Published on October 26th, 2022

Last updated on January 24th, 2023

How To Use A Highlighting Cap? Understanding Highlighting Cap In 8 Steps

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
blonde girl is spreading her hair

The process of lightening strands on the head in hairdressing is called “highlighting.” Such coloring creates a healthy volume and contributes to the shine of the hairstyle. And it doesn’t matter what natural color your hair is because highlighting suits anyone. Do you want to highlight your hair using a highlighting cap but don’t know how? This tutorial is here to help. For this, you need the following:  

  1. Comb dry hair;
  2. Wear a cap highlight on your head;
  3. Use a special needle, and pull strands through highlighting cap patterns.

Previously, this procedure was done only in beauty salons because the lighting technique was more difficult. However, now you can do it yourself at home. For this, you need to buy an appropriate highlighting kit, which includes all the necessary tools. The main thing is to be patient because pulling out strands can take a long time, especially if you have thick hair. However, the result is worth it.

Cap Highlights Vs. Foil Highlights At Home

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There is none if we discuss the dissimilarity between cap and foil highlights. The only difference is the ease of performing the procedure. For example, it is more straightforward to use foil when it is necessary to lighten thicker strands. The foil cap is ideal for processing extremely thick and long hair. To do this, you must put foil under the separated strands, fold it in half, and paint it this way. It is because of this simple technique that it is better suited for longer hair.

  • But cap highlighting, on the contrary, is more convenient for short hair because the process consists of removing hair through highlighting cap patterns. It takes quite a lot of time, and with longer hair, it can be even more complex. Therefore, this option is ideal for girls with medium or short hair length. A highlighting cap allows you to lighten most hair and create a light shade for several strands;
  • In general, the effect of cap and foil highlighting is equally effective, and the most important thing is that you can do it yourself at home. So which option to choose is up to you. However, we warn you to be careful when working with the foil because you can catch excess hair and paint the wrong locks.

Therefore, if you are doing this for the first time, I recommend choosing cap highlighting. Of course, you will need more time to pull hair through cap highlights, but you will cope with it one hundred percent because the painting is more effortless.

Ways To Pull Hair Through Highlighting Caps: 8 Ways

8 Best Ways to Pull Hair Through Highlighting Caps 1024x512 - How To Use A Highlighting Cap? Understanding Highlighting Cap In 8 Steps

The process of cap highlighting with the help of special tools is simple. It can refresh and rejuvenate your appearance and allow you to always be on trend. The main thing is to understand the procedure’s nuances and follow the professionals’ recommendations to get such a result. So, keep the guide on how to use cap highlight on your hair:

1. Prepare Tools

First, you must organize the area where you will highlight hair and prepare everything you need. So, you will need the following:

  • Agent for bleaching strands;
  • Paintbrush;
  • Paint container made of glass or plastic;
  • A special cap with small holes. You can also use a swimming cap or an ordinary cellophane bag with holes cut in a checkerboard pattern. These options are the best way to pull hair through a highlighting cap;
  • A comb with a long narrow handle;
  • Hairpins;
  • Gloves;
  • A towel.

You can buy a highlight kit or purchase all these things separately.

2. Make The Mixture

Next, you need to prepare means for cap highlighting at home. It may be:

  • Lightening powder, lightening paste, or special paint for highlighting;
  • Oxide for paint: for light hair – 3-6% oxide, for medium – 6-7%, for dark – 9%;
  • Ordinary paint or tonic if you want to paint strands in a specific color.

When you decide on the means, you need to pour it into a vessel and make a mixture as indicated in the instructions.

3. Comb Your Hair

Special combs for highlighting are often used in salons. Such combs allow you to immediately divide the strand into two parts, one of which is then lightened. But you can also use an ordinary comb with a sharp tail. With its help, you need separate small strands with zigzag movements for dyeing. And remember the main rule that the hair must be dry.

