Sharing recommendations on how to achieve the effect on your hair as if you had just returned from the ocean coast

What is California highlights

California highlights are a special coloring technique in which several light shades are selected that are slightly different from your natural hair color. This approach provides soft transitions and a play of light and shadow. California coloring is considered relatively harmless to the hair and offers a huge variation in shades compared to, say, techniques such as balayage or shatoush.

Advantages and disadvantages of California highlights

Before deciding on this procedure, you need to determine the shade of your hair, their undertone as accurately as possible, and also study all the pros and cons of the method. So, let's get acquainted with the technique of California highlighting.


First of all, we note that Californian highlighting is a gentle coloring technique, since not all strands and not along the entire length are treated with lightening agents. In addition, the main focus is on the tips - the roots remain intact. They do not have to constantly tint to prolong the effect of the updated image. Plus, the result looks so natural that it seems as if the hair just burned out in the sun. Colorists note the importance of a competent choice of shades (cold or warm). If everything is done correctly, you can even visually correct some skin imperfections.


If the original hair color is the result of earlier dyeing, you will have to resort to bleaching, otherwise it will be problematic to get the desired result. After such an intervention, home hair care will require special attention (we will discuss this below). In addition, light colors on the hair can turn into unwanted yellowness over time, so you will have to maintain the desired shade with the help of tinting, tint products or special care products.

Contraindications for staining

There are no specific contraindications for California highlighting, they do not differ from the general recommendations when it is worth waiting with staining:

  • thin hair prone to breakage at the ends;
  • dermatitis, alopecia, scalp sensitivity;
  • earlier dyeing with henna or basma - you have to wait until the hair grows back to cut off the part that was treated with natural dye. Paints are not friendly with him, the result may be unpredictable.

What paint to use: color recommendations

It is very important to correctly determine the undertone of the paint - warm or cold, the general appearance will depend on it. A shade that does not harmonize with the main hair color can spoil the effect of California highlights. What can you do at home?

For blonde hair

For girls with light blond or blond hair of a wheaten or gray shade, California highlights are what you need. With such initial data, it is much easier and safer to achieve the desired effect.

If the natural tone is warm, then the main color can be tinted with Casting Crème Gloss without ammonia: it gives a cool shade and does not hurt the curls.

California highlights can be created with L'Oréal Paris Colorista Ombre Effect paint: with a special comb, the color can be "stretched" from the middle to the ends of the hair, creating a smooth transition - the result looks natural.

For dark hair

On dark hair, the result will be more contrasting and no less interesting: a beautiful transition from dark roots to light tips is worth a try.

Properly selected shades of Casting Crème Gloss L'Oréal Paris will allow you to provide your hair with the desired shades and create fascinating overflows.

The Frosty Chestnut shade can give cold overflows to the hair from the roots.

Special paint Colorista Bleach is able to bleach the tips to a cold light tone so that the borders with the original color are blurred.

California Coloring Technique

Usually foil is not used for California highlights. The hair is simply divided into small strands along the partings and dyed, retreating from the roots of 2-3 centimeters.First, the curls that are to change color must be lightened and only after that - tinted with paint. For a smooth transition, try twisting the strands in the appropriate places into bundles or just lightly teasing the hair in the border areas.

How often should California highlights be updated

The main visual and aesthetic plus of California highlighting is that its result does not need to be updated as often as it has to be done with conventional staining. The reason is obvious: the roots initially retain their natural color. Even if the tint pigments are washed off after a month, the ends will still look naturally burnt out. Toning can be repeated independently at home once every 2 months.

Ideas and photos of California highlights on dark and black hair

To “try on” California highlights on dark hair, you will need a large number of shades, otherwise the result will not look beautiful and natural.

Chocolate and chestnut transitions

It makes sense for brunettes to abandon the radical lightening of the strands. If you choose lighter, but close to natural shades, the effect will be noticeable (it should not be contrasting) and at the same time natural, not to mention the fact that such coloring will be less traumatic for the hair.

