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Highlights vs. Streaks — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 26, 2023
Highlights are softer, blended sections of lightened hair; streaks are more defined, often contrasting lines or strips.
Highlights vs. Streaks — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Highlights and Streaks

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Key Differences

Highlights typically refer to sections of hair that are dyed lighter than the base color, creating a sun-kissed appearance. Streaks, on the other hand, are typically bold, noticeable lines or strips of color that contrast with the primary hair color.
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Nov 26, 2023
In the world of hair coloring, highlights are often seen as a subtle way to add dimension and depth to one's hair. In contrast, streaks can be vibrant, providing a more noticeable and dramatic change to the hair's appearance.
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Nov 26, 2023
When applying highlights, a hairstylist may use a technique that blends the lighter sections with the rest of the hair, giving a more natural look. With streaks, the application often results in well-defined lines of color that stand out.
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Nov 26, 2023
Highlights can be used to mimic the effect of sun exposure, leading to a gradual transition between the lightened sections and the base color. Streaks might be used to make a bold fashion statement, where the emphasis is on the distinctness of the added color.
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Nov 26, 2023
Some individuals might prefer highlights for a subtle glow or to cover gray hair, while others might opt for streaks to showcase their individuality or embrace a specific trend.
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Nov 26, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Lightened sections blended with the base hair color.
Bold, contrasting lines or strips of color.
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Nov 26, 2023

Intended Look

Subtle, sun-kissed, and natural.
Vibrant, noticeable, and bold.
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Technique

Blended with the rest of the hair.
Well-defined lines of color.
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Purpose

Add depth, cover gray hair, or achieve a natural sun-exposed look.
Make a fashion statement or showcase individuality.
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Popularity

Commonly preferred for natural-looking results.
Chosen for distinct, dramatic changes to hair appearance.
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Nov 26, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Highlights

Lightened sections of hair blended with the base color.
She got blonde highlights to add some warmth to her brown hair.
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Oct 16, 2023

Streaks

Bold lines or strips of color in the hair.
Her blue streaks added a punk rock vibe to her look.
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Oct 16, 2023

Highlights

Small portions of hair dyed to a lighter shade than the overall color.
Her highlights beautifully complemented her natural hair color.
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Oct 16, 2023

Streaks

Vibrant, noticeable additions to one's hair.
The neon green streaks were the highlight of her party look.
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Oct 16, 2023

Highlights

Subtle additions to hair to give depth and dimension.
Her highlights made her hair look voluminous and sun-kissed.
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Oct 16, 2023

Streaks

Hair coloring choice for making a strong fashion statement.
She got purple streaks to showcase her love for the color.
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Oct 16, 2023

Highlights

Techniques used to create a multi-toned hair look.
The highlights gave her a radiant, beachy appearance.
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Oct 16, 2023

Streaks

Distinct lines of added color that don't blend with the base.
Her streaks of red were fiery and bold.
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Oct 16, 2023

Highlights

Hair coloring method for a gradual, soft transition.
She chose highlights for a gentle touch of brightness.
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Oct 16, 2023

Streaks

Defined, contrasting hair sections differing from the base color.
The silver streaks stood out against her black hair.
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Oct 16, 2023

Highlights

An area or a spot in a drawing, painting, or photograph that is strongly illuminated.
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Streaks

A line, mark, smear, or band differentiated by color or texture from its surroundings.
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Highlights

An especially significant or interesting detail or event.
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Streaks

An inherent, often contrasting quality
"There was a streak of wildness in him" (Olga Carlisle).
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Highlights

Highlights Strands of hair that have been lightened, as by bleaching or coloring.
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Streaks

A ray or flash of light
The first streaks of dawn.
A streak of lightning.
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Highlights

To give a highlight to (the subject of a painting, for example).
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Streaks

A brief run or stretch, as of luck.
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Highlights

To make prominent; emphasize
The article highlighted the painstaking work of the detectives.
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Streaks

An unbroken series, as of wins or losses.
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Highlights

To be a highlight of
The duet highlighted the concert.
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Streaks

(Mineralogy) The color of the fine powder produced when a mineral is rubbed against a hard surface. Used as a distinguishing characteristic.
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Highlights

To mark (important passages of text) with a usually fluorescent marker as a means of memory retention or for later reference.
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Streaks

(Botany) Any of various viral diseases of plants characterized by the appearance of discolored stripes on the leaves or stems.
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Highlights

To lighten (strands of hair), as by bleaching or coloring.
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Streaks

(Microbiology) A sample of microorganisms that has been introduced into a solid culture medium by a needle drawn across its surface.
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Highlights

Plural of highlight
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Streaks

To mark with streaks
Rain streaking the pavement.
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Highlights

Summary of an event, such as a sporting event, focussing on the most entertaining or consequential aspects; compilation of each highlight of that event
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Streaks

To make streaks of a different, usually lighter color in (hair) using a chemical preparation.
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Streaks

(Microbiology) To inoculate (a culture medium) with a streak.
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Streaks

To form streaks.
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Streaks

To be or become streaked.
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Streaks

To move at high speed; rush.
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Streaks

To run naked in public, especially as a prank.
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Streaks

Plural of streak
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Streaks

Infl of streak
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Common Curiosities

Can streaks be of any color?

Yes, streaks can be of any color, from natural shades to bold and vibrant colors.
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Nov 26, 2023

What are highlights in hair coloring?

Highlights are sections of hair dyed lighter than the base color, often blended for a sun-kissed appearance.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 26, 2023

Which is more subtle - highlights or streaks?

Highlights are generally more subtle, while streaks are more defined and noticeable.
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Nov 26, 2023

How long do highlights and streaks last?

It depends on the dye and technique used, but typically both fade over time and may require touch-ups.
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Are highlights always lighter than the natural hair color?

Typically, highlights are lighter, but they can also be a different shade that's either darker or vibrant.
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Are highlights damaging to the hair?

Any hair coloring can cause damage, but with proper care and professional application, damage can be minimized.
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Can I have both highlights and streaks in my hair?

Yes, you can combine both highlights and streaks for a multi-dimensional look.
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Are streaks considered a modern trend?

While streaks have seen peaks in popularity, they've been a part of fashion in various forms for decades.
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Do streaks fade faster than highlights?

It depends on the color and dye used, but bold colors in streaks may fade faster than natural-looking highlights.
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Nov 26, 2023

What's the maintenance for highlights vs. streaks?

Both might require touch-ups as roots grow out or color fades, but streaks, especially bold colors, might need more frequent maintenance.
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Nov 26, 2023

How are streaks different from highlights?

Streaks are bold, contrasting lines or strips of color in hair, while highlights are softer and more blended.
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Nov 26, 2023

Do streaks require bleach?

For darker hair or for vibrant colors, bleaching might be required before adding streaks.
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Nov 26, 2023

Which is more expensive - getting highlights or streaks?

Costs can vary based on salon, region, and desired look, but generally, the complexity and time involved determine the price.
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Nov 26, 2023

Can highlights cover gray hair?

Yes, highlights can be used to blend and mask gray hair.
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Nov 26, 2023

Can highlights be done at home?

While there are home kits available, professional application is recommended for best results.
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Nov 26, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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