Guess what? You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars getting your hair professionally highlighted; in fact, it’s relatively simple enough to do yourself from the comfort of your own home.
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to highlight your hair but are too afraid or unsure of the proper techniques, keep reading — and never pay an arm and a leg for highlights ever again!
Choosing the Right Color
Even though home highlighting is inexpensive and convenient, you need to know which colors will work for you. A drastic color change (even with highlights) will require a professional job. As a general rule, you should stick within two shades darker or lighter of your natural hair color for at-home highlighting.
Of course, the highlights you choose will also need to complement your skin tone. Women who have pink skin tones should avoid most red shades. For women who have yellow undertones to their skin, you’ll want to avoid highlights that are yellow or orange based. Olive-skinned women and women of color would look best with darker shades and lowlights rather than highlights.
How to Apply Highlights at Home
Once you’ve decided on a color, you’ll want to do a patch test on an inconspicuous area to determine whether you’ll experience an allergic reaction to the die. After 24 hours, if no signs of an allergic reaction are present, it’s generally safe to go ahead with the highlighting.
Most at-home color kits come with a comb or wand to help evenly distribute the dye throughout your hair. These tools make it much easier to highlight your hair than you might expect! For the most visible results, concentrate on highlighting the top layer of your hair. Start highlighting from the back of your head to the front (enlist a friend to help with the back portion of your hair if you cannot easily see where the dye will be placed).
For women who constantly change hairstyles or parts, you may want to highlight a few pieces of hair below the top layer. This will help the dye job look more consistent when you wear your hair in a different style.
Maintaining your New Highlights
As with all dye jobs, it’s important to maintain your new look. Use a shampoo and conditioner that are specifically designed for color treated hair to keep your highlights looking fresh for as long as possible. A deep conditioning treatment once a week will also help keep your locks moisturized and prevent your hair from drying out due to the chemicals in the dye.
If you like your new look and want to keep it, you’ll need to touch up your highlights every 6 to 12 weeks, generally speaking. If you have short hair, you may even need to touch up your locks in as little as 4 weeks, depending how badly your roots start to show.
Highlighting your hair at home can be very cost effective and easy to do, especially once you know the basics. Even for hair color newbies, highlighting with an at-home kit doesn’t have to be as frustrating as you might believe.
Use these tips the next time you’re considering switching up your look a bit and you won’t have to empty your wallet for a professional dye job at a pricey salon!