There’s a reason so many celebrities seem to be on vacation year-round — and it’s not really due to a jet-setting lifestyle. Unbeknownst to many of us, this sun-kissed glow is the result of a nifty hair-coloring technique that connoisseurs swear for its ability to make them look healthy and suitably on vacation.
Say hello to babylights, the little (and infinitely more natural) sister to the more familiar highlights that many have tried in the past. Beloved by everyone from Dakota Johnson to Jodie Comer and Jennifer Aniston, they’re the key to hair color that doesn’t look “done” at all.
“Babylights are fine streaks – much finer than regular streaks – that are dusted into the hair,” says celebrity colorist John Clark, who works at the John Frieda salon in London. “They give the hair a bit of sheen and shine.”
Known for creating gorgeous sun-kissed colors, Clark is a master of the babylight technique and says it’s one of his most requested color services. The idea behind the technique is to create a color that looks like it’s been “lifted by the sun, like the hair kids get after playing in the sun all summer,” he explains. “It not only creates a natural lightening effect on the hair, but it also instantly adds dimension and volume.”
When vogue spoke to colorist and dpHUE founder Justin Anderson, who takes care of the highlights of everyone from Margot Robbie to Gwyneth Paltrow, he said the same thing, adding that healthy, natural-looking hair is made up of highlights darker and lighter, which creates all-important dimension. “If you put a ton of strands in your hair, you lose that dimension and instead the hair looks flat and dull,” he said. Babylights are less chunky highlights, which means different tones in the hair all have their time to shine.
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