Fabulous Highlights From A Box
By far the best at home product we’ve tried for highlighting our naturally thick, dark brown hair has been Revlon’s Frost & Glow (left), it goes for about $10 at your local drug store. (You can also use Clairol’s Frost & Tip, which works just as well and costs about the same, but we’ve stuck to our Revlon for ages). This may very well be the same highlighting product your mom used in the late 70’s to mid 80’s (back then they used to call it “frosting” your hair). It’s been around for ages. But passing the test of time is a good sing to us and we can see why.
The Frost & Glow kit comes in three varieties. One for naturally light hair, one for dark hair and one we’ve never tried which is for producing red highlights on black hair. This highlighting kit comes with the tried and true (though slightly infamous) plastic cap and hook (shown in the photo above). Lots of girls hate this method, as it is a bit painful and uncomfortable. But it’s the best way to get professional looking highlights without paying a fortune. In my experience the “paint on” highlights have always been somewhat of a mess. But we’ll discuss that in another post.
There are 3 key factors to getting great highlights. The first is your base color. A lot of people try to highlight their naturally dark brown hair with bad results. If your hair is dark brown to nearly black, adding these highlights will either leave you with orange hair, or looking like a skunk (too much contrast between dark and light). If you start off with a soft light-brown base, your highlights will look much more natural.
The second key is how much hair you pull through the holes, and how far apart they are. The biggest mistake most chicas make is pulling too much hair through one hole, or lots of hair through too many little holes. When it comes to high lights, a little goes a long way. Start off with 15 strands: five on top (including 3 or so in the front if you have bangs) and then 5 on each side. Space these five so that the 15 or so are about 3 or 4 holes apart. If you want all around highlights, or have really long hair, try 5 to 7 strands on the back as well. Highlights sit right at the outer layer of your hair. If you over do it, you will go from a savvy brunette to a bubbly blonde. Which may be fun, but not necessarily what you want. Know that adding too many highlights will dramatically lighten your entire look.
The third biggy with highlights is timing! Good timing is essential when it comes to highlights. Unlike hair dye, that pretty much stops reacting after a certain time, lightening bleach does not. It will just keep making your hair lighter and lighter until it completely dissolves it. This is bad. (Believe me, I know.) But luckily the plastic wrap lets you see the color as it’s changing. Set the egg timer and don’t loose track of time.
Your highlights will always look lighter than they actually are because the bleach is light in color (a white/bluish foam). Don’t let this fool you into thinking you’ve reached the right tone. The right color will take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on how coarse or dark your hair is, or whether or not you’ve dyed it before (virgin hair is more likely to lighten faster). Most girls make the mistake of washing the bleach off too early. This will leave you with bright orange highlights and we definitely don’t want that. Rinse off a bit of one of your strands and give it a quick dry with a blow dryer and round brush to make sure the color is a soft (not too bright or orangey) blond color. It should look one shade lighter than you expect. Once it blends with the rest of your hair it wont look as dramatic so don’t freak out until you’ve washed and styled your hair first. The finished look is very different from that first washed highlighted look. After styling, you should have fabulous lovely highlights (like the photo above).
If you are not happy with your look never fear. Ask Denisa still has some tricks up her sleeve to solve your problem and give you a great finished look.