It seems so easy when you go to the salon for highlights. They have the same mixture you’d get at home. When they’re finished, you have incredible highlights like those you’ve seen on celebrities.
At home, you want to get the same result. Most people end up with hair that doesn’t look as lovely as the look you’d get in the salon. It’s not hard to get stunning highlights. You’ll just have to understand how to make them naturally. The best at home highlighting kits have everything you need.
If you follow the directions, you shouldn’t end up with terrible highlights. We’ve done our best to give you a guide here that should make it easy to choose the right kit for your needs.
Table of Contents
- Best At Home Highlighting Kit Comparison
- Top 5 At-Home Highlighting Kits Review
- 6 Tips for Highlighting at Home
Best At Home Highlighting Kit Comparison
|Revlon Highlighting Kit||Color||For dark brown hair||1 Use|
|Balayage Highlighting Kit||Kit||Board & brush||3 kit|
|L'Oreal Highlighting Kit||Creme||15 Minute timing||1 Use|
|L'Oreal Paris Cap||Kit||Rinse & hook||3 Kit|
|L'Oreal Paris Glam||Brush||Medium brown to dark||1 Brush|
Top 5 At-Home Highlighting Kits Review
Revlon first opened its doors in the Arden Building in 1910. On 5th avenue, Ms. Arden wanted to stand out, so she had her door painted bright red. She contributed bright red lipstick to women in the suffragette movement in 1912. Elizabeth Arden and her company were among the first to do many things in the beauty industry.
The company has its hand in almost every aspect of the beauty world. In this case, we’re talking about their highlighting kit. This particular one called Frost & Glow is made for darker hair. It provides women with medium brown to dark brown hair with highlighting.
If you want soft, blended highlights, you can leave this on for a short period of time. Bold, dramatic blonde with your brown means you will need to leave it on longer. The highlighting kit can be used to create an ombre effect from the bottom of hair to the roots. You don’t need to go to a salon if you’re an experienced user.
In the kit, you’re getting a hair cap. For highlighting, it’s good to have the cap. You can choose your highlight location pretty specifically with it. It comes with a hook, too. There’s a cream developer included as well as the lightening powder. It includes a small mixing container, gloves, and instructions.
Not only is this a great kit for highlights; it’s good for certain styles. Balayage, ombre, and regular highlighting can all be achieved with this kit. The entire process is pretty guided by the instructions, the cap, and the ingredients.
Everything is pre-measured and able to go together without any effort on your part. All of the powder mixes with all of the developer. After that, it’s a simple matter to just apply it where needed.
The cap is pretty vital to the process. It keeps you from overloading highlighting mixture onto one area. You get to decide where you want them. That’s going to be perfect for styles like balayage.
The plastic cap has an inner layer that isn’t punctured. It’s pretty annoying to have to punch the holes yourself. The process is for your protection, though. Without that inner layer, you’d get highlighting mixture inside every hole while applying.
Some highlighting techniques are not done with a plastic cap. As you’ve noticed in the salon, they don’t place a plastic cap on your hair. They use foil or a board for laying the highlight in your strands evenly. They do it by spreading hair out and using a brush to apply the bleach.
This is a balayage kit that’s specific for long hair. While you could use it for short hair, it’s going to be easier to apply when you have the right equipment. It comes with a long board for longer hair. There are brushes included with this kit, too. The board has a comfortable handle for holding as you apply the bleach.
The two brushes give you enough bristles to apply more or less bleach or color. It can be used for lightening or applying color. One brush is 2.05 inches across while the other is 1.30” across. The board is 4.21 inches across and 13.66 inches long. The working surface is 9.61 inches.
The board is textured, so hair won’t slip off while you’re applying the mixture. It’s a really strong board that’s used as a base for separating hair and applying the mixture without it touching the rest of your hair. Everything is much neater when using a board and brush to highlight.
These brushes are solid. They can easily be cleaned and used again and again. Some brushes aren’t as well made. They bend and break as you apply thick bleach to hair. This one isn’t going to give you a problem.
The board works great to separate hair and keep it separated. There’s nothing worse than losing control of the sectioned hair and have it touch the rest. It can really ruin the look of your highlights.
