Some people learned how to bake bread during lockdown – I learned how to give myself highlights! I’ve always wanted to learn how to DIY highlights on Dark Brown/Black Hair, but it seemed so complex – how would I know what toner or developer to use – would I need to add bleach?
I had my hair professionally highlighted in the beginning of March, and 3 months later my roots were getting super dark – I needed to do something! I kept hearing good things about the Revlon Frost & Glow Highlighting Kit, so I decided to give it a try. Since we’re all staying at home, I figured it was a good time to experiment, as I could cover up any mistakes with colour-depositing conditioner.
WHAT I USED FOR DIY HIGHLIGHTS ON DARK BROWN/BLACK HAIR:
I used the Revlon Frost & Glow Highlighting Kit. This kit has a LOT of rave reviews and comes in 2 formulas – Blonde and Honey. The kit is meant to be simple and easy to use. It comes with:
- Highlighting Powder
- Cream Developer (this contains Hydrogen Peroxide and helps lift your natural colour. Apparently this bottle is 20 volume developer and can lift your hair colour 1-2 shades)
- Mixing Bowl & Spatula
- Highlighting Cap & Hook
- Gloves & Bag to place over finished highlights
- Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner
One question I had before starting was: does Revlon Frost & Glow Highlighting Kit in Honey work on Dark Brown/Black hair – and in my case, it definitely did!
MY FIRST ATTEMPT: DIY HIGHLIGHTS USING A HIGHLIGHTING CAP
For my first attempt – I used the highlighting cap that came with the kit. The cap has holes in it, and you use a hook to pull your hair through the holes. This was an uncomfortable and painstaking process – and I was not happy with the results. Since you couldn’t see where you were pulling the hair from, none of the highlights reached my roots, so while my hair was lighter overall, I still had very dark roots. You can see the disappointing results in the pic labeled “FIRST TRY” below:
I made a quick video of the whole process here.
MY SECOND ATTEMPT: DIY HIGHLIGHTS USING FOILS
I wasn’t happy with my first attempt, so I waited a couple of days and tried again, this time using the foil method. I thought the foil method would be harder than using a highlighting cap – but it was actually faster AND more effective. You can see the results in the pic labelled “SECOND TRY” above. If you’ve had your hair highlighted at a salon, the foil process will be very familiar to you. What I didn’t realize is how easy it is to do at home (my husband helped with the back section, but some people do the whole thing themselves). You can use household foil to wrap your hair, but you NEED to buy a parting comb to section off your highlighted hair. For a step-by-step demonstration of foiling your own hair – I’d recommend watching this video on Youtube.
Here’s a list of products you’ll need for at-home Foil highlighting:
- Revlon Frost & Glow Highlighting Kit in Honey
- Foil cut into strips
- Sectioning clips
- Comb with Metal Tail
- Brush Applicator
Here’s another look at my highlights – you can see the 3 months worth of dark roots in the before pic – and how the colour is more blended in the after pic.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing the whole process TWICE like I did! The kit wasn’t THAT damaging to my hair so I felt that it would be ok, but now that I have the technique down, I wouldn’t double process my hair again. After highlighting my hair, I’m taking extra special care so that it stays healthy rather than dry and frizzy. Here are my must-have aftercare products
- Deep conditioning masks – I like alternating between this protein mask to strengthen hair and this hydrating mask to add glossiness.
- Colour depositing conditioner – I use this colour-depositing conditioner so that my highlights look rich and caramel rather than light and brassy
- Leave-in hair treatment – I apply this serum on towel-dried hair to prevent frizziness.
MY THOUGHTS ON AT HOME DIY HIGHLIGHTS ON DARK BROWN/BLACK HAIR
I will definitely be highlighting my hair at home for the forseeable future. I often have a hard time getting the colour I want at the salon – ever since my favourite stylist moved away, my highlights have been too light! I love being able to control the placement of highlights and the colour. Aside from that, the savings are significant – I’d pay around $140 at the salon and this kit costs $14!
The kit is pretty gentle and easy to use. I left the mixture on my hair for 20-30 minutes and that was sufficient time to get the tone I wanted – but the timing will differ depending on your hair type and history. Also, remember to work in a well-ventilated area and wear an old t-shirt to protect your clothes.
Have you tried highlighting your hair at home?
For more at-home beauty DIY tips – check out my post on How to Give Yourself a Facial Massage
UPDATE: 3 Years later I’m still highlighting my hair using this same technique!