how to highlight hair at home with foils

Are you looking for How To Highlight Hair At Home With Foils? Read through for how to section hair for foil highlights. The article contains how to highlight hair at home yourself. You will also find how to highlight the back of your own hair in the post.

We all know the struggle. You know, the struggle? The struggle of changing up your same old boring hair look but having no cash to drop on this fairly major expense. I, personally, wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. So, the question remains – how can one get a stunning hair transformation without burning a hole in the pocket? And the answer hit me like a speeding bus. At home highlights, of course! Home highlighting kits are fairly cheap in drugstores and you don’t need to color all your hair and damage them in the process. It’s a win-win! So, now you’re excited, right? You’ve gone out and bought yourself a highlighting kit, ready to transform your hair. But wait a minute… now the realization hits you like a speeding bus. How do you highlight your hair at home? Well, you don’t need to worry because I’m here with a comprehensive guide on how to highlight your hair at home in 4 different ways.

how to section hair for foil highlights

How To Highlight Hair At Home With Foils

4 Ways To Highlight Your Hair At HomeSave

1. Foil Highlights

Foil highlights are the most traditional way of doing highlights at home, and this method has been used by hairdressers and DIY-ers for years now. Basically, the highlighted areas are covered with strips of aluminum foils when they are being dyed. This traps the heat and helps the color process faster. It also makes sure that the dye doesn’t bleed onto surrounding hair, thus giving you very precise highlights.

What You Need

  • Highlighting kit
  • Hairbrush
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sectioning clips
  • Hair tinting brush
  • Aluminium foil
  • Rat tail comb
  • Color safe shampoo and conditioner

What To Do

  1. Mix your hair dye according to the instructions given on the kit.
  2. Brush out all the knots and tangles in your hair.
  3. Put on your rubber gloves and part your hair down the middle.
  4. Cut out strips of foil that are 4 inches wide and at least 2 inches longer than the length of your hair.
  5. Divide all your hair into 3 inch x 3 inch square sections and section them with sectioning clips.
  6. Remove the clip from a section of hair that is right at the front.
  7. Now, hold the tail end of your rat tail comb parallel to your center parting and slice it through the upper layer of that section so that you pick up all the surface strands of that section.
  8. Place a strip of foil under the sliced off section of hair, making sure its end is placed right at the roots.
  9. Apply hair dye on this section of hair right from the roots to ends.
  10. Fold this foil in half by bringing its bottom edge up to its top edge at the roots. Fold it in half this way one more time.
  11. Fold the outside edges of the foil inwards and secure it in place with a sectioning clip.
  12. Repeat this process on all the sections of hair.
  13. Let the dye sit in your hair for the duration of time indicated on the box.
  14. Remove all the foils and wash off the dye with color safe shampoo and conditioner.

2. Hair Painting (Balayage)



Hand painted highlights (also popularly known as ‘balayage’) is all the trend right now and the reason for it is apparent. This gorgeous color technique blends the highlights so flawlessly into your hair that they look like they grew out of your head that way naturally. Now, balayage requires quite a high level of skill that can only be done by professional hair colorists. But I’ve found a pretty nifty hack that you can do yourself quite easily.

What You Need

  • Highlighting kit
  • Rubber gloves
  • Flat paddle brush
  • Hair tinting brush
  • Sectioning clip
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner

What To Do

  1. Mix the dye according to the instructions given on the highlighting kit.
  2. Put on your rubber gloves.
  3. Section away and clip up the top half of your hair.
  4. Coat the bristles of your paddle brush with dye with the help of a hair tinting brush.
  5. Run this brush through a section of your hair from the midsection to the ends of your hair.
  6. Flip the brush and run it through the back of the same section of hair.
  7. Saturate the ends with more dye as they require more product than the top section of your hair.
  8. Keep applying dye to your brush and running it through your hair until you’ve covered all the sections. Make sure you stagger the points where you start applying the dye from by running the brush from a little further up on some sections and further down some others so that your balayage blends seamlessly with your natural hair color.
  9. Unclip the top section of your hair and repeat the same dyeing process on it.
  10. Leave the dye on for the duration of time indicated on the box.
  11. Wash off all the dye with a color safe shampoo and conditioner.

3. Frosted Highlights



Now before you start thinking if we’re back in the early 2000s and trying those dreaded frosted blonde highlights that men used to sport, let me stop you right there. The frosted highlights I’m talking about are done with the help of a special cap filled with holes that makes for easy application. The result you end up with is super fine textured highlights that blend into your natural hair color seamlessly.

What You Need

  • Highlighting kit (that contains a highlighting cap and hooks)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Hair tinting brush
  • Color safe shampoo and conditioner

What To Do

  1. Mix the dye according to the instructions given on the highlighting kit.
  2. Put on your highlighting cap and rubber gloves.
  3. Start pulling thin sections of hair through the holes on your cap with the help of the hook.
  4. When you’re satisfied with the placement of your highlights, start applying dye to them. Make sure you saturate the sections from the roots to ends.
  5. Leave the dye on for the duration of time indicated on the kit.
  6. Carefully remove your cap and quickly wash off the dye with color safe products.

