6 golden rules for highlighting hair at home

Thinking about lightening your hair at home? These are the rules to follow

Curly brunette in a sweater on the coast faces the sea and straightens hair, view from the back

There are lots of reasons why you might want to have a go at home highlighting

Maybe you’re trying to save money, maybe you can’t get out to the salon right now. Maybe you started doing your own DIY facials, gel manicures and home pedicures and want to have a go at highlighting hair at home too.

Whatever the reason, do two things before you begin: Read up about the best home highlight kits and follow our simple prep protocol. Start by enlisting a friend or family member to assist. If you’re concerned about an even application ask someone in the household to do the back of your hair.If your hair is dry or damaged, use an intense nourishing mask likeLee Stafford’s Arganoil from Morocco Deep Nourishing Treatmenta couple of days before highlighting hair at home.


Lee StaffordArganoil from Morocco Deep Nourishing Treatment

Lee Stafford argan oil mask


ViewLee Stafford’ Arganoil from Morocco Deep Nourishing Treatment, £1.79, Boots.com


Prefer natural products? Massage a couple of teaspoons ofBiona Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil linto damp hair and leave for an hour before rinsing.


Biona Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil


Biona coconut oil

ViewBiona Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil, 19.26, amazon.co.uk


Finally, Ensure you have bought enough highlighting kits. If you hair is long and thick you will need two, or even three boxes.

Ready to start highlighting hair at home? These are the golden rules


  • Rule 1: Always perform a patch test to ensure you’re not allergic to the dye


  • Rule 2: Wear a protective towel or gown that you won't mind staining


  • Rule 3: Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly around the hairline, on the forehead and temple area. This helps prevent the dye staining the skin around the hairline. Avoid getting it on the hair as it forms a barrier to colour


  • Rule 4: Make sure your hair is tangle- and knot-free.Use hair clips to hold sections of hair so you can apply the dye more precisely


  • Rule 5: Follow the instructions word for word. All colour brands have slightly different formulas so make sure you read the instructions for application and development times


  • Rule 6: Application is important. The better the application, the better the result, so take your time. Be aware that the sparser and lighter the strokes the more subtle and natural the result. It may be a laborious process but the results will be much better


Fiona McKim
Beauty Editor, womanandhome.com

 As woman&home's Beauty Channel Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about brilliant finds on womanandhome.com or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair experiments and cute shih-tzus). Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013 under industry legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know (learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism). She has since covered every corner of the industry, from interviewing dermatologists and celebrities to reporting backstage at Fashion Week and judging the w&h Beauty Awards.