How to Get Highlights at Home: Brighten Up Your Hair!

Getting highlights is a great way to a pop of color to your hair. However, it can be quite expensive to have it done professionally. Luckily, there are ways to get highlights at home without breaking the bank. This article will guide you on how to get the perfect highlights at home, without damaging your hair.

Understanding Hair Highlights

Before we dive into the process of getting highlights at home, let’s first understand what hair highlights are. Highlights are bits of hair that are lightened to create contrast and dimension. You can achieve highlights by using a bleach, a peroxide developer, or hair lightening products.

Types of Hair Highlights

There are different types of hair highlights you can get, and they all vary in terms of color, technique, and placement. Here are some of the most popular types of hair highlights:

  • Balayage – This is a French word that means “to sweep.” Balayage highlights are freehand painted onto the hair to create a natural, sun-kissed look.
  • Babylights – These highlights are very fine, delicate strands that mimic the natural highlights that children get after being out in the sun for long periods.
  • Chunky Highlights – These highlights are thick and bold, and they create a stark contrast between the base color and the highlighted sections.
  • Ombre – This is a graduated lightening technique, where the hair is darker at the roots and gradually gets lighter towards the ends.
  • Sombre – This is a softer version of the ombre technique, where the lightening is more subtle and blended.

Things to Consider Before Getting Highlights at Home

Before you begin the process of getting highlights at home, here are some things you need to consider:

Your Hair Type

Not all hair types are created equal, and some hair types may not react well to the highlighting process. For example, if you have very fine or brittle hair, you should avoid using bleach, as it can damage your hair. If you have coarse or thick hair, you will need to use a stronger product to achieve the desired effect.

Your Skin Tone

Your skin tone can have a significant impact on how your highlights look. If you have a warm skin tone, you should opt for golden or honey-colored highlights. If you have a cool skin tone, you should look for highlights with ashy or platinum undertones.

Your Budget

Getting your hair highlighted at a salon can be quite expensive. The cost of highlights depends on the salon and the stylist you choose. Doing it at home can save you a lot of money, but you need to have the right tools and products.

How to Get Highlights at Home

Getting highlights at home is not as hard as it seems. Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Choose the Right Product

Choosing the right product is crucial when it comes to getting highlights at home. There are many different products to choose from, including:

  • Highlighting Kits – These kits come with everything you need to get started, including the developer and the bleach. They are easy to use and are a great option for beginners.
  • Bleach and Developer – If you have some experience with hair color, you can buy bleach and developer separately. This gives you more control over the process.
  • Hair Lightening Products – There are many hair lightening products available, such as sprays, foams, and creams. These are a good option for those who want a subtle look.

Step 2: Prepare Your Hair

Before you start the highlighting process, you need to prepare your hair. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Wash your hair – It is essential to wash your hair before starting the highlighting process as the natural oils in your hair can interfere with the color.
  • Section your hair – Section your hair into four parts, from ear to ear and from the center of the forehead to the nape of the neck.
  • Protect your skin – Apply petroleum jelly along your hairline to protect your skin from the bleach.

Step 3: Apply the Highlighting Product

Now that your hair is prepared, it is time to apply the highlighting product:

  • Start at the back – Begin applying the product at the back of your head, where your hair is thickest.
  • Use foil – Wrap each section of highlighted hair in foil to keep them separate.
  • Time it – Check the instructions on the product to see how long you need to leave it on.
  • Rinse it – Once the time is up, rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water.

Step 4: Tone Your Hair(if Necessary)

If your hair turns out too brassy or yellowish after the highlighting process, you may need to tone it:

  • Choose a toner – Choose a toner that matches the undertones of your highlights.
  • Apply it – Follow the instructions on the toner, and apply it as directed.
  • Rinse it off – Once the toner has been on for the specified time, rinse it off with warm water.

Step 5: Maintain Your Highlights

Now that you have perfect highlights, you need to maintain them:

  • Use color-safe products – Use a shampoo and conditioner that are specifically formulated for color-treated hair.
  • Avoid heat styling – Heat can damage your hair and cause your highlights to fade faster. Minimize your use of heating tools like curling irons and straighteners.
  • Protect your hair from the sun – UV rays can cause your hair to fade and become dull. Wear a hat or use a UV protectant spray when you are out in the sun.


Here are some of the most common questions about getting highlights at home:

  • Is it safe to get highlights at home? – Yes, it is safe as long as you use the right products and follow the instructions carefully.
  • How long do at-home highlights last? – At-home highlights can last between 4-6 weeks, depending on how well you maintain them.
  • What is the best product to use for at-home highlights? – The best product to use depends on your hair type and the desired look. Consult with a hairstylist or do your research before making a purchase.
  • Can you get highlights at home without using bleach? – Yes, you can use hair lightening products instead of bleach to achieve a subtle look.
  • How much time does it take to get highlights at home? – The process can take anywhere from 2-4 hours, depending on the length and thickness of your hair and the product you are using.


Getting highlights at home can be a fun and inexpensive way to brighten up your hair. With the right tools and products, you can achieve a professional look without leaving the comfort of your home. Just remember to take care of your highlighted hair to maintain the beautiful look.


  • Barron, J. (2018). How to Get the Perfect Highlights at Home. Glamour.
  • Everything You Need To Know About Hair Highlights. (n.d.). Cosmopolitan.
  • Richardson, S. (2021). How to Highlight Your Hair at Home: A Step-by-Step Guide, Tips, and Kits. Healthline.

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