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How Long Do Highlights Last?

Last updated Sep 27, 2023

There is no doubt that highlights are an ideal option if you don’t want to amend your natural hair color too much, which can enhance your hair by adding streaks that are a shade or two lighter than your natural color. Even you can also use face-framing highlights to brighten your complexion. However, there is a key question: “How long do highlights last?” Keep reading to find the answers about hair highlights.

First of all, let us learn what highlights are.

What Are Highlights?


There are four types of highlights: basic foil highlights, balayage or hair painting, chunking or piecing, and lowlights.

1. Foil highlighting


It is the most traditional highlight method. The technique uses foil to separate strands of hair and then uses an applicator brush to apply lightener to the hair that has been woven and separated. Through doing this, You can get many different shades for a natural look.

2. Balayage


 It is called hair painting as well, allowing the stylist to add natural stripes of color to hair in large or small swaths. This is a great choice if you have a base color you love and just want to go a couple of shades lighter in certain areas. You won’t need to get your roots touched up as much with balayage as you do foils, and it grows out better than any other color option.

3. Chunking


It (also known as piecing) is a style of highlight which is larger and thicker than a traditional highlight, rather than a method of creating highlights. Chunky highlights are generally offered in a wider variety of bold natural colors, as well as a large number of artificial, or unnatural, colors and are used to create more contrast, rather than subtle texture, as in traditional, thinner highlights. Besides, it was a popular technique in the '90s, but is still used today.

4. Lowlights


allow the stylist to add darker shades of hair, and they’re often combined with highlights and usually use hair dye to lift the level and brightness of hair strands, which can give your color even more contrast and dimension.

How Long Do Highlights Last?

In fact, there’s really no accurate answer for figuring out how long your hair highlights will last. It depends on how you take care of the highlights, and how fast your hair is growing. According to the stylists, we consulted, touch-ups may be needed anywhere between every four weeks to every four months.

For instance, if you’re going for a look like Haley Baldwin, you will highlight your hair with foils thus your upkeep will be every 6 weeks. While for a more natural balayage look like Lily Aldridge, you could go up to 4 months between services. At the same time, it means the more highlights, the more upkeep.

Do Highlights Eventually Fade?

You might think that highlights won’t fade out, but this isn’t the case. It does fade out as time goes by and even will become similar to your natural hair color, which means that people won’t be able to see the highlights anymore. More importantly, it will fade faster if you don’t take care of your highlights the right way. Especially, the more you wash your hair, the faster it will fade. According to the survey, highlights wash out after averaging 24 washes.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent highlights from fading too fast. For example, washing your hair less, try to use a dry shampoo instead of shampoo when washing highlights hair every day, using violet shampoos to protect the color from getting brassy.

Are Highlights Permanent?

Now you have already known that it might fade out, but are the highlights permanent? Many people think that highlights or lowlights are permanent. However, this isn’t the case. Generally, hair highlights last until the new hair grows up. Therefore, it isn’t permanent and will need to be redone after a couple of weeks, depending on how fast your hair is growing.

How Do I Make My Highlights Last Longer?

If you want to get highlights in your hair, you must make sure that it stays beautiful for longer, thus saving you time, money and keeping your hair healthier.

1. Wash Your Highlights Hair Less Often

Washing your hair less will help your color stay fresh for longer. If you normally shampoo every day, try using dry shampoo every other day instead to cut back, which is a great way to absorb your natural oils and keep your hair smelling great.

When you do wash, make sure to choose the right shampoo and conditioner. It can ensure that you limit the damage done to your hair and ensure that your highlights don’t fade out, or get dull.

2. Don’t Wash Your Hair Too Soon

After Getting The Highlights Done After spending hours in the salon chair, you’ll want to make sure that your highlights last as long as possible. The best way to do that is by properly maintaining your hair color. So once you leave the salon, you should not wash your hair for two days, which can allow the dye enough time to penetrate your hair follicles and absorb the color, ensuring a more lasting color. Wait at least 48 hours before you wash your hair again.

3. Use Cool Water Or Warm Water To Wash Hair

When you prepare to wash your hair, we recommend using lukewarm or cool water, even though it might make your shower a little more uncomfortable. That is because not only will hot water damage your hair, but it will also let your highlights fade out faster. Cool water or warm water is always best to keep your hair healthy and to protect your hair color and highlights.

4. Choose The Right Hair Products

If possible, please maintain your highlights by using color-safe products. For instance, switching from your regular shampoo and conditioner to one that is designed for color-treated hair. If you chose blonde highlights or very light highlights, it would be better to consider a purple-tinted shampoo to avoid brassiness.

After highlighting hair, your hair also needs to recover from the intensive dying process. Don’t forget to use some nourishing, hydrating products such as a hair mask or deep conditioning treatment to make your hair healthy again. After all, only healthy hair will retain the color longer and looks better, so it is worth the investment.

5. Avoid Using Any Products That Use Heat

when the hair has already been damaged by the dyeing process, it will result in breakage and dull tresses. And blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons will damage your hair further, particularly right after your hair dyeing session.


1. Do Highlights Ruin Your Hair?

As we all know, all hair treatments that include bleaching and chemicals will cause damage to your hair. Although highlights and semi-permanent dyes aren't as damaging as bleach, they aren't without consequence. They will change the inner structure of the hair, causing a lackluster look and dryness, especially if you frequently color to hide roots or gray hair.

Of course, it finally depends on the number of highlights that you decided to do. If you opt to go for subtle highlights, the damage would be minimal.

If you mind the damage highlights cause to your natural hair, it is a great option for you to choose some highlight wigs.

2. Can I swim after highlights?

After hair treatments, especially after bleaching, highlighting, and dyeing, your hair is dry and prone to break easily. Swimming in chlorine water can cause some chemical reactions that can cause your color to fade, to turn green, and your hair follicles to break down or dry out.

Before going to the pool, soak hair with clean water and make sure it is conditioned. Also, don’t forget to put on a swimming cap when swimming. Therefore, it is best to wait at least a week before going for a swim.

3. How Often Should You Redo Highlights?

Highlights should be completely redone every six weeks to two months. And the amount of time depends on many factors, like the frequency of hair-washing and the products you use, the quality of products used to do the highlights, and how fast your hair grows.

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