Hair Tipping Techniques

Hair tipping in sections
See a hair highlighting gallery...

Different hair tipping techniques yield different results, ranging from natural highlights to edgy and varied effects. Find which coloring techniques suit your style.

What Is Hair Tipping?

Hair tipping is a targeted coloring process that involves coloring the tips of the hair. Just as frosting hair targets certain strands of hair, tipping concentrates on the ends. Traditionally, the approach is used for bleaching or highlighting, but you can opt for this technique if you are looking for a colorful alternative and a different kind of look.

Best Hair Styles for Tipping Ends

Hairstyles that call for dramatic tip color are short or layered. The color brings out the details of a layered style with great visual interest. Women wearing choppy layers may want to explore techniques for tipping hair.

Hair Tipping Techniques

There are three basic hair tipping techniques for adding colors to the ends of the hair, and each approach is commonly used in bleaching or highlighting hair. The highlights are typically concentrated toward the front of the head, or about two or three inches from the forehead, according to Hair Color Info.

  1. Foil hair tipping is a technique for applying color that uses foil squares for precision application. This approach is great for applying color to the tips because the foil separates the target area from the rest of the hair.
  2. A frosting or tipping cap is another technique that targets specific strands of hair. The cap contains circled guides that the hair colorists uses to select strands using a hook that resembles a crochet needle. The hook grasps onto the desired pieces and the colorist pulls it through the hole. The cap prevents the color from reaching the rest of the hair.
  3. The colorist may simply comb color or to the tips of the hair, usually concentrating on the top layers and bangs. This approach may not work well with highlighting products.

Home Tipping

While the temptation to add color or highlights at home can be great, it is best to consult a professional colorist for advice about tipping techniques. If you are determined to take the do-it-yourself approach, you might want to look at different options.

Working with foil for hair highlights at home can be challenging, unless you have a friend who has experience as a colorist. However, a frosting cap like the Conair PRO hair frosting/tipping cap can be easy to work with.

Perhaps the best approach for coloring the tips of your hair at home is to use a kit. L'Oreal has a Highlights and Professional Techniques line of products that includes Frost and Design for lighter hair and Colour Rays for dark hair. A great product to consider is Touch-on Highlights that uses an applicator that you wear on your fingertip.

Many of the products are designed for frosting, but you can alter the application to create highlights that concentrate on the tips.

Tipping or Frosting

Tipping the ends of the hair is different from frosting strands of hair. You can use a hair frosting cap to add highlights or color to the tips, but frosting is a different hair coloring technique. Frosted strands are strategically spaced all through the hair, and not concentrated specifically on the ends or toward the front. Frosting is a highlighting process, but tipping may use dye instead of bleach or lightening. Traditionally, tipping referrers to highlights but you can opt for color instead.

Alternative Coloring and Highlighting Techniques

Hair tipping applications are not ideal for all hairstyles. If you have long flowing locks, you might want to forgo tipping the ends. Long blunt haircuts might look better with peek-a-boo panels of color that tease the eye with layers of color as the hair moves. Hair chunking techniques color large portions of hair, and you can achieve a wide variety of looks, ranging from subtle to drastic. To be sure, there is no shortage of different highlighting techniques to choose from, and that means that you can find a process that suits your hair best.

Hair Tipping Techniques