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If you Google image search “summer hair,” nine times out of ten, you’re going to see a head full of highlights. Summer hair-color trends typically involve going lighter and for good reason — it’s what happens to our hair when we spend time a lot of time in the sun. Getting the look naturally, though? Not as easy as we wish it was, and the maintenance is usually just as difficult. So, when we heard about a new trend called “candle lights” — a way to go lighter with minimal upkeep — our interest was piqued.
Yes, the term “candle lights” sounds like something you’d put out on your dining room table prior to a fancy sit-down dinner, but it’s actually shaping up to be one of the most popular hair-color trends of the season. The result is gorgeous, sun-kissed hair — and the maintenance is low. Need we say more?
Ahead, we chat with Sunnie Brook, Biolage ambassador and celebrity stylist, who answers all of our questions about candle lights, including what they are, how to get them, and how to maintain them at home. Keep scrolling to learn everything there is to know about the new hair-color trend.
What Is the Candle Lights Hair-Color Trend?
“These defined flickers of highlights are soft from the roots through the mid-lengths and then kick brighter toward the ends,” Brook tells POPSUGAR. “They’re the new and refined version of a balayage and allow for a really smooth grow-out process if you’re not one to book at the salon every six weeks.”
This hair-color trend looks great on all hair types, and actually looks even better on textured hair. “From wavy to super coily, textured hair makes the candle lights look that much more interesting and almost naturally sun-kissed,” Brook says.
If you’re interested in trying out the look for yourself, Brook says it’s important to arrive at the salon with inspiration photos in hand. “Show your hairdresser references of tones you like,” she says. “This hair color starts at two levels lighter than your base and will transition all the way to a five-level lift brightness at the ends.” If you already have lightened hair, Brook says you can still achieve the look with a few minor tweaks. “You may be able to get a toner or a semi-permanent color brushed over your lightened hair from your base to your ends to create this effect.”
Once you’ve got the color, Brook says it looks great on loose beachy curls or air-dried hair with a wave or curl. “Just run a bit of oil through the ends to keep them frizz-free and shiny for the whole day,” she adds.
How to Maintain Candle Lights at Home
In order to keep ends brass-free and looking creamy, Brook suggests using a purple shampoo like Biolage’s Color Last Purple Shampoo ($23) immediately after coloring the hair. “This product is powerful at neutralizing undated warm tones from the first shampoo and will extend your time between salon visits,” she says.
Also, it’s important to use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner, like the Roz Foundation Duo ($72). If you frequently use heat on your hair, make sure you’re using a heat protectant each and every time. One of our current favorites is the Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Heat Protectant Cream ($26).
Candle Lights Inspiration
If you’re ready to book your salon appointment, keep scrolling for some inspiration photos you can bring with you to show your colorist.