June 17, 2024
Learn how to highlight your hair at home like a pro with this comprehensive guide to DIY hair highlighting tips, natural hair highlighting techniques, and salon-quality hair highlights.

Introduction

The popularity of hair highlighting has been on the rise for years now, and it’s not hard to see why. Highlights can add depth, dimension, and brightness to your hair, and can be customized based on your hair type, skin tone, and personal style. While many people opt to get their highlights done in a salon, doing it at home can be a convenient and cost-effective alternative.

Before we dive into the specifics of how to highlight hair at home, there are a few important things to consider. First and foremost, it’s important to know your hair’s history. If you’ve previously colored your hair or have chemicals in your locks, it’s best to avoid DIY highlights and seek professional help. Similarly, if you have a sensitive scalp or pre-existing scalp conditions, it’s best to consult with a dermatologist before going ahead with highlighting.

Basic Guide to Highlighting Hair at Home

Before you begin highlighting your hair, you must first understand the different types of hair highlighting techniques.

Balayage: This technique involves painting bleach or hair dye onto random sections of hair in a sweeping motion to create a natural-looking, sun-kissed effect.

Foil highlighting: Foil is used to separate and isolate the hair strands that require highlights, making it easier to apply bleach as desired. This technique creates crisp, clean highlights that are easy to control.

Chunky highlights: Chunky highlights are thick, obvious, and perfect for making a bold statement. They are created by taking larger sections of hair and applying bleach or hair dye to create contrast with the base color.

Teasing technique: Also known as backcombing, this method involves teasing hair strands before applying bleach or hair dye to create a more dramatic, edgy effect.

Freehand painting: This technique involves using freehand painting to create natural-looking highlights. It is best suited for a subtle change in hair color.

Once you have a clear understanding of the different techniques available, you can begin to decide which one is right for you. Consider your hair type, face shape, and skin tone when choosing a technique.

After choosing the right technique, you need to gather the necessary tools and materials. These include a highlighting kit, gloves, a plastic hair cap, a mixing bowl, a tinting brush or a comb, and old towels or a cape to protect your clothes.

Top 5 DIY Highlighting Techniques for Hair

Now that you have a basic understanding of hair highlighting techniques, let’s explore the top five DIY highlighting techniques.

Balayage

To achieve this technique, follow these simple steps:

  1. Divide your hair into sections.
  2. Secure the top layers of your hair by pulling them up and away. This will help you apply bleach to the hair sections underneath.
  3. Apply bleach to the hair sections underneath by sweeping the color onto the hair using a tinting brush.
  4. Allow the bleach to process for the recommended amount of time.
  5. Rinse the bleach out of your hair with cool water.
  6. Shampoo your hair to remove any excess bleach or color.
  7. Condition your hair to restore moisture.

Foil Highlighting

To achieve this technique, follow these steps:

  1. Separate a section of hair to be highlighted.
  2. Place the end of a comb under the separated section at the root and hold it tightly to ensure that it doesn’t move.
  3. Brush bleach onto the hair that’s on top of the comb so that the bottom part of the strand is not affected by the bleach.
  4. Wrap foil around the highlighted section of hair and fold the ends of the foil to prevent bleach from spreading to other hair strands.
  5. Allow the bleach to process for the recommended amount of time.
  6. Remove the foil and rinse out the bleach with cool water.
  7. Shampoo your hair and condition it to restore moisture.

Chunky Highlights

To achieve this technique, follow these steps:

  1. Separate large sections of hair to be highlighted.
  2. Apply bleach to the desired sections, ensuring that the bleach is covered in an even manner.
  3. Allow the bleach to process for the recommended amount of time.
  4. Rinse your hair with cool water to remove excess bleach.
  5. Shampoo and condition your hair to restore moisture.

Teasing Technique

To achieve this technique, follow these steps:

  1. Divide your hair into small sections.
  2. Backcomb the chosen sections by holding the ends of the hair and brushing the strands downward towards the root.
  3. Once the hair is teased, apply bleach to the affected areas.
  4. Let the bleach process for the required amount of time, then rinse with cool water.
  5. Shampoo and condition your hair to restore moisture and prevent breakage.

Freehand Painting

To achieve this technique, you will need:

  • A tinting brush
  • A mixing bowl
  • Lightening powder or hair bleach
  • Developer (20-40 volume depending on your hair type)
  • Plastic gloves to protect your hands

Follow these steps to achieve the freehand painting technique:

  1. Take the tinting brush and mix the lightening powder with the developer at a ratio of 1:1 in a mixing bowl.
  2. Section your hair into small sections.
  3. Take a small amount of bleach mixture and apply it to the hair strands using the tinting brush. Make sure you place the bleach 2-3 inches away from the root and create a subtle blend between the natural and highlighted color.
  4. Allow the bleach to process for the recommended time, then wash your hair with cool water.
  5. Shampoo and condition your hair to restore moisture.

