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Classic highlights are back in fashion, but the ones we’re seeing now are soft and blended, nothing like the chunky, stripes popular in the nineties. Highlights can work with any base shade, but the application and color selection differ for blondes and brunettes. For lighter base shades, contrasting tones and a halo application produce a natural result. For brunettes, staying in the same tonal family and using thin ribbons creates the prettiest effect. Learn more about getting the perfect highlights for your hue in the notes. –– Laura Martin

Blonde highlights can be bold and look the most striking if they combine different tones, especially if your base shade is very light. For the most natural look highlights should be brighter and more prominent around the face and subtler on the lower layers and interior of the hair.

Brunette highlights should stay within the same tonal family as the base shade. Cause there’s more contrast, a little goes a long way. The best looks use thin sections, scattered scantly. High contrast can be quite pretty, but the more disparate the colors, the more widely spaced the highlights should be.

Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA. Follow her inspirations on twitter @LarMarStyle

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