Table Of Contents
Tips for Highlighting Hair at Home: Choosing Suitable Styles, Colouring Methods, Caring for Highlights
With the abundance of hair products in the market today, colours can be found for all face shapes and hair types. In fact, do-it-yourself highlighting can also be fun, especially when done with a group of friends.
Choosing the Right Colour and Style
First, one should select which best style suits one’s face or personality. Among the popular choices are face-framing highlights, a dramatic look which suits people with sharp facial features. Crown highlights, near the roots, are good for making rounder faces look more angular. Accented tips, which give the effect of having dipped the ends of one’s hair into paint, are suitable for long narrow face shapes.
The general rule of highlighting, colouring or streaking is to select a colour which compliments one’s natural hair colour. Usually this means a hue that is at least two shades lighter than the rest, but more than three shades lighter might lead to an odd contrast. In saying that, there are also people with eclectic tastes who prefer unusual colours like blue or purple streaks; and this can produce a striking effect.
Use a clarifying shampoo two days before, but leave hair unwashed on the day of highlighting. Hair can be coloured using the painting method (with brushes or simply with fingers), the foiling method, or the cap and hook method.
Before starting the colouring process, put on some old ragged clothing that can withstand inevitable paint spills. Otherwise, put on a plastic cape or cover over your clothes. It is also a good idea to test the colouring product on the skin a day before colouring to ensure one will have an allergic reaction to the chemicals in the dye.
Painting, Foiling, Cap and Hook
For the paintbrush method, use half or quarter inch acrylic brushes for the best results. Start painting from the roots, and from the back of the head to the front. Take the top layer of hair away from the bottom layer and gently apply the colour mixture. Spread it through evenly, using a mirror at the back of the head to check progress. Use an amount according to how deep the intended hue is.
When using fingers to paint, a tight-fitting pair of latex gloves should be worn. This is good for creating a subtle effect. Dip fingers in paint and run them through the hair starting from the hairline down the entire length. Leave for the specified time according to the product’s instructions.
Foiling is another method which is used, usually by people who have had experience in highlighting. Clip away a section of hair to be foiled, and secure the foil under the hair using a tail comb. Keep a good grasp on it while painting on the colour, then fold the foil up to prevent leakage. Repeat for as many times as wanted. Although time-consuming, foiling is the best method for professional looking streaks.
The cap and hook method is suitable for short and medium haircuts. Place the cap tightly on the head and secure it firmly. Start at the front of the head, pull through thin sections of the hair using the hook. Keep the pieces small and pull the hair through every second hole in the cap.
Caring for Highlights AfterColouring
After colouring, it is important to protect hair from losing its natural moisture. Most hair colouring products will come with a follow-up conditioner. An alternative is to wash with a natural hair rinse, using vinegar, apple cider and lemon juice, which can correct the hair’s pH and remove residue from other products. Also, do not subject highlighted hair to prolonged sun exposure, as it can turn hair brittle.