Highlights and Peroxide

Young lady with long brown hair wearing a turtleneck
Photo: ThisMops/Shutterstock
Q: I love my hair, but it is very fine and the application of color always seems to make it dull and susceptible to split ends. At the moment it is 100 per cent natural mid to dark brown. I'd like to add some slightly lighter, natural-looking highlights without stripping it or making it prone to damage.
Are there any products out there available to hairdressers that can naturally lighten hair without harsh peroxide? Thank you!

A: As far as I know, there is nothing that will lighten the hair without doing the same thing that peroxide does, which can damage the hair. However, there are many strengths of peroxide for use in hair coloring.
What I recommend is using a color that is one or two shades lighter than your natural color, and combining it with 20-volume peroxide. These can be found at your local beauty supply store. You can also find an additive to use in the color mix that will add gloss to the hair, which should help with split ends and will give the colored hair a nice shine.
You might even want to consider using no highlighting and just look for a clear-gloss color that has no tinting effect. This product only adds shine to the hair and will make your hair more light reflective, giving you deeper-looking color in a much gentler process. The gloss will enhance your hair's natural color variance without adding highlights.
After any color process, always make sure to condition the hair well. This helps to seal the cuticle and keep the hair healthy. There are after-color conditioning treatments designed specifically for this purpose.
See also:
How to color hair
The difference between gloss and glaze
Strengths of peroxide and hair color levels
Can you recommend products to get highlights without damaging my hair?
My hair was damaged but is healthy now. Would it hurt to get highlights again?