How to Highlight Hair Like a Pro

Putting highlights in your hair at home is one of the best ways to save money and to have a new look.  Having your hair highlights at the salon can be very expensive and may cost you up to $300 so knowing how to highlight hair at home can give you big savings in achieving style.

Highlighting your hair is usually a step to updating your hair style especially if you are tired with your plain blonde, brown or black hair. Besides, highlighting is semi-permanent; you can easily dye your hair again if you want to return your hair to its original color.

So if you’re planning to highlight your hair, the following are the steps on how to highlight your hair at home:

1. Prepare your materials.

You usually need a hook, brush, and a cap. Make sure all of these are within easy reach because you will be using them most of the time.

Kit for hair highlights

2. Pick the color you want

Since hair highlights are not washable, you should really decide the color you like. Picking hair colors that will look subtle on your own natural hair color are better than having hair highlights that are very drastic in appearance. For lighter hair colors, a shade that is one tone lighter is best while for darker hair colors, caramel or other darker shades are best.

Lighter Shades for Light Hair

Lighter shades for light hair

Darker Shades for Dark Hair

Darker shades for dark hair

3. Put on protective equipments

The chemicals in the hair dyes may allow them to stick to your hands longer so make sure to wear gloves. Wash your skin immediately in case of direct contact.

Wear gloves

4. Don’t wash your hair before highlighting

Dry hair best holds the color as you dye it. A newly washed hair will just make the colors slip off so make sure to allow your hair to dry first.

Hair dyes attach better to dry hair

Dry hair

5. Mix the colors

Read the instructions carefully on the manual to mix the hair color appropriately. Be sure to wear your gloves during this step.

Mix the hair color

6. Begin your highlights

The Cap Method

Highlight hair first by placing the cap. Steps on how to highlight hair with cap is easier because you have a guide in what areas of your hair to highlight. Place the cap and use the hook to pull small strands of hair. Make sure to pull every second hole to create equal spaces between highlights. Paint the mixture to the desired areas on your hair. Put a light pressure while placing the colors to allow the mixture to get through the stands.

Hair caps for highlights have small holes to pull areas of hair you want to dye

Hair cap

Pull strands of hair you want to highlight

Pull strands of hair

The Foil Method

How to highlight hair with foil? Cut 2-3 inches of foil. Place one under a section of hair to be colored. Paint the mixture and cover the hair around the foil underneath for an even dye.

Steps in dying hair with foil

Highlight hair with foil

7. Allow the mixture to stand after some time depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. Test the color by wiping a small portion of the hair with a towel. If the color is still too light, you can re-coat or if the color is desired, move to the next step.

8. Rinse the hair thoroughly

Rinse the hair thoroughly to remove the mixture from hair and scalp (if there is). Never use shampoo to wash it off this time. You may use conditioner to add moisture and to make the color more vibrant.

9. Let the hair dry and style as desired

After your hair has dried, you may style your hair accordingly.

Penelope Cruz with her perfectly styled hair highlights.

Style hair as desired

Aside from these, also make sure to remove old dye first using hair lighteners to create a more subtle look on your highlights. Now that you know how to highlight your hair, you can easily replace and reinvent your hair color. Just make sure not to do it too often because chemicals may also damage your hair when done more than once a year.