What Are Lowlights? 10 Irresistible Ways To Wear Them.

Lowlights are the hottest hair trend of the moment. But what are lowlights? Would they suit you? Do you even need them? Don’t worry, we’re here to give you the lowdown on all things lowlights!

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this hair color technique—including how it’s different from highlights, what types of lowlights there are, and who they look best on.

Let’s go!

What are lowlights?

Lowlights are a hair coloring technique that involves adding darker shades to your hair in order to create depth, dimension and texture.

Unlike highlights, which involve lightening your hair, lowlights involve adding darker hues to your locks. This can be done with both permanent and semi-permanent hair color. 

Lowlights can be used to add dimension to your hair, especially if you have a one-dimensional base color. They can also be used to give the illusion of thickness to fine or thin hair. If you have very light hair, however, you may want to stick to highlights.

They can also be used to blend out your regrowth if you’re trying to prolong the time between color appointments. If want to go for darker colors with a shadow root or color melt, lowlights will be used to get the look.

And if you’ve ever gone a little too heavy-handed with the bleach, lowlights can help correct any unwanted brassiness too!

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration over on our lowlights Pinterest board.

what are lowlights pinterest board

What’s the difference between lowlights and highlights?

So, lowlights vs highlights, what’s the difference? It all has to do with where the color is placed.

With lowlights, the darker shades are added underneath the sections of hair that are already lightened. This helps to create depth and dimension.

Highlights, on the other hand, are placed on top of the sections of hair that are already darkest to lighten up your look.

Are lowlights darker than your hair?

Lowlights are usually a shade or two darker than your natural hair color.

This can range from a very subtle difference to a stark contrasting look.

It’s important to discuss with your stylist or hair colorists exactly the look you’re going for before getting lowlights. They can choose the right shade of hair dye that will complement your natural skin tones.

Whether you want a drastic change or a subtle shift in hue, lowlights can give you the look that’s right for you.

Are there different types of lowlights?

There are two main types of lowlights—foil lowlights and balayage lowlights.

Foil lowlights involve using foil to isolate sections of hair that you want to add color to. These are typically very precise and can be placed throughout your hair to create a variety of looks.

Balayage lowlights, on the other hand, are more freehand and natural-looking. With these hair coloring techniques, the colorist will paint on the lowlights without using any foil. This results in a sun-kissed look that’s perfect for summer.

Which one you choose will depend on the look your heart desires!

Who do lowlights look best on? 

Lowlights look best on people who already have some dark and light hues in their hair—think blondes, brunettes with highlights, or redheads with copper tones.

If your hair is one solid dark hue, you may want to consider highlights instead so as not to make your strands appear too heavy.

The key is to choose a shade that contrasts with your hair color.

For example, if you have medium to dark brown hair, you might want to try lowlights in a caramel or auburn shade.

If you have black hair, you could try lowlights in a chocolate brown shade. And if you have red hair, you might want to try lowlights in a copper or gold shade.

So whatever your hair color, there’s a lowlight for you!

10 Irresistible Lowlights Ideas

#1. Dark blonde with caramel lowlights

Dark blonde with caramel lowlights is a modern hair color that creates a beautiful, contrasty look.

The dark blonde shade is a great base color because it provides a lot of depth and dimension, while the caramel lowlights add a touch of warmth and richness.

This color looks best with loose, natural waves or straight styles. It’s also a great choice for people who want to transition from their natural hair color to something lighter.

2. Brunette with chocolate balayage lowlights

Brunettes with dark brown hair can benefit from lowlights, too! Adding some chocolate hues will help give your hair more dimension.

This technique involves using lightener on the top layers of hair and adding depth and dimension with darker lowlights.

The result is a gorgeous, rich brunette color that looks effortlessly chic. Plus, it’s a great way to add some visual interest if you’re feeling like your brown hair is looking a little flat.

3. Red with copper lowlights

Redheads with copper tones in their hair will love adding copper lowlights. This will help to enhance the natural red hues in your strands.

This bold hair look combines two classic shades to create a vibe that is both timeless and trendy. The rich red color is perfect for those who want to make a bold statement, while the copper lowlights add depth and dimension.

This look can be customized to suit your individual style, and it’s perfect for both long and short hair.

4. Warm blonde with honey lowlights

Warm golden blonde highlights are gorgeous on their own, but they can look even better with some honey lowlights and streaks added in for depth and dimension.

Honey lowlights are especially flattering on those with warm skin tones, as they help to bring out the natural warmth in your complexion. Blend in strawberry blonde for a touch more warmth.

5. Brunette with espresso balayage lowlights

Espresso lowlights are ideal for brunettes who want to add a little bit of darkness back into their strands. We love this combo with caramel balayage for a gorgeous blend of light and shade.

This chic, modern hair color is achieved by adding dark brown highlights to brunette hair. The result is a stunning, multi-dimensional color that is sure to turn heads.

Balayage lowlights are also a great way to add some dimension to your hair if it tends to be on the flat side. And because the highlights are applied freehand, they can be customized to suit your individual hair type and style.

6. Red velvet with black cherry lowlights

If you’re a redhead, adding some black cherry lowlights is a great way to give your hair a pop of color. It’s a flattering shade for any complexion.

This color combination is achieved by adding black cherry shadows to red velvet hair, which creates a beautiful two-tone effect.

The black cherry lowlights add depth and dimension to the red velvet, while also creating a modern and sophisticated look. This hair color is perfect for those who want to make a tasty statement.

