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sally with highlighted hair

Ben Goldstein/Studio D

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Few people appreciate the beauty of finding simple, low-maintenance styles that lead you smoothly from poolside to party time better than we at Real Beauty do. Which is why, as part of our laid-back summer beauty guide, we wanted to give Sally's hair a beachy glow that wouldn't require loads of time and money for upkeep. Sally's hair had never been colored before, so she was ecstatic about the prospect of a highlighted new 'do. "I'm just dying to brighten my look," she said to her colorist, Joanna of Butterfly Studio Salon in New York City, who was up for the challenge. "No problem," she said. "We're going to give you subtle, beachy-looking highlights to soften the color and make it brighter around your face. The key to this look is keeping it natural, so you can just let it be all summer long."

Joanna started out Sally's look by painting little pieces of hair with an ash color, an oil-based regimen that helps to protect hair and minimize the damage caused by coloring. "For this process, you go soft on the root and heavier at the ends," she said. "Then you wrap the highlighted strands in plastic wrap to keep the heat in." (She didn't wrap the hair in foil, as you sometimes do with highlights, because she didn't want the foil to lift the color too high.)

Before



After



"This looks incredible," Sally said upon her big reveal. "It's like summer in my face! I actually look younger!" Although Joanna recommended that Sally start using color-safe hair products with UV protection, her only other advice was "Enjoy!" which speaks a lot to the no-fuss simplicity of this style. "This really works well for Sally," Joanna said. "It gives her fine hair more texture, and it's natural and subtle, but also noticeably lighter and brighter."

And the best part about her summer hair makeover? It only needs to be touched up every two or three months, so it has a very graceful grow-out period. "It's amazing that it's going to last all summer long!" Sally said.

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