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Color Trend: Babylights

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"Baby soft" doesn't just apply to skin.

Babylights, the latest trend in hair highlighting, is the process of adding a shimmer of delicate, natural-looking highlights similar to those that might have appeared after a summer basking in the sun as a child. The process involves micro-attention to precise hair highlighting, resulting in subtle highlights that are often brighter around the face, the crown, and at the bottom of the hair. "It's a great way to accentuate brunettes, redheads, and blondes, and can be adapted to anyone's natural hair color," says New York City hairdresser and L'Oréal Professionnel Artist Min Kim.

Babylights are softer than highlights or balayage

To create the look, stylists use mesh strips, foils, or plastic wrap, and paint tiny sections of hair, resulting in a heavenly, multi-dimensional sparkle. "It's all about placement and precision, and pieces not being so chunky," Kim says. Depending on the client's taste, babylights can be customized. The good news is you won't need to fully commit right away: Kim says many clients start small and build upon the look through multiple appointments. "Often, someone sees a little sparkle, they get tons of compliments, and then they want more," she says.

Low maintenance, baby

Kim says that while traditional highlights and balayage require a trip to the salon at least every three months, with babylights, the required upkeep is much more flexible. Babylights tend to grow out naturally without leaving obvious or ugly roots behind. "In this case it's up to the client how much maintenance they want to commit to," says Kim. "You could easily stretch [color appointments] to every 6 months."

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