When it comes to hair color trends, there are two sides of the spectrum right now: Bright colors and natural-looking hues. If you’re more drawn to that au naturel look, the babylight hair trend might be your next salon request. These natural-looking highlights are all about adding a touch of light to strands to create gorgeous dimension and depth.
Curious to know more about the babylight trend? We shed light (pun intended) on how they differ from classic highlights and balayage, how to get the look, and how to maintain babylights up ahead.
What Are Babylights?
Baby lights are inspired by the natural highlights seen in children’s hair (hence the name). The highlights are subtle, fine, and natural-looking, focusing more on adding some dimension to the hair.
Babylights vs. Highlights
Technically, babylights are highlights—but, they’re a lot different from the chunky highlights we have grown accustomed to. These natural-looking highlights have more of a sunkissed feel and are achieved by applying bleach (via the foil method) to fine pieces of hair.
Babylights vs. Balayage
Babylights are similar to balayage in that they are made to have a natural-looking appeal. Only, balayage is more about mimicking the natural look of grown out hair color and babylights are about creating tiny, sun-kissed highlights. The babylight look is achieved with the help of foils whereas stylists don’t typically use foils for balayage.
How Do I Babylight My Hair?
First and foremost, it is important to not take a DIY approach to this highlight trend, as it takes some experience and expertise to mimic natural hair color—not to mention: Create subtle dimension in the strands. If you don’t already have a colorist you love (or a colorist who has experience with babylights), you’ll want to do some research before deciding where to go. Look for a colorist who specializes in or has experience with babylights (you can find this out through their social media channels, or even friend recommendations!), as well as experience with your hair type.
Once you’ve met your colorist match, you’ll want to share your hair goals with the stylist. If they already have experience with babylights, they should have an idea of what you’re going for. But, it also helps to bring photo examples of the color you’re trying to achieve. Some stylists will even have you book a consultation first so that they can take a look at your hair color and get an idea of what you want.
The price of babylights will range based on salon and colorist—but it should be similar or around the same price range as highlights.
Are Babylights Low Maintenance?
Because they are made to mimic natural dimension, babylights can be lower maintenance in terms of grow out. That being said, you’ll want to ensure you take good care of your hair post-highlight session, as the bleach can impact the health of strands. Hair that is highlighted can feel dry, so it needs nourishing products. A purple shampoo is also a good idea, as it can help keep highlights looking fresh.
No matter how small your highlight are, investing in a good blonde shampoo can help maintain their brightness. This purple shampoo from Redken gently cleanses the hair—which is important for bleached strands—and uses a touch of purple pigment to counter the brassiness that is all too common with bleached highlights.
You can also use a purple conditioner, which can counter brassiness while nourishing your hair. This one from Redken is the counterpart to the recommended purple shampoo and works to maintain blonde babylights, leaving hair cooler and brighter-looking, while also protecting against dryness and damage.
If you use bleach on your hair, a hair mask is a great way to help counter some of the drying effects it can have on strands. As an added bonus, this one deposits a purple hue, which helps keep brassy undertones at bay.
If you don’t want a purple depositing deep conditioner, a hair mask designed for color treated hair is also a great option for caring for babylights. This one from Biolage is specifically made to treat colored hair, as well as dry or damaged strands. With regular use, hair feels healthier and looks ultra-refreshed.
How Do You Touch Up Babylights?
If you have babylights, the only person who should touch up your miniature highlights is your colorist, as they can ensure it's done properly without causing damage or messing up the natural look of the highlights. Everyone is different but, for the most part, babylights should be touched up every six to eight weeks.
After you get home from your babylight service, stock up on all your hair care must-haves at Hair.com