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How to Get Gorgeous Highlights at Home

Plus, how to care for your newly highlighted strands.
July 20, 2022

Whether you’re looking for a low-maintenance hair color option or want to test the waters and try lighter strands, highlights are the perfect way to add color, dimension and shine to your mane. From balayage to ombré to the money piece, there’s no shortage of hair highlighting techniques for switching up your strands. 

Although highlighting hair can be a bit tricky, with the right instruction, you can totally transform your strands at home. Keep reading to learn how to highlight your own hair at home and tips for taking care of your newly highlighted mane.

How to Highlight Your Hair at Home

If you’re confident with your hair coloring abilities, then it’s time to put your skills to the test. Before breaking into the box dye, brush up on your at-home hair color basics and make sure to spotlight these three important steps to achieving your best DIY highlights.  

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1. Decide on Your Highlight Style 

No matter what route you take to achieve your highlighted hair — solo or salon — the first step is settling on a highlight style. Should you get partial or full highlights? Would you like your highlights to be thicker or thinner? Depending on your preference there are a plethora of different types of highlights to consider. Certain highlighting techniques — like balayage and ribbon highlights — require a special level of skill to achieve, so you’ll want to book an appointment with a professional colorist to get the look.

2. Pick Your Highlight Hue

When most people think of highlights, the first thing that comes to mind is some version of a brilliant blonde shade. However, highlights don’t have to be any one specific color — they’re just dimensional strands that are lighter than your base color. Try enhancing your ‘do with highlighted tints of brown, red, or even a gray hue. If you want to be more creative with your color, go for a bright peachy hue or a pretty rose gold shade.

Editor’s tip: Even though highlights don’t involve dyeing your entire head of hair, they do require bleaching sections of your hair to lighten them. So if you’re starting with a dark base shade, keep in mind that it could take multiple dye sessions to reach your desired color.

3. Choose the Right at Home Highlighting Kit

If you’re ready to DIY your highlights, there are plenty of options as far as at-home highlighting goes. Select the highlighting kit that suits your hair color needs the best and carefully follow the included instructions to achieve your new look.

For an at-home highlighting bleach that’s inspired by the pros, reach for the L’Oréal Paris Féria Hyper Platinum Advanced Lightening System Bleach in Hyper Platinum to lighten your strands. Then, choose a highlighting shade like chestnut brown or beige blonde to add to your lightened strands with the L’Oréal Paris Féria hair color.

If you prefer to try a few different highlight hues, then go for a semi-permanent option like the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color that lasts four to ten washes. After lightening your strands, apply this dye to your hair to add a vibrant twist to your highlighted mane. This dye comes in shades of blue, pink and red so there is lots of room for creativity, plus it’s easy to use on your own.

The L’Oréal Paris Frost & Design lets you easily create precise and even highlights with a sun-kissed look in as little as 20 minutes. This highlighting kit includes a pull-through cap that allows you to easily select the strands you want to lighten without accidentally coloring any unwanted pieces of hair. Two different styling hooks will allow you to create subtle or bold highlights. 

How to Take Care of Highlighted Hair

Once you’re happy with your highlighted hair, it’s important to switch up your hair care routine with products and practices that will enhance and protect your color-treated hair. Read on to learn how to build a hair care routine for your newly highlighted strands.

1. Use a System of Products Formulated for Color-Treated Hair

When hair is colored, bleached, or damaged it can become weak and fragile. The L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Strengthening Color Care Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Strengthening Conditioner are formulated to gently cleanse and help strengthen hair inside and out, leaving it soft and smooth, while protecting it from future damage.

You also want to incorporate a purple shampoo into your hair care routine at least once a week to cleanse, condition and balance blonde hair, while neutralizing unwanted yellow and orange brassy tones. Reach for the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Brass Toning Purple Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Brass Toning Purple Conditioner for this.

2. Deep Condition Your Strands

Whenever you color your hair, whether you’re dyeing your entire mane or giving yourself a few highlights or lowlights, it’s always a good idea to give your newly colored strands some extra moisture. Once or twice a week, swap out your conditioner for color-treated hair for a deep conditioning treatment like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Signature Masque, Color Care Hair Mask. This sulfate-free, conditioning mask provides intense hydration to nourish colored strands with weekly use. 

Blonde strands can reach for a purple mask once a week like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Anti Brass Purple Mask Treatment to nourish dry, colored strands while banishing brassy tones.

You can also use a hair gloss when your color begins to look dull or in need of a toning boost. Reach for the L’Oréal Paris Le Gloss Color One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss.

3. Skip the Hot Tools

While we’re suckers for ‘90s-inspired blowout and super sleek, straight strands, sometimes it’s well-advised to give your hair a break from heat styling. If you have curly or wavy hair, add a heat-free hair styling product into your routine like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Super Curls Cream Leave-In to enhance your curls. Or, rock a curled style sans heat and opt for heatless beachy waves

If you must use a hot tool on your highlighted hair, make sure to apply a heat protectant, like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Heat Slayer Pre-Iron Spray Leave-In, before styling.

Next: Everything You Need To Know About Color Melt Hair

Edited by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn

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