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If you're a dark-haired honey who's in the mood to go lighter, you don't have to fork over a ton of money doing so. Instead of going to the salon and spending a fortune, you can actually take the task on yourself. Going lighter is easy if you use the right products and techniques. There are a couple different ways you can see if blondes really do have more fun.
Brush your hair through to smooth and prepare it for the hair dye. You can choose any shade of blond at-home color you want. Strawberry blonds are redder shades, bleach blonds are more of a golden shade and the platinum blond colors are the lightest and brightest blonds you can get, typically with ash undertones.
The dye for solid color typically goes into an easy-to-use applicator tube. To add color to your hair -- for the best results, color your hair at least two days after your last shampoo -- point the applicator tube downward with the tip against your hair. Squeeze out a bit of the dye and rub it into your hair with your fingers. There's nothing perfect or precise about this; you just want to add dye around on your hair and make sure all the strands are saturated or wet with the dye. Pretty easy, right?
Leave the color on your hair for the suggested amount of time. If you're quite dark to start with, you can probably expect this to be anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. Read over the directions on the box to be sure. Use this time to clean up any mess you've made or just sit back and relax -- you deserve it!
Tick tock. When the time is up, rinse the dye out of your hair and be amazed at the transformation that has taken place. Your dark hair should now be one solid shade of blonde. If you find the color is a bit brassy, you can use a toner -- which may come included in your dye package or you may have to buy separately -- to help get rid of brassy tones.
Give your hair a quick brushing before starting. You don't have to worry about perfection, and highlights should be placed randomly for the most natural effect, but that doesn't mean it's any easier if you're trying to color over knots and tangles.
Prepare the hair dye. The directions can change from one highlighting kit to the next, so always read to be sure. In most home highlighting kits, the dye comes already mixed and you just have to open it. If it's a paint-on highlighting kit, there's probably an applicator tube; with foil highlights, there should be foil strips and an applicator tube and brush; and for the cap versions, a -- not so attractive -- cap for your head and applicator tube.
Show your artistic side by applying the color to your hair. Again the method will vary, depending on which type of kit you chose. The paint-on kits are the most common, and you simply take even-sized sections of hair -- about 1/4-inch wide -- and color them by squeezing dye out from the tube and rubbing it into the hair with your fingers. With foil strips, each section goes on top of a separate strip and then you color and fold the strips closed. The cap kits aren't used that much anymore but are fairly easy; just put on that ever-so-attractive cap, pull strands of hair through and color them. Whew, seems like a workout, but your wallet will thank you!
Now it's just a waiting game and time for a break. Especially if you have really long or thick hair, and you didn't have a friend around to help, your hands are probably a little tired. Have a tea, flip through a magazine, whatever; you have about 30 to 45 minutes to kill, so relax and enjoy yourself. After that, you just rinse out the dye and voila -- highlighted to perfection.
Using a deep-conditioning treatment about a week after coloring your hair can mean the difference between lovely, lustrous hair and frizzy, fried mess. Coloring can cause damage, and a deep conditioning treatment will help restore moisture to your strands and get you the shiny, healthy hair you want.