How To Choose The Best Highlight Colors For You

Here's how to choose the best highlight colors for you and your hair.

What is more fun than going to your favorite hair salon to have a complete hair makeover that includes dazzling highlights? Doing your own highlights at home!

There are many considerations to make before you decide to color your hair, which include being honest with yourself. First, consider your facial coloring, eye color, your hair needs, and the natural highlights of your hair. The goal is to bring out your natural hues, not dramatically alter your hair to deflect from your natural beauty.

Second, you must determine if you're looking for a makeover with total highlights or just a more subtle look that brings out the golden or red tones of your natural hair color? Or are you trying to hide the grays that are appearing around your temples, bangs, and crown of your head?

Third, you need to purchase the right supplies. You can either buy a boxed kit that comes complete with all of the gadgets, colors, and the developing cream. Or, if you want to create your own look, you'll need to go to a beauty supply store and buy the following items:

1. latex gloves

2. foil wraps or a highlighting cap with hook

3. color

4. developer

5. bowl

6. measuring cups

7. a spatula

8. a paint brush

9. two to three towels.

Once you have your supplies together, you are ready to begin mixing the color and developer to highlight your hair. Remember to wear latex gloves every time that you mix hair color and developer as well as when you apply the color mixture to your hair. If you're using a boxed brand, follow the directions on the box. If you gathered your supplies from a beauty supply store, you will need to mix the color with the developer. Remember to use a 50:50 ratio when measuring out your hair color and developer---you will need to measure about two or more ounces of color, depending on your hair length, with two or more ounces of lightning/developer. Next, you will need to either pull the strands of your hair through a highlighting cap, or clip sections of your hair on top of your head, if you are going to use foils to highlight your hair.

Next, it's time to decide what kind of look you're aiming for. The dramatic look is also called chunking. To chunk, you will need to color chunks of your hair and evenly space them out to get the chunked look rather than the full-colored look. Also, you can chunk just the bangs or go for the full head chunk look that is chunks from the front, sides, and back of your head. It's up to you.

The processing time takes about a half hour to forty-five minutes, less if you have lighter hair. Before you rinse the developer out of your hair,you'll need to check to see if your hair is done processing. To check for proper processing, choose one of the hair sections that you colored and wipe it clean with a wet paper towel. For blond chunks, you want the hair color to be the color of a ripe banana. If you are coloring for a more reddish hue, it should be a dark red color. You want to make sure that you allowed enough time for the hair to process. If you wash your hair too early, you'll end up with bright orange hair.

The natural look is easier to design on your head than the dramatic look. You can choose to buy a regular boxed brand that is one to two shades lighter than your natural hair color. Or you can buy a lighter hair color and lightening solution to mix together to highlight your hair from a beauty supply store. Again, you'll need to pull as many strands as you desire for your final look, and the total process time usually takes between to 30 or 45 minutes. You can check to see if your hair is done processing by wiping a section of the hair clean with a wet paper towel. A cap and foil are both appropriate choices for the chunking and natural highlight looks.

A cap is the logical choice when you're trying to achieve the subtle look. With a subtle look, you can choose to pull strands throughout your head or just surrounding your face. Pull small strands of hair through a cap and color with a shade that is a few shades lighter than your natural color. The process time will be about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how light you want your hair to be.

When the processing is done for all three types, make sure to wear latex gloves and thoroughly rinse your hair. Next, you'll wash your hair and rinse again. Finally, condition your hair, rinse, style, and enjoy your new look.

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