5 Things to Consider Before Getting Highlights

You don't have to be fearful, but you have to be realistic

When it comes to your hair, a little really can go a long way. For your next hair revamp, there's no need to do anything drastic, like chopping it all off or going red when you're blonde -- just a sprinkling of color will do the trick. Are you ready for highlights?

We went to Alma Qeraxhiu, celebrity hairstylist and owner of The Alma Salon in New York City to get her quick tips on hair color. "You don't have to be fearful with your hair, but you have to be realistic and have taste," she says. Before you go under the foils, Alma says to consider these factors...

1. Those Pictures Are Not Real
Most of the pictures you see in magazines are touched up. Be realistic about what you want. If you bring in a picture of a celebrity to a colorist, don't be surprised if they can't recreate the exact shade you desire. Lighting and Photoshop might've had something to do with the vibrant, luscious locks.

2. What's Your Tone?
If you have Jennifer Lopez's coloring, you have a warm tone, for example. Try golden or beige highlights. If you have Julianne Moore's tone, try auburn and copper highlights -- you're cool tone. And, if you have Jennifer Aniston's tone -- it's one of yellow and pink -- you're in luck because you can highlight your hair any color and it will go.

3. Think About Your Lifestyle
Highlights can easily look fabulous when you're wearing the right shade of clothing and makeup. Imagine these highlights on you when you're not all done up. Will they still look good? Think about the clothes you have in your wardrobe... Will the highlight shade of your choosing match your overall style?

4. Keep It Real
Although highlights are about the contrast, when you're a woman of a certain age, it's a good idea to keep things natural and blend. For instance, chunky highlights -- because of the level of contrast -- will only highlight lines... like wrinkles! Add dimension with thinner highlights in a shade that compliments your natural color.

5. You Have to Be Committed
Highlights can be tricky when it comes to maintenance. Some colorists will just repeat the highlighting process on your entire head all over again. This can be very damaging, and can make your hair very dry. Make sure to ask your hair stylist what it takes to maintain the treatment -- hopefully, when you come back, he or she will only dye your roots. At either case, highlights are a commitment. Not only will you have to go in for touch-ups every couple of months (or less), you might also have to work in other treatments in between to keep your hair looking healthy.

Now that you've considered all of the factors, do you still want to get highlights?

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