Paint on Highlights on Hair

Any regular paintbrush can help you create highlights in your hair.
Any regular paintbrush can help you create highlights in your hair. (Image: brush image by Edvin selimovic from

Highlights can create contrast and brighten your skin tones, or give you a boost. A new set of highlights can make you feel like you've had a total makeover – or at least a day at the beach. If you experience sticker shock at the salon -- you may want to create your own highlights at home. Instead of using the laborious and difficult-to-manage foiling method, you can paint highlights on your hair with a brush.

Things You'll Need

  • Old T-shirt
  • Gloves
  • Hair color
  • Non-metallic bowl
  • Highlighting brush
  • Towel
  • Comb
  • Mirror
  • Brush
  • Timer
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner

Evaluate your natural coloring and your skin tone, to choose a highlighting shade that will give you the most natural effect. A good contrast is a color two or three shades lighter than your natural hair color.

Determine where you will place your highlights. Ideally, frame your face at your hairline and cheek.

Put on an old T-shirt and clear a work area with good lighting, such as the bathroom.

Open your hair highlighting kit and read the enclosed directions from start to finish. Place the enclosed latex gloves on your hands.

Mix the highlighting solution as per the instructions. Mix in a plastic or non-metallic bowl.

Dip the highlighting brush into the mixture. Paint or coat the strands you wish to highlight. Paint from your root all the way down to the end of the strand of hair. Take care not to get your brush on other sections of hair.

Paint on a thick highlight for a bold look and thinner highlights for a less obvious contrast.

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Set a timer for the required amount of processing time, as indicated in the instructions.

When the time is up, use a paper towel or old towel, to wipe the solution off of your highlighted strands.

Rinse your hair thoroughly until the water runs clear, then shampoo and condition as usual.

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