4. Test One Strand

Before you start to pull your hair through cap highlights, you need to do a test strand. Apply the dye to a small part of the hair and let it dry. If you like the color, you can continue the procedure. If not, it is better not to do it because getting your natural color back will be complicated. Also, pay attention to whether the hair does not become brittle and irritated after applying the paint. If any of these occur, it is better to stop highlighting because you can spoil your hair. And if everything is fine, you can proceed to the next step.

5. Wear A Highlighter Cap

Put on a silicone or cellophane cap on your head with frequent holes. It may not be easy because such material tightens the hair during its wearing. But if you do it with slow movements, you can pull the cap down until it fits tightly to your head. However, if you have voluminous hair, it is better to spray it with a mist, comb it to reduce fluffiness, and only then wear this cap. The closer it adheres to the roots of the hair, the easier it will be later to pull hair through caps for highlighting hair.  And one more thing you should know is that the hair need not be under the hat. On the contrary, it should look from under its lower part.

6. Take Out The Strands

It is the most important part for which you will need a special highlighting needle. With its help, you need to perform the following steps:

  • Insert the needle into the first hole of the cap to get the strand from there. You should feel this needle lightly touching your scalp. After that, you must pull hair through cap highlights with an upward-pointing needle;
  • Once you have done this, you must ensure that the removed hair is not tangled and smooth;
  • If your hair is tangled, take a needle and gently try to pull out the hairs gradually. Hairs’ ends should hang down and not be under the cap;
  • Continue doing this with each hole. I advise you to do this slowly so that the result is efficient and the hair does not get tangled;
  • After all the hair is removed, brush it with a comb.

How big strands you will pull through caps for highlighting hair depends on you. The larger the strand, the more visible the highlighting and vice versa. So, focus on the result you want to get.

7. Apply The Bleach

The next step is highlighting, for which you first need to put on gloves and perform the following steps:

  • Put a towel on your shoulders so that you do not stain your clothes;
  • Mix the product that you will apply to your hair. Whether it is paint or bleach, it must be mixed to a liquid consistency before application;
  • Take the brush intended for highlighting, lower it into a container with bleach and collect a small amount of it;
  • Start highlighting each strand from the roots to the tips;
  • Repeat these steps of highlighting each strand from cap patterns.

It is essential not to skimp on the bleach during this process because not enough of it may not give you the desired effect. So, apply the same mixture to each strand and distribute it evenly.

8. Wash The Mixture Off The Hair

And the last step should be done according to the following steps:

  • After some time, about 25 minutes, remove the polyethylene;
  • See how much the strands lighten. If necessary, hold the tool for another 5 minutes But consider that the total exposure time should not exceed 45 minutes. Otherwise, you risk burning your hair and damaging it;
  • Without removing the cap, wash off the illuminator under a stream of warm water;
  • Then, remove the cap and wash your head with shampoo.

If you pull hair through caps for highlighting correctly, your hair will have a large volume and a charming color of strands.


So, as you can see, the procedure is not very difficult and is available for home performance. However, pulling hair through holes creates additional stress for them. Therefore, after the highlighting, it is necessary to treat them as carefully as possible and, at least for a couple of weeks, try to avoid hot styling and blow drying.


Do Highlights Ruin Your Hair?

It does not harm your hair, but it has some consequences. Highlighting can make your hair dry and dull. Therefore, to avoid this, you must take proper care of your hair after this procedure.

How Often Should You Get Your Hair Highlighted?

The interval between hair dyeing procedures should be approximately 5-6 weeks. You should make hair masks and scrub your head to keep your hair healthy during this time. It is also necessary so your hair does not become brittle.

What Not To Do After Getting Your Hair Highlighted?

You should not wash your hair very often and with intensive movements. It is better to tilt your head under the stream of water and hold it like that for a few minutes. Then, with light movements, wash off the shampoo from the hair, but do not massage the head.

Should I Color My Roots Before Using Cap Highlights On My Hair?

No. Our hair roots receive heat from the scalp and, for this reason, are processed faster. And ordinary dyeing of locks takes much more time. Therefore, paint the root part last so that everything is even.