How to Do Highlights at Home: Easy DIY Guide

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Are you looking for a new hairstyle? Highlighting your hair can be a fun way to change up your look, but if you’re looking for the perfect ombré or balayage, then you’ll need to get it done by a professional.

We all want to look our best, but sometimes we don’t have the time or money to head over to the salon. That’s why we’re here with this easy DIY guide on how to do highlights at home! You’ll be able to get that salon-quality hair without ever leaving your house.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be rocking those gorgeous highlights in no time.

How to Do Highlights at Home

1. Consult With Your Colorist

The first step is to talk with your colorist and get his or her professional opinion on what does and doesn’t work at home. I

If you’re going for a look that isn’t currently in fashion, know that it will be difficult for you to do it yourself without the guidance of a professional stylist.

2. Find Your Color Kit

Next, you’ll need to purchase a hair color kit and some gloves (if they aren’t included). The kit should include the developer cream, the care creme, and of course, the actual hair dye.

You can pick up a professional hair color kit that matches your desired shade at any beauty store, such as Sally Beauty or Ulta.

3. Gather Your Materials

You’ll also need a brush (such as an old paintbrush), a shower cap/plastic bag, and some plastic wrap (if you don’t have a cap).

If you think that your hair color will bleed, then we suggest that you line your sink with plastic. Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got some shampoo, conditioner, and a towel on hand.

4. Perform a Strand Test

Remember when you were younger and your parents let you sleepover at your best friend’s house?

While you were there, you took one look at their mom’s hair and thought it would be fun to bleach your hair. Instead of thinking about what you were going to do, you just went for it!

Unfortunately, when the sun came up, you saw yourself in the mirror and realized that your hair looked like a bright orange mess (we’ve all been there). [1]

To avoid this situation from happening again, you should perform a strand test. Because you are not using professional products, your hair may not take to the color the same way it would when you go to the salon.

To conduct this test, apply a bit of dye to one section of your hair. Make sure that this is an area that doesn’t typically get touched because you don’t want to ruin your hair. Next, cover it with plastic and wait for about an hour.

If the strand hasn’t taken the color within this period, you should leave it on overnight. This may seem like a lot of work, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

5. Choose Your Method

In the past, most people have used the foil method to apply highlights. However, there are many different ways to highlight your hair at home.

First of all, you can use a brush and apply it in sections, or you can even try using a toothbrush. If you feel that highlighting is right for you but think that foils would be too difficult, then you can always opt for a spray-on highlight.

6. Section Your Hair

No matter what method you’re using, it’s important to section your hair off first. This will allow you to apply the product more evenly and also keep the color from staining your skin or scalp (which is especially important if you don’t have gloves). We suggest using a tail comb to section your hair off.

7. Paint Your Strands

Now that you’ve got your two plastic pieces ready and you’ve divided your locks into sections, it’s time to get started! However, before applying the dye, we recommend covering everything with a towel just in case of spills.

If you’re using a brush, then you should dip it in the dye and use long strokes to cover all of your hair. If you’re using foil, then we suggest applying the color with a toothbrush (to avoid staining your hands).

8. Apply Your Toner

If you plan on leaving out any sections of your hair that are dyed, then consider applying toner to these areas.

A toner will make your color more vibrant and last longer. For this reason, we suggest purchasing one from a beauty supply store, such as Sally Beauty or Ulta.

9. Follow Up With a Deep Conditioning Treatment

After you’ve washed out all of the colors from your hair, it’s time to moisturize! We highly recommend deep conditioning your hair because doing so will prevent damage and breakage.

Additionally, if you have any dye leftover on your hands from the color process, then applying a hydrating mask will help get rid of these stains.

10. Blow-Dry and Cross Check

After you’ve rinsed out the toner and applied your deep conditioning treatment, you’ll want to let it soak for a good hour or so.

However, if you don’t have an hour to spare, then we suggest blow-drying your hair on low heat. Doing so will speed up the process and get rid of excess water, which will prevent the color from staining your towels.

All you’ll need to do is apply some conditioner to the ends of your hair and pat dry with a towel until they’re no longer dripping wet. If it needs any touching up, then just repeat this process.

Okay, so you’ve bleached your hair on accident or maybe on purpose (it’s not like you can’t go back to your natural color).

Before you begin panicking, know that it is possible to fix this mistake. The first thing that you should do is stop using shampoo until all of the pigment has faded.

Additionally, if you have been coloring your hair for a while and want to lighten it even more, then you can always use a color remover.

One thing that many people don’t realize is that it’s better to go darker than lighter when dying hair at home, particularly if you’re trying to achieve a platinum look.

If you bleach your hair too much and it becomes yellowish, then this may still be salvageable by dyeing it a darker shade (like burgundy or dark brown).

However, if you go lighter and it becomes an orange-ish color, then this is much more difficult to fix and will require bleaching it again.


I hope you enjoyed this DIY guide to highlights at home. If you are considering adding some color or ombre style, we can help.

The best way to really make your hair shine is by using a sulfate-free shampoo. This will help you avoid stripping the natural oils from your scalp and leaving it dry, which can cause breakage.

To conclude, it is important to note that highlights can be done at home if you have the right tools. You don’t need a salon visit or expensive equipment to get beautiful hair.

With these easy steps and our handy dandy tips for your next highlighting experience, you’ll be ready to go in no time.

Grab some of those paint pens from the office supply store on your way out so you’re prepared for any last-minute touch-ups before heading back into work tomorrow morning.

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