7. Beige blonde with light ash brown lowlights

If you want to go a bit darker but still love the face-framing lightness of ashy beige blonde, ashy browns are perfect lowlights to make the magic happen.

The lowlights add depth and dimension to the beige blonde, while the light ash brown helps to brighten up the overall look.

This hair color is perfect for those who want to add a touch of sophistication to their look. It is also a great option for those who are looking for a low-maintenance, more natural look.

8. Sandy brown with auburn lowlights.

Auburn lowlights are perfect for cinnamon or light brown brunettes who want to add a touch of red-brown elegance to their hair.

This shade is perfect for those who want to add some dimension to their hair without going too far outside their comfort zone.

The sandy brown base provides a warm foundation, while the auburn lowlights add depth and richness. Plus, this color looks great on all skin tones and hair types.

9. Golden blonde with mocha lowlights

If you’re a golden blonde, mocha lowlights are a great way to add darkness and depth to your hair. Mocha lowlights will also help to enhance the natural gold tones in your strands.

It’s a modern, trendy hair color combo that can be both sophisticated and glamorous. The main color is a golden blonde, while the lowlights are a rich, chocolate brown.

It can be worn both straight and curly, and it looks especially beautiful when teamed with beachy waves.

10. Platinum blonde with silver-gray lowlights

Blonde hair with lowlights is never not on-trend and Icy platinum blonde hair is beautiful and cool. Adding some silver lowlights can help to give it even more dimension.

Platinum blonde hair is the lightest shade of blonde, and it is best suited for people with cool skin tones. It can be difficult to achieve this color if your hair is naturally dark, but it is possible to achieve it with bleach and toner.

It’s a blonde shade that’s best complemented by silver-gray lowlights. This color combination creates a modern and trendy look that is perfect for any occasion. The silver-gray lowlights help to add dimension and depth to the icy blonde base, while the platinum blonde hair helps to brighten up your pretty face.

What are lowlights on brown hair?

Lowlight colors for brown hair are generally one to two shades darker than your current brunette hair color.

They help to create depth and dimension, and can also be used to correct any unwanted tones. If your brown hair is looking a little flat, consider adding some lowlights with mermaid waves for volume.

The good news is that there are plenty of awesome hair color shades that blend well with brown tresses.

You could go for a chocolate brown or auburn, or even add some caramel highlights for a more multi-dimensional look.

Just be sure to consult with your stylist first to find the perfect shade for you. With the right lowlights, you’ll have brown hair that’s anything but boring.

Are lowlights cheaper than highlights?

Lowlights are generally cheaper than highlights because they require less time and less work.

Highlights involve bleaching your hair, which can be damaging, and then dyeing it the color you want.

Lowlights only require dyeing, so they’re a bit gentler on your strands. However, the price will ultimately depend on your salon’s prices and the length of your hair.

When should you use lowlights in your hair?

Low lights are the perfect way to add dimension to your hair without making a drastic change.

They can also be used to correct color that has been damaged by the sun or bleach.

If you’re thinking about adding lowlights to your hair, here are a few things to keep in mind.

First, consider the current state of your hair. If it’s brittle or damaged, lowlights may not be the best option.

Second, think about the overall effect you’re trying to achieve. Do you want subtle depth? Or are you looking for something more dramatic?

Lastly, consult with a professional colorist to find the perfect shade for you. With their help, you’ll be able to achieve beautiful, healthy-looking hair that’s perfect for any season.

Do lowlights cover gray hair?

When it comes to covering gray hair, lowlights are a great option.

Lowlights are also a good choice if you want to gradually transition from your natural color to a new shade.

They’re also great for growing out gray and embracing the all-over silver fox look.

By adding lowlights first, you can get a sense of how the new color will look before making a bigger commitment.

Plus, lowlights are less likely to show up any grays that you may have. So if you’re looking for a way to cover your gray hair, lowlights are definitely worth considering.

How long do lowlights last?

Unlike highlights, which can be touch-ups every 6-8 weeks, lowlights are usually more permanent and can last for several months.

Of course, how often you need to touch up your lowlights will depend on how fast your hair grows and how light or dark your natural hair color is.

If you have very light hair, you may find that you need to touch up your lowlights every 4-6 weeks.

And if you have very dark hair, you may be able to go 8-10 weeks between touch-ups.

So if you’re looking for a hair color that will give you a little bit more flexibility, lowlights are a great option.

How to care for lowlights.

The good news is that lowlights are relatively low maintenance. Here are a few tips for keeping your low lights looking their best.

First, be sure to use the right hair care products. A sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner that are specifically formulated for color-treated hair will help to preserve your lowlights and prevent them from fading.

Second, avoid excessive heat styling, as this can also cause the color to fade. When you do style your hair, use a heat protectant product to minimize damage.

Third, use a moisturizing deep conditioner or hair mask once a week to keep your hair healthy and in tip top condition.

Finally, touch up your lowlights every 4-6 weeks to keep the color looking fresh. With a little extra care, you can enjoy beautiful, healthy lowlights for months to come.

Parting words.

Now you know all about lowlights.

Hopefully you’ve worked out whether they’re right for you and got some good ideas about what colors to choose.

If you’re still undecided, don’t worry – there’s no rush. Just take your time and consult with a professional colorist when you’re ready to take the next step. Thanks for reading!

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Nicola Freeman

Creative Director & Owner

With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during Covid for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!