If you are looking to make a bold statement with your hair, chunky highlights are a great way to do it. These highlights are much more noticeable than natural (thin) highlights, which are a softer, more subtle enhancement. By reading this, I'm guessing you have already decided a salon is too expensive for you. Do not fear--there are new, at-home treatments on the market that are straightforward and effective.
The first step is to decide what color highlights you want. You should also check out the various hair color products as well. If you want something that is more dramatic, you are better off going with a product like L'Oreal Colour Rays. For unnatural hair colors, such as pink or blue, try Manic Panic's Flashlightning Bleach Kit, following up with one of their crème or gel colors. Trying to go the natural route? Then L'Oreal Hi-Light Styliste or Clairol Herbal Essences HighLights is the way to go.
The best method for applying chunky highlights is with a color-applying tint brush. Some kits come with them, some don't. If the box doesn't say there is one inside, swing by your closest Sally Beauty Supply and buy one on the cheap.
Success depend on your hair's health and texture, the amount of time the chemicals stay on, and the number of highlights you want. Most stylists agree that giving your hair an allover dye job is much easier but that doesn't mean you can't give it a go! Here are some tips that should help:
- With any highlighting kit, the easiest thing to do is just follow the instructions that are included in the box. If you are looking to get chunky highlights and the ones on the box are thin ones, you simply need to apply the formula in larger sections to achieve the look you want.
- Do not wash your hair less than 24 hours before you plan to apply your highlights. By doing this, you scalp is protected from the strong chemicals by the natural oils in your hair.
- Brush your hair into your usual style so you can see exactly where you want highlights. The most natural-looking places are on your bangs, the top of your crown, and around the sides of your face.
- Make sure the mixed formula is the right consistency. If it's too thin, the mixture runs and you won't be able to control where you paint the highlights. If it's too thick, the mixture won't apply well or spread where you need it.
- If possible, have a good friend apply the formula to your hair. It will be much easier for them to apply the crème evenly and thoroughly.
- Once your strands are painted, you'll need to wait for the color to develop. Most formulas take about 15 to 30 minutes, but if you're impatient to check it, squeeze out the cream from a small section on the ends to see if your strands are light enough. Don't leave the formula on your hair for more than 30 minutes; it could really damage your hair if you do.
- Don't worry about trying to get your highlights perfect; they will look a lot more natural if they aren't overly exact. If the color seems a bit strong when you are done, don't worry--it takes a week or so for the color to fully oxidize and tone down. If you want some tips on how to apply highlights for your style and hair, check out the "Plan Your Application" section on the L'Oreal website.
Now you can start highlighting hair!