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I painted my own Highlights and lived to tell the tale

You can do it too!



I had a conversation with a friend lately about her Hair. She asked me what I would recommend that she do to it. Quick backstory, her Hair hasn’t seen a Colour brush in about 3 years and her Natural given shade is looking a little dull and taking it out on her through her complexion.

I told her that I would like to paint some Highlights through the ends of her Hair, keeping them casual so they softly fall around her face and bottom half of her Hair. I then said I would give her the Product and show her how to do it.

Her response? No way, if I do it myself my Hair will end up like a rainbow.

I try not to eye roll because I love this answer, it’s one I hear a lot. Of course, this response to me is ridiculous, to create a rainbow you need multiple Colours guys. That’s the fear talking. Rainbows will not appear when painting Blonde Highlights.

So as a fellow Brunette I wanted to show her that you can paint your own Highlights without your Hair turning into an array of rainbow Colours.

Here are my stats.

Current Hair Colour: Coloured with 5 Light Brown. I don’t want to add another step in and Colour Remove, so I will be using the Hair Lightener for my Highlights.
Products used: Hair Lightener and 30 Volume Developer for the Highlights. 7.1 Ash Blonde and No Lift Developer to Tone.

Method: I am following our own Hair 101: A Foolproof Guide to Highlighting.
I will be painting my Highlights in a casual balayage style, keeping my Highlights finer and higher around my face and larger through my ends. I will keep my regrowth dark and untouched.

Step 1

I divide and clip my Hair into 4 sections. This is important to do so I can easily navigate my way through my Hair and keep it all clean.

Step 2

Starting with one of my bottom sections, I use my Tint Brush to create a horizontal row around 1.5 cm thick.


I weave through the Hair, pulling out the pieces of Hair I want to Colour.



Step 3

Now it's time to start painting. I'm going to keep my Colour off my root area, starting at least 2 cm’s from my root line, varying where I start my Highlights.


I wrap the Coloured Hair in foil to stop it from going on the rest of my Hair and to process.

Step 4

I finish the rest of my section, before continuing onto my other bottom section.

Step 5

Now I move onto my top sections I'm going to change my Colouring rows to vertical.


My Highlights through this area will be a bit more refined and spaced further apart. I want to start my Highlights higher around my face and taper them down as I move away from my face.


My aim here is to keep the small and finer around the face to look more Natural. After completing each row, I cover it in foil.

Step 6

I am going to keep my mixture on for 30 minutes, after the first 15 I start checking my Highlights through the first section I did. I removed the foil from the rows that have Lightened enough, so it will match the other side. Once processing time is up, it’s time to wash it out.

Step 7

After a blow dry and a quick once over, I decide that my Highlights are too Warm for my liking and it’s time to Tone.


I mix 7.1 Ash Blonde with No Lift and apply to my Highlighted areas for 20 minutes, checking in on my Colour ever 5 minutes.

Step 8

I wash out my Toning products, shampoo and condition as normal ready for my blow-dry.


And look at that, I painted my own Highlights.


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