How Do Salons Touch Up Highlights

Hair highlights are a popular way to add dimension, brightness, and depth to your hair, effortlessly elevating your overall look.

Whether you have natural or color-treated hair, highlights can transform your appearance and bring out your best features.

How Do Salons Touch Up Highlights

However, as time goes by, your highlights may start to lose their luster due to natural hair growth and exposure to various elements.

Understanding Hair Highlights

Before we dive into touch-ups, let’s understand what hair highlights are and how they are applied.

Hair highlights involve adding lighter strands to your hair, creating contrast and enhancing your natural color.

There are various highlighting techniques, including foiling, balayage, and ombre, each offering unique results.

Why Touch-Ups are Necessary

Just like any hair color treatment, highlights require maintenance to keep them looking fresh and vibrant.

Your hair grows around half an inch per month, and as new growth appears, your highlights may start to lose their initial brilliance.

Additionally, exposure to sunlight, styling tools, and harsh hair products can contribute to fading and brassiness.

When to Schedule a Touch-Up

The timing of your touch-up sessions depends on several factors, such as the type of highlights, your hair growth rate, and your desired look.

Generally, touch-ups are recommended every 6 to 8 weeks to maintain the best results.

However, if you have fast hair growth or opted for subtle balayage, you might be able to stretch the time between appointments.

Preparation for the Touch-Up

Before scheduling a touch-up appointment, it’s essential to have a consultation with a professional stylist.

During this session, you can discuss your desired results, share any concerns, and get personalized advice on the best approach for your hair.

To prepare for the appointment, follow a suitable haircare routine and ensure your hair is healthy and ready for the treatment.

Salon Touch-Up Process

The touch-up process involves carefully applying the highlighting product to the new growth while considering the existing highlights.

This step requires precision and skill to achieve a seamless blend. Your stylist will also help you choose the right color and tone to match your preferences and ensure a harmonious look.

Special Considerations for Different Hair Types

Different hair types have unique requirements when it comes to touch-ups. For individuals with natural hair, maintaining highlights involves specific techniques and considerations.

On the other hand, if you have color-treated or textured hair, your stylist will use suitable products and methods to keep your highlights looking stunning.

Balayage and Ombre Touch-Ups

Balayage and ombre highlights require special attention during touch-ups to maintain their natural-looking effect.

Your stylist will focus on preserving the gradual transition of colors and blending the new growth with the existing highlights seamlessly.

Maintaining Highlights at Home

While salon touch-ups are essential for long-lasting results, you can also take some measures at home to extend the life of your highlights.

Using hair products specifically designed for color-treated hair, avoiding excessive heat styling, and protecting your hair from environmental damage can all contribute to maintaining vibrant highlights.

Post-Touch-Up Haircare

How Do Salons Touch Up Highlights

After a touch-up session, it’s crucial to give your hair some extra care and attention. Hydrating and nourishing treatments, such as hair masks and serums, can help keep your hair healthy and glossy.

Additionally, using sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners will protect your highlights from premature fading.

Troubleshooting and Fixes

Sometimes, despite the best efforts, issues may arise after a touch-up. Uneven highlights, overly bright sections, or dark patches can be frustrating.

In such cases, it’s best to consult with your stylist for professional solutions rather than attempting to fix the problem yourself.

Avoiding Overprocessing

Frequent touch-ups can put stress on your hair, leading to overprocessing. Signs of overprocessed hair include dryness, breakage, and a lack of shine.

To prevent damage, consider lessening the frequency of touch-ups and incorporating hair-strengthening treatments into your routine.

Alternative Highlighting Techniques

In addition to traditional highlights, there are alternative techniques worth exploring.

Lowlights and babylights add depth and dimension, while shadow roots and root smudging create a softer transition between your natural color and highlights.

Foiling, although a classic method, still has its place in achieving specific highlight effects.

DIY vs. Professional Touch-Ups

While some people may attempt DIY touch-ups at home, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully.

DIY touch-ups can be cost-effective, but they come with potential risks, such as uneven results or damage to your hair.

On the other hand, professional salon touch-ups provide expert guidance and a guarantee of beautiful outcomes.

Can i touch up my own highlights

Yes, you can touch up your own highlights at home. However, it’s important to approach this task with caution and understanding of the potential risks involved.

Highlighting your hair requires skill and precision to achieve even and natural-looking results.

If you have experience with hair coloring and feel confident in your abilities, you can try touching up your highlights at home.

There are DIY highlighting kits available that come with instructions on how to apply the product to your hair.

However, keep in mind that DIY touch-ups may not yield the same results as a professional salon treatment.

Mistakes can lead to uneven coloring, unwanted brassiness, or damage to your hair. Additionally, hair professionals have the expertise to customize the color and application to suit your unique hair type and style.

If you’re unsure about the process or concerned about potential mishaps, it’s best to seek the help of a professional stylist.

