Hair Color 101: A Breakdown Of Color Techniques

You’ve probably heard 100 different hair color techniques, but do you know what each of them means and more importantly, which is right for you? Balayage? Babylights? Color retouch? Ombre? Vibrant color? Don’t worry! We’ve got the breakdown on each of these and also some great information about how to choose what is best for your hair.

All Over Color

Just like the name says, this technique covers the full head with color. Most clients who prefer this technique use it primarily for gray coverage. It’s usually done every few months, with a color retouch in between to refresh faded tips. All-over color can also be used to deepen the hair color. Think “winter color” with rich tones.


Highlighting involves taking small sections of hair and adding color to that specific section – typically a lighter color than the natural hair color. The end result dimensional color that blends with the natural hair color. There are MANY different types of highlights:

  • Lowlights: weaving in a darker or warmer shade, typically coupled with highlights.
  • Babylights: finer sections of hair lightened for a softer, sun-kissed look.
  • Balayage: a highlight where the color begins at the bottom section of the hair, rather than the root. Perfect for the “grown out roots” look.
  • Partial: only the top section of the hair is lightened, the underside / unseen part is not.
  • Full: the entire head is highlighted.

More Options

One of our favorite types of color is fashion colors or vibrant highlights. These are bold, unnatural (in a good way!) colors added in small sections to the hair – or even all over. It could be a face-framing swath of blue, or dip-dyed tips of the hair in hot pink! No matter which you choose, vibrant colors are a fun way of making a statement and expressing yourself.

How To Keep It

While most hair color is permanent, the frequency of washing and the type of product can make a big difference in how long it lasts. Waters + Co Salon carries the full line of Aveda haircare and we absolutely love the Color Conserve line for keeping dark, and or vibrant saturated color looking fresh, longer. And the new Blonde Revival shampoo and conditioner will keep blonde and gray tones looking bright while reducing brassiness.

Ask Waters + Co

At Waters + Co, color consultations are something all of our stylists love to do. Schedule your appointment today and let us know what you’re thinking about for your hair. We are always happy to take the time to listen and formulate a color plan with you.