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How to Do Chunky Highlights

I gotta admit, I've always been a fan of chunky highlights. There's just something about those bold, statement-making streaks that can instantly elevate your hair game.

If you're like me and craving a bit of drama in your locks, you're in the right place. In this article, I'll be walking you through the step-by-step process of how to do chunky highlights.

From choosing the right technique to maintaining those head-turning strands, get ready to rock some seriously fabulous hair. Let's dive in, shall we?

Key Takeaways

  • Consider hair color and desired level of boldness when choosing the right chunky highlight technique.
  • Prep your hair by deep conditioning, using clarifying shampoo, getting a trim, and protecting your scalp.
  • Master parting techniques and understand the placement of chunky sections for desired impact.
  • Experiment with different placement options based on face shape, hair type, and personal style for the desired effect.

Choosing the Right Chunky Highlight Technique

When choosing the right chunky highlight technique, it's important to consider your hair color and desired level of boldness. Chunky highlights are a great way to add dimension and movement to your hair, but it's essential to find the technique that best suits you.

If you have dark hair, a balayage technique might be the way to go. This involves hand-painting thicker sections of color onto your hair, creating a more natural and blended look. Balayage is perfect for those who want a subtle change and a sun-kissed effect.

On the other hand, if you have lighter hair, you can opt for the foil technique. This involves sectioning off your hair and applying color using foils, resulting in more defined and bold highlights. Foiling is ideal for those who want a dramatic contrast and statement-making look.

In terms of boldness, you can choose between a subtle or a high-contrast approach. For a more subtle look, go for chunky highlights that are closer in shade to your natural hair color. This will create a softer, more natural effect. However, if you want to make a statement, go for high-contrast chunky highlights. This means using colors that are significantly different from your natural hair color, creating a more striking and eye-catching result.

Ultimately, the right chunky highlight technique will depend on your personal preferences and style. Take the time to consider your hair color and desired level of boldness before making a decision. Consulting with a professional hairstylist can also help you find the perfect technique for you.

Prepping Your Hair for Chunky Highlights

Before you start, make sure you've properly prepared your hair for the chunky highlights. Chunky highlights can be a great way to add dimension and depth to your hair, but it's important to take the necessary steps to ensure that your hair is ready for the color transformation.

Here are a few tips to help you prepare your hair for chunky highlights:

  • Deep condition your hair: Before applying any color, it's important to make sure your hair is well-nourished and moisturized. Deep conditioning treatments can help restore moisture and strengthen your hair, making it more resistant to damage from the highlighting process.

  • Clarify your hair: Over time, your hair can accumulate product buildup and natural oils, which can affect the outcome of your color. Use a clarifying shampoo to remove any residue and create a clean canvas for your highlights.

  • Get a trim: If you have split ends or damaged hair, it's a good idea to get a trim before adding chunky highlights. Trimming your hair will help eliminate any damaged ends and ensure that your highlights look their best.

  • Protect your scalp: Applying hair color can sometimes cause irritation or sensitivity on the scalp. To protect your scalp, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or a barrier cream along your hairline and parting lines before applying the color.

Sectioning Your Hair for Chunky Highlights

When it comes to achieving the perfect chunky highlights, there are several key points to consider.

First, you need to master the art of parting techniques for highlights, as this will ensure that your sections are clean and precise.

Next, understanding the placement of chunky sections is crucial, as it can make a significant impact on the overall look.

Finally, having the right tools for sectioning hair, such as clips and combs, will help you achieve the desired results with ease.

Parting Techniques for Highlights

To achieve chunky highlights, you can use different parting techniques. These techniques allow you to create bold and defined sections of color in your hair. Here are four parting techniques that can help you achieve the chunky highlight look you desire:

  • Zigzag parting: This technique involves creating a zigzag pattern in your hair, alternating the direction of each section. It adds dimension and movement to your highlights.

  • Triangle parting: By dividing your hair into triangular sections, you can create a geometric and edgy look. This technique works well for adding chunky highlights to the front sections of your hair.

  • Horizontal parting: This technique involves parting your hair horizontally, creating distinct bands of color. It is an excellent choice for achieving a dramatic and bold chunky highlight effect.

  • Diagonal parting: By parting your hair diagonally, you can create a more natural and blended look. This technique is great for adding chunky highlights throughout your hair, creating a sun-kissed effect.

Placement of Chunky Sections

For a bold and defined look, consider experimenting with different parting techniques to achieve the placement of chunky sections that best suits your style and personality.

Chunky highlights are a great way to add dimension and depth to your hair, creating a striking and eye-catching effect.

