Monday, December 19, 2011

DIY Blonde Highlights

I don't have much time to blog today as my paying job as a technical writer is quite chaotic this time of year (accounting firm, 1099s, 'nuff said). But I was a busy bee this weekend and I just wanted to show off my DIY highlights.

Saturday was spent making chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal cookies. The oatmeal cookies were fantastic! Me and Toll House - we just haven't ever clicked. That's usually why I just order or buy Milk & Cookies bags of chocolate chip cookies when I'm in NYC. Add a stick of butter and eggs (I think) and they turn out perfect every time!

After cookie baking, it was time to color the roots. For years I've been going to various salons to get my roots colored every four weeks. I'm tired of paying $50+ to get that done. So now I do it myself (I may do a post on how I color my hair). I use Wella Color Charm Level 7N + 20 Vol developer for 40 minutes. Best part is I can do my roots whenever I want - even when just a slight amount of my gray stripe is coming through. It also costs me $5 a bottle at Sally Beauty Supply.

On Sunday I decided to tackle my highlights. I've pulled my hair through a cap before and fried it with Revlon Frost & Glow. I don't recommend this kit. I decided to do my highlights with foil this time. I was petrified that I would end up like that 13 year old girl who had to have blonde bangs in the 7th grade with dark, curly hair everywhere else. Ewww. But I was tired of asking for white blonde highlights from four different salons since moving up to Connecticut, only to end up with warm, honey highlights. I have cool undertones. I need brighter highlights. Again I bought everything at Sally Beauty Supply (foils, bleach, Vol 30 developer, highlighting comb). I mixed up the bleach and developer and let it "proof" while I tackled the foils. Kind of a pain but halfway through I found a method that worked (I take a clip to hold the weaved hair while I get the foil ready. The added weight helps the foil stay in place while I apply the bleach to the regrowth).

I only tackled the front and sides. I wanted to see if I could pull this off before adding highlights to the back. Was afraid I'd have to hunt down a salon today to do a color correction if this didn't work.

Here are the results...

I added three foils on each side and about six on top/front. After getting all the foils in my hair, I headed upstairs to my hooded dryer. I sat under it for 12 minutes and then checked the progress. Orange. Just as I thought. I kept checking every 5 minutes until I had the desired color (pale, pale yellow). Total processing time was 30 minutes under the dryer.

I removed the foils and washed and towel-dried my hair. I then applied toner. This is key. Without toner you will end up with some nasty orangy-yellow highlights. The toner is violet based and counteracts any ugly gold tones. I left the White Lady T18 toner on my hair for 10 minutes and then showered.

Once my hair dried, I noticed that I had a little patch on the side that needed to be touched up with my root color. I didn't get that first foil close enough to the scalp. So I just reapplied my level 7N to my roots in the front and sides, waited 40 minutes and ended up with what you see above.  It was a lot of work but my husband said how good my highlights looked this morning.
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  1. I am so jealous!!! Way to go!!! And thanks for posting the supplies! I think I will give it a go!!

    1. Oh wow, this feels like many moons ago. I'm completely bleached blonde now and I don't do it myself anymore. It wasn't easy but doable. However, I never liked my blonde color when I lived in CT. I knew I wanted to be very blonde, white blonde. If you are just going to do this once or twice, that's cool. But be careful with the 30 volume and bleach as you can do a lot of damage. I even had to stop bleaching or go to a high lift color about a month ago to give my roots a break.

  2. Hi! I would like to open beauty salon. Does anybody have an experience in this business? There are too many options in different salon equipment. Could anybody give me an advise? What store is more reliable to buy Tattoo autoclave bags and Autoclave tape. I'm choosing between Advance-Esthetic.Com and websites.