February 20, 2014

L'Oreal Paris Touch-On Highlights Review

By Amy

Hair stylists gonna hate this one.  I'm sorry.

And, I'm not getting any compensation for this post...I just wanted to pass on my experience. :)

About 6 months ago, I wanted to try coloring my hair for the first time EVER.  I have naturally blonde hair that has darkened as I've gotten older...not into a rich brown, but a dark blonde that looks a bit...dull.  (And if you call it "dirty dishwater blonde" or "mousy blonde" I will poke you in the eye.  Cause who wants any part of their appearance to be compared the scudsy, gunky water in a sink or a dirty, smelly rodent?  Let's ban those phrases please.  Dark blonde is sooo much kinder.)  My color had become a bit lifeless, but I've always preferred a natural look, so a couple subtle highlights were all I wanted.  Not some super dramatic color job.

But, when I heard that most highlight jobs were around $60, I bout died.  Um, WHAT!?  I understand that it covers the cost of the materials and the time for labor, and I'm not trying to underestimate the knowledge and skills that hairstylists have, but I could not justify spending that kind of money for something temporary that has to be re-done after 4 months!  My husband is still in school and we have to be frugal, so blowing that kind of money just so that a few chunks of my hair can be lighter?  Cray cray.  I freely admit, highlighting my hair was a purely just for fun desire--definitely a "want," not a "need."  So, it did not merit that much of our budget.

After pondering the situation for weeks, I committed a grievous sin!  (I'm sorry to my hairdressing friends Heather, Kim, and Suzie!  Forgive me...)  I went to Walmart and...bought a $14 box of highlights.


And it went pretty well!  I have done it twice now, a few months apart and both times I was happy with the results.  So I thought I'd show you how it went down, in case you're wanting to lighten up your hair without lightening up your wallet!  :)

Now, I need to preface this, you won't get the flawless results that a pro will give you.  And I'm sure it isn't as healthy for your hair as professional color.  (So I wouldn't do a lot of your hair.)  But, you also will spend a fraction of the money for pretty good result.  You decide what is more important to you!  If you've got the money, I'd head to a great stylist.  But if that's just not an option, this is a good alternative. :)

So, the product: I went with: L'Oreal Paris Touch-On Highlights because there are no brushes, no foils, and no pulling hair through the little holes of a cap.  It looked so easy that even a monkey could use it to highlight their hair...er...fur.  You just dip your finger in the stuff, and slide it down the pieces of hair you want highlighted.  Badda-bing!  It's like painting!  I liked that idea.  

The process:
(And I'm so sorry for the crappy pics with my lame bathroom lighting, but I had more important things to worry about!  Like botching up my hair and ending up wearing a paper bag over my head for 3 months.)

First of all, you're supposed to wait for two days after a shampoo.  Some of you are like, NBD, I only wash my hair twice a week.  (Freakin lucky...)  If I don't wash mine everyday, I become a greasy weasel.  Dang genetics.  ANYwho, please ignore my greasy-ness, I really do employ personal hygiene in my life...ok....back to the highlighting.

Hahaha...flattering pic.  :)

Here's the stuff in the kit!  Yeah, the gloves would probably fit Michael Jordan's hand.  They were huge.

The first time I used this kit, I didn't separate the pieces of hair out well enough, so as I went I would accidentally grab a bit more than I wanted.  The second time, I separated them out with little bands so I could move quickly.

First, figure out the pieces of hair you want to highlight.  Then, dip your finger (wearing the gloves and that little blue nubbin thingy) into the highlighting cream, and slide your fingers down the piece of hair distributing it the best you can.  Alternate sides.  The first time, I forgot to alternate and one side of my hair was more highlighted than the other side, cause it stayed in a shorter amount of time. (DOH! *palm to forehead!)

Apply the stuff to each piece, then wait 10-15 minutes (or longer depending on your hair type and how light you want your highlights)...hop in the shower and wash it out.  I waited just over ten minutes, cause my hair is very fine and virgin to color.

It sounds easy peasy...but it isn't 100% easy to actually do.  (I'm pretty sure a monkey would not be successful.)  It was kind of hard not to get glompy chunks and to get it evenly dispersed down the pieces of hair.  And, the first time I used this kit, I got nervous that it had been in too long so I rinsed it out early and it was VERY subtle. (As in, nobody could tell I had highlighted my hair till it started growing out a little...but that was ok with me, cause I wanted subtle!)  So, it can be tricky to know exactly how long to wait before rinsing, especially since the first strand you put the cream on has been sitting with highlighter for probably 5 - 10 minutes longer than your last strand depending on how long it took you to finish applying to your whole head.

Pretty natural looking right?  This is a little while later.  For some reason I didn't take a pic right away...must have gotten distracted.  (Hello, A.D.D.)
Ok, so after going through this process twice, I'd recommend you find a person that you trust and have them put in the highlighting cream.  They don't have to be a pro, not at all, but it can be tricky to do this to yourself, moving quickly, while looking in a mirror to see the back of your head.  And it's hard not to grab extra hairs with the nubby finger applicator, so separate your chosen chunks out well beforehand.

Oh, and I read in reviews while I was researching that this kit works better for light brown or dark blonde hair...those with dark brown hair ended up with orange-ish highlights.  So, prolly avoid this product, my brunette friends...unless you dig orange hair.

All in all, I was pretty happy with this simple and inexpensive way to get a small amount of highlights.  Plus, I liked that I could put them exactly where I wanted!  (I can be a control freak, but just when it comes to art, design, aesthetics etc. Ask my husband how fun it is to help me hang pictures...haha)  If you really can't or won't spend $60 for a small amount of highlighting, then I'd go with this kit.

In conclusion: have someone else do the highlighting if possible, figure out beforehand what pieces you want highlighted and separate them out, try to get the cream as close to the scalp as possible, and, maybe use a better pair of gloves, like a tighter latex pair.  Their gloves were big and a little cumbersome.

Hope this was helpful to you, my friends!  If you try out this product...good luck and tell me how it went!

And, I'm curious, do you color your hair?  If so, do you do it yourself or go to a stylist?  Have you had any home coloring disasters?  If so, please share!  We like a good laugh. :)


  1. I'm too chicken...I have never colored my hair. I am nervous about what to do when I get more gray. Your hair looks good, way to be brave!

  2. My mom went to beauty school in the 80's but didn't keep up with it. So she knows more than the average person... So for years she colored my hair if it was all one color. She had other hair friends that would do my hair from time to time. I also got my hair done at a salon when I had the money. Now that I live away from everyone I know I go to a salon. I spend some pretty money on it... But it's really the only thing I do for myself. I don't wear make-up and I don't go shopping... So it evens out in the end. When I lived in the burg I went to the hair school there and it seemed ok until I went in right before my bridal pictures. I came out with pink hair. Never. Again!!

  3. I'm super cheap. I use a bottle of "Sun-In" It's less than 10 dollars, and one bottle lasts me about 6yrs... Mostly I just use it in the winter, when I avoid going outdoors a lot (mostly because my kids are small and whine too much). Some people say it's bad for your hair, bla bla bla... maybe if you use a ton of it. Or if you think the sun is bad for your hair (which is actually dead...). It looks like what my hair does naturally itself (when I actually go outdoors). I use it and I have pretty healthy hair... the hairdressers tell me so when I go in for a cut or trim about once a year (yeah really low maintenance). I also blow dry my fine hair 2-4 times a week (depending on how often I leave the house).

  4. Great review- practical, clear, and fun to read. I'm considering purchasing this product for the first time, your advice is helpful!


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