A dreamy shade that lies between gold and brown, caramel is one of the most universally flattering highlights for any skin tones. Caramel highlights add definition to your hair, lighten up your face, and give some warmth to your look. If you want to add some timeless yet luxurious appeal to your look, read our guide on hairstyle inspirations for achieving your dreamy caramel highlights.
Reasons to Get Caramel Highlights Now
It gives you a less damaging color option compared to light blonde highlights.
Do you know that before you lighten your hair you need to bleach it first? If you got a naturally dark hair, you need to remove the pigment first so the light color of your highlights will show. A great thing, caramel highlights are a bit darker than blonde highlights, so less bleaching is needed. Do you know that caramel can even make your hair shiny and bring out your bone structure?
It will add some personality to your looks.
Do you know that a good hair color and highlights will make you look more sophisticated and polished? Thankfully, caramel highlights are subtle enough for the workplace and sexy enough to revamp your look. Most of the time, going for hair color one to three tones lighter than your base color is the key to make everything look natural and elegant.
If you’re a brunette with naturally dark brown hair color, better paint lighter hues to your hair instead of coloring your full head with a new base color. This way, you’ll embrace your natural hair color yet with depth and dimension.
Caramel highlights will make you looks stylish regardless of the season.
We love the beachy and sun-kissed look during the summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the look on colder months. Caramel highlights will add some warmth to your hairstyle despite the chilly weather. Have you noticed that highlights literally catch and reflect light? That’s the reason why they add depth and intensity to your hairstyle.
Things You Should Know Before Getting Caramel Highlights
Your caramel highlights should frame your face.
Your highlights don’t only add some depth and dimension to your hairstyle, but also frame your face. In fact, your highlights accentuate your eye color, slim your face, and even make your cheek bones more prominent. That’s the reason why you should be strategic with its placement. Do you know that your caramel highlights should vary in size and lightness?
According to hair experts, your caramel highlights should be should be darker at the roots and lighter at the tips. This way, your highlights will create depth, draw the focus on the lines of your haircut, and even add an illusion of volume. If you want to make your highlights more natural, place them around the frame of your face on its brightest and fattest width. Or else, it will look flat and unsophisticated.
You shouldn’t use too many different colors in your highlights.
While one solid color can look flat, too many different colors can look unnatural too. Remember, your highlights should complement your hair’s base color not overpower it. If you like, you may even opt for hair dye made from natural ingredients. Do you know that the level of lightness of your caramel highlights is influenced by your lightener?
To add some dimension to your look and make your caramel highlights more natural, stick to maximum of three shades on your overall hair color whether it’s highlight, lowlight, and base. If you have a warm hair color as your base, go for a warm highlight color too and vice versa. After all, you wouldn’t want your caramel highlights stand out from your natural hair color too much.
You should determine the highlighting technique and type of highlights you want.
If you’re perfectionist, the foil technique will give you the perfect balance and symmetry, while the balayage technique is more of a freehand painting. When it comes to foil technique, your strands are painted by a lightening agent before wrapping them into foil. A great thing, the foil helps the color process faster and traps heat. It also prevents the hair dye from bleeding to the rest of your hair.
On the other hand, balayage technique involves freehand painting when it comes to applying bleach and hair dye, though the portion of the hair is covered with cellophane. This technique will blend your caramel highlights flawlessly, making them look natural and effortless. Most of the time, the latter will give you edgy, beachy look kind of caramel highlights.
If you like, you may even try the ombré look that’s more wearable and natural. A great thing, it’s a lower maintenance style where it makes your new hair growth less obvious. If you find frosted highlights appealing, then think of using the special cap filled with holes that come with your hair coloring kit.
Also, there are lowlights and babylights that you can use to add more depth to your hairstyle. Most of the time, lowlights are used when you’ve got a very dark base color and very light highlights. It actually balances the contrast of your hair color, making it look less stripy by using the same dark color as your base or a bit lighter than it. When it comes to babylights, they are normally placed around the hairline to add shimmer of color to your head.
It’s ideal to adjust your caramel highlights with the seasons.
During summer months, you spend more time outdoors in the sun, so your caramel highlights should be paler. On the contrary, you can make your caramel highlights deeper and more golden in the winter months when you lose your summer glow.
However, you must avoid going for too light highlights as it can make you look washed out. Ideally, your caramel highlights should go well with your base color, complexion, and even eyes color. Though it is recommended to opt for a warm caramel highlight if you have a warm base color, always keep subtle contrast between them, or else they will look too artificial and stripy.
Tips on Getting the Right Caramel Shade for You
Consider your skin tone.
Hair experts say that caramel highlights are more compatible for ones with light and pale complexions, as well as Latin beauties and tanned skin with yellowish or golden undertones. In fact, celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Kate Beckinsale, and Beyoncé are rocking the trend. If you’re a woman with a naturally chestnut or brown hair, caramel highlights are perfect for you too as the color enhances its warm tones.
Have you noticed that your skin tone and your eye color complement each other? That’s the reason why you should consider your skin tone too when getting highlights, especially the caramel shade. If you have a fair skin, you probably got gray, blue, or green eyes, and caramel highlights might not be the perfect color for you. After all, you want to avoid getting washed out with a dark hair color.
On the other hand, if you got naturally dark hair color, then going a bit lighter with a dark brown hair color with caramel highlights can be great for you. Also, the caramel shade will surely look perfect with your warm skin tone and dark eye color. Just don’t be afraid to experiment as some women with a darker skin tone or lighter skin tone can still pull off the look.
It’s better to stay close to your natural color.
