Do Highlights Damage Hair?

Highlights can add texture and dimension to your hair, frame your face, and enhance skin tone. Are highlights damaging our hair? Many of us wonder.

Highlighting can cause less damage than bleaching when done using the balayage technique, though chemicals and heat will still be required to lighten your locks.


As highlights involve lightening your hair, they carry a 50% risk of damaging its strands. A professional colorist, however, can consider several factors to minimize this damage – from choosing an appropriate formula suited to your skin tone and eyes to keeping in mind overall hair health before applying your highlights. If you have a lot of hair to lighten, multiple rounds of bleach may be required to reach your goal. Be patient; allow time for healing between each bleaching session.

After highlighting, it is best to avoid heat styling your tresses for as long as possible, as heat styling can strain already stressed-out strands and cause even more damage. When heat styling, always apply a heat protectant such as HSI Argan Oil Hair Heat Protectant, as this weightless mist serves as your hair’s armor against further oxidation processes – and can even double up as a leave-in conditioner!


Yes, highlights do damage your hair. However, their extent depends on both the technique used and your daily hair care habits. You can minimize their adverse impacts by choosing a trained professional and following through with regular trims.

Highlights can also cause irreparable harm when they are applied too quickly or with too much bleach, leading to brassy-looking highlights, which later dry out and turn brassy over time. Protect your highlighted hair using shampoos and conditioners designed to be color-safe, which will hydrate it. At the same time, deep conditioning treatments restore integrity to strands for a healthy-looking shine.

Split Ends

Highlighting may cause some damage, but this can be minimized with proper hair care and techniques. A professional colorist will consider your particular hair type and texture to reduce damage to your locks.

There are various kinds of highlights, each creating its own distinct look. Highlights can be achieved using foils, paint, or the balayage technique – foil highlights are usually done under plastic caps to allow a colorist to use multiple hues to achieve more natural results. Balayage highlights are an increasingly popular technique that gives sun-kissed effects to the hair, making it less damaging and lasting longer than traditional highlights. When selecting either option, however, it is recommended that at least 48 hours pass before washing again; otherwise, it could fade and dull your color prematurely. When doing so, use only sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to maintain its vibrant hue and radiance.


Highlights can be an exquisite way to transform your locks’ appearance without committing your locks’ appearance without committing to an entirely different hue. Still, they require bleach and other damaging chemicals, which may vary in terms of their impact on damage depending on factors like how often roots need touching up and how clients take care of their tresses post-salon appointment.

Providing their hair is healthy, any short-term damage from highlights may not be too noticeable (though their strands will likely still feel rough and dry compared to before). To help prevent long-term damage, we suggest they switch to color-safe shampoos and conditioners that protect colored strands against fade. They should maintain healthy highlights with weekly deep conditioning treatments to keep strands strong and prevent any loss of vibrancy or breaking easily. Finally, request that they limit sun exposure and avoid heat styling tools as these could take their shine away and diminish their vivid hue.