Hair highlights look as good as they last. Over time, your hair will become longer, which will leave you with one question: what to do when highlights grow out? In this post, I will share some tips to help you grow your highlights gracefully. It’s either you tone it down or play it up, depending on your preferred style.
How long do highlights last?
Most highlights will last for up to three months before you start to see substantial growth. Also, expect the color to fade in the second month, although it depends on the specific color you got.
One thing is for sure, highlights don’t last forever. The challenge here is growing it out gracefully without looking like an eyesore.
Many women, and even men, struggle with growing their highlights out. But instead of getting frustrated or unconfident with your look, there are ways to mask or style highlights that have grown out.
What To Do When Highlights Grow Out
Are you also struggling with highlights that already grown out? Here are some of the solutions you can try:
1. Consider using hair extensions
One way to mask your highlights that have already grown out is to wear hair extensions. The good thing is that hair extensions are available in a wide range of colors and hair types. You can literally find one with the same texture, color, hair type, and curl pattern as you do.
However, you should know that there are multiple types of hair extensions. You can choose from clip-in, sew-in, tape-in, glue-in, and microlink extensions. Here’s a quick rundown of each one:
- Clip-in. This is the most common hair extensions you can find. As it’s called, the extension is clipped on your hair using the silicone/fabric base attached to it. However, these are the least permanent but are the easiest to install.
- Sew-in. If you have thick hair with grown-out highlights, a sew-in extension is the better choice. Instead of a silicone base, this has a weaved design that will be sewn into your braided hair. However, this isn’t easy to put on and will surely put pressure on your scalp. Still, it lasts the longest of all extension types.
- Tape/glue-in. As it’s called, this hair extension is pre-taped, and the stylist will only have to heat the glue to activate the adhesive. This is a semi-permanent extension that will last for up to eight weeks. If you have a grown-out highlight, you may need to have this extension re-applied until the highlight grows out completely.
- Microlink. This hair extension uses silicone beads and tightened in place using a special tool. It doesn’t use glue, tape, or heat, so it’s safer for the scalp. However, make sure that it’s installed properly to prevent damage to your highlighted hair.
If you don’t know which of these extensions suits your hair, you can always consult your stylist. Your stylist can also suggest the right color and texture to match your highlighted hair.
2. Touch up your roots
If you don’t want the weird look of having grown-out highlights, you can keep re-touching your roots. Touching up every two months might be necessary to make your highlights look good for as long as possible.
However, this method takes a lot of dedication and patience. Unless you’re willing to perform DIY dyeing or spending more at the salon, you can explore other options I discussed here.
When in doubt, you can always pay your stylist to do this for you. It’s an easier choice, but something that comes at an extra cost.
3. Cover it with a darker color
If touching up alone isn’t doing the trick for you, covering your grown-out locks with a darker color might be the solution. Choose a permanent color that’s a tad darker than your natural hair color. This should mask your grown-out highlights by giving them a faded look.
If you can’t commit to a permanent hair dye, a semi-permanent type will do. However, this dye will fade faster than a permanent one, especially if you shampoo your hair often.
4. Go for a shorter haircut
Another trick to keep worn-out highlights looking good is cutting your hair shorter. A bob cut will remove the greater length of the grown-out highlights. This will leave you with stylishly faded colors, not to mention short hair is easier to manage and style.
Short haircuts are trendy, and it works well for those with dark roots. If you don’t want to commit to a very short hairstyle, you can go for a long bob.
Whatever haircut you get, avoid straightening your hair after. Go for natural curls to help hide your faded highlights. It will also give your hair volume and a natural look.
5. Just let it grow
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of any of these steps, the easy way is to just let the highlights grow. In a matter of months, your hair will grow a substantial length enough for you to cut off the highlight parts.
The only challenge here is you can’t trim your hair for a while. It’s a pain you have to deal with if you don’t want to do touch-ups. But the good thing here is that your hair will get enough and potentially grow faster than when it’s subjected to heat and products.
Tips to take care of your new highlights
If you recently got new highlights, it’s important to take care of them to make them last longer. Here are some tips you can try:
- Don’t wash often. Washing often will make your highlights fade quickly. You only need to shampoo your hair twice a week to keep your scalp clean without damaging the hair color. If your hair gets dirtier faster, shampooing every other day should do.
- Give it a light trim. There’s a chance that your highlights will look dry and dull at the tips. Giving it ‘baby trims’ every 8 weeks should fix the problem. This will keep your hair looking fresh while removing the highlights bit by bit.
- Use a color-safe shampoo. One of the common mistakes when it comes to highlights is not using the right shampoo. You need to switch to a color-safe and chemically treated hair-safe formula. This will prevent the formula from fading the color quickly.
- Condition your hair. Once a week, deep-condition your hair to keep it plump and healthy. Make sure that the conditioner gets into your roots while letting it sit for 30 minutes. After that, give your hair a nice rinse and let it air dry.
- Avoid too much. While heat won’t directly fade your highlights, it will damage your hair. In no time, your highlighted hair will be frizzy and hard to manage. Worse, it will make grown-out highlights look dull and unappealing.
- Steer clear of chlorine. Swimming pools are something you should avoid if you want your highlights to last long. The chlorine content of the water will make your hair rough and dry. If you’re going for a swim, you should apply a protective leave-in conditioner first to shield your hair from the damages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do highlights grow out well?
A: Hair highlights will grow out, but it can be challenging to style as your roots produce natural hair. This will make your hair color uneven since the highlights no longer cover your roots to tips. To deal with this, you can either touch up your roots or use a darker hair dye to at least fade the highlights a little.
Q: How soon can you dye over highlights?
A: You can dye over your highlights after eight weeks since it has grown out a bit at this point. Still, it’s not necessary, and it only depends on your liking. Just make sure that the dye of your choice isn’t too harsh. You should also match its color on your current highlights to achieve the best results.
Q: Can highlights be removed?
A: Highlights can be removed through bleaching. However, this isn’t suitable for all hair types, and the process is pretty harsh. If you want a safer way to remove your highlights, it’s best to wait until it grows and you can cut its entire length. You can also consult your stylist about other options you can use.
Q: How long should I wait before washing my highlights for the first time?
A: Stylists recommend waiting for at least 48 to 72 hours before washing your hair after getting highlights. This is to allow the chemicals and dye to adhere to your hair properly. Washing too early will ruin the look and make your hair dull and frizzy.
Knowing what to do when highlights grow out shouldn’t be a mind-racking problem. There are several options you can try to keep your hair good-looking. Still, you should know that highlights don’t last forever, and you’ll need a redo after a few weeks.
Do you have other hacks to share here? Let us know in the comments below!