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If you add some highlights to your naturally dark hair, you can transform from dark to defined, lightened, beautiful hair. You don't even have to write a tear-inducing check that's going to set you back for weeks. Instead, take on the task yourself and get highlights in your hair right at home. You are woman, hear you roar! Or dye.
Brush through your hair to get rid of any tangles. If you're doing it last minute, you obviously didn't plan, but it's best to color hair that is not freshly washed. Even if you want to have super clean locks before starting, keep in mind that dyeing hair a day or two after washing it can help the color bond better to your locks and prevents extra damage, too. Good enough.
Put on a pair of latex gloves before starting. Sometimes these come included in home highlighting kits, but even if so, you may still want to opt to buy your own pair separately. "One size fits all" is certainly not the case with all things, and you want to make sure your hands fit comfortably inside the gloves. If they are squeezed on tight and suffocating your hands or so loose they're falling off while you're trying to color your hair, this can be a serious problem.
Prepare the hair dye. Read the instructions -- twice -- and then follow them carefully. Even if you've colored your hair before, the directions can vary pretty significantly even just from one brand of home highlighting kit to another. It's always safest to read over the directions to be sure you're doing it right. Fortunately, for self-coloring newbies, the process usually involves nothing more than mixing up some goop and slopping it into a tube.
The most important part is now in your hands -- literally. Looking into a mirror -- unless of course, you want to try your luck and see how it comes out if you do it blind -- pick up a small section of hair at the back of your head. For thin, natural looking highlights, keep the sections no more than a 1/2 inch wide, and for larger, chunkier highlights you want to go a bit larger, between 1 and 1 1/2 inches wide. Color over this piece of hair with dye and do the same to same-sized sections around the crown of your head. Keep in mind that highlights always look better when placed randomly, so don't worry about perfection here.
Leave the dye on for the suggested amount of time -- typically about 45 minutes on naturally dark hair -- and then rinse it out. Don't be alarmed if the color looks a bit different than you expected. Freshly colored hair tends to look much different when wet, so wait until you style it to make your decision. Voila -- perfectly highlighted, beautiful hair and without breaking the bank. Excellent!
Always keep a close eye on the time when coloring your hair. Unless you prefer neon tones, only leave the dye on for the suggested amount of time, no more, no less. So don't get too caught up in watching last night's episode of American Idol on TiVo and lose track of time.