After a TON of requests over the past few months to share a DIY Hair Highlighting tutorial on my Instagram stories– Here’s a detailed guide AND video on how to highlight your own hair at home!
If you have any questions, please drop them in the comments below. My husband Aaron has been highlighting my hair using this foil weave technique for almost 8 years! We’ll call it the Crossley Highlighting Tutorial because we have NO idea if this is how hair is done in legit salons, haha.
Is my husband a hair stylist? No. Does he have any training with hair? None. We YouTubed a few videos and tried to write down any relevant notes before we took the plunge. In all transparency, we were a broke grad- student family diving into years of student loans. I didn’t buy the best shampoo & conditioner. I certainly wasn’t going to spend more than $5 on a can of hair spray. Spending $150 on highlighting my hair every 6-8 weeks was definitely not in the budget. And more importantly, I didn’t want to afford it because I always came home a bit disappointed with the color. And when we have SO MUCH INFORMATION at our fingertips because the internet makes knowledge incredibly accessible, I knew we could learn to do almost anything. I’m self-taught with photography, cooking & baking, I made a fondant wedding cake and, y’all, it was 3 tiers and SO much fun, painted all the furniture in my last home, learning design, learning social media, learning blogging, etc.. Everything I have ever done started with the Google search bar.
I have been so excited to show you how to highlight your hair from your own home. OBVIOUS DISCLAIMER: Your hair may touch every color of the rainbow in your efforts to learn the best way to highlight your own hair. My hair has been pink, purple, orange, yellow, etc.. ALL by accident as we were figuring out this hair highlighting business. I never read a tutorial from someone who had the color hair I wanted. I only watched tutorials featuring people highlighting their own hair by themselves, doing just a few foils. Here is my best alternative to the salon featuring my BEST TIPS since I love a nice icey blonde, partial highlight. Hope you love it too!
- Foils (cut in half– lengthwise)
- Developer (I mix 20 + 30. Higher number = higher lift in shade)
- Mixing Bowl
- Highlighting Comb
- Hair Clips
This is how we do it. There are lots of other ways, but this works for us at this point. Also, these steps are pretty tough to explain with words (I wish I had filmed my husband and I trying to figure out some of these descriptions for you guys…we sounded like 5-year-olds describing something complicated they know nothing about), so look at the photos and watch the video below to help. Drop your questions in comments! And know that I love y’all so very much! haha
- Prepare Bleach. Mix bleach and developer in mixing bowl. Follow instructions on your bleach. I use 60mL of each.
- Section Hair. Separate hair into 4 sections using a highlighting comb. The top section is divided into a front & back section. The sides are sectioned about an inch behind the ear up to where it meets the top section. Use 4 clips to secure each section.
- Highlight. Begin with top-front section. Weave a thin slice of hair, clip remaining section again, place foil tightly tucked against scalp and underneath the slice. Paint hair against the foil with mixed bleach, just enough to cover the hair you want highlighted. Don’t overlap if your hair is already highlighted, only bleach new growth and a little beyond to blend.
- Weave, Throw, Weave, Highlight. After the first highlighted slice, weave another thin slice of hair, let it go (or “throw it down” as Aaron likes to say) weave a second slice, clip the remaining hairs in the section again, and highlight that slice only. Continue this until the entire top section is complete.
- Highlight Sides. We’ve found it works best to have the slices and foils go almost vertically for the sides. I say almost vertically because it’s actually at an angle going from front to back. First cut a small foil to bleach baby hairs in sideburn area. Bleach face framing hairs. Weave vertical section and bleach. Then start the same process as before, weave, throw, weave, bleach. Continue going toward the back until you get through the section. Repeat for the other side.
- Let it Process and Check. The bleach will give time recommendations. We used to use heat to make it process faster, but that’s an easy way to over-process or damage your hair, so now we just wait. This cream bleach doesn’t take as long as the previous bleach power I’ve always used. We have learned what my hair should look like when it’s ready. This was one of the trickier parts to learn by trial and error. Since I like my hair a cool blonde, we leave the foils in until the hair looks almost white under the bleach. If it still looks yellow, we leave it in. Aaron will check a few areas in each section. Once a section is ready, we remove those foils and leave in other sections until they’re also ready. Lately, I haven’t kept track of time, but best guess is about 45 minutes to get to the shade I like. And we typically remove all foils within 5-10 minutes from when we take out the top section foils.
- Shampoo and Condition Hair. Rinse your hair under warm water for 3-4 minutes. Then, I wash with my regular shampoo to make sure all bleach is out. I’ll wash a 2nd time with my purple shampoo, leaving in for less than 60 seconds. Following up with my regular conditioner. I don’t use a toner.
- Style and Enjoy!
- Favorite Repairing Shampoo – HERE
- Favorite Repairing System – HERE
- Favorite Moisturizing System – HERE
- Favorite Leave-In Conditioner – HERE
- Favorite Toning Shampoo – HERE
- Detangling Brush – HERE
- Favorite Curling Iron – HERE
- Favorite Hair Dryer – HERE
- Favorite Volume Spray – HERE
- Favorite Texturizing Spray – HERE (use code “JANENE” for 30% off)
- Favorite Hair Spray – HERE
- Favorite Dry Shampoo – HERE
- Favorite Hair Tie – HERE