We have been dealing with the worldwide pandemic for months now. Because of this, public places have been closed down…including hair salons. For all of you out there with highlighted or color-treated hair, this can cause some serious hair issues. After dealing with grown-out roots for this long, you likely are ready to retouch your color.
So, you’re considering highlighting your hair at home. Professional hairstylists never recommend clients color or lighten their own hair at home. But, we understand if you need to do it given the current situation. In this post, we will tell you the best and safest way to highlight your hair without causing any serious damage.
It is our responsibility to advise against coloring and/or bleaching your hair at home. But, if you have decided to take the next step anyway, you are going to need to grab some tools. These tools are going to give you the best chance of having your hair come out at least semi professional-looking.
- Developer (20 Volume)
- Mixing bowl & application brush
- Rattail comb
- Hair clips
- Purple shampoo
Now that you have gathered all of your materials, you are ready to get into the highlighting process. Be sure to follow these steps, and do not skip any steps. Any little mistake you make can end up damaging or messing up your hair more than you would expect.
Remember that we are mainly only talking about retouching your roots. If you want your whole head freshly highlighted, please wait to see a professional hairstylist.
The first step is mixing the bleach together. Take your bleach powder and 20 volume developer and mix it according to the recommended ratio on the product. Make sure the formula is thick, but not powdery. Avoid it being too watery. If it is too watery, it’ll dry out on your hair quicker. Keeping the consistency on the thicker side will ensure that the bleach stays on the hair for the longest time without drying it out or damaging it. This will also ensure that the bleach lifts as much as possible.
We cannot stress enough how important sectioning is! Use your hair clips to section your hair into three sections. Parting your hair down the middle, take the sections from behind your hair to the crown of your head. The third section is the whole back of your hair.
This sectioning technique makes it easiest for you to highlight your hair with minimal upkeep in the future. Sectioning your hair is also important for making sure you are applying product to all areas of the head that should be lightened. Also, it just keeps your workspace clean and organized.
Taking extremely thin sections in slicing motions is going to leave the best results. By using your rattail comb, you are able to weave some of the pieces out to make the highlighting process easier. This will also make it look more natural and blended out.
Once you have a thinly sliced piece of hair, place it on the foil. Make sure your hair is completely brushed out! If it is tangled even a little bit, the bleach is probably going to end up looking splotchy.
Once your hair is on the foil, grab some bleach with your brush and press it onto the pieces of hair. This should be in an even layer to avoid splotches. Then, in feathery motions, lightly paint the bleach on your roots. When doing this, use a gentle hand for a more blended result.
Leave the bleach on for the recommended amount of time, and then wash it out completely. Never the bleach on your head for over an hour.
To make things easier, we recommend using a purple shampoo instead of a toner. The purple shampoo will feel more familiar to you, as you use it as you would use a regular shampoo. Leave the shampoo on your hair for 5-10 minutes. Then, wash it out completely. Use a conditioner over the top to bring moisturize back into your hair.
The last step is not necessary, but it is nice to see the results when your hair is looking its best. We recommend blowing out your hair with a round brush for the best style. If you notice that your hair isn’t exactly how you thought it would be, please do not do another round of bleach. Contact your hairstylist if the results are not what you desired.
If your hair didn’t come out looking too hot, send a picture to your stylist, and they will instruct you from there. But, if you followed the steps above, you might just be able to give yourself a good-looking root touch up. Just be sure to not make highlighting your hair at home a permanent routine.
There are different levels of developers that go up in strength. The issue with going with a higher-volume developer is that it does more damage to your hair. In the salon, your hairstylist can get away with using a higher-volume developer. This is because they know how to formulate the bleach for your specific hair. If you are not a professional, please keep the volume as low as possible – don’t go over 20 volume! If you have lighter hair, you should ideally be using a 10 volume developer. This will ensure that you won’t fry your hair off or damage it beyond repair.
We strongly advise that you do not purchase any sort of box dye or bleaching kits from the drugstore… or anywhere for that matter. Box dye is going to damage your hair to the point of no return, especially when there is bleach involved. The issue with bleaching kits is that you do not know what volume developer they are using and you don’t know the ingredients in the formula. Blindly putting chemicals on your hair is never a good idea! If you go with box dye, you will likely need to go into the salon for a color correction with is going to cost you both time and money.
Bleaching your hair is bound to cause some damage… there’s no going around that. But, there are a few things you can do to bring your damaged hair back to life. First, using a deep conditioning treatment once or twice a week is going to help bring some moisture back into your hair. Also, try not to use too much heat on your hair. If you are using a hot tool, make sure you are putting heat protectant in your hair. Also, your hot tool should be at a relatively low temperature. Those two things are going to be most effective when trying to fix damaged hair.