Monday, August 9, 2010

Budget Beauty: Home Highlights

Note: I am not a hairstylist, I am a librarian, please consider that before taking my advice. That said, I've been dyeing my own hair since 7th grade, and dyeing my friends' hair since high school. I've learned some stuff.

If you are interested in the highlights that basically look like hair stripes ------------> I'm not interested in helping you. That's something that can be accomplished quite handily using those home highlighting kits they sell for $9.99 (though it's never a good look).

If what you want is natural looking layers of color on your head i.e. something that you might get from the sun, I can help you fake that with a box and a bit of bravery.

  • 1 box hair dye purchased with a coupon
  • 1 old but not gross toothbrush
  • 1 hairclip
  • a comb or chopstick--use a chopstick if you have a nice comb you don't want stained
  • 1 small bowl or plate that you don't mind staining
  • a hand mirror, or maybe a friend to help you do the back (bribe her)
This is an technique that my stylist taught me back when I was under my parents' roof and they paid for things like professional highlights. The idea here is not a sharp contrast in color, but subtle changes that can make your hair just look prettier and less flat.

Start with a color that is not terribly different from your current color, possibly slightly lighter or darker, maybe with a bit of red, if that's what you're going for. Don't trust the box completely, it rarely looks like that. Instead, bring along your most honest friend, and ask her which color looks most like your current color. Then take that box and compare it to others until you come up with a pleasing contrast.

Once you're home, put on your ratty hair-dyeing clothes, get your bowl and toothbrush and read the instructions in the hair dye paying particular attention to the time it takes to work. Then gather up most of your hair in your hairclip leaving a bottom section out. Mix the dye and squirt it into your dish.

Take the toothbrush, swish it through the dye, and start combing the dye through the section of hair not in the clip. Make sure to go all the way around your head (this is very important), and get it up to the roots (or you'll look silly). Saturate your hair with more hair dye if you want your hair dyed more, less if you want more of your natural color.

Once that section of hair is done, use a comb or chopstick to free another section from the hairclip and repeat combing the toothbrush through your hair, adding more dye as you go.

And so on and so on through all sections of your hair until you reach the top. Be sure not to pile a bunch of dye on the top of your head, and be sure to add some color around your face/temples. That makes it look more natural. Then sit back, and wait for the appropriate amount of time to pass. Rinse your hair, style as usual, and send me an email ( telling me how awesome you look.

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