They can ensure that your highlights are done correctly, and you achieve the desired look with minimal risk to your hair’s health and appearance.

How long does it take to touch up highlights

The time it takes to touch up highlights can vary depending on several factors. On average, a highlight touch-up session at a salon can take around 1 to 2 hours.

However, the duration may be shorter or longer depending on the amount of new growth, the type of highlights, and the complexity of the desired look.

Balayage or freehand highlights might take a bit longer as they require precise application. Foil highlights, on the other hand, can be quicker for smaller touch-ups.

It’s essential to schedule enough time with your stylist to ensure they can provide the attention to detail needed for beautiful and seamless results.

How do they touch up highlights

To touch up highlights, a professional stylist follows a careful and precise process. They begin by sectioning the hair and identifying the new growth areas where the highlights have faded.

Using either foils or freehand techniques like balayage, the stylist applies a lightening product to the selected strands.

They pay close attention to blending the new highlights with the existing ones to create a seamless transition.

The development time of the lightening product is monitored closely to achieve the desired level of brightness.

After rinsing and conditioning, the hair is styled to showcase the refreshed highlights, leaving you with a beautiful and natural-looking result.


Touching up highlights is a vital aspect of maintaining a stunning and radiant appearance.

Regular touch-up sessions at a professional salon ensure that your highlights stay vibrant and flattering for an extended period.

The guidance and expertise of a skilled stylist play a significant role in achieving the desired results, making salon touch-ups a valuable investment in your hair’s health and beauty.

FAQ – How Do Salons Touch Up Highlights

How often should I get my highlights touched up?

The frequency of highlight touch-ups depends on various factors, such as your hair growth rate and the type of highlights you have. In general, touch-ups are recommended every 6 to 8 weeks to maintain a fresh and vibrant look. However, individuals with faster hair growth or subtle balayage may be able to stretch the time between appointments slightly.

Can I touch up my highlights at home?

While it is possible to attempt DIY touch-ups at home, it’s essential to approach this with caution. Highlight touch-ups require skill and precision to achieve a seamless blend and prevent uneven results. For the best and most satisfying outcomes, it’s highly recommended to have a professional stylist perform the touch-up at a salon.

What is the difference between balayage and foiling?

Balayage and foiling are two distinct highlighting techniques. Foiling involves sectioning small strands of hair and wrapping them in foils with a lightening product, creating defined and uniform highlights. Balayage, on the other hand, is a freehand technique where the stylist paints the lightener directly onto the hair, resulting in a more natural and sun-kissed effect with softer regrowth lines.

Are there any specific hair products for maintaining highlights?

Yes, there are hair products specifically formulated for maintaining and enhancing highlights. Look for shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks designed for color-treated hair. These products are often sulfate-free and contain ingredients that help preserve the color and shine of your highlights.

Will touch-ups damage my hair?

When performed by a skilled professional, highlight touch-ups should not cause significant damage to your hair. However, excessive or frequent touch-ups can lead to overprocessing, which may result in dryness and breakage. It’s crucial to follow your stylist’s advice and incorporate hair-strengthening treatments into your routine to keep your locks healthy.

Can I add different colors to my highlights?

Absolutely! Highlights can be customized to suit your preferences and style. You can opt for different shades to create dimension and contrast, adding depth and interest to your hair. Consult with your stylist to explore various color options and find the perfect combination for you.

Can I switch from dark to light highlights?

Yes, it is possible to switch from dark to light highlights, but it requires careful consideration and expertise. Going from dark to light can be a significant change, and it’s essential to have a skilled stylist guide you through the transition to achieve the desired results safely.

Do touch-ups work on curly hair?

Yes, touch-ups are suitable for curly hair as well. However, working with curly hair requires specialized techniques to ensure that the highlights complement the natural texture and create a flattering look. Consult with a stylist experienced in working with curly hair for the best outcome.

Is it possible to touch up highlights on short hair?

Yes, touch-ups can be done on short hair. The process may be slightly different from that of longer hair, but a skilled stylist can still achieve seamless and beautiful results. Short hair may require more frequent touch-ups to maintain the desired look.

What’s the difference between highlights and lowlights?

Highlights involve adding lighter strands to your hair to create contrast and dimension, while lowlights involve adding darker strands for the same purpose. Lowlights are often used to add depth to the overall hair color and create a multi-dimensional look when combined with highlights.

Can I touch up my highlights if I’m pregnant?

It’s generally safe to get highlights touched up during pregnancy. However, it’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider and inform your stylist about your pregnancy to ensure that the products used are suitable and safe.

Are touch-ups necessary for natural-looking highlights?

Even natural-looking highlights benefit from touch-ups. Over time, the natural growth of your hair can cause the highlights to lose their initial vibrancy. Regular touch-ups help maintain a fresh and flattering look, enhancing the natural beauty of your hair.



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