How Long Does It Take to Get Highlights?

Does it take long to get your hair highlighted? And how long will different types of highlights take? We found it out for you.

Written by Kate Holmsy. Updated on How Long Does It Take to Get Highlights

Highlights are just perfect for freshening up your look without having to dye the whole chevelure!

They can be done with many colors and they also fit many skin and face types which makes highlights versatile. In addition, they can be used with strategic purposes, for instance, if you need to hide some early gray hairs!

However, if you decide to get your mane highlighted, you might want to know more or less precisely the answer to the following question: how long does it take to get highlights in your hair?

And in addition, you would like to know how to maintain them afterward as well.

So today we did our best to find out how much time it may take from a salon colorist to get your hair highlighted or partially highlighted. You will also learn how to take care of them in order to keep your highlighted strands good looking and glossy longer.

Finally, we will share a few tips with you on what nuances and factors may influence the time needed for applying highlights.

Stay with us and keep on reading! It is going to be very interesting today!

How Long Does It Take to Get Highlights Done?

If you wonder how much time it takes for a salon professional colorist to apply highlights onto your hair, you need to reckon for approximately two or three hours. Of course, the exact amount of time will depend on several additional factors.

For example, the length of your hair, its initial color, the color of highlights you want to have, and of course, the technique that you are going to make use of.

Certain highlighting techniques take more time to have everything done in comparison to others. In addition, long hair will require more time to get highlighted rather than a short hairdo, such as pixie or bob.

And also, the color of your hair may influence the overall timing as well.

If you initially have undyed locks, highlighting them will go faster and easier than if the colorist has to deal with already dyed or bleached tresses.

This is why below you will find a more detailed description of the time required for applying highlights, both partial and complete. With that in mind, you will be able to approximately calculate how soon you can have your mane highlighted.

How Long Does It Take to Get Highlights Done
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How Long Does It Take to Get Highlights At a Salon?

If you decide to go to a professional colorist to a salon for having your hair highlighted, we would recommend you reckon for approximately two or three hours.

This amount of time is usually enough for doing highlights, but still, you need to take the additional factors into consideration.

So the best option for you, if you want to know the precise time frame needed for highlighting your mane, is to call a salon where you want to undergo this procedure, and ask them how long it might take.

Describe what you want to have on your locks exactly, what color of highlights you want, and ask a receptionist how long it will all take. Or, as a variant, you can visit a salon in person which will be even better.

Like this, the professional colorist will be able to see your hair and its texture, as well as to discuss with you what highlighting technique is going to be used.

How Long Does It Take to Get Highlights At a Salon
Credits: SimpleFoto, via

How Long Does It Take to Get Partial Highlights?

Sometimes, we might not want to undergo some cardinal hairstyle changes, and so we decide to start with only partial refreshment of our appearance.

And even though highlights can be considered a way less dramatic change in terms of your hairstyle, some ladies prefer highlighting their strands only partially for the first time.

To be honest, it makes sense. When you do highlights for the first time, you might not be absolutely sure whether this hairstyle will suit you. Also, the color you choose for getting highlighted may end up being slightly different on your strands than you imagined it to be.

How Long Does It Take to Get Partial Highlights
Credits: Nastya22, via

Finally, doing partial highlights has another benefit. It is time, as you could already guess. See, getting your head partially highlighted takes significantly less time than doing the same procedure on the whole mane!

How long does it normally take to get partial highlights? Well, Consider spending half of the time needed for a proper highlighting procedure.

So, since doing complete highlights takes usually around three hours, getting your chevelure partially highlighted might require around one and a half hours.

But again, remember to take all the nuances into consideration! Consider the length of your hair, its color, whether it is dyed or not, as well as the technique that will be used.


Factors That Influence the Time Needed For Getting Highlights

As we have already mentioned above, doing highlights may take you a different amount of time. But in general, if you are doing it in a salon with a professional colorist, and you are going to have your whole head highlighted, you should consider spending around three hours on that.

Respectively, partial highlights will take something like half of that period of time.

Nevertheless, it is also important to take into consideration what other factors will influence the time frame needed for undergoing this procedure.

  • the level of your colorist’s experience
  • the length of your hair
  • the highlighting technique you will be using

So if you want to better understand what to expect when heading to a salon for highlights, we recommend you take the following nuances into account.

Factors That Influence the Time Needed For Getting Highlights
Credits: Nastya22, via

How Experienced Is Your Colorist?

This factor really matters a lot! As you surely know, high quality and experienced professionals work faster and do their job better, no matter whether we are talking about colorists or the professionals in other spheres!

So if you make an appointment with a professional and experienced hair colorist who knows perfectly well what and how to do with your hair, you can expect to have your hair highlighted exactly the way you want it after around two or three hours.

Such a specialist has done this procedure hundreds and hundreds of times, and as you know, practice makes perfect.

However, if you go to a professional who is just starting out, the whole process will most likely take more time. In addition, there is no guarantee that a less experienced colorist will not mess up with your hair, the color of highlights, or with anything else during the procedure.

How Experienced Is Your Colorist
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What Is the Length Of Your Hair?

Another factor you should consider when going to highlight your strands is the length of your hair. It does not matter what type of highlights you choose, working with long hair will anyway take a colorist more time than dealing with a short haircut!

