Jan 17, 2017

How to Achieve the Justin Anderson Highlight


One is bound to come across photos of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, or Miley Cyrus when searching for blonde hair inspo. Something all these manes have in common is celebrity colorist and Olaplex Ambassador Justin Anderson (and his killer highlight).

So, how does he do it? Justin tackles each highlight on a client by client basis. The way he would work on a model with mid length fine hair is different to the method he’d apply to a client with long coarse hair. We were lucky enough to pop in on one of his highlights to learn a thing or two about his technique and how he incorporates Olaplex. Though the technique he uses may be familiar, it’s his placement and attention to detail that we can’t get enough of.

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Justin prefers to apply the teasing method with foils on clients with fine hair. He says, “I take each section, then split it in half. This makes the bottom piece act like a lowlight and the top piece serve as a highlight.” In order to break the line of demarcation, Justin lightly teases up half of the section. The teased section itself, also acts as a low light.

“Remember, this method of teasing is more gentle than if you were teasing the hair in order to get body or volume. Just start at the bottom of the hair and lightly push up once.” says Justin.

If you’re working with thick hair and using the teasing method, you can feather up the lightener in strokes to further break up the line of demarcation. “This recreates a similar look to what balayage would do on the hair. With super fine hair, I find foils work better. To clarify, teasing the hair alone will break up the line of demarcation, feathering the bleach up with the brush, takes that effect to the next level and helps you create an even more natural look, painting where the sun will likely hit the hair.” says Justin.

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“Placement is so important. Just think of each section and all the different angles it could fall in– like if the hair is up in a pony hail, half up half down, or parted to the side.” says Justin.

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Since the baby hairs at the hairline are so fragile, Justin leaves them out until the last minute while at the shampoo bowl. He also takes time at the bowl to work all the lightener up the hair to blend it even further. He then finishes off with an Olaplex No. 2 treatment and the ACV wash by dp HUE for extra shine.

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Justin Anderson is a celebrity hair colorist and Olaplex Ambassador. He’s based in Los Angeles at the Chris McMillan Salon in Beverly Hills. You can find him on Instagram @anderssonjj and @justinandersoncolor