also home after care to consider.
Don’t mistakenly assume that just because these babies jazz up your existing tone you can skimp on what comes next.
That’s right, if you want these to be as vibrant as possible for as long as possible that means trading the shampoo and conditioners residing in your bathroom for more color safe versions.
Plus it can’t hurt to put some money into a nourishing mask.
And it goes without saying, yet I do say it a lot, don’t I?, if you’re a fan of hot styling tools you’ll need a good heat protectant to ward off any premature color fade.
Hold On – What’s the Difference Between Balayage and Baby Lights One More Time?
It’s understandable you want clarification. After all Allure magazine noted babylights and balayage are often compared or is it more confused? Not to mention it sure is easy to get lost in the sea of multi-hue buzzwords, isn’t it?
Balayage: Assuming your French is a little weak directly translated it means “sweep”. Free handing (or painting) the color on to streak your hair produces a decidedly different look than you would with the more traditional foil and cap approach to highlighting.
Also know this really is more of a hair dye technique than a type of coloring per se.
Babylights: This is a hair coloring method that looks to mimic the subtle, multidimensional shades of a baby’s or toddler’s hair. Hence the name which combines baby and highlights to give you babylights.
These are basically small, lighter colored strands randomly placed all around your head. You won’t recognize them as highlights exactly since the goal of baby lights is to produce an overall natural looking sun kissed lightening.
Anyway there you have it. Some of the most common questions about babylights answered for you.
So if your most desired outcome is to create a totally natural looking color that’s radiant and dimensional then this approach may be worth trying.