There's probably only one person we'd trust to create a legit tutorial on how to highlight hair at home: Kristin Ess, the stylist and colorist behind Lauren Conrad and Lucy Hale's always-perfect hair. If you want to know the secrets behind successfully pulling off DIY highlights without looking like a Sun-In victim, Ess has a few key tips that will safeguard your hair should you attempt to highlight it yourself. Here, Ess' best advice.
1. Style Your Hair As You Normally Would
The first important thing Ess says to do is to make sure you do your highlights on styled hair. This ensures that you can "see where the lighter pieces should fall with the way [you] normally wear it," she says. Ess also recommends making sure that the sectioned-off pieces you're going to highlight are no bigger than a shoelace.
2. Find a Bleach Kit
Find a bleach kit like the Flash Lightening 30 Volume Bleach Kit (the kit costs $10.49, which is a lot less than the average cost of highlights in a salon). Whatever kit you choose, practice safety first by doing an allergy test to make sure you're not allergic to the product (each box will have its own instructions on how to do an allergy test). And, of course, always wear gloves and keep the bleach away from your skin and eyes at all times.
3. Gather Your Brushes
In addition to the bleach brush that will come in your kit, you'll also need a spooley brush (that brush you use to put on mascara and brow gel). Ess says it's important to have two brushes: one to bleach and one to blend. The spooley will help blend in the color as you use bleach. As a professional or a non-professional, you want to make sure that you get a soft line and not a solid line where the bleach stops and another color begins. "There are a lot of ways for a hairstylist to do this, but not anything I was willing to teach the general public because it takes training," says Ess. "The safest way for you to achieve this on your own at home is to use a small, densely bristled brush of some sort. If you don't have a spooley handy, you can alternatively use an old toothbrush that you're never going to use again."
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