How To Safely Give Yourself Highlights At Home

Highlighting your hair is fun and exciting, and can bring a pop of color to your hair when you're bored with its natural shade. Haircare industry leader Redken agrees; highlights are fashionable and so much easier to maintain than hair that's been completely dyed.

Unfortunately, getting highlights professionally done at a salon doesn't run cheap. Per StyleSeat, visiting a U.S. salon to get highlights is going to cost you, on average, between $65 to $270. The price differs depending on certain factors such as hair length and the highlighting technique the stylist will be using.

Honestly, if you want to save your money by doing DIY highlights at home, we're right there with you. Why spend all your cash going to the salon when you can pretty up your hair right from the comfort of your own home? Doing treatments for your hair at home can be intimidating, but in reality, highlights only really take a bit of extra effort and knowing what you want to accomplish with your hair beforehand. So save yourself the hundreds of dollars it can cost you to go to the salon, and read on to find out how you can safely give yourself highlights at home.

Pick a highlighting kit that works best for your hair color

Before you decide to highlight your hair, you do need to ask yourself a few questions so you can get your desired results. The last thing you want to see in the mirror after highlighting your hair is bright orange streaks because something went wrong during the process.

First things first, you should think about what color you are trying to achieve by highlighting your hair. StyleCraze explains that you should expect different color outcomes depending on your natural hair color. People with darker hair should expect a medium brown or orange highlight, while blonde hair typically goes a shade or two lighter. 

You may feel overwhelmed when you go into the beauty supply store and see shelves filled with so many different types of highlighting kits, but there's a simple trick to picking out the one best for your hair. TotalBeauty says the secret to getting the right kit is to compare your hair color to the hair color of the model on the box. That way, you'll be sure to have a highlighter that caters to your hair's needs.

Know what technique you want to use – and which is the easiest to do at home

For the best all-around results that are a cinch to attain, NYC colorist Nikki Ferrara tells Allure that budding haircare gurus should give the Madison Reed Light Works Balayage Highlighting Kit a try. The kit comes with everything you need to highlight your hair at home, including an applicator and salon-quality toning glaze. The resulting highlights are vibrant and are sure to give your hair some added depth.

Since this might be your first attempt at highlighting, it's important to keep it simple and start small. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, professional Hollywood colorist Meri Kate O'Connor recommends at-home highlighters stick to walking before running, so highlighting only your hairline is something you should consider. This technique blends your highlights into your natural hair color for an overall clean, professionally-done look.

One last tip: your highlighted hair will require some extra TLC after the treatment (via eSalon.) Make sure you have plenty of hydrating hair products to use afterward. Happy highlighting!