How to Frost Your Hair Without the Cap

Mix your dye thoroughly before frosting your bland 'do.

Photo: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

If your tresses are looking ho-hum instead of hot, perhaps a little frosting is in order. Frosting your hair refers to the process of adding highlights throughout your entire mane to give your hair a subtle, lively look without blond overload. Frosting caps are cool if you've got short or thin hair, but they are a pain for those rockin' long, thick locks. Ditch the cap and free-hand your frost job for a fab new 'do!


Slip into an old T-shirt and cover your shoulders and neck with an old towel. Protect your ears and hairline with a layer of petroleum jelly. While it may be smelly and sticky, the jelly keeps dye off your skin and prevents unsightly dye spots.


Comb knots and tangles from your flowing mane, and brush your hair as you would normally style it. Frosting should look natural and styling your hair the same way you do for a day at the office will give you lightened locks in all the right spots.


Decide what features of your face you like best and focus your frosting accordingly. Love your eyes? Sweep the dye over your bangs to draw attention to your gorgeous peepers. Have stunning cheekbones? Brush dye along strands near your face to bring out your natural beauty.


Slip your hands into a pair of rubber gloves to keep your mani fresh and clean and mix your frosting kit as directed. Brush the frosting dye over small sections of hair, focusing on your key areas. Use the small, mascara-like brush included with the kit, starting approximately 1/4-inch from the scalp for a more natural highlight. Frost from the front to the back and remember that more is less: A few carefully-placed highlights will give your style a stunning, natural look.


Set a timer for the number of minutes indicated on the directions and take a load off while the dye does its thing. Wash away the dye with warm water and protect your hair with the conditioner included with the kit. Rinse the conditioner out and dry and style your freshly frosted locks.

Things You'll Need



3.Petroleum jelly



4.Frosting kit


Tips & Tricks


If your hair is super thick or dye-resistant, check a strand for desired lightening before rinsing. Squeeze the bottom of a frosted section between gloved fingers to remove the dye. If the hair looks light enough, rinse away. Leave it on for an additional 5 minutes if it's not quite light enough.

Don't highlight huge chunks of your hair at once. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but blocky skunk stripes are rarely attractive.


Related Videos




Cosmopolitan: At-Home Highlighting How-Tos
"O, the Oprah Magazine"; How to Dye Your Hair at Home; Jenny Bailly; November 2009

Add to this Article



Just for you

What type are you?

Choose your Face Shape
or Register
typeF's Survival Guide


How would you like to register?

Register with Facebook
  • It's fast, easy and hassle-free
  • One-click log-in and commenting
Register with
  • Use your email to create your account