So, I guess really I could just suggest you buy a highlighting kit and let you follow the directions but #1 I find a lot of people are very intimidated by the prospect of highlighting themselves, so I will show you that your average, non-beauty school educated joe shmo can do this and #2 Who doesn’t like to watch people make fools of themselves on the internet?
So, this all started because I hate my natural hair color. I’m a pale girl, with mousy brown hair and it’s just blah. I’ve been highlighting my hair (professionally and then selfie) for over 15 years, and I swear, no matter what my genes say, I am a blonde, but it takes some effort to stay that way!
Unfortunately, salon highlights run a bit out of my budget currently. According to my google search, you’re looking at roughly $75 for the highlights alone, and thats not counting the fact that you’re probably there to get your hair cut as well, putting the final bill, after tip, anywhere from $150-300 every month or two. Yikes.
I, on the other hand, spent less than $20, and my highlights look pretty damn good if I do say so myself.
This time, I started out by dying my hair all 1 shade of medium blonde first. I call this “starting from scratch,” getting rid of any uneven hair color, roots, etc.
Base color, before highlights
I do this about once or twice a year, the rest of the year, I touch up and highlight the ROOTS ONLY! If you dye/highlight your whole head too much, you are going to cause some crazy damage and end up with brillow pad hair. I have been there before, it’s not pretty don’t do it!
For my highlights, I got Loreal Paris Frost and Design for about $13. I got it in “champagne,” but there are several different colors and brands. Make sure you get a kit that will go with your hair color. There’s almost always a guide on the box as to what hair colors the highlights are for. However, there are solutions for brassy color, which I will touch on later.
Brush your hair really really well. ZERO tangles! You’ll thank me later when your hair doesnt knot up and get pulled. There is a cap in the kit which you need to put on over your hair and tie tightly without choking yourself (preferably). This cap will make you look super sexy (as demonstrated).
There are holes in the cap, some circled, some not circled. Follow the directions in the box to get desired highlight pattern. I myself pull my hair only through the holes that have circles around them, as I think it looks more subtle and natural. There will be a metal or plastic hook in the kit. Stick the hook in the holes that acheive your desired highlight look (again, follow box directions on this one). Pull thin strands of hair through each hole.
The back IS a challenge. If you are a novice at this, I suggest getting a friend to do the back. I have been doing this for so long, I pretty much just stab blindly in roughly the same pattern I’ve done the rest of my head.
When you are done, you will look like what people thought aliens looked like in the 1960’s.
Next, mixing chemicals. Again, each kit is a bit different. Follow box directions on this one, but usually there is a liquid part and then a powder that makes you cough if you accidentally breathe it in (I know, I make this sound good. To be fair, all I promised was cheap and nice highlights). Once you mix it together, it should look a bit like cake frosting. I then use my (gloved) hands to spread the mixture all over the hair that is sticking out of the cap.
Once its saturated, you want to top it off by putting the included plastic bag over your hair and letting it sit for the recommended amount of time.
At this point you will have achieved what my roommate and I call the Full Sex Bomb look. I recommend hiding from any newly acquired significant others while in Sex Bomb mode. It might scare them.
Let it sit, rinse it out, follow any post shampooing and conditioning directions, and voila! Highlights!
- I deep condition a day or 2 before the highlight and then in the shampoo after the highlight. Chemicals can really take a lot out of your hair, salon or no salon.
- Toning shampoo is my JAM! Your color comes out a bit brassy? Just want to make sure your highlights stay fresh? This is your solution, It’s deep purple, so it offsets any orange or yellow tints. I use it once a month just to keep the elements from turning my blonde brassy, but I did initially purchase it because of a root touch up oops. I use Clairol Shimmer Lights . This also comes for different shades of hair color.
- Post highlighting cap, detangler is your friend
- If you have red undertones in your hair (as I do) look for more neutral and ashy colors if you are dying your base hair color before you highlight. This will help you avoid looking like Tony the TIger.
Have fun saving money and looking beautiful!