Hair Color & Highlight Guide

There are so many different ways to color & highlight hair and with all the great pics out on social media, it can be a little confusing to figure out what's what in the world of hair and what all the stylist lingo means.  So let's break it down!

Balayage:  Balayage is a way of highlighting (and even sometimes coloring!) hair using a sweeping motion with a brush or sponge.  It generally looks more soft, diffused and sun-kissed than traditional "foil" highlights.  This is a great option for people who want more of natural look or want an option that grows out beautifully and doesn't require frequent visits to maintain the look.  Balayage techniques can also be used to create fun pops of color on the ends or face-framing pieces.  (It may be necessary to pre-lighten hair to do so.)  Root or Base Colors, Toning, additional color charges and Olaplex/Zerran are all separate services that may be added on to a Balayage.  We offer three Balayage services at Euphoria:  Halo Balayage, Stardusted Balayage & Sunkissed Balayage.  Halo Balayage is an exclusive technique we created at Euphoria.  It draws attention to your face & is best showcased with hair worn down or pulled back.  It concentrates the balayage around your face & along the neckline. Stardusted Balayage is a technique created by Social Media Superstar Stylist Guy Tang.  It's great for a big impact with low maintenance.  And Sunkissed Balayage is inspired by techniques we've learned through Davines.  It's softer and more natural looking.

Base Break:  This is a technique to bust through the natural hair color of your roots.  It means different things to different stylists.  Sometimes, base breaking is done with bleach for super dark hair (like black & brunette) if a client wants to achieve extremely light colors.  This is usually the first step to a two step process.  Sometimes, base breaking means to do a quick root retouch for blondes between traditional highlight services.  When this is done, root color that is one to two shades lighter than your natural root color is briefly applied just to kind of bust through your natural root color and make your outgrowth between your last highlights and & scalp less noticeable.  In either case, a Base Break is not the same thing as a Root Retouch (but often gets confused with it).

Base Color:  Base Color generally means your root color (fake or real) or the main color that is used or seen in your hair.

Color:  Color can mean one single all over color or various colors used to create specialty looks.  If you're booking a color appointment but want more than one color or a specialty look, it's very important to let your stylist know this in advance so that extra time can be reserved for your appointment.

Color Cleanse:  At Euphoria Spalon, we do color cleanses for a variety of reasons.  It might be done to remove oxidative (permanent) or direct dye (semi or demi permanent) hair color or unwanted artificial toner.  This usually can be successfully done if hair was recently box dyed at home or when switching between fun specialty color.  If your hair has several layers of box dye or has been colored at another salon or repeated colored with either for a long time, this may not work and we may need to do a decolorization.  A color cleanse with leave your underlying natural or existing hair color intact/unchanged.  When considering having a color cleanse or decolorization, it is VERY important to be honest and open with your stylist about any and all color or chemical services that have been applied to your hair within the last few years.  A color cleanse may need to be performed more than once which would incur a separate charge.

Decolorization:  Decolorization involves the use of bleaches and lighteners to remove pigment from your hair.  Not only will it remove artificial color but it was also lighten your real hair color.  This is an intensive process and may need to be performed more than once and over multiple visits.  It should absolutely be performed with deep conditioning and Olaplex/Zerran treatments to keep your hair intact & as healthy as possible.  Decolorization may need to be performed to remove "bad" hair color done at home or from another salon.  It may also need to be performed when going from extremely dark to light hair.  This is an expensive process and requires a commitment of patience, time and money from you, the client.  

Flamboyage:  Flamboyage is a signature technique from Davines using Flamboyage meche strips.  It creates wonderfully diffused, organic highlights or even fun, specialty color.  Sometimes we use the meche strips for other techniques or services too but Flamboyage itself refers to the actual technique.

