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10 Ways to Get the Right Highlights for Your Hair

Turn heads with a little contrast and shine

Side by side images of Gina Gershon and Carla Bruni

Steve Granitz/WireImage; Samir Hussein/WireImage

Gina Gershon (left) and Carla Bruni

En español

You know how sparkly earrings light up your face and attitude? Highlights perform the same magic trick for your hair. They brighten every shade from brown to blonde, blend in grays and turn a gray transition fuss-free. And best of all: Highlights make thin, fine, grownup hair look thicker and shining with health. But unfortunately, we often choose highlights that are wrong for our hair color, hair style or wallet — and that’s where things get tricky. Understanding what color “lights” to get and how many makes a difference to your looks and budget. I asked Matrix Brand Ambassador and star colorist George Papanikolas for tips and added my beauty-editor two cents, too. It’s time to get on a winning streak!

Lois Joy Johnson is a beauty and style editor who focuses on women 50 and older. She was the beauty and style editor at Ladies’ Home Journal and a founding editor of More magazine. She has written three books: The Makeup Wakeup, The Wardrobe Wakeup and The Woman's Wakeup.