[ Read: Top 25 Light Ash Blonde Highlights For Your Hair ]

4. Hair Chunking



Hair chunking is for all you ladies who like to go for a more vivacious and dramatic look with their hair. They’re done the same way as regular highlights, the only difference being that they are done on thicker sections of hair. Thus, a stark contrast is created between the natural color and the highlights, which makes for a funkier look.

What You Need

  • Highlighting kit
  • Hair brush
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sectioning clips
  • Hair tinting brush
  • Aluminium foil
  • Rat tail comb
  • Color safe shampoo and conditioner

What To Do

  • Mix your hair dye according to the instructions given on the box.
  • Now, just follow the exact same procedure as the one given under foil highlights, with the exception of dividing your hair into bigger sections and slicing more hair off the upper layer of each section.
  • Wash off the dye after the processing time is up with a color safe shampoo. Apply conditioner.

how to highlight the back of your own hair

If you’re going natural, it’s time to get comfortable reading the small print on labels.Best cleansing products for natural hair

The hair stylists we consulted all agreed about one thing: When it comes to cleaning natural Black hair, moisture and manageability are key.

“Using a shampoo and conditioner that are paraben- and sulfate-free keeps hair much more manageable,” Vanessa Collington, a stylist at Mizu Hair Salon New York, told us. If you’re going natural, it’s time to get comfortable reading the small print on labels.

  • Parabens are chemical preservatives that help fight bacteria and fungus. You can identify them by their prefixes methyl-, ethyl-, propyl- and butylparaben.
  • Sulfates are also preservatives that hair products utilize to reduce the spread of funky mold. Sodium lauryl sulfate may thicken your hair but it and other sulfates can also irritate and dry your scalp and hair and can keep moisture from your hair.

1. Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Shampoo

Dani Priester, owner of HaUs of BeaUty Salon in Englewood, N.J., is a fan of the entire Design Essentials Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling line, particularly the shampoo and conditioner. Both products work to hydrate, soften, and detangle your hair while leaving it feeling clean but not stripped. That squeaky-clean hair feeling is not welcome in the natural hair world — squeaky-clean hair to naturalistas can mean that it’s over-stripped of its natural oils, which can lead to damaged hair prone to breakage.

“These are amazing products for retaining the moisture in your hair,” Priester said. “They perfectly hydrate for the natural-haired, and those with any type of real texture.”

Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Shampoo$12.99TARGET$12.99ULTA$8.39$11.99SALLY BEAUTY

2. Oribe Cleansing Crème for Moisture & Control

For those who love washing their hair with conditioner, or co-washing, Collington recommended the Oribe Cleansing Crème.

Co-washing can get complicated. It’s not just about washing with conditioner to avoid the drying and stripping effect of shampoos. Rather, it’s using a cleansing conditioner specifically formulated to clean your scalp and moisturize it at the same time.

“[Oribe’s co-wash] cleans hair without stripping it of its natural oils,” Collington said. “It’s a heavier product for hair that is thicker and frizzy, so it also tames your curls.”

Oribe Cleansing Crème for Moisture & Control$46.00DERMSTORE$46.00BLUEMERCURY$37.01WALMART



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3. Ouidad Curl Immersion Low-Lather Coconut Cleansing Conditioner

Priester, on the other hand, is a huge fan of the Curl Immersion Conditioner, which is designed to target kinky, curly hair.

“It’s sulfate-free, extra moisturizing, and great for nourishing curls,” Priester said. “It’s coconut oil-based, which is great to avoid breakage and promote healthy hair growth.”

Ouidad Curl Immersion Low-Lather Coconut Cleansing Conditioner$36.00AMAZON$36.00NORDSTROM$36.00OUIDAD

4. dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

For naturalistas seeking a truly natural product (or one you might find outside of your bathroom, maybe in the kitchen), hairstylist Tippi Shorter highly recommended using an apple cider vinegar rinse. In contrast to shampoo, it will clarify your scalp and remove impurities — all while maintaining your hair’s natural oils.

On top of that, Shorter explained, it’s “great to keep the hair and scalp in its proper pH level, all while giving a gentle cleanse.”

dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse$35.00SEPHORA$35.00ULTA$35.00AMAZON



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Best treatments for natural hair

Another key in going natural with your hair is finding the best treatment for it. More specifically, that means finding a functional leave-in treatment, a mask or a detangling spray.

Giving your hair a last-minute dose of moisture can make the difference between smooth, bouncy curls and a disastrous moment of floppiness. Good treatments also help protect and save your hair from future damage like split ends or breakage. A good hydrating or moisturizing treatment will keep your hair looking and feeling healthier for longer and help your hair stay frizz-free for longer.

  • During the winter: As temperatures drop, the cold won’t suck all the moisture out of your hair and dry it.
  • Into the summer: When temperatures rise again, you won’t have to worry about having puffy curls.

5. Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave In Conditioner

Shorter calls Mizani’s 25 Miracle Milk her “everything.”

This leave-in conditioner boasts 25 benefits that keep hair protected from heat, while also preparing it for detangling, providing hydration, and counteracting dryness so your curls will be soft and bouncy. We asked Shorter for some examples of how she uses the Miracle Milk.

“Detangler, curl refresher, blow dry refresher, leave-in, hair primer,” she offered, for starters. “I could just go on and on.”

Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave In Conditioner$23.00SEPHORA$23.00AMAZON$19.55$23.00JCPENNEY

6. It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in treatment

Vanessa Collington prefers the similarly named It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in treatment.

“I recommend using this after you shampoo and condition because it detangles and makes hair easier to manage,” Collington said. “[It’s] great for hair because of its amazing benefits, such as eliminating frizz, restoring shine and enhancing body, and it’s also great for damaged hair.”

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in treatment$18.99ULTA$17.96WALMART$13.99WALGREENS

7. Jane Carter Condition And Sculpt Smoothing Curl Prep Gel

For the wash-and-go people of the world — or those who tend to wash and style their hair without manipulating heat or protective styling — the leave-in, oil, cream, gel method (LOCG) is likely the way to go.

And to best perform it, Priester recommended Jane Carter Condition And Sculpt. The smoothing gel (the G in LOCG) will lock in moisture while smoothing the hair cuticle, fighting off frizz and protecting and conditioning hair.

“When applied while hair is fully saturated with water, it dries in the same state that your hair looks like wet,” she explained. “It dries hard, like gel, but can be finger-combed because it still gives a flexible hold with no flakes or product build-up.”

Jane Carter Condition And Sculpt Smoothing Curl Prep Gel$11.00AMAZON$11.00WALMART$11.00$13.99EBAY



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Best styling products for natural hair

As with a majority of natural hair products, what works for one person may not work for another. An entire family can gather a full pantry of products and what works for mom might dry and bring forth a flaky mess for one of the kids (that’s personal experience speaking).

Styling natural hair, therefore, can be tricky.

  • Some naturalistas love wash-and-go options.
  • Some want to prepare their hair for protective styles like wigs, weaves and crochet braids
  • And some want to take care of their hair so it’s at its strongest before they apply heat.

8. Dyson Supersonic hair dryer

When it comes to blow drying or flat ironing hair, the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer and its curling counterpart, the Airwrap styler, both help protect against extreme hair damage and reduce the drying time on wash days, a notoriously lengthy experience in the natural hair community. The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer is crafted to protect hair from heat damage and the controlled styling can increase smoothness by 75 percent, according to the brand.

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer$399.99BEST BUY$399.00SEPHORA$399.99ULTA

9. Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler

This Dyson styler landed on the Allure Best of Beauty list in 2020. It includes multiple attachments including a 1.2-inch barrel, a 1.6-inch barrel, a firm smoothing brush, a soft smoothing brush, a round volumizing brush and a pre-styling dryer. As previously mentioned, it is designed to protect against heat damage and you can take Dyson’s hair diagnostic tool to find which attachment is best for you.

Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler$549.99ULTA

10. Paul Mitchell Flexible Style Hot Off The Press Thermal Protection Hairspray

Every single expert we consulted recommended using a heat protectant spray

Priester recommended Paul Mitchell Flexible Style Hot Off The Press Thermal Protection Hairspray since it is “perfect for a silk press or wand curls and barrel curls.” The spray uses rice hull extract to create a lightweight barrier between the hair and the hot tool.

“It’s an anti-humidity spray that allows a flexible hold,” he said, “allowing the hair to stay sleek and straight against the elements that cause it to revert.”

Paul Mitchell Hot Off The Press Thermal Protection Spray$16.15$19.00AMAZON$16.15$19.00MACY’S$19.00ULTA



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11. EDEN BodyWorks All Natural Coconut Shea Pudding Soufflé

For curl-seekers, EDEN BodyWorks All Natural Coconut Shea Pudding Soufflé is a great option, according to Collington.

“It’s lightweight but it works wonders on finer texture curls, bringing out shine and definition.”

Relying in part on its all-natural ingredients, the Coconut Shea Pudding Soufflé will get you setting, twisting and curling your soft and moisturized hair. A curly balm that gets the job done just as well is evo’s Liquid Rollers Curly Balm, which holds your curls and afros in place while eliminating frizz

EDEN BodyWorks All Natural Coconut Shea Pudding Soufflé$7.98$15.94WALMART$6.29$8.99SALLY BEAUTY$7.99TARGET

12. Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Dry Oil Mist

Shorter recommended finishing off any look with the Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Dry Oil Mist. This dry oil spray works to fight off hair damage while smoothing, strengthening, and softening it. And , of course, it postpones the frizz.

While it may be an oil, a lot goes a long way. If you use generous amounts of it on your damp hair, it won’t get greasy or weighed down. The mist is free of parabens, mineral oil, and sulfates and sports a light citrus scent.

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