How to Highlight Your Own Hair at Home
I have naturally brown hair. Or at least the last time I saw its natural color, which was many, many years ago, it was brown. I like to change my hair color often. I've been a redhead, a brunette, sort of a blonde once, and even dyed my hair black for Halloween one year. I even had a weird incident in which my hair turned purple. That one was just in time for the holidays! Oh yes, good times. Out of everything I've done to my hair, nothing is more difficult than adding my own highlights. For this reason, I rarely do it. However, every couple of years I decide I want a "fresh look" or maybe I just don't have enough excitement in my life, and I highlight my own hair.
You see, doing all of your hair one color is easy. The highlights are a pain. I love to cut my own hair, try new styles, and try new colors. When people ask me about highlights, I always say, "You should never do your own highlights! It is just too difficult. I do my own, but I am crazy." So yes, the time has come again. I decided to ruin a perfectly good evening by doing my own highlights in my hair again. If you are interested in also taking a perfectly nice day and destroying it, I am happy to explain the highlighting process. Please feel free to do the same in your own spare time!
How to Dye Your Hair at Home
- My first piece of advice to you is: Do yourself a favor and buy the Hairpainting Kit by Clairol Nice N Easy. While the stores sell the kind with the cap where you pull your hair through, don't do that. If you buy the hair painting stuff, it is much easier to apply and a lot less painful.
- Next, I like to get out a bunch of pieces of aluminum foil. I know the instructions do not say to do this. However, if you've ever seen people getting highlights done in the salon, you will see the stylist using aluminum foil. If they are doing it, so should you. Start yanking out many pieces of aluminum foil. I would say about 30 sheets. You might need more. Just keep the box with you in the bathroom.
- Then you need to put the gloves on, stir up the concoction in the box, and then start applying the mixture. Take small chunks of hair and apply the highlighting mix to your hair. There will be a handy little brush in the box. You can use that to apply it to your hair.
- Start at the top and work your way to the bottom of each chunk of hair you want to be highlighted. Remember that your hair will look fuller when it dries, so don't go too crazy with too much hair.
- After putting the mixture on a section of hair, use the aluminum foil to wrap around it. Most of the time, the foil is going to try to fall or fold the wrong way. At this moment, it is OK to curse at the foil and force it to work correctly. If not, banish that piece to the trash can and use the next piece. You just showed it who is boss! Now you know why you needed so much aluminum foil.
- After wrapping the foil around that chunk of hair, go to the next spot. It can be difficult to determine which spots will need to be highlighted. It is a good idea to highlight pieces of hair all around the frame of your face. You will also want to highlight wherever you normally part your hair. If you part your hair on the right side of your head sometimes, and then the left side of your head at other times, guess what? You are going to have to highlight BOTH sides of your head then. Yeah. Welcome to my world. Also, make sure to get some pieces in the back. You are going to need a handheld mirror to look in the main mirror to make sure you get it all. Are we having fun yet?
- Once you've done all of this, the first part of your hair that you started with forever ago should be done. Yank that aluminum foil off and take a look. If it looks good, awesome. If it is not blonde enough or red enough (depending on your color choice), put more of the mixture on that patch of hair and wrap yet another piece of foil around that bunch. Fun times!
- By this time, you are going to look like some type of alien walking around with chunks of aluminum foil wrapped hair all over your head. Take this time to scare your friends, family members, and pets with this look. Also, look for any highlighting goo that may have dropped on clothing, sinks, the floor, etc. Now is the time to clean it up.
- Finally, it is time to start removing the foil. Start with the hair you highlighted first and then work your way around. If it took you a painfully long time to do the whole process, remember the hair you got to last is probably not going to be blonde (or red) enough yet. Oh yeah. Check a little under the aluminum foil and you will probably see that. Silently curse again and then resume the fun of tormenting those around you with your Medusa-aluminum-foil-hair look.
- If you've taken off some of the foil and noticed there are patches of hair that should have been highlighted, but weren't, have no fear. Glob on some more highlighting gunk before it completely dries and wrap more foil around those areas. Yes, that just set you back, but it is better taking some extra time rather than having unevenly highlighted hair. Also, somewhere along the line in the process, you've probably thrown out the gloves. I know I did. I just used my bare hands, and yes, I know my skin will flake off in a couple of days for it. That is all part of the adventure!
- By now, you should finally be able to take all the aluminum foil off. I hope it looks good. If not, this is exactly the reason exist. Go get yourself a nice box of it tomorrow. I recommend a nice ash blonde color. That will really get rid of the brassy look and tone down everything. If it is really terrible and you don't want anyone to ever know this experience ever happened, get a darker color that closely matches your natural hair color. Natural Instincts is nice and gentle, and you can pretend this whole night never happened. Clairol Natural Instincts
I do hope your hair actually turned out well. Make sure to shampoo all the goo out your hair and then use the conditioner that came in the box. If you had the patience to do everything I listed, then chances are, you are looking good. My hair turned out better than expected, but I do still have my box of Natural Instincts I bought with the highlights just in case. I will add that to my hair tomorrow just to tone down the brassy look a bit. Always wait 24 hours after shampooing your hair before using hair color though. I hate to say this, but if it looks really bad, you might just want to stay in for 24 hours and then put the hair color in your hair. Sorry. I warned you not to do highlights on your own hair, didn't I? I told you I was crazy!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Jeannie Marie