For those who really like to stand out in a crowd no boring, blond highlights will do. Splashes of pink against dark hair is the ultimate in color contrast and is sure to catch the eye --and envy -- of fashionistas everywhere. To get true, pink highlights you must always pre-lighten the hair first with bleach. This two-step process may take some time (and a watchful eye) to get right, but it'll so be worth it when you're rockin' some punky-pink streaks.
Pre-Lightening the Highlights
Mix the powdered bleach with the 30-volume peroxide, following the product's directions, in a color bowl. Slip on those latex gloves to protect your fingers from the bleach.
Section off the first chunk of hair you want to highlight, and pin the rest of the hair around it up and out of your way. Remember -- neatness is next to fabulousness.
Place your first piece of foil under the small section of hair to be highlighted. Make sure the top edge of the foil is right up against the scalp to act as a protective barrier.
Start a 1/4 inch away from the scalp, and brush the bleach onto the section of hair, working your way down to the ends. Really push that bleach into the hair so it saturates the strands. You want all the hair to be completely coated with the bleach or it won't lighten evenly and you'll end up with some sorry highlights.
When that section is completely coated fold the bottom of the foil up to the middle of the foil. Now fold it again to the top so it's folded into three equal sections. Gently press the sides of the foil to seal them and keep the air out. Pin the sealed foil piece out of your way with a small, plastic hair clip.
Repeat the foiling process for the other sections of hair you want to highlight. Work quickly, though, 'cause that bleach is already working its magic on the first section, and you don't want the last highlights to be lagging too far behind.
When you're done with the last highlight take a quick peek at the first one you did to see how far along it is. The color you're aiming for is past the pale yellow stage and into the white-blond stage. So not kidding -- white! You need to remove all the pigment from your highlights to create a blank slate. Otherwise any pigment left will mix with the pink and create a different color. Pink + yellow = light green. Yikes!
Keep checking your highlights every five to 10 minutes until they're at the white-blond stage. To properly check for color, very gently scrape the bleach off a small strip of the highlighted hair with your gloved fingertip. If you see white, all right! It's time to rinse. If you see yellow, let it mellow and check back in another five. Don't forget to reapply some bleach to the wiped area and reseal the foil after each sneak peak or the bleach will dry out and stop working.
Remove the foils and rinse the hair immediately once you've gotten all your highlights to the white-blond stage. Towel dry the hair gently to remove as much moisture as you can.
Putting on the Pink
Now it's time to get funky. Mix up your pink hair color with a 10-volume developer, according to the product directions, in the cleaned color bowl. Clean the brush, too. Got you're gloves on? Good, 'cause, girl, this stuff stains anything it comes in contact with, so practice safe coloring.
Separate an entire section of bleached hair from the rest of the hair. Place a foil under the bleached section, as you did for the highlights, and brush on the pink hair color. Again, saturate that hair so you don't end up with spotty highlights. Fold the foil in half but don't press it closed. Air isn't your enemy here --- you're just trying not to get the pink hair color on any other part of the hair as it may alter any hair it comes in contact with.
Repeat the separation and coloring step for each chunk of bleached hair. Make sure you get them all or you'll have some rogue white hairs in the mix.
Set a timer for 20 minutes and let the pink color seep in. When the time has elapsed, carefully remove the foils and rinse the hair immediately until the water runs clear.
Slather on some conditioner to seal the color into the highlights, wait two minutes and then rinse thoroughly. Voila! You're now pretty in pink -- highlights, that is.
Start applying the bleach 1/4 inch away from the scalp to reduce the chances the bleach will leak through the top of the foil and bleed onto your scalp and surrounding hair. Bleach expands slightly as it processes, so give it some room to breathe.
Bleaching the hair to the white-blond stage takes a lot out of the hair --- and we don't just mean the color. If your hair is already dry or damaged, this much bleaching could be the last straw (and turn your hair to straw, too!). Unless your hair has a totally clean bill of health, don't try this at home or anywhere else, for that matter.
Never use metal hair clips when coloring your hair. If the metal clips come in contact with some of the bleach they can corrode and stain your hair.
Punk hair colors, such as pink, blue, green and purple, stain anything and everything they come in contact with. It's what they do best. So cover up your body and wear old clothing. Oh, and immediately wipe down any surfaces the splashing color may come in contact with or your shower and sink will have pink highlights too. (reference 2 subheading "Considerations")