Monday, March 5, 2012

Do It Yourself Hair Color Weave or Highlights!

It is easier than you might think to do a color weave or highlights yourself (or for a friend).    Salons charge between $50 to $100 on average for this service alone.  Add the cost of a haircut and tip to the bill and you can expect to spend about $150 every 6 to 8 weeks!   Save yourself a ton of money and control the results by doing it yourself.

To do a color weave you will need the following products

  • Desired haircolor(s) and/or hair lightening (bleach) product     (I purchased the bleach I will be using for this tutorial at Walmart but you can click on the links below to find products online)
  • Aluminum Foil - Any brand will do
  • A rat tail comb
  • A timer or watch
  • A paintbrush

 Before beginning~

  • Read instructions on products you will be using.  Most hair color or lightening products recommend that you do an allergy test (to make certain that you will not have an allergic reaction) and a time test (to see how long you should leave the product on your hair to get the desired results).  Follow manufacturer's directions as indicated in the packaging
  • Be certain to take contact lenses out if you wear them.
  • Put on clothing that you won't mind getting ruined.  Even if you wear a cape to protect your clothing accidents do happen.
  • Do not shampoo hair prior to weaving.  If your hair has excess buildup, shampoo the night before. 
  • Have an old rag handy to wipe up drips
  • To prevent temporary staining of your skin around your hairline, you can apply Vaseline to create a barrier.
  • If you are alternating color with lightener, you will want to create the lightener foils first as the bleach generally takes long to develop.

  To help achieve the look you desire, consider the following ~
  • For a bold, dramatic color weave look choose several different colors.  A color several shades darker than your natural haircolor alternated with a bleach lightener creates a very dramatic look.
  • For a very subtle look, choose a color that is just a shade lighter than your natural color. 
  • If your hair is anything other than a fairly light blonde, you will need to use a lightener/bleach kit to create light blonde highlights!
  • Hair that is very dark will go through many stages of lightening when using bleach.  It will be orange in appearance, then pale lemon yellow prior to reaching the "platinum blonde" stage.  For hair that is naturally very dark or has a lot of red in it, hair may not easily reach the platinum blonde stage. 
  • Weave larger chunks of hair for a bold look.
  • Weave smaller chunks of hair for a more natural look
  • For less highlights/color weave, only place foils in a row on top of the head from forehead to top of crown.
  • For more overall highlights/color, also place foils on the sides of the head and farther down the back of the head.

To purchase supplies ~

Manic Panic Flash Lightning Hair Bleach Kit 40 Volume

Garnier Nutrisse Hair Color, Ultra Bleach Blond Creme Lightener Do-1

Soft 'N Style Hair Colorist Tool Kit (8 Piece)

1) Tear 15 to 30 strips of foil - approximately 6 inches wide
by 8 inches long.

2) Mix color or lightening product(s) according to manufacturer
directions.  However, mix in plastic bowl(s) instead of
squeeze bottle.  Use 1 bowl per each color used.

3) Section off strip of hair with rat-tail comb and use tail
to "weave" hair, as shown in this photo.

4) Crease an inch or so of the foil over the tail of the comb
and slide the foil firmly up under the weaved pieces
you want to color/highlight. 

    5) With a paint style brush, apply to the strands.
    Be very careful not to go all the way to the root

    6) Once you have applied the product to the strands,

    fold the foil up in half,
    then fold the sides in, 
    then fold up in half again.
    To prevent the foils from falling out, I crimp the foil to secure. 
    7) Finished foils ~ Her hand is on her forehead.  I put
    approximately 10 foils over the top of her head
    and two on each side.
    Leave product on hair according to package
    directions and/or the time test.
    For this bleach lightener, I left the product on her
    hair for about 50 minutes.  She is a dark blonde
    Once you've achieved the desired results, follow package
    directions for removing product from hair.
    We rinsed the product out until water ran clear, then
    8) Side view of finished highlights. 
    Back view of finished highlights.
    Different model, same process.

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  1. looks wonderful, saves so much!! Still not sure I could do it though but I'm sending the link to my daughter,, thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks Laurie!

      I would say that it is easier to do on someone else for obvious reasons but I suppose one could have a friend do her hair then reciprocate the favor!

      Thanks for the visit!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for the positive feedback! I really appreciate your visit!

  3. I've been highlighting my hair since I was 16! I use the cap and pull through a few strands here and there. For lowlights I use the cap to, just with hair color. And, I actually had people stop me on Michigan Ave. to ask me where I got my hair done!!!!! I had to admit-my apartment, with a kit from the drugstore!!!! You're right-huge savings!

    1. Thanks for your visit! Yes, it is a huge money savings! I've used the cap as well but the longer my hair has gotten, the harder it is for me to do without tangling up. Great method though! It's nice to hear of other folks saving money while looking beautiful!

      Have a great day!

    2. try sprinkling some corn starch on your hair before putting the cap on. It won't affect the color/bleach processing. Also remember to always work from the crown downand around.

