Highlights for medium brown hair?
I'm wanting to get highlights in my hair. My hair is medium brown with a reddish tint in sunlight. I'm thinking I want to go pretty light. As light as i can go while still looking natural. (no zebra stripes or platinum or anything). I have fair skin (don't tan) and green eyes. Im just wondering if getting highlights would wash me out? A girl in my class has blonde hair and she got highlights and they made her look sick! Also, what colors should I ask for? Caramel, honey, cool, ash, etc?
Just going on how you described your skin tone and features, I would ask your colorist for a Honey tone. I'm thinking that your classmate may have chosen a too ash shade! I see this all the time. Ash shades can be harder to pull off if you have more of a yellow under tone base in your skin.
When I go see a colorist, I like to bring a few pictures! (the more the better) Showing the tone, placement and all around color of the hightlights. It will give them a clear picture of what you want.
Melissa's given you good advice! I'd also say if you want something a little more natural to ask your colorist to apply the highlights about 2-3 inches past your hairline for a more balayage style.
I foil my own highlights and it sounds like we have a similar hair color. I have medium brown hair with a reddish/gold tint in the sun. I wear NC20 (fair/light skin) with brown eyes. I opt for warmer colors versus platinum which washes me out (I have done highlights and all over hair color). I like melissabt's suggestion of a honey color. The colorist should have swatches that you can hold up to your hair to see the contrast.
janinebt made a great point about having the colorist apply the highlights a few inches past your hairline. I never foil right on my hairline (i think it doesnt look natural). I foil starting 1.5-2 inches back and when I pull my hair in a ponytail it looks really natural but you can still see the highlights.
SAHMOhio also had a great tip about neutral base & only going 3 shades lighter.
I do use bleach and then tone but it is really high maintenance. If the colorist you go to can use a product that can noticeably lift 3 shades without bleach - i say go for it! My hair has a hard time lifting 3 shades without bleach (without turning really brassy/red).
Sounds like your hair is red undertone (there's red and green tones), so share that with your colorist. Too warm (red) a color base and you're highlights will just look red. A neutral base will give you honey/caramel colors. I would also advise only going two or three shades lighter for a natural look, and ask to use hair color dye, not bleach and then toning. Lastly avoid a cap, foils only, ask her to stagger them so they aren't uniform and to pull different sized sections. If you want to spring for it, you can have two colors done for a really well blended, sun lightened look.