Have you ever caught yourself having a serious moment of hair envy with a toddler? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.) But it’s probably because the hair we have when we’re young is naturally lighter, brighter, and more pigmented than the hair we have as adults. There’s a new treatment on the market made to emulate that youthful color called “babylights” and needless to say — the name alone has our interest piqued. We went straight to our friend and stylist Rory McNeil of ROAR Salon to find out more about babylights and how they work:

“Babylights are tiny woven highlights meant to mimic the look of your hair when you were a child,” explained Rory. “They’re used to subtly enhance existing color, bringing a more natural, childlike feel to the hair — hearkening back to the days when you spent every afternoon outdoors.” Rory demonstrated the technique for us on model Jessica, who already had some color treatment in her existing hair.

When it comes to determining color for a babylights treatment, Rory says “The goal here is to have the overall feel remain naturally sun kissed. Therefore, you’ll want to ask your colorist not to go more than a shade or two lighter or darker than your existing color, keeping the ends lighter is key. This is not a service you walk away from feeling like a big change happened. It’s meant to be a tweak that rewards in it’s restraint.”

The entire treatment took about 2.5 hours to perform on Jessica — not bad for highlights of any kind. The best part is that the results of babylights can last much longer than traditional highlights: “Because the application is so fine and a bit more random than traditional highlights, you can go quite a while between sittings,” says Rory. “I’d say 8 weeks is about average.”

Babylights can also be a great option for what Rory refers to as “virgin hair” — hair that’s never been color treated before. “Babylights work beautifully on all hair types. It is an accessory technique that supports stronger looks such as all over color or balayage. Think of it as a wonderful tool to set off other techniques that are getting a bit tired or hair that needs a kiss of dimension. This is the supporting actor in the hair color world.”

We adore the subtle color in Jessica’s final look. “She’s a natural beauty,” Rory says of his brunette client. “Her style is carefree. She’s not one to spend hours in front of the mirror. I think this look is perfect for her because it appears as though she just HAS perfect color without ever needing to go to the salon. Shhhhh…. it will be our little secret. “We promise we won’t tell. But we’re ready to take advantage of this secret for ourselves… Thanks Rory, and you can go ahead put us on the books for next week at ROAR Salon.

photographed by kristen kilpatrick

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