7 Steps to Get Perfectly Highlighted Hair at Home

Now that you’ve chosen your desired technique, it’s time to follow these 7 steps to get perfectly highlighted hair at home.

Step 1: Prepare your hair

Before you begin highlighting your hair, wash it thoroughly with a clarifying shampoo to remove any product buildup. Don’t use conditioner as it can weigh your hair down, making it harder to lighten. Dry your hair thoroughly.

Step 2: Mix your hair bleach

Follow the instructions provided with your chosen hair bleach kit, and mix the bleach in a bowl with the developer. Mix just enough bleach for the quantity of hair you want to highlight, and don’t overdo it.

Step 3: Begin Applying the bleach

Put on gloves to protect your hands, and use a tinting brush or a comb to apply the bleach mixture to the hair sections. If you’re using the foil technique, ensure that the foil is securely wrapped around the hair section.

Step 4: Monitor the color change

As the bleach begins to lighten your hair, monitor the color change every 5-10 minutes. Do not leave the bleach on longer than recommended, as this can result in hair breakage or damage.

Step 5: Wash your hair

After the bleach has processed for the recommended amount of time, wash your hair with cool water to remove any excess bleach. It is important to use cool water, as hot water can dry out your hair or make the bleach appear brassy.

Step 6: Tone your hair

If the bleach has resulted in unwanted brassy tones, apply a toner to your hair to neutralize them. Follow the instructions provided in the toner kit you’ve chosen, and leave it on for the recommended amount of time before rinsing it out.

Step 7: Condition your hair

After you’ve achieved your desired color, condition your hair to restore moisture and prevent breakage. Use a color-safe conditioner to maintain your new highlights for longer.

DIY Hair Highlighting: Tips, Tricks, and Tools to Use

Now that you know how to highlight your hair at home, let’s explore some tips, tricks, and tools to use to make the process easier.

How to section your hair properly

Use hair clips or elastics to separate your hair into even sections. This will help you apply bleach more accurately and ensure that you do not miss any sections.

The importance of proper timing

Do not leave the bleach in your hair for too long, as this can result in hair breakage or damage. Always use a timer to monitor the color change and ensure that you wash your hair out at the recommended time.

How to protect your skin and clothing during the process

Wear gloves to protect your hands and old clothes to prevent bleach from staining your clothing. Apply petroleum jelly to your skin along your hairline to prevent the bleach from touching and staining your skin.

Types of hair bleach and developers to use

Choose the right bleach and developer according to your hair type and the desired level of lightness. If you have fine hair, use a lower volume developer to prevent damage. If you have coarse hair, use a higher volume developer to achieve the desired level of lightness.

How to Highlight Hair at Home with Natural Ingredients

If you prefer to use natural ingredients to highlight your hair, here are some options:

Lemon juice:

Apply freshly squeezed lemon juice to your hair and sit in the sun for 30-60 minutes to allow the lemon to work its magic.

Cinnamon:

Mix ¼ cup cinnamon powder with ½ cup of your regular conditioner until it has a paste-like texture. Apply this mixture to your hair and leave it for 30 minutes to achieve subtle highlights.

Honey:

Mix ¼ cup honey with ¾ cup of your regular conditioner, and apply it to your hair. Leave it for 30 minutes for sun-kissed highlights.

Achieving Professional-Looking Hair Highlights at Home

With the right tools, techniques, and attention to detail, it is possible to achieve salon-quality hair highlights at home. Here are some tips to help you achieve your desired look:

  • Take your time and follow the instructions closely.
  • Use quality products and tools.
  • Always choose a technique that complements your hair type and skin tone.
  • Take photos of your desired hair color and compare it with your hair color during the process.
  • Stay within the recommended processing time to avoid damage.

It is important to note that if you make a mistake, or your hair does not turn out the way you wanted it to, it is best to visit a professional to correct it.

DIY Hair Highlighting: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when highlighting hair at home:

  • Over-processing hair:
  • Leaving bleach on your hair for too long can result in hair breakage or severe damage.

  • Applying bleach unevenly:
  • Not applying bleach evenly can result in uneven highlights.

  • Improper toning:
  • Choosing the wrong color or leaving toner on too long can cause your hair color to appear unnatural or brassy.

  • Applying too much or too little hair bleach:
  • Not using enough bleach can result in ineffective highlights, while using too much can lead to over-processing and damage.

  • DIY hair highlighting on damaged hair:
  • Highlighting damaged hair can result in further damage, breakage, or unwanted color.

Conclusion

DIY hair highlighting can be a fun and cost-effective way to achieve professional-looking highlights at home. Remember to choose the right technique for your hair type and skin tone, gather the necessary tools and materials, follow the instructions closely, and avoid common mistakes. With the right information, tips, and techniques, you can achieve the desired look and rock your new, perfectly highlighted hair with confidence.

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