It doesn’t have to be used just for bleaching. Yet, you can bleach and then use it to apply color. If you’ve always wanted to have ribbons of different colors in your hair, this is going to be really helpful.
It’s not possible to purchase these brushes separately from the board. If you need more brushes exactly like these, you won’t be able to buy them without the board, too.
L’Oreal is a company that is experienced in the beauty space for coloring and highlighting. They have created numerous highlighting and coloring kits. This one is pretty strong compared to others they have. If that’s exactly what you want, read on to find out what else is going on with this highlight kit.
This is going to lift your hair at least 5 levels. It’ll take brown hair to a blonde pretty easily. If you want a true blonde highlight, it’s important that you understand how it works. If you’ve dyed your hair, you’re likely to get a lightened version of that color. For example, auburn hair will turn a light orange. True brown will turn blonde.
The kit doesn’t contain any ammonia. You won’t have to sit through that ammonia smell to really get a good blonde highlight. The lightening doesn’t take long anyway, though. It’s just 35 minutes if you don’t apply heat. It’s 15 minutes if you use heat on the bleach. You’ll have to decide how fast and how light you want to go.
Powder, cream developer, and conditioner are included in this kit. It doesn’t come with a container for mixing or a brush for application. Those are easy to get yourself, though. When you purchase your own, you’re able to pick exactly what you want. That’s always a plus. You can even purchase the board and brushes above.
A great feature of this highlighting kit is the fact that it doesn’t have ammonia. It can be used for all kinds of effects like balayage or ombre highlighting. It won’t damage hair if you follow directions.
It shouldn’t be left on for a very long time, of course. That would cause issues. I used this for an ombre effect on my hair. I didn’t lighten to a blonde – just a caramel sort of color with the brown I had.
Hair was soft with the conditioner that’s included. It only lasts so long, though. After that, I was able to purchase a really good leave-in conditioner. My hair wasn’t severely damaged by the bleaching process.
The only concern is that it can burn the skin. It shouldn’t be applied to close to the scalp. I didn’t experience this myself since I did an ombre, but a friend said it burns when she did her hair.
This is a L’Oreal product specifically for long hair. It’s much harder to highlight hair when it’s really long. To have a system developed to address long-hair problems, it means the company listens to the complaints of their customers. That’s a great thing to hear.
Long hair gets really tangled when you try to pull it through a highlighting cap. The hook can get stuck in the hair, and pulling it through might be impossible. This comes with 2 hooks. You’ll be able to customize the highlights to your preferences. There are two caps for this highlighter, too.
There are two types of highlighting colors in the Frost & Design line of highlighters. One is champagne, which is for light hair to give you brighter highlights. The other is caramel. It’s for brown hair and warmer highlights. The formula used in this highlight kit can be applied without it dripping everywhere.
This kit has absolutely everything you need. There’s the protective cream to use before frosting. The bleaching powder and developer are used to make the bleach. After the bleaching process, there’s after-bleach conditioning shampoo as well as a color-toning rinse. The toning rinse will give you shine and tone down the brassiness.
It can be really tough to highlight long hair. It doesn’t pull through the cap very well. It helps to have the right hooks to do the job well. The cap is highly precise, and that gives you very even highlights.
The fact that there is more than one type of color highlighting means customized color. The cap gives you the right amount of coverage, too. You’ll be able to have bold, chunky highlights or precise, thin ones.
Balayage or ombre can be done easily with this kit and the cap. Any style you’ve been dying to get can be done at home with this. Long hair is more expensive to highlight at the salon. This is a fantastic alternative.
There’s no mixing tub or brush with this kit. You’ll have to use a plastic tub of your own. They’re pretty inexpensive at a dollar store. You can toss it when you’re done.
L’Oreal makes some of the best highlighting kits for all kinds of effects. That’s why you’ll see many of them here. When a company cares about its customers, you’ll want to try all their products. They’re great for hair and always come out as described on the box. That’s always a huge concern when doing your hair at home.
For dark hair, it can be tough to highlight. You end up with orange highlights that look weird and unnatural. L’Oreal addresses that problem with this highlighting kit. It also has a unique brush that makes blended highlights. With blended highlights, it’s going to look more natural, too.
