So as I mentioned in my last post about my haircare favorites, I have been dyeing my own hair for about two years now. The first time I changed the color of my hair, I dyed it a really dark brown that had some red undertones and quickly learned that super dark hair is not for me. I decided to go in the opposite direction and lighten my hair instead. Getting your hair lightened at any sort of salon can be so expensive, so I thought I would share with you all how I highlight/balayage/honey dip/ombre my own hair at home! Here is a little before and after of how mine turned out. The picture doesn’t necessarily do it the best justice, but in person it is a lot lighter than it was before.
For starters, I should mention that Jessie James Decker is ultimate hair goals in my book. I would sell my soul to have her long, wavy, sun kissed hair. I used to just go to the store and pick out a blonde hair dye that was a color I liked, but when Jessie made a YouTube video all about how she does her own honey dipping, I had to try the dye that she uses. So now I use this Revlon Frost & Glow highlighting kit in the color Honey. They have a lighter one too, but my hair is naturally dark so I didn’t want a crazy contrast, and the Honey is perfect! Before I start, I usually grab some clips, a rat tail comb, some towels and my “bleach shirt.” The dye goes EVERYWHERE, so make sure you have junky clothes and plenty of towels to wipe up the bleach with.
Mix the dye according to the directions, and throw the gloves on that come with the kit (sometimes I take one of them off but it really does start to burn your hands and leave little spots pretty quickly, so be careful).
Now for the good stuff.
It’s up to you where you want the lightest parts of your hair to be, and whether you want to go for a more ombre look or more of a balayage. When I do this, I go for a combination of everything. I like my hair to be lightest in the front, at the bottom, and on the top layer of my hair. This is where I apply the most dye, and it is also where I start, so that the dye is sitting here the longest. I leave the most hair with my natural brunette color towards the back of my head and the underneath layers of my hair.
So I start by parting my hair naturally, and grabbing the front pieces on either side of my head. I apply a good amount of the dye to the bottoms first, and then work my way up the section of hair towards the roots. These front pieces are also where I like to apply the dye highest (closest to my roots), and I usually bring it up about 2-3 inches from the root. To apply the dye, I basically just scoop some in my fingers and work it through the section of hair. I like to comb my fingers through the sections a bit to make sure that I am not missing any of the strands in the middle of the section.
After this, I work through the next few pieces of hair from the front of my head, and from the top layer of my hair. On the section that is right next to the front piece, I usually stop the dye a lot lower. Then for the third section, I bring it up higher than the second section, but not as high as the front pieces. This way the different heights create a more natural look, and I don’t have to worry about having a line going across my head where the top is dark and the bottom is light (google ‘bad ombre hairstyles’ and you’ll see what I mean). Doing the front of my hair usually consists of about 3-4 sections on either side of my head, and these are the sections that are most important and that I focus the most on. After these, I kind of just do what feels right.
Sometimes, like I did here, I will loosely clip the front sections back to work on some of the layers underneath in the front. For these layers, I do the same sort of thing. Grab different sized sections, start with the bottom of the section working your way up, and vary how high you apply the dye to each piece. This way you can make sure that it will look as natural as possible when you are done.
After I do the front layers underneath, I unclip my hair and move towards the back of my head. I like to unclip it so that I can see the heights and the sizes of the sections that I have already done and base what I do next on those. I continue the same techniques that I did for the underneath layers of the front when I am working in the back. Some of these I may bring up a little bit higher than the sections I have already done, but still not as high as those front sections.
The underneath layers of the back of my hair are where I apply the least amount of dye. I still do the sections back here, though. To do this, I like to put my hair over my shoulder and pull out the sections that are most visible and do those first. Then I will move it back and grab any other sections I can see while my hair is flat against my back and do those last.
After all this, there is still a bit of dye left. I will take this and go back to apply it to the ends of a bunch of different sections of my hair. I have long hair, so if your’s is shorter you may not need to use all of the dye in the kit.
Once all the dye is applied to my hair, I grab a towel and put it under my hair and around my shoulders so that it doesn’t burn my skin while it is sitting. I also take a wet washcloth and wipe down any skin that is exposed, because there is usually bleach all over my arms, neck, chest, face, and my back. Then, I usually wait about 25-30 minutes before I hop in the shower and rinse it out. Obviously, the longer you wait, the lighter your hair will get, but it will also do more damage the longer you leave it in.
After 25-30 minutes have passed I take a shower and rinse out all of the dye. Check out this post to see the products I use and read about how I condition my hair. Usually after bleaching, I will condition twice to try and get back some moisture that I have lost. Every time I do this, I get out and look at my hair and I am convinced that it is no lighter than it was before. Then it dries, and I’m like “whoa.” There’s something slightly addicting about seeing that blonde in your hair (at least for me, since my hair has been dark my whole life). I love it! It takes a few times to get the brunette pieces to look blonde and less brassy, but I try to wait at least a month before I bleach it again.
After that, you can curl it and straighten it and play around with your new beachy blonde hair! Let me know what you guys think, if you have any questions, or if you have any tips or tricks of your own! Talk to you soon.