Before you get too deep into the DIY hair treatments and ruin your professionally colored locks, we have a few pointers for you. With the help of celebrity colorist, Tracey Cunningham, whose touch is responsible for the hair hues of Khloé Kardashian, J.Lo, and Lily Aldridge (to name a few), we’re sharing the dos and don’ts of highlighting your strands at home.
We’ll kick it off with the easiest all-natural lightening hack in the book.
Do lemon and sunshine actually work?
TC: The combination definitely works, but keep in mind you have to be at the pool or beach nearly all summer long to see prominent results. If you do go the lemon and sunshine route, I highly recommend using an Olaplex treatment post-sun. Here’s my post-lemon hydration suggestion:
Day 1: Keep your hair in an Olaplex bun all day, then shampoo and condition.
Day 2: Put your hair back in a bun with a deep conditioning treatment and rinse in the evening.
Lemon and sunshine aside, here’s Tracey’s dos and don’ts guide on how to safely highlight at home.
TC: Put a sun-lightening treatment in your hair if you already have highlights or balayage. Focus on putting the product around your hairline and then put your hair in a high pony and add the product to your ends so the sun can get to it. And leave it in all day.
TC: Try at-home highlights or any type of sun-lightening products if you have dark hair that does not already have some sort of light color to it. It’ll add warmth, and you run the risk of your hair turning brassy. If you already have blonde hair, sun treatments are an OK option because they’ll lighten and lift the color.
TC: Follow the path of your current highlights and frame your face.
TC: Color over brown or dark hair and don’t try to get rid of your roots with lightening products.
TC: DM your hairdresser and ask for a professional at-home toner you can (safely from a distance) pick up or have shipped to you. You can even ask your stylist if they can mix your color for you (and again safely pick it up or drop it off) so you can apply (following your current highlighting path) at home on your own.
Shop nourishing post-sun hair treatments below.