How Long Does it Take to Get Highlights?

hair highlights

Let’s get right to it and answer one of the most common questions related to highlights: how long does it take to get highlights? It mostly depends on what you’re having done.

However, it also depends on what you have in your hair already and how long your hair is. Usually, for a basic color on medium length hair, it takes about 2 hours to get highlights. If you’re going for ombre, balayage, and foiling, you will probably spend about 3 hours in the salon chair depending on your hair’s length.

To learn more about highlights, read on.

How Long Does it Take to Get Highlights in Your Hair?

As I already said, getting highlights in a hair salon can take about 2-3 hours. It depends on how long your hair is, your base color, what color you’re looking for, and the technique.

You can choose from 2 different techniques for getting highlights. The first is highlighting with a cap. The second is highlighting with foil. The cap technique takes longer. Passing parts of your hair via the holes in the cap is time-consuming. Also, this method takes a lot of precision and patience.

Sometimes, when you pull hair via the holes, it tangles. Meaning, you have to untangle it. However, you have to do it without messing up the previous work. What technique works better?

Highlighting with a cap vs. highlighting with foil

The method that you choose for getting your highlights depends on the hair professional that does your hair. However, if you have a lot of grey or white hair, the cap method is more suitable.

If you have brown or black hair, I would recommend the foil method. It appears beautiful in dark colors. And if you have wavy or curly hair, either of the methods will perform amazingly for you.

The process of getting highlights can take 2-3 hours. But as I already said, the exact time will depend on the method you choose and some other important factors such as the length of your hair.

Let’s say you and your hairdresser have chosen the cap technique. Getting 20 inches or 30 inches of hair via the cap isn’t the same as getting 8 inches. The longer your hair, the longer it will take.

The same goes for foil. Wrapping short hair isn’t the same as wrapping long hair. The experience of your hairstylist plays a huge role as well. A complete beginner will probably do the job slower.

A professional with years of experience, on the other hand, will provide the desired results faster. Lastly, keep in mind that fast isn’t always better. However, as they say, practice makes perfect.

This rule applies to hair coloring as well. Anyway, do you prefer instant results or a job done well? At the end of the day, 30 minutes extra won’t make a big difference, while a rushed job will affect you for days. Or even weeks. Therefore, opt for a professional who cares about customer satisfaction.

Also Read: How Much to Tip Hairdresser on HighlightsOpens in a new tab.

How Long Should Foil Highlights Process?

The foil highlights process takes approximately 2 hours for long hair. The processing time takes another hour. As you can notice, getting highlights is a quick and easy process.

However, maintaining your highlights isn’t. It takes a certain level of commitment. Those lovely details in your locks might look flawless when you leave the salon but they don’t last long.

After some time, highlights dull, and dark roots become visible. You need to visit the salon for a touchup every 8-10 weeks. Also, get a deep conditioning treatment every 30 days.

How Long Does it Take to Get Highlights on Short Hair?

Usually, getting highlights on short hair is less time-consuming than long hair, especially if you’re utilizing the same amount of highlights in the hair.

Dealing with shorter hair means dealing with fewer inches of hair to which the highlighting product must be applied. It’s also important what technique you’re utilizing.

If your hair is being highlighted via a cap, it goes quickly. The processing time also matters. If you have hair with low porosity, it will take longer to get to the perfect results.

Different hair will process at different speeds depending on the highlighting agent, color, and porosity of your hair. Everyone’s hair reacts differently to bleaching treatments.

Overall, if you have short hair, a highlighting process can take anywhere from 1-3 hours. Usually, shorter hair takes less time to highlight and style.

How Long Does it Take to Get Blonde Highlights?

Overall, lightening your hair with bleaching and toning to get the perfect blonde highlights will take about 1-3 hours, depending on the color and length of your hair, etc.

However, keep in mind that you will need root touch-ups every 8-10 weeks, depending on how fast your hair grows. Opt for a trustworthy salon for your first highlights.

Also Read: How Long Should You Wait Before Dyeing Your Hair Again?Opens in a new tab.

How Soon Can You Wash Your Hair After Highlights?

Many people spend hundreds of dollars on their hair treatments. Then, they arrive home and wash their hair immediately. This is a recipe for disaster and disappointment.

Experts recommend waiting for 48 before you wash your hair after highlights. This way, the color should have enough time to enter the hair follicles and stay there for a while.

Can You Swim After Hair Highlights?

Harsh hair treatments like highlighting, bleaching, and dyeing make your hair dry and prone to breakage. Chlorine water can make things worse and further damage your hair.

This is why experts recommend waiting for at least 7 days before you go for a swim. Otherwise, chlorine water can indicate some chemical reactions that can make your hair look horrible.

It can cause your color to fade or turn different colors (green). Also, before entering the pool, soak your hair with tap water. Afterward, utilize a hair mask and conditioner.

Are Hair Highlights Permanent?

Unfortunately, hair highlights aren’t permanent. They last until your natural hair grows. Highlights fit the group of semi-permanent hair treatments. They need frequent touch-ups.

How Long Do Hair Highlights Last?

Everyone’s hair grows at different speeds. Therefore, it’s difficult to say exactly how long hair highlights last. Typically, it takes 1-3 months to get back to the salon.

People revisit the salon for touch-ups when their roots become visible. However, don’t do this too often. Give your hair some time to recover from the bleaching.

Also Read: How Much Does it Cost to Dye Your Hair?Opens in a new tab.

Final Synopsis

We’ve determined that how long does it take to get highlights depends on a few important factors such as the highlighting mixture, length, and color of your hair.

If your hair is 3 inches below your shoulders, you will get the highlights in about 1-3 hours. The thickness of your hair and the experience of your hair colorist also matter.

Overall, it doesn’t take more than a few hours to get highlights. The shorter the hair, the faster it will go. Don’t try to rush things. Enjoy both the process and the results.

Monika Dimitrovska

A makeup freak who's passionate about books, beauty products, vegan food, daydreaming, and stargazing.

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