With highlights, you’re adding bright, shining moments into your hair. The brush has 3 separate forks. You add the bleach to the tines of that “fork” to distribute the highlighting evenly. It blends into your current color without standing out as obvious chemical highlights. Instead, they will look like you were born with fantastic hair.
Inside the kit, there’s the developer and lifting powder. There’s also a lifting “crème” included. Lastly, there’s a luminous shampoo. Together, this is all you need to have great highlights. You don’t even need a tub to mix it. It all goes into the mixing bottle. It’s distributed onto the brush each time you start a new section.
This is such an easy way to add highlights. One of the hardest parts of highlighting is knowing where to put them. With a cap, you can frame your face or do the sides. When you remove the cap, it can feel too drastic with too much lifting.
You’ll be able to see exactly how this changes your hair, and whether it’s a good match to what you have. You won’t be surprised at the end by how much color lift you got with the bleach.
The brush is really fun to play with, too. It’s a unique way to apply bleach that won’t leave you with clumps of bleach falling all over your hair. You might need help from someone to do the back, but it’s easy to do at home.
It can take a few tries before getting the hang of applying the mix to the brush’s bristles. You can always go over the parts that weren’t as perfect.
6 Tips for Highlighting at Home
Even if you’ve done your own color at home before, highlighting with bleach can be a bit scary. It’s a drastic change to your hair. It can cause serious damage if you’re not careful, too.
The Right Kit and Color
It’s important that you pick the right kit for your hair color. Blonde hair can get highlights easily. It doesn’t need to be toned, either. Brown hair won’t get highlighted with a kit meant for blondes. You have to use the right kit for the right color.
You might even want to choose caramel, champagne, honey, or some other type of highlight color with your brown hair. Pick the highlight color that complements the hair color you have. It’s important to having hair look its best.
Bold or Subtle = Time
When you apply your highlights, it’s about the time you leave them to lift color. Leaving the mixture on hair for a long time will lift more color. It gives you bold highlights that really stand out in your hair.
If you want subtle highlights, you should check them constantly. You’ll leave them on for less time than what’s suggested on the box. Once you do this, you’ll be able to fine tune the timing in the future instead of checking frequently.
Using a Cap Correctly
Some highlight kits have caps. Others have brushes. There are even some kits with nothing at all. You’re expected to get the extras yourself. There are usually instructions for using a cap in with the kit.
If you don’t know how to use one, it’ll explain. Using a cap is all about where you pull the hair for highlights. That’s harder than just learning how to use one. Face-framing highlights versus all-over highlights are determined by how you pull the hair through the holes.
Toner to Remove Brassiness
Whether you’re highlighting blonde hair or brown, there can be some tones of orange in the hair. It will depend on the color you have done in the past. It lingers sometimes altering the amount of lift you’ll get and the tone.
Some kits include it inside the box. You’ll have to decide if you need a toner. It’s easy to pick one up if it’s not included in the box of at-home highlight. Toner will remove the brassy orange tone you can sometimes get with highlighting kits.
After Care for Your Highlights
It’s important to care for your highlights. The kit might include shampoo and conditioner, or it might not. It’s easy to purchase shampoos and conditioners for processed hair. You’ll need to stay away from certain ingredients.
Sulfates, for example, are really hard on hair. They can remove color when you’ve dyed your hair. For highlights, it can be harsh and drying. You want to moisturize as much as possible after lifting with bleach.
Involving a Friend
It’s always easier to highlight when you have some help. You can ask a friend or family member to help you. Otherwise, it’s hard to see the back and sides. It can be done solo, but that involves strategic use of mirrors.
Along with being simpler, it’s much more fun to do this with a friend. It’s entertaining, and you can each change the other’s look. You’ll just have to make sure you get a kit for each of you. One box is not enough for two people – unless you’re only doing a strand or two.
Heading to the salon for highlighting can be really expensive. That’s why many people decide to lift their hair color at home. Highlighting isn’t as involved as a complete color change. It’s something you can definitely do at home.
The best at home highlighting kit will have almost everything you need. If you’re new, it should definitely have instructions. A cap, hook or brush, developer, and powder are the basics for highlighting your hair. Make sure to choose based on your current color. That will make the biggest difference.