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Wig Color Part 2 – Choosing the Right Highlights

I have a long list of favorite wigs. And yes, they are all my favorite. There is no way I could ever pick one!

One of my new favorites is Finn by Esetetic Designs in the color Vanilla Macchiato.

Interestingly, I have heard a lot of differing opinions about the color. Vanilla Macchiato is part of Estetica Designs Coffee Collection, and it has balayage highlights. And as I am learning, this look is not for everyone. Personally, I love it the look. I think it adds a nice statement to the piece, along with a bit of sass. And I love how it looks on me!

I have mentioned in past blogs how important color is in determining whether you like a particular wig. I found this out firsthand after purchasing two of the same style wigs in different colors – one blonde and one red. I loved the wig on me in the blonde color. I didn’t like it at all in the red.

Highlights and other color application techniques add another dimension to a wigs color.

When you are shopping for a wig, you will see words like sombre, ombre, and balayage and it is important to understand the difference between them.

Ombre Highlights:

Wigs with ombre highlighting have darker roots that gradually get lighter towards the ends. In essence, the hair transitions from one color to another by shading into each other. Typically, ombre highlights include warm shades and earthy tones for a more natural-look but bold colors and contrasting shades can be used, as well.

Sombre Highlights:

A wig with sombre highlights will have a more subtle color transition from it’s roots to it’s tips. The sombre technique has more shadows and tones which add more dimension and texture. Usually, the ends of sombre are one to two shades lighter than the base color. The shading is more seamless and gradual than ombre. Sombre and Ombre highlights are usually added by using foils or caps.


Balayage (pronounced BAH-LEE-AGHE), on the other hand, is a highlighting technique in where the highlights are hand-painted directly onto the hair strands. Balayage is a French word that means “to sweep”. The technique creates a soft and natural graduation of lightness towards the ends. The resulting look is one of summers spent outside in the sun and it adds a soft, sunkissed dimension.

Below are a variety of wigs with the Balayage color.

Reeves by Estetica shown in color Iced Mocha

Sugar Rush by BelleTress shown in color Cinnamon Ginger

Reeves by Estetica shown in color Vanilla Macchiato

Caliente by BelleTress shown in color Coconut Brown Sugar

Caliente by BelleTress shown in color Cinnamon Ginger

Dolce & Dolce by BelleTress shown in color Hibiscus

Orchid by Estetica shown in color Vanilla Macchiato

Ombre and sombre describe more of an end result than the technique. Ombre is more drastic and edgier than balayage with a starker transition from dark to light.

So, why consider highlights when looking for that perfect wig? Highlights have a way of helping to make wigs look more natural.

Unless you have naturally darker hair, it’s unlikely your hair is just one color. Most people have shades of color and gradients throughout their hair. To help ensure you find a wig that looks natural, consider wigs with rooted colors as it will give the illusion of natural hair growing directly from your scalp. Additionally, chose a color that has a blend of at least two colors to give the wig dimension. Highlighted colors tend to look more natural than wigs with solid colors.

And now that you have some tricks to help you find a color you love, go try some on! That’s the best way to know whether or not you will love that color on you!

by Penny Jane Love

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