What's the Difference Between Highlights and Streaks?

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Highlights are thinner strands of hair than streaks. With both styles, certain strands of hair are lightened with color or bleach. Streaks are sometimes lighter than highlights or come in different colors.

With highlights, the hair stylist sections the whole head of hair. A color similar in hue to the natural color but three or four shades lighter is chosen. Once the color is mixed, the stylist weaves thin strands of hair out with a rat tail comb, places them on a foil, applies the color and folds the foil over. This process is repeated over the whole head. Bleach is used only if the hair is very dark or already color-treated. Highlights tend to look more natural.

Streaks can be applied in the same way but by weaving thicker chunks of hair. However, sometimes streaks are painted directly onto the hair. In this case, the hair must be perfectly straight. The stylist mixes the color or bleach and paints it directly onto the hair in the desired thickness. There is generally more space between the streaks. Streaks can be done much lighter than highlights, giving the hair a bolder appearance. However, unnatural hair colors such as blue, green, purple or pink can also be applied as streaks. In this case, it may be necessary to strip the natural hair color first with bleach before applying the color to make it more vibrant.