Frost contrast

A good choice for brunettes and brown-haired women with a cool shade of hair. The natural color will beautifully turn into a bleached gray (be sure to maintain the result with tinted balms and shampoos).

Red tips

On hair of shades of dark chestnut or chocolate, the red ends of the hair will look harmonious - this is exactly what they look like after meeting the sun.

Trendy California highlights on blond hair

Blonde hair is perhaps the most suitable "material" for California highlighting, as evidenced by the abundance of photos. This color is the most fertile base for playing with a variety of shades. On light brown hair, the same effect of canonical surf waves looks very organic.

Burnt strands on the face

If we talk about California highlighting, then it is supposed to dye the entire mass of hair in a row with different indents from the roots, and the curls framing the face are painted over from the very roots. So the result will look as natural and effective as possible.

Gold tone

This solution is especially relevant for gray-brown hair: a golden hue will emphasize the freshness of the face and warm skin tone.

Coffee with milk

California highlights of light brown hair with a warm shade can be darker: for example, coffee combinations will originally shade the natural color and give it brightness.

Actual California highlights on blonde hair

It's harder for blondes to dye their hair using the California highlighting technique, since here you need to go from the opposite - darken the roots. But with the available variety of colors, nothing is impossible.

Shading roots

Californian highlights are recommended for very fair girls, darkening the hair roots by several shades. The difficulty is that the roots will grow, which means that you will need to regularly update the result.

Different shades of blonde

For those who do not want to darken their hair, you can use a variety of shades of blond, from warm to cold. Such a solution will be quite laborious in execution, but the unusual and very effective result is worth it. Success is guaranteed by smooth transitions.

Features of dyeing red hair

On red hair with natural copper pigment, Californian highlights can give a very interesting result, adding brightness to an already spectacular image. To do this, for example, the roots can be slightly darkened, and the ends, on the contrary, made a tone lighter.

California highlights on short hair

Short hair imposes some restrictions on the use of this technique: only bangs or selective strands are recommended to tint. If we talk about such coloring in relation to haircuts, then we have collected the most relevant options for California highlighting on short hair.

  • Pixie

It is also possible on an ultra-short haircut, although this is not the easiest task: smooth transitions are made here from the very roots to the tips. As a rule, no more than three shades are used.

  • Asymmetry with bangs

If the haircut is asymmetrical, then it is better to tone the bangs in the same way as the bulk of the hair. For visual volume, the tips lighten up additionally.

California highlights on medium length hair

California highlights at medium length already give freedom for imagination: you can use three or more shades. Consider the possibilities of such coloring on the example of popular haircuts.

  • Kare

The habitual caret can be "cheered up" with the help of Californian highlights: vertical coloring in different shades will refresh the natural color and add visual volume to the hair, and the image as a whole - freshness.

  • Bob

Usually bob is worn with straight hair, so it is extremely important to do without sharp boundaries between shades: choose two or three tones and pay special attention to the softness of the transitions from one to another.

California highlights on long hair

Long hair is the best basis for California coloring. Consider the nuances of the technique, taking into account the hairstyle.

  • Cascade

Haircut cascade already implies the effect of optical volume. But it can be emphasized if you lighten the hair step by step to the tips. It's okay if the transitions are not smooth everywhere: different hair lengths will hide the contrast.

  • One length smooth hair

On perfectly straight hair, Californian highlights require scrupulousness - there is no room for error. We advise you to color the strands evenly with different indents from the roots, so that the hair naturally shimmers, as if in the sun.

Post Color Care

California highlights, although gentle, are still coloring, so the hair will need additional home care. The editors of have made a selection of effective products for colored hair.

Laminating Shampoo helps highlighted hair hold color for up to 10 weeks.

After washing your hair with shampoo, be sure to use a care balm. Flax oil in the composition strengthens the hair and maintains the brightness of the color after dyeing.

The hair mask contains a laminating elixir that helps hair stay smooth and shiny even after frequent washing.

Before drying your hair, use a leave-in conditioner to neutralize frizz, enhance shine without weighing hair down.

Designed specifically for the care of dyed and highlighted hair to maintain color. Formulated with nourishing argan oil & camellia extract.