Amy M. Spagnola


10 Ways to Fix Bad Hair Highlights at Home

We've all been there--one oops at the salon and suddenly you're off to Sally's wearing a Unabomber hoodie with smeared mascara (so many tears) to try and scramble to find any bleach, developer or toner that could waylay the damage of a bunch of bad highlights. Whether they're chunky, stripy or just misplaced--bad highlights are a difficult follicle foe. Even celebrities like Ashley Greene, Miley Cyrus and Fergie have faced an ugly hair highlight situation. 

Many times lowlights and highlights are done simultaneously and the two together can create a heavy contrast or too many shades so that the hair doesn't look blended, natural or 'sun kissed.' Suddenly you're super brassy with bad blonde chunks and a bag full of biotin, waiting to grow out some of your new orangey hair.

There's no need to write the salon you visited a scathing Yelp review--instead, try and deal with the follicle fallout with class, dignity and a bit of at-home magic. 

Here are 10 Ways to Fix Bad Highlights at Home:

1.) Color the Highlights a Darker Shade

If you can't stand your new streaks, try taking a small lash and brow brush and coloring over the blonde bits with a dark box dye. While this process may be a bit tedious, it will make the sunny streaks blend into the brunette hair and lessen the harsh highlights. 

2.) Try a Dark Shampoo

While it may take a few weeks before you notice any big results, using a color depositing shampoo can help blend away the lightened streaks and create a more uniform appearance to the hair. If you're blonde and got a few too many grayish pieces in your hair--try and a brightening and lightening shampoo but stay away from a purple wash as these will only maintain the granny grays.

3.) Banish the Brass

Many times when highlights are done--especially on darker hair--the hair tends to get carrot top orange (it's hard to lift brown hair). If you left the salon and two weeks later you've got a serious head case of ginger--try a blonde toning shampoo. The purple will counteract those gold and orange tones and create a lighter and brighter blonde.

4.) Go for the Gloss
An at-home gloss treatment can make the hair more shiny and blended while cutting down on the look of stripes and chunks. Try a refreshing gloss in a cool shade.

5.) Wait for the Fade
Many highlights fade out of the hair over time--if you're impatient and want to fade the hair back to its original highlight free color--try using a clarifying shampoo every time you wash your hair (be warned that this will strip the hair and make it drier). Follow up with an oil-laced deep conditioner.

6.) Hair Extensions
If you're horrified by your new mane, whether it's too dark or too light, adding a few clip in hair extensions can make the situation less dire. Plus, it's temporary and non-damaging and will help buy some time for growth and repair. 

7.) Color Care Products
Even if you loathe your locks, a few color care products can add back some shine and softness which can make the hair feel and look healthier and ultimately even orange-ish hair is pretty if it is reflective and smooth. 

8.) Call for a Color Correction
If you want to pay extra money, you can always contact the salon that did the highlights and ask for help or pay a new salon for a color correction. It's always advisable to wait a few weeks to a month after the hair has been highlighted to avoid creating major damage or causing serious breakage.

9.) Go for All Over Color
While it's best to see a professional, if you're absolutely desperate to have your hair look better--head off to the store and grab a box of dye for an all over lighter locks which can disguise and eliminate those brassy and funky chunky layers. 

10.) Root Touch Up
And if you want a quick and immediate way to disguise your bad blonde highlights--try a dark brown root powder spray or even mascara to essentially 'dry shampoo' away those pesky bad blonde pieces.

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