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How to Highlight Your Own Hair

Save money and a trip to the salon by learning how to give yourself highlights at home!


  • Step 1: Choose where to highlight Decide where to add highlights – in the front, back, or throughout.
  • Step 2: Mix bleach and color Put on the gloves and mix the bleach and the color together in the container according to package instructions.
  • Step 3: Separate hair sections Using the rat tail comb, separate the hair you want to highlight into half-inch sections. For chunkier highlights, separate into sections of 1 to 1 ½ inches.
  • TIP: For subtler highlights, dip the flexible comb in the color mixture and comb through hair. Repeat until the desired amount of hair has been highlighted.
  • Step 4: Apply foil Pull off a piece of hair foil twice the length of your hair. Place it securely beneath one section of hair, pulling it taut. Use the hair clips to hold the foil in place.
  • Step 5: Apply mixture Place a generous amount of the mixture on the tint brush and apply it evenly to the selected section of hair.
  • TIP: Do not apply the color mixture to the root of the hair – it will inhibit hair growth.
  • Step 6: Fold foil Fold the foil upwards and wrap securely so that no hair is exposed. Repeat this process with each section of hair that you want highlighted. Finish within 20 minutes in order to avoid over-processing.
  • TIP: For longer or thicker hair you may want someone to help you with this process.
  • Step 7: Check in 20 minutes Using a mirror, check the first sections after 20 minutes. If they've reached the desired color, remove the foil. If they haven't, check back at five-minute intervals.
  • Step 8: Shampoo and style Your highlights are ready, shampoo and rinse twice to get all the chemicals out of your hair. Follow up with conditioner, and style as desired!
  • FACT: In the 15th century, upper-class women sat in the sun to bleach their hair using saffron or onion skins!

You Will Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Hair color and bleach
  • A container for mixing bleach and color
  • A tint brush
  • A rat tail comb
  • A flexible comb
  • Hair foil
  • Hair clips
  • Shampoo and conditioner

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