(Closed) Any hairstylists out there? DIY highlights/toner?

posted 4 years ago in Beauty
Post # 3
6170 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

i highly recommend you go to a salon to get this done and just ask for an ash toner if you want this to look more natural. With your hair being dark youre going to get orange streaks 100%. And probably horrible spotting. If you want brassy color then go for the Sallys or drugstore color.

Post # 4
300 posts
Helper bee

Balayage isn’t simple, especially if your hair is dark brown.

Go to a hair salon, good hair salons have Instagram accounts showing pictures of their clients’ hair and then they also say who the stylist was. If you see something you like and get an appointment with that person, it’s pretty foolproof.

If, however, you insist doing this by yourself, you need a strong lightener and then, if the hair is yellowish, you’ll just use an ashy toner. Balayage really isn’t the easiest do DYI and my concern is that you’ll end up with spots or streaks. How would you do the back, for example? You need to do your whole head very quick because otherwise the result won’t look good, i.e. you need to be sure you know what you’re doing beforehand.

Post # 5
2502 posts
Sugar bee

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snowdrops :  your gonna regret it. Either go to a salon (who has done LOTS of balayage and can show you client pics) or just leave your hair as-is. Don’t try it yourself. 

Post # 7
968 posts
Busy bee

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snowdrops :  I’ve got balayage in my brown hair and I had it done at a salon. Would never have risked it at home. What I’d do is research salons before you go to them – find one that’s got a Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/website with tonnes of pictures of their work to prove that they can do it, then book 🙂

Post # 8
21 posts
  • Wedding: February 2016

I recommend you go to Sally Beauty and buy anything from Clairol Professional or Wella. I use the Wella toners and they are fabulous! I use t18 but it depends on the result you want. These are professional grade products that are better than what you’d find at the grocery store. These are also used by stylists. 

Post # 9
699 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

Go to the salon!!

Post # 10
10490 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

Please don’t bleach your hair at home.

You already have what I am going to assume is box dye on your hair so its really not as simple as you think its going to be. Box dye is not the same as professional grade hair color and when you put bleach on it there is no way of knowing how its going to pull out of your hair or what magical funky things it will do. Also, box dye is INCREDIBLY hard to bleach out of your hair and to be honest you’re probably going to end up frying your hair trying to get it light enough and not whatever weird undertone is going to show up once it starts lifting. Melted hair is also not cute.


ALSO “just dye it back dark” doesn’t work as easy as you think. If you over process your hair with bleach it will no longer hold color and you will not be able to dye it back dark because it literally will not be able to take color anymore. You will either have to cut the over processed hair off or wait for it to grow out so you can then cut it off. It will be dead.

Post # 11
590 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017 - Nepal

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slomotion :  This exactly! When you lighten your hair, your are removing many different colors. Below is a color wheel. Brown hair lives between the blue-violet and red range (level 2-5). To get your hair blonde, you need to remove the colors down to yellow (level 9,10). This means you will be removing any color between your natural and what it lifts to. If you lift your hair to a level 9, you need to tone with the lifted level contrasting colors. For example, a level 9 needs to be toned with a level 9 violet toner. But a violet toner pulls very quickly so if you leave it on too long, your hair can turn purple or grey. If you hate how it turns out, you can’t just put brown back on it without it looking murky or dull. To go back from blonde to brown, you need to fill the hair with the pigments you removed. Short story, there is a lot of science involved in hair color. On top of that, box color is terrible! I know you don’t want to get it professionally done, but you will save yourself a lot of stress, damage and money. If you go the DIY route and it turns out poorly, then you will have to pay to get it fixed. It will no longer be a standard color service, but color correction which is WAY more expensive. If money is a concern, go to a nicer beauty school. The instructors there are very hands on at a fraction of the cost and will turn out better than doing it at home. I’ve done box dye, home highlights, etc that have resulted in some pretty bad hair phases.  


Post # 12
4739 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

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slomotion :  Yep I did this in college.  I had gotten really crappy highlights and dyed dark brown over it.  I looked like an orange striped mess. 

OP, I’ve done balayage on myself before, but only over my natural blonde hair.  Whenever I color correct (dark to light or light to dark) I go to a salon.  If you insist on doing it yourself, I’d watch a TON of youtube videos and research what you’re doing first.  Stylists make it look easy, but it’s really easy to turn your hair into a fried mess.

Post # 13
3 posts

I recently did this myself using a cap but with a separate dye kit (I used Garnier Olia) since the last time I tried the Revlon cap highlighting dye I *FRIED* my hair SO badly (this was back in college…whoops!). This time, it turned out great — it was super natural-looking yet definitely brightened things up. I then used a purple conditioner to tone down any brassiness (it actually wasn’t that brassy to begin with, but the toner definitely helped blend things a bit more). The trick for me was to use a dye that’s only a couple shades lighter than my natural color, so that if I messed things up it wouldn’t be as obvious. I love it!!

That said, I’m getting it professionally done before the wedding, since it’s possible I just got lucky, and I definitely don’t want to risk it again!! If you want to get it done professionally, I would do some serious stalking of hairstylists’ Instagram accounts, as that seems to be an AMAZING way to get a feel for their work. And bring photos of exactly what you want! Before I tried it myself, I had spent $120+ getting a professional balayage, and I think I overemphasized the word “subtle” because I literally could NOT tell that she’d done anything to it (I would have gone back and asked her to retouch it, but did it in my hometown, which is across the country from where I live for most of the year). I definitely know now that next time I need to be more specific in how I describe what I want (and I’m going to a more experienced stylist).

Post # 14
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

Go to a hair salon. 

Post # 15
601 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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slomotion :  I’m a professional stylist and I agree with this 100%


I know getting a bad hair cut/color can really turn you off from professionals, but if your hair has been previously colored(especially with a box) it’s going to be more difficult to get even results. Look around on instagram and ask your friends who have the best colors where they go. Then set up a consulation appointment so you can get a chance to talk to your stylist and ask them plenty of questions. Be honest about your at home color history and be open to any suggestions they might have. A good stylist will really listen to what you want and give feedback. Good luck on your search, bee!

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