For the hair-colouring novice looking to add some highlights at home, highlighting caps are a good alternative to the time-consuming painting and foiling techniques used at salons. Strands of hair are pulled through small holes in the cap, separating them from the rest of your hair so the bleach only lightens the strands you have chosen. Highlighting caps are best for short to medium-length hair, as long hair can get too tangled when it is pulled through, resulting in messy or uneven highlights. Preparing hair before putting the cap on is an important step.
Wash hair with a clarifying shampoo and conditioner one to two days before you plan to highlight hair. This gives your hair time for natural oils to be replenished, which will help decrease the damage done by the highlighting bleach. Comb hair thoroughly while the conditioner is still in it to remove any tangles.
Brush hair thoroughly, both forward and backward just before highlighting. If hair is so oily that it is clumping together, sprinkle a small amount of baby powder on your brush and run it through hair close to the roots.
Spray a light mist of detangling spray or apply a dime-sized amount of shine serum to hair if it is especially coarse or prone to tangling. Brush this through so it is evenly dispersed.
Part your hair as you normally wear it to make sure highlights work with your normal style.
Lean your head back so hair falls away from the hairline and brush hair once again to remove any remaining tangles. While your head is still leant back, slip the highlighting cap on and you are ready to highlight.
After each section of hair is pulled through the cap, brush it again to remove any tangles at the root.
Do a strand test on a small piece of hair the day before to avoid any highlighting disasters.