When asking for dimensional highlights, know that your stylist won’t be doing just one specific type of highlighting technique. Dimensional highlights are all about adding dimension to the hair, hence the name, which can be done with basically any highlighting approach. If you’re not sure what the real difference between partial and full highlights is, don’t worry, as they can both be used to achieve the rich, dimensional look you’re after.
The highlights are placed strategically throughout the hair to create contrast and add depth, thus achieving fuller-looking hair. Think of it like contouring but for hair. Dimensional highlights will work with your base color to create the illusion of volume. Master hair colorist and stylist Bobby Mack explains the reasoning behind the process. “For every light or dark piece of dimensional color, there must be a balance. That means incorporating depth with color shadowing and adding bolding brightness with highlights,” he tells Southern Living.
The color of your dimensional highlights is going to be determined by your base color; if your hair is darker, the highlights will be lighter, and vice versa. This will also determine the coloring process itself. For example, lighter-colored hair is most likely going to get the foil treatment containing darker shades, while darker hair is going to benefit from a freehand coloring technique like balayage. While you won’t really be getting thicker hair, the added dimension will definitely make it seem so.