How to Highlight Your Own Hair – 5 Simple Steps to Follow

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You can get a hair transformation with highlights, from a soft and subtle look to thick and chunky. Highlighted hair is a classic coloring technique that has never gone out of style.

Read on to find out the simple steps of how to highlight your hair at home and get stylist-approved highlights.

how to highlight your own hair

How to Highlight Your Own Hair

Section your hair with hair clips. Mix the hair color to the kit instructions. You may want to use foil for each section of highlights. You won’t need foil if you are doing a balayage. Paint the hair color using a coloring brush from the roots to the ends. Fold in the edges of the foil and let the dye sit on your hair for the time on the box. Then, remove the foils and wash off your hair with water and shampoo.

Step 1: Prepare the Foils

The foil method helps you mask the highlighted strands from the hair you don’t want to highlight.

Grab the aluminum foil from your kitchen.

Measure the length of your hair and add 2-4 inches in the length and width so that you have space to work and fold.

Decide if you want only ones around the face for a face-framing highlight.

Then, figure out how many highlights you want in your hair. Have a minimum of 9 highlights.

Section off your with the tail end of a teasing comb.

Then use hair clips to hold on to the strands you plan to highlight.

Get Your Highlighting Kit

To lift the shades for a highlight, you’ll want to get a bleach kit.

You can choose how many shades you want to lift. Hair developer comes in 20, 30, and 40 volume.
20 volume will lighten the color of your hair by 1 to 2 levels
30 volume will lighten the color of your hair by 3 to 4 levels
40 volume will lighten the color of your hair by up to 7 levels

Combine the developer liquid with the activator powder in a plastic bowl.

Work in a well-ventilated area with gloves on.

Another option is getting a highlighting kit, like this one from Amazon.

Apply Bleach to Your Hair

Use a professional salon kit that comes with hair coloring brushes and disposable cape.

For thick, chunky highlights, you can use the large brush. Use the small brush or a toothbrush for subtle, small highlights.

Hold a piece of tin foil under each hair strand, remove the clip, and start bleaching your hair with the mixture you have made.

Dip a dye brush and apply the bleach to the strands of hair.

Starting from the bottom to the mid-length of the hair. This is the right method to apply bleach to highlight hair.

Put the brush on an angle when you are working near the top of your head to give it a soft transition from your original hair color.

Rub the bottom portion of bleached hair with gloved hands to create a soft blend.

Then fold in the ends of the aluminum foil and move on to the next section of highlight.

Set a Timer

As you are done applying bleach to your hair, let it rest according to the instructions on the label.

The time will vary on the color you want for your hair highlight. Usually, 30 minutes is the time for standard hair bleaching.

Wash Your Hair

Once the time is up, wash off the bleach with water and a mild shampoo. Wash it off thoroughly.

After washing the hair, let the hair dry up.

Optional: Apply the Color

Lastly, complete your look by applying your desired highlight color to your hair.

Step 6: Condition Your Hair

You will want to condition your hair as soon as you wash off the shampoo.

Leave the conditioner in for 3 minutes. That helps you maintain the ombre color and protect your hair strands from the bleaching and coloring process.

Bleached hair can be dry, so for everyday hair treatment and to avoid brassy, orange color in your hair, you can use


Using this process will help you to get beautiful looking highlights in your hair.

Related article: Check out proven tips for repairing bleached damaged hair.

From foil highlights to the balayage technique, this guide gives you the low-down on how to highlight your hair at home.

If you’ve got hair color left on your skin, check out How to Remove Hair Dye from Your Skin.


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