The best products for DIY large pieces at home
You can’t look at many magazines these days without seeing 90s and early 2000s beauty trends that have come back in style. Chunky highlights are just the latest example.
Chunky locks can add depth to your hair and frame your face to better highlight your features. While you get the best results at the salon, you can achieve the look at home if you have the right products and tools ready to go. Here’s everything you need to achieve a beautiful, highlighted look at home.
What are large highlights?
Highlights are parts of your hair that are lighter than your natural hair color. For example, if your hair is medium brown, you might have streaks of light brown or even dark blonde. On the other hand, if you have blonde hair, your highlights are usually lighter blonde tones.
As the name suggests, chunky highlights are thicker than traditional highlights, with most measuring between half an inch and 1 inch in width. For best results, chunky locks should be no more than two to three shades lighter than the rest of your hair. If you want a more unique look, you can use unique colors like hot pink or ruby red for your chunky highlights.
How do you create thick highlights?
Before attempting chunky highlights yourself, it’s always a good idea to have a trained colorist guide you through the process. While making them at home can save money, it can also go wrong quite easily. You may have to go to a salon and pay more to have the color corrected.
To create heavy highlights, you need to lighten areas of your hair. This requires bleach and a developer to enhance your hair color. Part your hair before applying the bleach to limit it to the strands you want to lighten. You can use a comb and tongs to separate the pieces.
You will get better results if you use a coloring brush to apply the bleach. This will allow your hair to become fully saturated and lighten evenly. Bleach can burn and irritate skin, so wear gloves when applying it.
After bleaching your hair, your hair may take on yellow, orange, or copper tones. Using a toner helps neutralize these colors, so your highlights look more natural. You can also use purple shampoo, conditioner or mask to tone the highlights. Yellow is the opposite of purple on the color wheel and cancels out these shades.
Because the bleaching process is so drying and damaging, you also need to add moisture and build it after the highlighting process. Use a deep conditioning treatment to repair your hair and make your thick locks look even better.
At-Home Thick Highlighting Essentials
bleach and developer
This powder bleach works well on both natural and color-treated hair and contains anti-yellowing agents for more even, natural lift. Its flexible mixing ratio also allows you to achieve the consistency you prefer. It is formulated to minimize breakage. Sold by Amazon
This dust-free bleaching powder contains high-quality ingredients that are gentler on hair than other lighteners. It is easy to mix and has a creamy consistency that allows for mess-free application. It can lighten up to seven levels and is even suitable for pre-colored hair. Sold by Amazon
This powder highlighter delivers fast, shiny results with an extra-strength formula that lifts up to seven levels. It also has an anti-drip formula which facilitates application. It stays moist throughout the lightening process, so it doesn’t require remixing either. Sold by Amazon
This developer mixes well with any whitening or lightening product. It works well for dark blonde to medium brown hair and has a gentle formula that prevents damage. It spreads easily, so it’s easy to apply with a brush. Sold by Amazon
This developer contains conditioning ingredients to minimize damage to lightened hair and works well on natural hair that is medium brown or darker. It also comes in two sizes, so you can get just the right amount no matter what your hair length. Sold by Amazon
This large color brush makes it quick and easy to apply highlighter for heavy highlights. It also has an ergonomic handle to give you better control when combing the bleach. The bristle design ensures your hair is fully saturated. Sold by Amazon
This set includes all the tools you need to create beautiful chunky highlights. It comes with an application brush, a mixing bowl and four clips to section your hair. It even includes a wide-tooth comb to ensure the bleach is evenly distributed in each section. Sold by Amazon and Ultimate Beauty
With two applicator brushes and a mixing bowl, this kit makes it easy to achieve chunky highlights at home. One of the brushes features a comb head on the opposite side to effectively distribute the bleach. The set also includes a mini whisk for mixing bleach and developer. Sold by Amazon
These rat tail combs allow you to easily section your hair for the perfect thick highlights at home. They are lightweight and very durable, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking. They also have a non-slip design, allowing for even sections. Sold by Amazon
These salon-grade hair foils help keep the highlighter only on the sections of hair you want to lighten. The pop-up design makes it easy to grab pieces of foil and the pre-folded edge lets you apply it directly to hair from the box. They are also not as loud as cheaper foils. Sold by Amazon
These gloves are specially designed for coloring and lightening hair, so they can protect your hands from irritating bleach. They are extremely thick and hold up well to wear. They are also reusable, so you can easily clean them and use them for your next hair coloring task. Sold by Amazon
Protect your clothes while showing off your hair with this reusable cape. It has an adjustable snap closure to fit most people and has a sewn-in loop for hanging storage. It can also be wiped down or machine washed at room temperature. Sold by Amazon
This toner can help neutralize the brassy yellow tones in your chunky highlights. It’s easy to use and only requires a 10 volume developer to mix it up. It also comes in three shade options, so you can get the best tone for your highlights. Sold by Amazon
If you don’t want to use permanent toner, this purple hair mask can help reduce yellow and brassy tones. It also contains plant-based ingredients including aloe, quinoa, sea buckthorn oil, and argan oil. The formula is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Sold by Amazon
This deep conditioning treatment can help soothe and strengthen your hair if it feels dry after coloring. It contains moisturizing argan oil which helps boost shine and smoothness. It works well for fighting frizz too. Sold by Amazon and Ultimate beauty
This styling treatment contains special ingredients to help repair broken bonds in your hair after lightening. It can control frizz for up to 72 hours and allows for faster blow-drying. It also does not contain phthalates, parabens or sulfates. Sold by Amazon and Ultimate beauty
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