Today I am posting about a topic that is not necessarily “natural,” but it was frugal, done at home & done in a way to protect myself from harmful chemicals.
Recently I decided that I wanted to try highlighting my hair, but I didn’t plan to spend the money to have it professionally done at a salon. Instead, I opted to do it myself at home with the help of my amazing sister-in-law. In case you didn’t know, I have tonsurephobia (real word!)… fear of haircuts as well as any other sort of hair change, lol. It all stems from a very bad hair cut experience as a child. Oh, my. What a combination!
Here is how we did it, as well as the before and after shots. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.
1. When I went to get my hair cut last week, I asked my hairstylist to save a few locks of hair for me to take home so that I could use them as test strips later.
2. I was going to use a box of natural hair color that I found at the health food store, but my hairstylist recommended that I go to a haircare store and purchase something with bleach rather than a specific color, because what I wanted to do was place natural highlights in my hair.
3. At the haircare store, I bought the items below that were recommended by the store salespeople. Developer & lightening powder. What I really liked about these products is that they lightened my natural hair color by a few shades rather than straight up bleaching it. My total for these two products as well as the cap and applicator was $9 vs. the $150+ I would have paid at a salon. Yes, please!
4. Following the directions on the package & using gloves in a well ventilated area, we mixed a small amount of the two products together. We used my saved locks of hair as test strands before we applied the mixture to my head, just in case the results turned out less than desirous… this was the way I got over my hair fear and actually followed through with the highlighting.
5. Then my SIL pulled the strands I wanted highlighted through the hair cap, and after we made sure that we liked the color change on my test strands, we finished mixing the rest of the product according to the directions & applied the mixture to my hair. After that, we placed a grocery bag over my head to help seal in the heat. (TIP: your real hair will process faster than the test strands due to the heat on your body heat and the bag over your head, so check it frequently! Mine only took 13 minutes before it was MUCH lighter!)
6. After my hair lightened to the desired result, we rinsed the mixture out (using gloves), and then conditioned with some leftover sulfate free conditioner I had, being careful not to touch my scalp since I am a no ‘pooer. I conditioned the hair itself well, rinsed well, and dried it. I am told that it is natural for it to be a little bit dry and frizzy right away due to all of the torture the products put your hair through to lighten it.
Before & After
It’s hard to tell from the lighting in these photos, but my hair went from a medium brown to a medium brown with golden highlights. I liked using the hair cap because we could take small strands to really blend the highlights rather than creating large chunky streaks. The hair cap is also nice because it keeps the chemicals from ever actually touching your scalp, making it much safer.
Natural Deep Conditioner
It is important to deep condition your hair after any sort of coloring since it strips the natural oils and nutrients from it. Since I no ‘poo, the best deep conditioning option I have found is whole milk plain yogurt. I just grab a handful, rub in into my scalp and hair until well coated and then tie my hair up in a plastic bag and let it set for 30 minutes before rinsing it out. This leaves my hair feeling silky and smooth. I did it the day after I highlighted my hair and it made a big difference. I could tell my hair was much less dry & less frizzy after the deep conditioning.
Do you color or highlight your hair? What natural tips do you have to keep it looking beautiful?