Highlights, Midtones, Lowlights & Pops of Color:  When we list our "traditional" Highlight/Lowlight Services, this is what we're refering to.  All four can be done with traditional aluminum foil or with paper "foil" or meche strips or balyage film at the individual stylists's discretion and preference.  Highlights are pieces of hair made lighter than your natural or existing hair color.  Lowlights are pieces of hair made to look darker.  Midtones are usually in between that range of highlight and lowlight but a slightly different level or tone from your base color.  A Pop of Color can mean a fun color placed onto strands that pops and stands out from the other colors in your hair -- like red or blue or lavender.  Sometimes hair needs to be pre-lightened for pops of color and that's a separate service with a separate charge.  A Full Highlight/Lowlight means that pieces are placed throughout the entire head of hair.  A 3/4 means pieces are only placed 3/4 of the way through the head (usually the lower or middle back is left out).  A Partial means only a small of the area of the head (usually the front) is worked with.  Facelights means just a few pieces around the face are lightened either with "foil" or balayage.  When booking any of these services, it's important to mention which one you want and if you want more than color (like highlights AND lowlights), how long your hair is & if you have thick hair so that we have plenty of time blocked off to create your desired look.  If you're not sure, it's still better to mention that you're at least thinking about it because we'd hate to have you come in and not have that time allotted.  

Natural Level:  Levels refer to the lightness and darkness of hair and natural level means refers to the natural lightness and darkness of your real hair.  It's on a scale of 1 to 12 in our color system with a 1 being midnight black hair and 12 being super ultralight platinum blonde.  So, basically, when we're talking about the natural level of your hair, we're saying you're either a natural brunette or blonde, etc.  It's how we decide what color formulas to create for you and what we can achieve with your hair.

Olaplex/Zerran:  Both Olaplex and Zerran are treatments than be done as a stand-alone service to help strengthen your hair or they can be incorporated into your color & chemical services to protect & repair your hair.  They work on a chemical level inside the hair shaft to restructure and re-bond your hair strands.  The difference between the two is that Zerran is the Vegan/Organic option.  Olaplex/Zerran also help to keep color & pigment in your hair and make it shinier looking.  Your stylist may require it be added to your color and chemical services in order to preserve the integrity of your hair and help us achieve your desired results.

Ombre:  (Pronounced ahm-burr in French and om-bray in Spanish and not to be confused with a home-bre which is never a good thing.)  Ombre can mean a lot of different things in the world of hair.  It can mean having the hair be dark at the roots and light at the ends -- sometimes by a little and sometimes a lot.  A reverse-ombre is the opposite of that where hair is light at the roots and dark on the ends.  An ombre can involve natural tones and colors or it can involve fun specialty colors or even a combination of both like (like with a "dip dye ends" look).  It can be done with balayage & flamboyage to look natural.  It can be done to look vibrant and intense with color melting and "foils" to look unique and creative.  Seriously, the possibilities are endless.  But, ultimately, it's really just referring to a transition of color throughout the length of the hair.  Your stylist will help you figure out what techniques and what colors you need but you'll definitely want to mention if you're thinking of having this kind of look because it can involve multiple services and may need extra time blocked off.  (For example, sometimes we have to pre-lighten the hair with a highlighting or balayage or decolorization service, then do a color service with additional colors added on.)  That can mean two or more processes over several hours or even several visits.

Root Retouch:  This is where we touch up just your root outgrowth with one single color.  (Please note that this is meant for only 1-2 inches of outgrowth.  If you have more outgrowth than that or are adding in a specialty root color this may need to be booked as a Color instead of a Retouch.  Also, refreshing your highlights/lowlights is NOT considered a root retouch.)

Tone:  This refers to the color in your hair.  For example:  ashy/cool, gold/warm, copper, red, etc.  It exists naturally in your real hair color and factors into color formulations and results for stylists working with your hair -- colored or not.

Toning:  This a step or process that your stylist may need to do secondary to another color service like highlighting or balayaging.  It really depends on your individual hair and your desired results.  It is an extra service with additional costs.  It may be as little as $10-15 or as much as a full all-over color service.  

Virgin Hair:  This is hair that has never been colored or chemically treated.  It is incredibly important to be open and honest with your stylist about your hair virginity as it determines how we work with your hair and what we can achieve with your color, etc.  If you're not honest, it could be a tremendous waste of time and money for both you and us and may result in added costs and services.