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Highlighting for Short Hair— Everything to Know About it

If you think your short hair isn’t fit to be manipulated into different styles, you’re wrong. Your hair may not be long but that doesn’t mean it isn’t versatile. For instance, you can wear any short hairstyle and make a statement with your hair by coloring or opting for highlighting for short hair instead.

a lady's side profile showing she's wearing highlighting for short hair

Short hair highlights help you stand out and look different. I bet it’s why you’re searching for the perfect visual reference to show your hairstylist. But hold on a second before you head for the salon.

a lady's back profile showing she's wearing highlighting for short hair

What kind of highlight do you wanna achieve? Do you think it’s safe for your hair or not? How should you prep your hair before getting highlights? We’ll answer these questions and more in this piece. Read on to find out.

Why Choose Highlights for Short Hair?

a lady with brown and pink short hair highlights

Highlighting is a hair treatment your hairstylist does to alter your hair color or lighten specific parts of your hair. It may be at the lower part of your hair or some strands from top to bottom.

Highlights for short hair are flattering and fascinating. They embellish your hairstyle, add more textures, and give it an edgy flair. And yes, they look good on short hair too.

a lady wearing sunglasses and showing her blonde highlighting for short hair

If you’re older and you think short hair with highlights won’t suit you, that’s not true. Adding highlights to your hair makes you look softer and younger. It also keeps you on-trend and ensures nobody guesses your age.

What’s more? This coiffure enhances your beauty. It accentuates your eye color, highlights your cheekbones, and even frames other facial features. Highlights also promote your hairstyle, boost your hair’s sheen,  and give your hair a fuller look. 

a beautiful lady wearing highlighting for short hair on a bob

Short hair with highlights comes in different colors. For instance, you can add blonde highlights to your black hair or go for any other color you choose. Furthermore, they come through different techniques too. Let’s look at them.

Techniques for Achieving Highlighting for Short Hair

a lady whose hairstyle is highlights for short hair


balayage highlighting for short hair

Balayage in french means “to sweep.” It’s a technique for highlighting hair whereby your hairstylist or colorist paints the dye freehand on your hair to create a graduated, natural-looking effect.

The balayage technique of short hair highlights is perfect for edgy and wavy looks.


foil highlighting for short hair

Another name for this process is foilyage. It involves parting and weaving strands of your hair and painting bleach or hair dye on them before wrapping them in foil. This technique adds balance and symmetry to your coiffure.

Also, using a foil keeps the lighting agent moist and prevents it from weakening. The results are always striking.


babylights highlighting for short hair

This highlighting technique involves weaving your hair into tiny sections instead of heavy ones and highlighting them in loose foil.

Using tiny sections ensures the color blends seamlessly to achieve a darker or lighter hair color. It’s perfect for a natural look. Also, some hair colorists use babylights to color the baby hair and hairline region.

Hygge Highlighting for Short Hair

hygge highlighting for short hair

This highlighting for short hair technique is an offshoot of balayage. Hygge involves infusing coppers, ambers, and faint blonds into your hair. This helps to add warmth and dimension to singular-toned hair.


lowlights highlighting technique

This highlighting technique involves adding strands of darkness back to your hair to add a touch of contrast to it. In other words, to achieve lowlights, you use a darker hair color shade. It helps to add depth to your hair.

So, if your goal is to make your hair look darker while adding texture and depth to it. go for lowlights.

Sombre Highlighting for Short Hair

sombre highlighting technique for short hair

Sombré is short for soft ombré. It’s a highlighting technique that gradually lightens the hair from root to tip but in a more natural way than traditional ombré.

Pintura Highlighting for Short Hair

Pintura Highlighting for Short Hair

Pintura is specifically for curly hair. It’s a balayage coloring technique DevaCurls created. Literally, Pintura is a Spanish word for painting. It involves coloring curly hair without using foils. 

By so doing, your hair colorist will be able to identify the curls that catch the most light and highlight them further to add more dimension to your hair texture.

Flamboyage Highlighting for Short Hair

flamboyage highlighting for short hair technique

Flamboyage is a combination of ombre and balayage highlighting techniques. It involves using transparent adhesive strips to color your hair and achieve soft peek-a-boo highlights. The result is usually understated yet stylish.


a lady wearing ombre highlights

Ombre highlights work by fading darker roots into a lighter shade towards the ends of the hair. It’s more of a coloring technique but can also pass for highlighting.

Do Highlights Ruin Your Hair?

a lady showing her curly highlighting for short hair

Highlights, like any hair coloring, have their drawbacks because it involves using chemicals. It may not completely damage your hair but it can change your hair’s inner structure and create a dry look.

But the good thing is they aren’t as damaging as bleach. However, to be on the safer side, don’t highlight your hair often.

How Long Does Highlighting for Short Hair Last?

a lady wearing blunt cut hair with highlights

Highlights can last up to two to three months on average. But this depends on factors such as your hair type, how you maintain your hair, how the highlights were done, your hair’s health, and your haircare routine.

What to do Before Getting Short Hair Highlights

a lady with side bob and red highlighting for short hair

The first thing to do is to prep your hair. Don’t go to get your highlights with greasy, oily, or dirty hair. Shampoo and condition two or three days before your hair appointment. This is necessary so your hair would have accumulated more natural oils that’ll act as a subtle protective layer for the lighting agents you’ll use.

Afterward, decide on the type of highlights you want and ensure it suits your budget. Say you want a color that’ll make you look brighter, you know blonde is the one to go for. But if you want something mild, brown hues or dark tones would work.

brunette highlighting for short hair

And finally, don’t just highlight your hair. Ensure the color you’re working with flatters your skin tone too. As Matrix Brand Ambassador and star colorist, George Papanikolas, noted:

“A very general rule is for warmer skin tones to opt for cooler highlights, cooler skin tones to go for warmer ones.”

a lady wearing pixie cut with highlights

Examples of cool highlights are silver, ash, sand, beige, champagne, mocha, or toffee while warm lights include golden caramel, amber, honey, butterscotch, strawberry, copper, russet, or cinnamon.

We have a guide that shows you how to pick the best colors for your skin tone. If you want to excel at it, check the post out right away. 

How to Make Your Highlighting for Short Hair Last Longer

a lady with her hands on her shoulders as she shows off her short hair with highlights

Since highlighting for short hair often isn’t healthy for your hair, your best bet is to ensure your coiffure last long, right?

An excellent way to go about it is to delay washing your hair. After getting your highlights, don’t wash your hair until 48 hours have passed. This is necessary so your new hair color will penetrate your hair well.

a lady looking downwards showing her pixie cut with highlights

Furthermore, while washing, use cool water, not hot water. Hot water will not only damage your hair. It’ll also make your highlights for short hair fade faster.

In addition to that, always shampoo and condition your hair with good products to balance out the harsh chemicals in the lighting agent you used. And above all, only work with a pro colorist.

This is the most crucial step to getting highlights that last long.

a lady showing off her brunette highlighting for short hair

Avoid quacks and also avoid doing it yourself as you can make errors that may even affect your hair’s health. So visit a hair coloring expert and rest assured they’ll give you your desired results.

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or creating fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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