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If you’ve had your hair highlighted for years, it’s easy to think you can color it like the pros. For the most part, that’s probably not true -- unless you have the right tools. To ensure you can highlight evenly, consider using a highlighting cap when coloring your hair. Think of it as “highlighting for dummies” -- a guide that helps you get professional-looking hair color without a trip to the salon.
Since you don’t want the same highlights as everyone else, highlighting caps aren’t one-look-fits-all. Look for special highlighting caps with larger holes to produce a streaking effect if you prefer bolder color. If you want a subtler look, go for a highlighting cap that has smaller holes so you can blend more evenly. Some highlighting caps even have color-coded patterns so you can get really specific when choosing your highlighting patterns. For a goof-proof highlighting style, choose one of these caps to keep your highlights salon-worthy.
Make It a Safety Net
The goal of your highlighting cap is to make it so tight that the color you apply cannot seep underneath the cap. That means you’re going to have to live with looking like an alien at least until your color process is over. One of the best ways to make your cap tight is to apply low heat with a hair dryer to the cap before putting it on your hair. This will make the cap more moldable to your head. Another way to make the cap your safety net is to use the smallest tool possible to pull your hair through the plastic. This keeps the holes very small so the color won’t go through to the color underneath.
After you’ve used the hair tools to pull your hair through the cap, it’s time to color. The best way to apply the color is to follow the directions on your package and apply all over the hair you’ve pulled through. Don’t put too much emphasis on dropping color in at the roots -- this will increase the chance that your color will go into the holes of your cap. After you’ve waited the requisite amount of time, wash your hair with the cap on. Then you can take the cap off and wash again to reveal your new, perfected highlights.
Sometimes the highlighting cap isn’t the best method for coloring your hair. This is especially true when you have long hair, because pulling your hair through the cap can make it tangled. Since getting knots out can be painful and tricky, highlighting caps should be reserved for short- to medium-length hair.