  4. I'm pretty certain this posting wasn't aimed at myself. ;) Oh well. I'll wait for the next!

    - Cloud

    1. Well now you never know when you might be able to help a friend out! It could be a handy skill to have!

      Have a great day!

  5. beautiful results, your daughters are so lucky to have a cool mom like you, never colored by hair it is always red - they tell me I can look forward to white - peace

    1. Thanks Ruth! I'll bet your hair is beautiful!

      As always, your visits are appreciated!

  6. That turned out fantastic!!! I had a friend help me with single process all-over color, but there were quite a few missed spots. Although I'm considering saving money to have someone do it professionally, to get even coverage. After that, I can do it myself, but I"m not sure how. Have you ever done a tutorial for all-over color? This is great :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

    1. Thanks Heather! I wish we lived closer because I'd help you! No, I haven't done a tutorial for all over color but I would be glad to put that in the works for you!

      I'll bet you could even correct the missed spots yourself, Heather. All over color (if it is not bleaching that you are doing) is much simpler. Are you trying to go lighter or darker than your natural color?

      Thanks as always for your visit! Have a wonderful night!

  7. Hi Poppy,
    My hair is naturally as dark brown as you can get(with subtle red highlights) before the hair is completely black. I had some mahogany chestnut in my hair. I'm trying to go back to my natural dark color. I purchased a "black brown" color from Naturtint. It's the right color in terms of darkness, but I should have purchased a warm shade...I purchased/used a cool shade. I'm going to let it grow out a little bit, and then try again...although I'm really tempted to use a black cherry color...maybe I"ll have to mix two different colors together :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

    1. Heather,

      It sounds like you have a pretty good understanding of what you need to do! I'd love to see the black cherry color! Sounds gorgeous!

  8. I have done this before, good ideas

    1. Thank you for the positive feedback! If some of these ideas help someone else save money and live well then I'll feel like I've accomplished something!

      Have a great evening!

  9. Looks great Poppy! Bet T is one happy girl! :-)

    I'd be happy to help you accomplish it on yourself.

    1. Thanks Lola! I might have to take you up on that sometime!

  10. Hello! I love this hair color! I have very short hair that is brown with 50% gray. Any suggestions on if and how I can get these same results? Thanks!

  11. Do you need the rat tail comb in order to weave?

    1. I have used a chopstick and a pencil too. I think any object with a somewhat small pointy tip would work! Let us know how this turns out for you.

  12. I am going to try this!The reason why I want to use foil is because if you put the cap on, your really not sure what strands your pulling out.
    I am using Frost and Tip. Could I use saran wrap?
    (just so I can see the results without unwrapping) or would tin foil work better.

    1. I can't find any reason that you shouldn't use plastic wrap. It would be helpful for you to be able to see the color changing. However, you might need to use a clip for each wrap to prevent the wrap from sliding down. Also, for me the foil wrapped rat tail comb helps act as a guide for brushing on the color or bleach. But I'll bet you can make it work. We'd love to know how using saran wrap worked for you! Thanks so much for the good idea!

  13. My question is, what happens the next few times you weave it. It would be impossible to collect the same strands of hair for the same colors again, right?

    1. This is a dilemma for amateurs and pros alike I guess. My hairstylist friend says that she just tries to follow the previously lightened pattern to decide what to weave in and what to "weave out" ;) I do the same thing. The rat tail comb and foil seem to really help me follow the previously highlighted areas. I suppose like anything, a certain amount of artistry and care go a long way and can make the difference between beautiful and DISASTER!!! You could in time end up with more blond than you want.

      Hope this helps.

  14. Did you use a toner? I have medium dark brown hair. Should length thick and curly. I bought 20v developer and bleach. Have foil. Know about placement. I don't want white blonde ..... but don't want orange. Should I tone?

  15. I have medium to dark brown hair. Colored close to natural. To cover grey. I'm doing foils.... have 20v developer bleach foil. My question is do I need toner? I don't want white blonde.... don't want orange either. Help???


    1. Hi Nancy,

      If you want something other than white blonde on the bleached parts you may have to double process by putting on toner afterward. I've always wanted some white blond in my hair (even with the grey that I have) so I've never tried to bleach then darken some. Are you wanting highlights or just multiple shades of medium to dark brown? If you don't want hightlights, just do the foils with alternating colors you desire (no need for bleach).

  16. This makes me want to look at beauty supply stores online and get some color to do this to my hair. It's perfect for summer and I'm so ready for a change.

    1. It is the perfect time of year for a change isn't it? Nice to know that you don't have to go broke doing it either! Have a great day!

  17. What brand did you use from Walmart?

    1. I've used several brands over the years. Garnier makes a hair bleach and so does L'oreal (Super Blonde Creme Lightening Kit). Both are available at my local Walmart for under $10 a box. I've found both to work equally well as long as I follow directions.

  18. I will be using this blog to do highlights on my hair. My friend will be helping me. I have been dying my hair for years, but have only highlighted my hair once. It turned out okay, but I am wanting to do different shades of high/low lights on my light brown hair. I am going for a summer look. Thanks for the excellent diagram. I looked into professional and it would cost 100$ to get the look I want, so doing it myself.


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