When it comes to placement, there are a few factors to consider. Firstly, think about your face shape and features - certain placement techniques can help to accentuate or soften certain areas.

Secondly, consider your hair type and texture - different placement techniques can enhance or minimize volume and movement.

Lastly, think about your personal style and desired outcome - do you want a more natural look or a more dramatic effect?

Tools for Sectioning Hair

Using the right tools is essential for sectioning hair effectively and achieving the desired outcome. When it comes to creating chunky highlights, having the proper tools can make all the difference.

Here are four must-have tools to help you achieve stunning chunky highlights:

  • Wide-Tooth Comb: This tool is perfect for detangling the hair and creating clean, even sections.

  • Hair Clips: Use these to secure the sections you're not working on, keeping them out of the way.

  • Foil Sheets: Foils are essential for isolating and highlighting specific sections of hair.

  • Balayage Brush: This brush is designed to help you apply the color precisely, creating soft, blended highlights.

Selecting the Right Color for Chunky Highlights

Finding the perfect color for your chunky highlights can be a fun and exciting process! It's important to choose a color that complements your natural hair color and skin tone to achieve the desired look. To help you make the right choice, I've created a table below with different hair colors and their corresponding undertones.

Hair Color Undertone
Blonde Warm or cool
Brown Warm or cool
Red Warm or cool
Black Warm or cool
Auburn Warm
Platinum Cool

Now that you have an idea of the undertones associated with different hair colors, you can better understand which colors will work best for your chunky highlights. If you have warm undertones, you may want to consider colors like golden blonde, caramel brown, fiery red, or chestnut. These warm hues will create a beautiful contrast and add depth to your hair. On the other hand, if you have cool undertones, you can opt for colors like ash blonde, ash brown, burgundy, or jet black. These cool tones will create a striking and edgy look.

Applying Chunky Highlights to Your Hair

When it comes to achieving the perfect chunky highlights, two key factors to consider are the best color combinations and the application techniques.

Choosing the right colors that complement your hair and skin tone is essential for a stunning result.

Additionally, understanding the various techniques for applying chunky highlights can help you achieve the desired level of dimension and texture in your hair.

In this discussion, I will delve into the best color combinations and provide insights into the application techniques to help you achieve flawless chunky highlights.

Best Color Combinations

To achieve the best color combinations for your chunky highlights, you should consider blending warm and cool tones. This will create a dynamic and eye-catching look that adds depth and dimension to your hair.

Here are four color combinations to consider:

  • Blonde and caramel: This combination adds warmth and richness to your hair, creating a sun-kissed effect.

  • Ash blonde and silver: Mixing these cool tones creates a stunning contrast, perfect for those who want a bold and edgy look.

  • Chocolate brown and golden blonde: This combination works well for brunettes who want a touch of brightness and warmth.

  • Red and copper: This fiery combination adds vibrancy and intensity to your hair, perfect for making a statement.

Application Techniques

For a seamless and natural look, you can experiment with various application techniques when adding color to your hair. It's important to consider the effect you want to achieve and the level of expertise you have. Here are three popular techniques for applying chunky highlights:

Technique Description
Foiling This technique involves using aluminum foils to separate sections of hair and apply the color. It allows for precise placement and control over the intensity of the highlights.
Balayage Balayage is a hand-painting technique that creates a more natural, sun-kissed effect. It involves sweeping the color onto the hair using a brush or comb, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends.
Chunking Chunking is the most straightforward technique, where large sections of hair are selected and colored. It creates bold, noticeable highlights and is perfect for those who want a more dramatic look.

Processing and Washing Out Chunky Highlights

After you've left the color on for the recommended amount of time, you can start washing out your chunky highlights. This is an important step in the process, as it will determine the final result of your highlights.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to properly wash out your chunky highlights:

  • Use lukewarm water: Begin by rinsing your hair with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can strip away the color and cause damage to your hair.

  • Gently massage your scalp: While rinsing, gently massage your scalp to help remove any excess color and ensure even distribution of the product.

  • Apply a color-safe shampoo: Once you've rinsed out the color, apply a color-safe shampoo to your hair. This will help to maintain the vibrancy of your highlights and keep them looking fresh.

  • Condition and hydrate: After shampooing, apply a color-safe conditioner to your hair, focusing on the ends. Leave it on for a few minutes to allow your hair to absorb the moisture. Rinse thoroughly with cool water to seal the cuticles and add shine.

Remember to be gentle when washing out your chunky highlights to avoid any unnecessary damage. Pat your hair dry with a towel and avoid using heat styling tools immediately after washing. Allow your hair to air dry or use a heat protectant spray if you need to use a blow dryer.

