If you love soft blended hair color and a soft grow-out, then you have probably heard of the term babylights. However, a few actually understand how these differ from traditional highlights or balayage. Here is your ultimate colorist’s guide to babylights with 20 awesome ideas to copy. Read on to stay on top of modern-day hair color.
What Are Babylights for Your Hair?
Babylights is a modern technique that involves doing baby fine weaving – hence the name babylights – instead of a traditional foil technique, which would be accomplished by doing bigger weaves. As a result, traditional foils can have a more stripy effect on the part, while babylights create a very soft blended root. These microfine highlights are almost undetectable unless you look really close! Here is an example.
The Difference Between Babylights and Balayage Explained
The balayage technique has been very popular over the past few years. Balayage is a surface painting technique (the very term comes from the French word for “sweeping”). This technique tends to have a more dimensional effect, whereas babylights have less of a ribboning look and more of a full-coverage result.
Here is a side-by-side example of babylights vs balayage. The picture on the left is lighter and has more blonde coverage. The balayage on the right has more distinct ribbons and dimension. Both are beautiful.
The babylight will result in a cooler blonde if that is what you are trying to achieve. Whereas the balayage will leave more warmth because of the different lightener used and will leave more panels of depth.
The babylight technique will take longer than a traditional highlight appointment, as it involves a lot of tedious foil work with smaller sections. It could take over two hours for just the application. That is why it is important that you plan ahead going into a specialty color like this. I highly suggest having a consultation with your hairstylist first, where you can discuss the color style that you are going for and go over pricing, timing, etc. Pictures are the most helpful tool to help your stylist. So have your Pinterest board ready!
Who Are Babylights For?
Babylights hair color is a great choice if you want to be really blonde and still have a natural grow-out. For example, this client has blonde babylights, which is giving her roots a seamless blend. This color will grow out very naturally looking. These baby fine highlights at the root blend in perfectly with her natural hair color.
Another benefit to babylights is that the finer the weave, the lighter the end result will be. When the hair is really fine in the foil, the lightener will have more saturation, which will allow the highlighting process to work faster and stronger. This will result in a really blonde end result like this picture. Keep in mind the natural starting color will determine how light you should go with your highlights.
This technique can be great if you want to try a color for the first time and want just a natural sun kissed effect. Or, if you have really fine hair and just want a subtle glow. Adding just a few highlights can really enhance your natural color with no commitment!
This is also a really great technique for gray blending. Super fine highlights can camouflage gray hair without the commitment of a full-on permanent gray coverage color. This is a perfect way to start the blending process when you notice your first gray hairs! This technique would work great for anyone who has less than seventy-five percent gray.
Let’s not forget about another fun way to use this babylight technique! I call it”pony lights”. In this technique, I use a six foil placement using babylights to detail the bottom of the hairline. This way, when you wear your hair up, you will have those perfect pony lights.
This is also a great technique to add even if you are only getting a partial foil. Ask your stylist to add some hairline foils to make it appear to be a full head of highlights. This is a great add-on service during the summer time when you just need a quick touch-up.
Babylights aren’t necessarily just for highlights. It is just the size of the weaving technique. It can also be used for lowlights or any all over color that you want to add to your hair. The only thing that you need to keep in mind is that the finer the highlights, the softer the color, and the less dimension that you will have in your hair. So if you love chunky dimension like in balayage, then maybe babylights is not the right technique for you!
Check out these examples – maybe these will be the ones you’d like to show to your stylist!
#1: Delicate Warm Blonde Babylights
#2: Blended Blonde Highlights for Fine Locks
#3: Natural Babylights for Short Blunt Cut
#4: Striking Hairstyle with Burgundy Babylights
#5: Elegant Wavy Hair with Blended Highlights
#6: Subtle Caramel Highlights on Brown Hair
#7: Gorgeous Long Blonde Babylights
#8: Brown Babylights on Black Hair
#9: Dimensional Blonde Highlights and Babylights
#10: Dark Blonde Babylights for Medium Brown Hair
#11: Trendy Look with Sandy Blonde Babylights
#12: Shiny Curls with Chestnut Babylights
#13: Blonde Babylights for Long Straight Hair
#14: Honey Brown Waves and Copper Babylights
#15: Icy Blonde Blunt Bob Cut
#16: Partial Babylights for Dark Straight Hair
#17: Long Hair with Highlights and Lowlights
#18: Dark Hair with Nut Brown Babylights
#19: Planitum Blonde Babylights and Dark Roots
#20: Pastel Rose Gold Babylights
Making It Last
No matter what technique you decide to choose, using professional salon hair care products suggested by your stylist is the only way to guarantee that your color will stay vibrant and healthy. Most hair colors require more than one professional product. For example, blondes are the most high-maintenance.
It’s important to use color-safe shampoo and conditioners. In addition, you should have bond-building products, a good clarifying and detoxifying shampoo, and a purple shampoo to cut out any unwanted brassiness. These are all examples of what you should have to maintain your beautiful locks! Don’t skip this step! It’s really important.
Because everyone is so busy nowadays, a lot of people prefer to visit the salon only a few times a year with a long appointment, rather than every six weeks with shorter appointments. Hair color has really evolved. That is why babylights might be best for you if you are looking for a very soft hair color that will have longevity.
Mind that a lot of hair color styles are a mix of different techniques, so it’s best to find a stylist that you trust to suggest the right one for your hair type. A lot of people have many different textures throughout their hair and it may require different techniques in different places.