How to Highlight Hair With a Brush or Comb

Written by kathleen bona
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How to Highlight Hair With a Brush or Comb
Stick to highlight colours that complement your skin tone. (long curly hair image by Frenk_Danielle Kaufmann from

Highlighting your hair can give you a vibrant look, create dimension and make your hair look fuller.

Highlights can be applied at home, saving you a hefty salon bill. It is important to choose the correct shade, selecting one to two shades lighter than your natural hair colour. Do a strand test to ensure that the end result turns out to be the look you were shooting for. It is also wise to ask a friend to help with the back of your hair.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Clarifying shampoo
  • Highlight kit
  • Brush
  • Fine-toothed comb or small hair brush
  • Paper towels
  • Small hair-rollers or bobby-pins

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  1. 1

    Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo, two days before highlighting to eliminate traces of haircare products. This will help your hair become more receptive to the highlights. Additionally, the bit of oil your hair will consequently produce will help protect against possible chemical damage.

  2. 2

    Carefully read the instructions included in your highlight kit before beginning.

  3. 3

    Brush your hair carefully to smooth out any tangles. Part your hair in the same manner that you will be parting it after highlighting.

  4. 4

    Apply the highlights at the root of your hair sections, and run a fine-toothed comb or small hair brush from roots to ends, beginning with the back of your hair. Move on to the side hair sections next, followed by the fringe. Wipe any excess highlights from the hair with a paper towel.

  5. 5

    Use small hair-rollers or bobby-pins to roll up highlighted sections, preventing the dye from touching the hair you do not want highlighted.

  6. 6

    Check the highlights throughout the process. It is fine to remove the dye before the end of the recommended time, but you may cause damage to your hair if it is left on longer than the directions specify.

  7. 7

    Rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water and condition with the conditioner included in your highlight kit.

Tips and warnings

  • Highlighted fringe emphasise your eyes.
  • A longer highlighted side bang can bring out your cheekbones.

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