Style + Beauty

Want a Beautiful Winter Blonde? Ask for Lowlights

Discover how to achieve gorgeous lowlights for winter, as seen on Hollywood blondes Jennifer Aniston and Blake Lively.


With the arrival of winter, it's time to take our hair from bleach blond to a multi-tonal, more subtle shade.

So how do you get the depth and dimension seen on A-listers like Jennifer Aniston and Blake Lively? Ask your colorist for lowlights, says Oscar Blandi salon lead colorist, Kyle White.

White says the most common mistake women make when highlighting their hair is, "Getting into a blonde, blonder, blondest routine, where they begin to lose perspective of how light their hair has actually gotten." Unless you return some depth to the ends of your hair, "eventually you'll lose all your contrast and begin looking like one all over blonde," he says.

Why should I get lowlights?

"By adding a contrasting lowlight, you create waves of lightness and darkness, which trick the eye into seeing depth, creating the illusion of fullness," explains White. "The addition of a contrasting lowlight to solid-looking highlighted blondes will also show off the lines of a haircut and make layers more noticeable, so you can see movement in the hair. Multi-tonal hair is more natural looking than mono chromatic hair — it's more interesting looking and quite simply more beautiful."

What should I ask my colorist for?

"Ask your colorist to break up the solidness of your ends by weaving in a lowlight of the appropriate contrasting color," says White. "Lowlights should be at least one shade below the lightest highlight shade and never darker than your base color. The darker and fatter the lowlight, the more contrast you'll have, and the darker the overall color will be."

How do I make sure my colorist will apply the right shades of highlights and lowlights?

"Discuss with your colorist how much contrast you want and what level of darkness works best with your skin tone and eye color," White says. "A great way to avoid any confusion when having a discussion with your hair colorist is to bring a few pictures — be it from magazines, old pictures, etc. This will take all the guess work out of it." But don't bring just any picture, White warns. "Be sure to bring a picture of a celebrity or model who has a similar skin tone and natural hair color, type and texture to your own, because those colors will probably work best for you and be the most achievable."

Also, when talking to your colorist, White suggests avoiding technical terms like 'warm' and 'ash.' "Instead, use examples of colors that everyone can understand like buttery and honey, because everyone knows what color a stick of butter or jar of honey looks like."