The first rule of highlights is the same as the first rule of real estate: location, location, location. But if you're going the DIY route, that's not the only thing to consider. There's also the formula, the tools, and the technique.
- Buy a hair-color kit that's one shade lighter than your base shade.
- a baby toothbrush to apply the highlights.
- a brush, a timer, a towel, cotton balls, and clips to section off your hair.
Test it: Don't skip the color test it could save you from disaster. Take a tiny section from the back (where no one will notice) and color it. "Hold it up to where you want to place the highlight to see how it'll look," says colorist Kyle White.
Style normally: "Blow-dry and style your hair the way you usually wear it," says colorist Rita Hazan. That way you won't waste time highlighting sections that don't show. Apply Vaseline on the skin below your hairline.
Section your hair: Start with about 12 sections. "If you have coarse hair, aim for sections a quarter-inch wide," says White. "If you have thin hair, keep the highlights even smaller."
Apply the Dye: Use the toothbrush to saturate hair on both sides with dye. To prevent bleeding, place a few cotton balls under each section of highlighted hair as you go.
Stop at the right time: Pay attention to the recommended cooking time it's there for a reason. Follow with an at-home gloss, like John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze, for added shine.