7 DIY Highlights Tutorials | DIY Experience

7 DIY Highlights Tutorials

Highlighting your hair is a great way to add color or warmth to your hair in a subtle way. The problem with highlights is that they are very expensive to have done professionally. Whether you like chunks of color, the subtle ombre effect of balayage highlights, hand painted highlights, or foil highlights, expect to spend a pretty penny at the salon. The great news is that you don’t have to go to a salon to achieve a similar look. Today’s over-the-counter products make it possible to achieve beautiful DIY highlights at home. From subtle highlights that are only a couple shades lighter than your natural tone to rich blonde, you can achieve the perfect highlight in the comfort of your home for a fraction of the cost.

1. Simple DIY Highlights

This great tutorial by The Beauty Department is a simple, effective method for anyone wishing to attempt highlighting their own hair. Although it is not mentioned in this tutorial, perform a strand test prior to using any color or bleach kit. This is especially important if you have dark hair.

  • Flash Lightning Bleach Kit. This kit includes everything you need to highlight your hair, including; gloves, bleach, developer, a cap for processing, and a brush for application.
  • Mascara spoolies. These little spoolies work great for blending your highlights.
  • Hair Foils. These protect your hair from color and allow the color to heat evenly for fast processing.
  • Sectioning alligator clips. These are essential to keep hair out of the way for any hair coloring or styling techniques.

    hair highlights at home

    Image source: DepositPhotos.com

2. DIY Balayage Highlights

If you are new to highlights, balayage is a great place to start. These highlights don’t go all of the way to the root of your hair and tend to grow out gracefully. This makes them easy to maintain. 2 Share My Joy has created this awesome tutorial that is easy and detailed enough for the beginner or experienced home colorist.

3. Drugstore DIY Hair Dye Balayage

If you have colored your hair in the past and loved the color, but would prefer it in highlights, our DIY balayage tutorial is perfect for you. Did you know that you can use any box of hair color for highlights? It’s true!

This DIY highlighting tutorial by DIY Experience covers the basics about how to section and plan your highlights so you have consistent highlights with a color that you already love and trust. By using a color kit you have had experience with, the results are going to come out exactly how you imagine they will.

4. DIY Highlights – the Toothbrush Method

If you are afraid of making your highlights too large by using a standard hair color brush, a toothbrush will give you more control and is too small to make a mess when you apply the highlights. This tutorial from Women’s Health offers great advice on how to achieve the perfect highlights and also offers advice on how to keep your hair healthy after using a bleaching and color kit.

5. DIY Foil Highlights for Beginners

Foil highlighting can give you amazing results. However, if you want this done by a professional, it will cost you. The good news is that you can easily do foil highlights at home for a fraction of the cost with the same, gorgeous results. This tutorial offers some great tips and tricks to achieve perfect DIY highlights.

Note: As bleaching hair is a pretty violent process for our strands, we also recommend using a good hair mask. You can also give one of our 10 tutorials for DIY hair mask a try for a more natural approach!

7. Easy Hand Painted DIY Highlights

If hand painting your own highlights sounds difficult or intimidating, think again. This tutorial by Prevention lays out the process so that you can easily identify the perfect product for your highlights and apply it in a manner that will result in beautiful, natural highlights every time.

7. Subtle DIY Frosting Cap Highlights

Frosting caps were most popular in the 1980s, but they are still a great way to create your own DIY highlights as a beginner. This tutorial is a very basic introduction. There are a few notes to add to this tutorial. Never reuse a cap as the little holes can leak dye into the undyed portion of your hair. Use a creme developer with your lightener and follow the directions on the box or bottle. Also, when pulling your hair through the cap, insert the hook at a consistent angle for even coverage.


Creating your own DIY highlights may sound intimidating, but these tutorials break it down so that nearly anyone can achieve salon-quality highlights at home for a fraction of the cost. You will also enjoy being able to tell your friends that you created your highlights yourself. What are you waiting for? Purchase your kit of choice and start highlighting!

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