How to Highlight your hair at home

Highlighting your own hair at home can be a great way to change your look and save on money.  And yes, I almost got a heart attack when I came to the US and saw the ridiculous high prices they charge here at some salons. Grab a friend or try it by yourself.

Here are some things you should keep in mind when getting ready for hair highlighting. Here’s how to highlight hair:

Required Tools:
  • Old clothes
  • Old towels
  • Bathroom or kitchen sink
Caution:
  • Don’t try and highlight hair that already has a dark hair color in it. You’ll need professional strength hair lighteners to remove the old color first.
  • Don’t try and highlight your hair more than three or four shades maximum. The color may not be strong enough and you’ll end up with brassy or orange-based highlights.
Quick Tips:
  • Seek advice from a professional if coloring over previously colored hair.
  • Consult a professional before coloring if your hair is dry or damaged.
    1. Take your hair length into consideration. If you have short to medium length hair, a home highlighting kit which includes a cap, hook and brush is probably your best choice. For longer hair, you’ll want to try the highlighting kits that come with specialized brushes that let you “paint” the highlights through your long hair.
    2. Decide what hair color you want. Some hair coloring tips for adding highlights at home is that they look best when the results are more subtle than drastic. If you have dark blonde or medium brown hair color, try using a highlighting kit in blonde tones that are only a few shades lighter than your natural color. If you have dark brown or black hair, try dark blonde or caramel highlights that will enhance your natural hair color. Red highlights are another option.
    3. Work on dry hair. It’s best to highlight your hair when it is dry and not freshly washed. The natural oils in your hair will help protect it from the chemicals that are added with hair highlights.
    4. Protect yourself. Since you are going to be working with a chemical, you’ll want to be sure to wear an old shirt with long sleeves and an old towel pinned around your shoulders to protect your skin. Be sure to wear the gloves provided at all times and wash any areas of your skin that come in contact with the mixture immediately.
    5. Choose your work space wisely. A bathroom or kitchen is the best place to highlight hair. Some hair coloring advice is to remove anything that might be ruined should the coloring mixture accidentally come in contact with it and wipe up spills as they happen.
    6. Read the instructions carefully. Not all home highlighting kits are the same so even if you’ve highlighted at home before, take the time to read the directions entirely. Plus, the highlighting techniques you use may vary according to the instructions and the type of kit you have.

  1. The cap method. There are several hair coloring techniques and methods you should be aware of. If you are using the cap and hook method for short and medium hair cuts, place the cap tightly on your head and secure it firmly. Next, starting at the front of the head, use the hook provided to pull through thin sections of the hair. The general rule is to keep the pieces small and pull the hair through every second hole in the cap. If you have very short hair in the sides and back, skip pulling these sections through as they will come out looking spotted.
  2. For the long hair method. To paint on your highlights in long hair, first decide where you want your highlights. Around the face is the best place to start. Part your hair the way you’d normally style it and visualize where the highlights would show up and look best. This is the time to decide if you want natural or chunky hair highlights.
  3. Mix it up. Now, with gloved hands, mix the highlighting ingredients according to the directions. Be sure to stir the mixture thoroughly before using.
  4. Cover the cap. For the cap method, simply paint on the mixture with the brush provided, making sure that all the hair is thoroughly coated. Don’t be afraid to apply a little light pressure with the brush to ensure you’re getting the mixture through the pieces of hair and not just on the surface.
  5. Begin painting. For the painting method, simply load up the special brush according to the directions and paint on the highlights where you’d like them. Be sure to use enough of the mixture to sufficiently coat the hair but avoid globs.
  6. Be patient. As a general rule, you should let the mixture sit on your hair for as long as the directions advise. If you see that the highlights are getting too light for your liking, take a corner of the old towel you’re wearing and very gently rub off a small spot of the mixture. Have a good look at that piece of hair. If it really is light enough, you can rinse early. Otherwise, recoat that section and wait it out.
  7. Rinse well. Be sure to rinse all the highlighting mixture out of your hair. If there is a follow-up conditioner provided, use it to help restore moisture and protect your newly colored hair.

Now that your hair is highlighted, you’ll want to be sure to take extra good care of your hair. Using shampoos especially for color-treated hair and a good conditioner will help your hair stay healthy and shiny. Whenever you highlight hair, you’ll also want to ensure your new highlights don’t get too much sun exposure. You worked hard to get your highlights just the right color-you don’t want the sun changing that perfect hue.

Note: if this is your first time getting hair highlighting, make sure you look at hair highlighting trends and examples before you get started. Also: I strongly recommend semi permanent hair color or temporary hair color – if things don’t go well your first time, it’s a lot better than hoping for fast hair growth!

These hair highlighting ideas provide options so you can decide which method is best for your hair. Remember, always read the instructions before coloring your hair. Now that you know how to highlight your hair at home, you’re ready to get started.

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~ by Colorful Soul on 09/09/2011.

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