Most of the time, caramel highlights will look natural and effortless. But if you’re redhead or you have a pale complexion, the look would be a drastic change for you, and you have to think of it first before taking the plunge. As a rule of thumb, women who aim for a natural look should stay within two to three shades of your natural hair color to make sure it flatters your overall look.
For instance, women with naturally blonde hair could go for two to three shades darker or lighter than your hair color. The same rule applies to brunettes who wish to lighten or darken their hair color, adding caramel highlights into the mix. This way, you’ll get a natural look while helping you avoid getting a shade that’s too light or dark for your skin complexion.
Trust your hair color to a pro instead of doing it yourself.
All highlights are not created equal, so it would be better if you’ll seek help from a professional. It might be easy and more economical to color your hair, but when it comes to highlights, it’s more complicated as you’ll use more than on shade. Apart from it, it will be harder for you to maintain your highlights just in case you got the color wrong.
A great thing, a hairstylist know best when it comes to mixing and matching shades to complement your skin tone, and he will be able to give you good guidance when choosing your caramel highlights.
Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Your hair is an extension of your style and personality, so don’t be afraid to break some rules from time to time. One of the advantages of caramel highlights is you can really play with the color and explore the shades that will look best on you. Some women love a trendy look, while others prefer to make things more natural and effortless. It’s up to you if you like to go light and fade your highlights, or go dark and offset the caramel highlights.
If you want to make your hairstyle look trendy, then think of hair chunking technique where your highlights are more dramatic and bold. Most of the time, your highlights are placed on thicker sections of your hair with a stark contrast. This won’t come as natural and effortless, so it’s better suited for women seeking for a funky look.
How to Do Your Own Caramel Highlights at Home
Prepare your hair coloring tools.
Getting regular salon appointments is a pricey business, and DIY projects will help you save a huge amount of money. However, when it comes to hair highlights things become trickier. Some women experience getting too light or too dark highlights, uneven highlights, and even color blotches. But still, you’ll be able to make it a success with some trial and error and a little practice. Apart from comb and hair dye, you might also need some old towels, shampoo and conditioner, along with fine tooth comb, hair brush, and even timer.
Do the strand test to ace your base.
You never know exactly how a certain hair color will behave in your hair. When bleaching your hair, it changes its color from brown, red, orange, and yellow. The same thing applies when coloring your hair as it can only be in a matter of minutes before you got that beautiful brown base before applying your caramel highlights. To be safe, always follow the instructions in your hair coloring kit. Also, avoid shortcuts even if you’re pressed for time.
This way, you’ll know when to reapply your hair dye. Ideally, you can reapply the hair color after five minutes if you wish to go lighter, but careful overdoing your reapplication as the final look can be too light and artificial. Do you know that it’s better to start with darker hue on your highlights instead of your desired caramel hue? After all, each hair color can look different to each hair color.
Use toothbrush or paintbrush instead of plastic cap.
You shouldn’t rush into adding highlights as you can always add some gradually. Most of the time, your hair coloring kit comes with a plastic cap and spatula, but most of the time it’s better to use toothbrush to make the application more even. Some women even use mascara or brow brush to get a soft line bleach stops and highlights begin.
If you need to use foil wraps for highlighting, then, get the type salons use. According to hair experts, it’s more likely you create a splotchy mess when using the plastic cap since the bleaching cream could seep underneath the cap. Also, the spatula won’t apply the color evenly in each strand.
Streak your caramel highlights the right way.
If you have longer hair, you’re lucky as it does better with streaking. Generally, there are two techniques used for highlighting, one is freehand painting or balayage, and the other one uses foil. When highlighting your start, part your hair as you normally do whether it’s center part, middle part, or side part so you’ll know where to put the hair color. Yes, you’ll get different highlights if you part your hair on the sides or on the middle.
If you’re still on doubt which sections of your hair to highlight, consider the regions where light would naturally hit. Then, pick those sections of your hair and apply the caramel color from roots to ends. Don’t try to make things too perfect and uniform, as natural highlights are not perfect.
If you wish to put some highlights at the back, only apply the hair color from the middle, pulling it down till the ends of your strands. If you have shorter hair, better place your caramel highlights on areas with the most length. After letting the hair dye sit on your hair for some time, wash it off till it runs clear.
Shampoo and deep condition your hair.
Do you know that the hair dye can make your hair feeling dry and brittle? You should avoid over processing your hair color, or else you’ll have an extremely damaged hair. Just use color safe hair products as ones with sulfates can affect your hair color. If you like, you can also soften your caramel highlights and add some shine into them with refreshing gloss hair products. After all, deep conditioning hair treatments will make your hair healthy and shiny.
How to Maintain Your Caramel Highlights
Remember, your caramel highlights are an investment, so it pays to take care of them. Compared to your base color, your caramel highlights don’t need touchups too much. Most of the time, highlights fade beautifully, though you can pay some visit to your hairstylist if you feel like they’re getting dull. You must also know that caramel highlights need a hair dye, not just lightener compared to blonde highlights.
As long as you use color safe hair products, you’ll be able to preserve the color and radiance of your highlights. Apart from it, also use moisturizing and low-sulfate hair products. If you can, deep condition your hair with olive oil, jojoba, or even coconut oil.
If you’re a fond of ironing your hair, prep your hair with a heat protector so your hair color won’t be compromised. If you’ll spend outdoors in the sun, or go swimming in salt water and chlorinated pool, wrap your hair with a scarf or apply some UV protective hair products.
Indeed, hair highlights bring out your best facial features and complement your skin tone and eye color. A great thing, the ways of styling your caramel highlights are endless, so, get yours now and amp up your hair up a notch!