You've done it. You've made up your mind. You're ready to highlight your hair.

But with so many techniques and trends out there—many of which are costly and time-consuming, which style do you opt for and what's the difference between them?

To give you a better idea of what might work best, we tapped celeb colorist Jennifer J to help us define four major hair highlighting trends right now. Because "you should always have a clear plan as to what color you are going to get, how it will affect your hair and the maintenance," she said.

ESC, Dyed Highlights, Ariana Grande

Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

Ombré
Timing: Up to 3-4 hours
Great for: Someone looking for contrast, but bleaching hair ends may cause damage

"Ombré means [going] darker at the root and gradually getting lighter at the ends of your hair," Jennifer noted. "The beauty of ombré is that it can work for any hair type or color. If the hair is highlighted already, I just paint on a ‘fake' root and make it look like the color has grown out for a few months."

ESC, Dyed Highlights, Jessica Biel

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Sombre
Timing: Up to 3-4 hours
Great for: The lazy set (though it's a celeb fave!)

"Sombre is a more subtle version of ombré. Even though it is more subtle, it takes the same amount of time as ombré," said Jennifer. The color transition is also much more gradual (read: no lines of demarcation, which means less touch-ups), making it a lower maintenance, less expensive alternative to its more obvious counterpart.

ESC, Dyed Highlights, Sarah Jessica Parker

Jenny Anderson/WireImage

Balayage
Timing: 30-90 minutes
Great for: Those looking for a natural-looking contrast

"Balayage is a French word for sweep," said the colorist. "Technically, it means that you area-painting highlights on the hair in a sweeping motion." Highlights will be in chunkier sections, making it seem like the sun naturally lightened the hair. Because no foils or meche is used to apply product, sections are less saturated than typical highlights and regrowth lines are less noticeable. Your hair will look just as good whether it's one week or one month from your initial salon appointment.

ESC, Dyed Highlights, Chrissy Teigen

Paul Archuleta/GC Images

Flamboyage
Timing: 30-90 minutes
Great for: Those looking for super-subtle highlights

"Flamboyage is basically the same [as balayage], but the ends may be lightened a little more," said Jennifer. A new alternative to traditional highlights, this process incorporates elements of both balayage and ombré techniques to give the hair more depth and a natural-yet-polished result—even after your hair has grown out.

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