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How to Keep Your Highlights When Coloring Hair

by Madison Reed January 13, 2015

How to Keep Your Highlights When Coloring Hair - coloring highlights

Image by Madison Reed

Coloring like a pro is easier than you think. Look like a million bucks (while spending a whole lot less) with expert tips from Madison Reed.

So you have highlights, but your roots are growing in and you can't get to the salon. We've all been there. Don't worry—coloring your roots at home is actually easy, and you can do it without affecting your highlights. Follow these simple steps to preserve your highlights while refreshing your roots.

Coloring Highlights

How to Keep Your Highlights When Coloring Your Roots

  1. Prepare: Divide your hair into four equal sections. Clip into place if you have long hair.

    Divide your hair into quadrants

    Apply barrier cream to your forehead, ears, and neck. Be careful to keep it off your hair.

    How to Keep Your Highlights When Coloring Hair: Add Barrier Cream

    Wash the barrier cream off your hands. Put on a pair of gloves to protect your hands.

    Use gloves to protect your hands while coloring

  2. Mix: Combine the Radiant Cream Color with the Conditioning Color Activator in an applicator bottle or non-metallic mixing bowl. Shake or mix until thoroughly combined (about 20 seconds).

    Mix hair color with color activator

  3. Color Your Roots: Roots are the outgrowth of natural hair since your last coloring session. This hair has not been color-treated, so it needs more time to process, particularly if you have any grays, as gray hair can be more resistant to color. 

    Apply color to your front hairline and at the natural part in your hair.

    Coloring highlights: Apply color to your roots

    Next, at the back of your head, apply a small amount of color to your roots. Work your way down one section in rows that are roughly 1/4 inch apart. Continue until the section is complete. Give your roots a good massage to fully saturate them with color.

    coloring highlights with comb through the hair

    Repeat this process on the other back section of your head. Then, repeat on the front sections.

    Don’t be shy—completely saturate your roots. 
  4. Relax: Once you’ve applied all your color to your new growth, focusing mostly on any gray hair, slip on a plastic cap. This helps keep the color in place, retain heat, and process the color.

    Relax Cap

    Use a cleansing wipe to clean any stray color from your skin. Take off your gloves and enjoy the downtime.
  5. Rinse: Put on a new pair of gloves and rinse the color from your hair until the water runs clear. Then wash your hair with nourishing shampoo and conditioner to lock in and preserve your fresh, beautiful color.

    Shampoo Bubbles

This process will help you keep your highlights while covering your roots and any grays if you have them.


Related: how to lighten hair color.

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