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How to Fix Bad Highlights? A Comprehensive Guide.

Last updated Jan 2, 2024

Bad highlights can be a hair disaster, making you feel self-conscious and dissatisfied with your overall look. Whether you've tried a DIY highlight job at home or had a disappointing experience in the salon, fret not- there are a number of approaches to fixing bad highlights. In this article, we'll explore diverse approaches to help you correct those unwanted streaks or uneven shades, assuring you can confidently embrace an improved new appearance.

What Are Bad Highlights?

Bad Highlights

Bad highlights are streaks of uneven color, too much brightness, or poor results in the hair. These can be caused by DIY attempts, inexperienced stylists, or a misunderstanding of the desired result. Bad picks can make your hair look unnatural and unflattering.

What Causes Bad Highlights?

Bad highlights in your hair can be due to a number of factors, usually caused by mistakes in the coloring or highlights process. Here are some common reasons for bad highlights:

Incorrect Color Choice: Picking the wrong color for your highlights can result in unattractive results. If the highlights are too bright or too dark compared to your natural hair color, they might look harsh or unnatural.

Uneven Application: Inconsistent or uneven application of highlighting products can lead to uneven distribution of highlights, which can look blotchy and unattractive.

Inexperienced colorist: A colorist who isn't well-trained or inexperienced may not know how to make highlights look natural. They might use the wrong techniques, equipment, or products, resulting in poor results.

Fading or Brassiness: Highlights can fade or turn brass over time, particularly when not treated with color-correct products and exposed to high levels of UV radiation and chlorine.

Overprocessing: Excessive use of bleaching or color on hair for an extended period of time can lead to overprocessing, resulting in hair that appears damaged, greasy, or excessively lightened.

Hair condition: If your hair is already damaged or in poor condition, highlights and coloring may exacerbate the problem and make your hair look more damaged or unhealthy.

How To Fix Bad Highlights?

Fixing bad highlights in your hair can be challenging, but there are certain things you can do to fix it. Whether your highlights are too bright, too brassy, or uneven, here are some tips to help you fix them:

Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying Shampoo_4

Wash your hair with clarifying shampoo first. Clarifying shampoo helps remove excess color or excess brassiness from highlights. Make sure you follow the directions on the bottle.

Purple Shampoo

Purple Shampoo

If you have too much brassy (yellow or orange) in your highlights, try using a purple shampoo. It'll help balance the yellow and orange tones and keep your highlights looking their best. Try using this shampoo once or twice a week for the best results.

Color Correction Kit

Color Correction Kit

You can find color correction kits at most drugstores. These kits usually contain a color-removing treatment that can help lighten overly dark or uneven highlights. It is important to adhere to the instructions provided.

Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice_1

For very subtle lighting you can apply lemon juice. Use lemon juice on your highlights, let them sit for a few hours in the sun, and then wash them off. Lemon juice will lighten your hair naturally, but you may need to apply it several times.

Vinegar Rinse

Vinegar Rinse

Combine equal amounts of water and apple cider vinegar to create a hair rinse. This mixture can be used to remove a portion of the color and can also improve the tone of the highlights.

Balayage Technique

If your highlights are too harsh or chunky, a balayage technique can be considered. This involves hand-painting the highlights to create a more natural, blended look.

Consult a Professional

If you’ve tried all of these and your highlights are still not as you'd like them to be, it’s time to see a professional. Hair colorists can offer a more precise and effective solution that is tailored to your hair type and current state of highlights.

How to Prevent Bad Highlights in the Future?

If you want to avoid bad hair highlights next time, you need to plan ahead. Here are a few things you can do to get beautiful, natural hair highlights:

Choose a Skilled Professional

If you’re going to the salon to get your hair colored, choose a professional and well-skilled stylist. Ask for recommendations and check reviews to make sure you're in capable hands.


Prior to your appointment, have a comprehensive conversation with your stylist. It is important to discuss your desired aesthetic, voice any concerns you may have, and be willing to listen to their ideas. Communication is essential to prevent any misunderstandings.

Patch Test

Always request a patch test if you're using a new brand of hair dye, especially if you have a history of allergies or sensitivities.

Avoid Frequent Color Changes

Coloring your hair too much or changing your color too often can cause damage. Give your hair some time to heal between color changes.

Maintenance Plan

Remember that hair color changes over time. Make sure to talk to your stylist about a maintenance plan that includes touch-ups and products that can help keep your color looking vibrant for longer.

Final Thought

Fixing bad highlights can be a daunting task, but it's not impossible. Whether you choose the DIY route or opt for professional help, the key is to assess your situation, make informed decisions, and follow a precise plan. By following the steps and tips in this article, you can fix bad highlights and maintain gorgeous, well-highlighted hair.

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