How to apply highlights and lowlights

How to apply highlights and lowlights

To apply highlights or lowlights at home and get professional-looking results, you should start by using a clarifying shampoo at least two days before coloring. This will help remove any product buildup that may interfere with the coloring process. But you should never shampoo your hair the day you apply coloring. Your scalp needs a chance to replenish the natural oils that will protect it from irritating chemicals.

Don’t use the brush that comes with the coloring kit. Purchase some flat 1/2 and 1/4 inch acrylic brushes that may be found in art supply stores. These brushes will make your hair color look more natural because they give you better control. Also, be sure to use a good pair of tight-fitting latex gloves. The ones that come in the coloring kit will probably be too large to fit well, and loose gloves can make it hard to tell exactly what you are doing.

Make sure you have all the things you will need at hand before you begin. All hair coloring kits have a toll-free number you can call in case you have any problems. Although you probably won’t need this number, make sure you have it nearby, just in case. To avoid staining your skin, apply a thin layer of Vaseline around the edges of your hairline.

Hair color can permanently stain clothing, so make sure to wear old clothes that you can throw out if coloring gets on them. Also, don’t mix the color until you’re ready to begin. Once you mix the color, you have to use it right away because the formula will start processing as soon as you mix it, whether it’s on your hair or not.

Only use highlights that are a couple of shades lighter than your natural hair color. And only use colors that are a few shades darker than your natural hair for lowlights. You want your new hair color to look natural. It’s also a good idea to test a small, hidden piece of hair before you color it all. That way, if you don’t like it, it’s not too late to use a different shade.

It’s best to apply color to small sections of hair (less than a quarter of an inch wide), and clip the rest of your hair out of the way. Try not to add too many streaks. Remember, less is more. You can always apply more highlights or lowlights later on if you want, but it’s much more difficult to take them away. It’s best to start applying color at the back of your head, and work forward. This way, you won’t smear the pieces in front by reaching over them to do the back.

After washing the color out of your hair, make sure you use the deep conditioner that came with the kit. If a conditioner was not provided, use your own. This is a very important step because hair coloring can make hair dry. You should also replace your regular shampoo and conditioner with a brand that is specifically for color-treated hair.

Whenever your roots need touching up (this is usually about every 3-6 months), only apply color to the regrowth. Then smooth it over the previously colored hair a couple of minutes before the processing time is up to avoid damaging and overprocessing your hair.

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