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The Best Highlights for Short Hair

We tapped an expert to discover the best way to highlight short locks!

Think you need long, flowing locks to benefit from highlights? Think again! "Having highlights in short hair is a great way to create a softer, more customized look," explains Daniel Jones, hairdresser and L'Oréal Professionnel Artist. We chatted with Jones to discover some of the best highlights for short hair and more.

Highlighting Techniques for Short Hair

Highlights are one of the best ways to add dimension and movement to your style-especially when you have short hair. "Depending on the length, desired look, previous color and tone, using the traditional foiling method or balayage, can both create lighter looks," Jones shares. "For me personally, I prefer to balayage hair that's longer than a pixie. Again, this depends on the desired finished look and the previous color. If the client has virgin hair, I'm going straight in for the balayage brush!"

As far as what look to go with, when you have short hair your options are truly endless-but Jones says you'll want to keep a few rules of thumb in mind. "Having more than one tone in the hair looks more natural, depending on the colors chosen and the placement," he advises. To get the most natural-looking highlights you will want to only lighten a few levels away you're your base color. What's more, if you have fine hair you'll likely want the placement to be fine and delicate but if you have thick hair, you'll want a bit of a heavier highlight so that they don't disappear in your strands.

The beauty of highlights is that they are incredibly versatile. You can opt for a natural-looking, sun-kissed vibe or go for something bold and eye-catching. Your hairdresser will help you determine the best look for you and the correct size and placement-do not try to highlight your hair at home!

Another fun benefit of highlights is that they have the power to contour your face! Similar to makeup contouring, highlights can accentuate or detract from certain features. They can also help your face appear more narrow or fuller depending on the placement and the tones your hairdresser choses.

How to Maintain Highlights in Short Hair

Just as you'd have to care for highlights in longer lengths, you'll want to follow similar steps to care for highlighted short hair. "It's all about using the right shampoos and conditioners for your particular color, texture and lifestyle," Jones says. "Some of us shampoo everyday, while others shampoo twice a week." Depending on your routine, your hairdresser can recommend a shampoo and conditioner system formulated for color-treated hair that will ensure that your highlights look their best until your next visit.

Your next visit will depend on how many shades lighter you took your hair and whether or not you like your highlights to stay close to the root or if you prefer that lived-in look. "Most of my highlight clients come in every 5-7 weeks," Jones says. He also recommends asking your hairdresser about Smartbond to protect your hair during a lightening service.

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