How to Make Highlights on Your Hair Look Natural
Highlights are a great way to add dimension to your hair and bring out your bone structure. They also add a touch of glamour and help your locks pop in the sun. But if you don’t do it right, your highlights could end up looking brassy and unnatural. So we asked New York City-based colorist Kyle White to give us his tips for getting highlights that look natural, not jarring.
The most traditional method of highlighting at home is foil highlights, which involve wrapping the desired strands in strips of aluminum foil to keep the dye from bleeding onto the surrounding hair. It can take a bit of practice to get the hang of this, but it’s an easy and affordable way to achieve a subtle highlight without a lot of fuss.
Hand-painted balayage highlights are also another popular option, which involves painting the dye on using a brush. These can be more difficult to apply than foil highlights, but if you’re willing to put in the work, they can be absolutely gorgeous.
Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary materials on hand. This includes a boxed highlighting kit, a tinting brush (or another tool that can be used to mix the dye), gloves, and a hair dryer.
First, prep your hair and apply a conditioner to it so that you don’t damage it with the bleach. Be sure to use a product with a sulfate-free formula.
Next, apply the dye to the desired strands and leave it in for as long as you can according to the instructions on the kit. The longer you let the dye sit, the more intense your highlights will be.
Check your highlights in a mirror with the light on and see what you think. If they look a bit patchy, you can either try reapplying the dye or going to the salon and having it fixed.
To help your highlights blend into your hair more seamlessly, you can try an at-home gloss or toner. These are a great way to add shine and tone your highlights while still keeping them subtle, but they won’t lighten your roots like regular dye does.
When it comes to the final step, rinse your hair thoroughly to remove the dye and restore it to its original color. It’s also a good idea to use a hair mask or deep conditioner to replenish moisture and elasticity in your hair.
To get the best results, highlight your hair a few shades darker than its current color. This is especially helpful if your base color is lighter than you’d like it to be.