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Dimensional Hair Color: Balayage and Beyond

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

With summer in full swing and social distancing fading into the background, you may be noticing your fading locks for the first time in a while. You're ready to switch it up, but you're not sure which bold and beautiful look will be right for you. Here we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about dimensional hair color and how you can make it work for you.

What Does Dimension Mean in Hair?

If you've ever been to a 3D movie, chances are you understand what dimension means. The third dimension is depth. 3D films are more alive, more realistic, and have more action because of the perception of depth. When you hear the word "dimension" in relation to hair, it also has to do with the perception of depth. The range of tones in your hair from light to dark creates shadows and highlights. The slight contrast between these tones increases the appearance of depth and movement in the strands. Lighter colors pop, and darker ones add to the drama.

What is a Multi-Dimensional Hair Color?

To put it simply, multi-dimensional hair color is any of a few different color techniques that add a range of different complementary tones to the hair. These tone-on-tone enhancements are subtle and flowing, like your natural hair, but better. You won't find chunky strands of super contrasting colors here, as those are 2D. Think more in terms like gradients or blends.

Is Dimensional Color the Same as Balayage?

Kind of in the same way that Europe is the same as France. Balayage is dimensional color, but not all dimensional color is balayage. There are many different techniques and methods to achieve different levels and effects with dimensional color. Each technique has different characteristics that might appeal more to you than others, so do your research. You'd hate to go into the salon asking for lowlights when what you really want is babylights!


French for "sweeping", this technique involves painting individual highlights onto the hair by hand. In contrast to traditional highlighting techniques, balayage typically starts midway down on the hair, though the starting point can vary from strand to strand.


More drastic than balayage, ombre gradually lightens the hair from a more defined starting point somewhere around the ear. There is typically more of a straight line where the highlight begins than you would find with balayage.


Like ombre, but more somber. The technique is the same, but the final color is only one or two shades lighter than the natural color.


These highlights are thin and delicate, mimicking the natural dimension of our hair when we were young children. They are created by using less hair in each strand, but placing the strands closer together. The effect is reminiscent of long summer days when you played outdoors from sun-up to sun-down. This is also an excellent technique for blending gray.


The opposite of highlights, lowlights are strands of hair that have been colored a few shades darker than the surrounding locks. This can brighten fading highlights, or add volume and depth to your natural look.

Just like a 3D movie, dimension gives your hair more life and action. On the other side of the spectrum, hair of all one color or with very little range in tones can appear "flat" or dull. So to recap, dimension =

  • Fullness

  • Depth

  • Movement

  • Life

  • Contrast

  • and Action

All good things, right? Then contact us today and let one of professional color specialists help you get the dimension you've been looking for!

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