In addition, no matter what technique you will be using, each of them will take longer if a colorist will have to work with long strands.

What Is the Length Of Your Hair
Credits: Nastya22, via

What Highlights Technique Are You Going to Use?

Finally, we reached one of the most crucial aspects! Picking the highlighting technique also matters when calculating how long it will take your colorist to get your locks highlighted.

In most cases, you will be offered either a cap technique or a foil wrapping technique once you come to a salon for highlights. The reason is that these two are the most widely used and the most popular highlighting techniques that are used around the world.

Here, you just need to keep in mind that the cap technique usually takes more time to have it done in comparison to the foil wrapping one.

The reason is because passing sections of your hair through the holes in a cap takes a great amount of time, patience, and precision from a specialist!

So now you are informed about the time needed for getting your hair highlighted and partially highlighted.

And now, let’s move forward and try to figure out how you should choose the most suitable highlighting technique to use on your hair, what techniques are considered the most popular today, and how to pick the correct color for your future highlights.

What Highlights Technique Are You Going to Use
Credits: Nastya22, via

How to Choose the Right Highlights Technique

Well, generally speaking, there are two major highlighting techniques that are being used in salons around the world today. One is called a cap technique, and another one is a foil wrapping technique. But what are they exactly, you may wonder?

Well, simply speaking, a cap technique implies the use of a special cap with tiny holes in it. It is put on your head, and tresses are being pulled through those holes to get them highlighted.

The foil wrapping technique means that your strands will be wrapped with foil after your colorist applied dye on them.

Below, we will describe each of them in more detail for you.

How to Choose the Right Highlights Technique
Credits: Gal2007, via

Cap Highlights Technique

This method is especially good if you need to hide a lot of gray or white hairs! Besides, it can be considered pretty versatile since you can opt for it if you have straight hair, as well as curly or wavy locks.

Also, the cap technique leaves you with highlights that will have to be touched up every two months. That is especially worth it if you don’t have much time for visiting a salon more frequently.

However, the cap highlighting technique is rather time-consuming! That’s because passing sections of your hair through the holes is a cap takes a lot of patience and precision from a colorist.

In addition, when doing this, your hair may tangle which means that the specialist will have to spend extra time on detangling the tresses. And since that must be done carefully and without messing up with your locks, the whole procedure may take around three hours.

Cap Highlights Technique
Credits: Nastya2,, via

Foil Wrap Technique

This method is way better for those who have dark hair because the effect it creates looks much better on dark strands. However, just like the cap technique, this one can be used on any type of hair, from straight to curly.

Also, foil wrap technique has a shorter maintenance period of thirty days which means that you will have to revisit a salon for touch ups more frequently!

But in general, highlighting your mane this way takes less time since this approach is initially quicker and easier both for you and for the colorist.

So consider all pros and cons, and make your choice on what technique to make use of prior to making an appointment in a salon.

Foil Wrap Technique
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Tips On Choosing Your Highlights Color

You need to have a very clear idea of what you want to have on your hair when visiting a salon for highlights. For that, consider thinking about it beforehand.

But anyway, ask the opinion of the colorist you are going to: a specialist will be able to define what color will look better on your hair, as well as pick the right shade that will complement your skin type and color.

However, it is always good to keep a few general tips in mind before going to a salon:

  • If you have a lot of white or grey hair, better choose blonde highlights.
  • If your hair leans more towards red, then opt for ashy shades.
  • In case you have ashy hair, and you want it to look warmer, choose caramel or honey colors.

With these recommendations, you will be able to explain to your colorist what effect you want to get on your hair after the highlighting procedure is done.

Tips On Choosing Your Highlights Color
Credits: SimpleFoto, via

How to Take Care Of Your Highlights?

To keep your locks properly highlighted and good looking longer, remember to follow a few simple care instructions.

Once you leave the salon, don’t wash your hair for two days! This way, the dye will settle better and you won’t wash it off. As a result, the color of your highlights will last longer. Later, wash your hair with lukewarm or cool water only to make the color last longer and grip better to your hair.

Also, avoid swimming pools and beaches for a week or so. Chemicals in the pool water may change the color of your highlights and make the mane dry and look like hay!

Hair products also matter. Stick to color-safe options, such as shampoos for colored hair. And if you have blonde highlights, consider using a purple-tinted shampoo to avoid brassiness.

How to Take Care Of Your Highlights

Remember about proper nourishment and hydration of your tresses as well! Hair masks, balms, conditioners will help you to keep your tresses glossy and strong.

Finally, cut on using your heat styling tools. Blow dryers, irons and other appliances will damage the tresses and make the color fade quickly.

With all this in mind, you will now be able to precisely explain to your colorist what type of highlights you want to have, and also, you will be able to maintain your highlighted hair properly to keep it good looking and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ How long does it take to get full highlights?

It takes around 3 hours.

⭐ How long does it take for highlights to fade?

If you don’t keep them up, they’ll start fading in 2 months.

⭐ How much do babylights cost?

Around 100-120 dollars.

Written by
Kate worked in "The Fashion Magazine" for four years as a freelance writer and loved to consult and help people with their style. How to create your own style, how to look beautiful, and select trendy colors for your hair - these are just a few of many issues Kate will happily explain in Beezzly Beauty blogs!
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