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Commitment-phobe: You’re probably used to hearing this term associated with people who aren’t ready for a relationship—but it can apply to your beauty routine, too. Commitment tends to come into question when you’re thinking about dyeing your hair, as completely changing your color can require a whole lot of upkeep. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to opt for allover color—highlights can be a great low maintenance option, depending on the kind you get, and especially if you DIY your highlights. Here, learn how to use an at-home highlights kit and how to take care of your pretty new ‘do.
If you’re determined to DIY your highlights, you’ve got plenty of options as far as at-home kits go. No more squeezing lemon juice onto your hair like you did when you were kid—remember those days? Of course, certain highlighting techniques—like balayage—require a special skill to achieve, so you’ll be better off having that done at the salon. And if you have a very dark brown base and want super-light highlights, that should also be left to a pro colorist. When you’re interested in making a dramatic color change, it’s best to play it safe by entrusting your hair in the hands of a professional. Keep in mind that lightening your hair will require bleaching, and it may take multiple sessions to reach your desired shade.
No matter what route you take to achieve your highlighted hair—solo or salon—you’ll need to spend time selecting how you want your highlights to look. When most people think “highlights,” their minds usually go to 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. Consider shades of brown, red, and of course, blonde for your new hue. After selecting your color, you’ll also want to answer key questions like whether you want a full or half head of highlights, and if you’d like to opt for thinner or chunkier lightened locks. Look for inspirational images of how you’d like your hair to look, then choose your coloring kit accordingly.
When it comes to do-it-yourself color, there is no one right way to go about it. Depending on the products you purchase for achieving your new look, you’ll tackle highlighting your tresses differently. The best thing you can do for your hair is to choose the highlighting kit that suits your needs and carefully follow the provided instructions. Try the L’Oréal Paris Féria Multi-Faceted Highlights if you’d like blonde highlights. Want to add a pop of rainbow color to your hair? Use the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Bleach Highlights, then follow up with one of the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color shades (such as peach, purple, or blue).
Once you’ve highlighted your hair at home, it’s time to make a few changes to your hair care routine, as color-treated hair requires special attention.
1. Use a system of products formulated for color-treated hair. Try the L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Shampoo, L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Conditioner, and L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Ultra Recovery Mask. Once or twice a week, swap out the conditioner for the hair mask.
2. Prep with heat protectant. Use a heat protectant before picking up your styling tool. Lightly mist your hair with the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight HeatSpray before straightening your strands or the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Blow Out HeatSpray before blow-drying your hair.
3. Make time for touch-ups. A major bonus of doing your own highlights is that you don’t have to rush to the salon every time your roots start to show. Even so, visible roots can seemingly surprise you out of nowhere. Instead of waiting until the last possible minute (we’re all guilty of this sometimes!), pick up a second box of your favorite at-home highlighting kit to have on hand.