Highlights can add that extra touch of drama to a hairstyle. With the proper application and placement of a few highlights, it can give your hair a fresh sun kissed look. If you decide to get it done, you must prepare your hair, since highlighting still involves chemicals which may be damaging or drying to hair.
Here’s how to highlight hair.
- Let a pro do it. Although there are many home kits available, it is still better to have your highlights done by a professional in a salon. To achieve optimum color, the chemicals should be mixed in exactly the right proportions and should be left on the hair for a specific period of time. If you don’t you risk over baking the hair. This is why it’s imperative you get this process done by someone who knows what he’s doing. Save the at home treatments for deep conditioning and other services that are less intrusive.
- Prepare the hair. Don’t shampoo before you get your hair done so that your natural oils will leave a layer of protection on the strands. Use an intensive deep conditioner a week and a few days before you’ll get your hair processed.
- Choose a color. When at the salon, you’ll be given a booklet with the different color variations. Don’t go more that two to three shades off your natural color. Anything too extreme will not look natural and be too sharp a contrast for your hair color.
- Section the hair. If you have short hair, a cap will be used. If you have long tresses, the foil method will be done. This is another reason why it’s better to have it done at a salon, because it will be hard to reach the back of the head.
- Mix the color. The formula will be based on the color you have chosen. If you decide to do it at home, the kit should be pre-mixed for you.
- Apply with a brush. Take a section of the hair at a time and brush on the treatment onto the hair. Avoid touching the roots. Repeat the process until you have worked your way around the entire head. Pay special attention to the bang or the area framing the face.
- Leave the time on. The time it will take for the color to work will depend on the texture of your hair and the color your have chosen. The more contrast the highlight from your natural color, the longer it will take to set. Be vigilant about keeping track of the time, so use a kitchen timer. If you leave the color on too long, it may cause severe damage to your hair.
- Take it off. Check a section of the hair to see if it is done. Once you have reached the desired hair color, remove the foil or the cap and rinse your hair thoroughly.
To keep you highlights lasting longer, avoid shampooing your hair the following day. Use a deep treatment conditioner on your hair to counteract the drying effects of the peroxide. Avoid swimming in chlorinated water and don’t use hard water on your hair to maintain its color. Do touch ups on the roots every three months but avoid other chemical processes to keep your hair healthy and shiny!