Q: I’m African-American and I had my really dark brown hair highlighted a year ago and it constantly gets straightened with
heat. Now, I want to dye it black and have blue highlights that can only really be seen if I wear my hair half up, half down. How
would I go about doing this, and is it harmful to my hair? Thanks a lot.
A: The technique you are describing sounds like what is called “peek-a-boo” highlights (in which segments of the hair are highlighted
– usually a vibrant, bold color – but are chosen from areas of the hair where they are usually covered by the hair above them. These
flashes of color are then only seen when the hair moves or when the hair is styled to expose them specifically.
The best method for doing this is to use the foil highlighting method, though you could secure the
upper sections of the hair with hairpins against the scalp, and pull segments from the lower part of the head through a cap to highlight them that way if you prefer.
Getting the bright colors you mention, such as blue you will need to lighten the existing hair
color significantly in order to get a bright, vibrant color. This can cause problems if the hair is regularly styled with heat styling
and other chemical treatments, because this could mean that the hair has suffered some amount of damage which could cause problems with such dramatic chemical processes.
My suggestion is that you have your hair evaluated by your stylist before you try to do any of this
color on your own in order to determine that your hair can withstand the processing. As an alternative, especially if your stylist
recommends against the color attempt, you could look at getting a few extensions added. The extension hair can be gotten in a wide
range of colors and you could create the effect you desire by simply adding the color hair you choose. This may be more expensive as
an option, but would result in less risk of damaging your natural hair.