With proper care and maintenance, your chunky highlights will continue to look stunning and vibrant for weeks to come.

Styling Tips for Chunky Highlighted Hair

Get creative with your styling by experimenting with different hair accessories and updo hairstyles. Chunky highlighted hair provides a great canvas to showcase your individual style and personality. Whether you're going for a casual, everyday look or a glamorous evening style, there are endless possibilities to enhance your chunky highlights.

To help you navigate the world of styling chunky highlighted hair, I've put together a handy table with four different styling options. Each option is designed to evoke a specific emotion and create a unique look that will make you feel confident and beautiful.

Styling Option Emotion
Sleek and Straight Chic
Messy Bun Effortless
Half-Up Ponytail Playful
Braided Crown Romantic

The sleek and straight option is perfect for a sophisticated and polished look. Use a flat iron to smooth out your hair and keep it sleek all day long. For a more relaxed vibe, try the messy bun. Simply gather your hair into a high bun and let a few strands fall loose for a carefree look.

If you're feeling playful, the half-up ponytail is a great choice. Pull the top half of your hair into a ponytail and leave the rest down for a fun and flirty style. For a romantic look, opt for a braided crown. Divide your hair into two sections, braid each section, and then wrap them around your head to create a crown-like effect.

With these styling options, you can truly make your chunky highlights stand out and express your unique personality. So go ahead, try out different hairstyles and have fun experimenting with your chunky highlighted hair.

Maintaining Your Chunky Highlights for Long-lasting Results

To keep your chunky highlights looking vibrant and fresh for as long as possible, it's important to follow a proper maintenance routine. Here are some key tips to help you maintain your chunky highlights and ensure they stay stunning:

  • Use color-safe shampoo and conditioner: Opt for products specifically designed for color-treated hair. These will help preserve the vibrancy of your chunky highlights and prevent them from fading prematurely.

  • Avoid excessive heat styling: Heat styling tools like flat irons and curling wands can cause damage to your hair and strip away the color from your highlights. Limit the use of these tools and always apply a heat protectant before styling.

  • Protect your hair from the sun: Just like the sun can fade your skin, it can also fade your hair color. Wear a hat or use a UV protectant spray to shield your hair from harmful UV rays when spending time outdoors.

  • Schedule regular touch-up appointments: To keep your chunky highlights looking their best, it's important to schedule regular touch-up appointments with your hairstylist. This will help maintain the shape and intensity of your highlights and prevent any unwanted regrowth.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Chunky Highlights Typically Last?

Chunky highlights typically last around 8-12 weeks, depending on the individual's hair growth and maintenance routine. Regular touch-ups and proper care, such as using color-safe products and avoiding excessive heat, can help prolong their longevity.

Can I Do Chunky Highlights on Dark Hair?

Yes, you can do chunky highlights on dark hair. It's important to choose a lighter shade that will create contrast. Consult with a professional hair stylist to achieve the desired look.

Are Chunky Highlights More Damaging to the Hair Than Traditional Highlights?

Chunky highlights can be more damaging to the hair than traditional highlights. I once had chunky highlights that caused breakage and dryness. It's important to consult with a professional stylist to minimize damage and maintain hair health.

Can I Still Curl or Straighten My Hair After Getting Chunky Highlights?

Yes, you can still curl or straighten your hair after getting chunky highlights. Just make sure to use heat protectant before styling to minimize damage and maintain the vibrancy of your highlights.

How Often Should I Touch up My Chunky Highlights to Maintain the Desired Look?

I touch up my chunky highlights every 6-8 weeks to keep them looking fresh. It's important to maintain the desired look, so regular touch-ups are necessary for vibrant and defined highlights.


In conclusion, chunky highlights are a stunning way to add dimension and depth to your hair. Just like a painter carefully selects their brushstrokes, choosing the right chunky highlight technique is crucial to achieving the desired effect.

Prepping and sectioning your hair properly ensures a seamless application process. Selecting the right color is like choosing a vibrant hue from a palette, adding a pop of personality to your locks. Applying, processing, and washing out the highlights is like watching a masterpiece come to life.

Finally, with the right styling and maintenance, your chunky highlights will continue to turn heads long after they're applied. So go ahead, unleash your inner artist and create a hair masterpiece with chunky highlights.


Through my journey as a skincare DIY enthusiast, I've uncovered the power of homemade remedies and holistic approaches in achieving clear, glowing, and truly happy skin. Join me in nurturing your skin with natural goodness, as we embark on a quest to radiate beauty from within.

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