Seriously? Don’t try this at home!

Cap highlights should be considered a thing of the past. There may be an occasional reason for it, but I won’t be the one to stand behind it.

There are other methods to color short hair with dimension as long as you’re seeing an experienced and knowledgeable colorist.

No matter the argument, cap highlights in or out of the salon are just wrong. Don’t get desperate…..get the facts :).

In the salon I will refuse any request for a cap highlight service and I have many reasons for this!



Why You Shouldn’t Do Cap Highlights

1. It’s basically the same as doing your hair at home.

I’m baffled that any salon still offers this service…. seeing as there is really no difference than the at home box version other than the product we are using. If salons shouldn’t be doing it, then you definitely shouldn’t be doing it at home.


2. How can you properly place highlights specific to a clients needs?

You, as the client, come in for a “retouch” of your cap highlights. Common sense should take over on this one, how will your stylist be able to see which hair strands she is pulling through the cap? She doesn’t, she is poking and pulling as fast as she can to get it over with and slap some color on.

The result is blonde buildup- overly processed blonde ends and regrowth that barely looks highlighted. This same concept applies when doing it yourself, only worse. Eventually, your ends will look really blonde and your regrowth will look like it was barely highlighted….check me on that :).


3. When you pull a chunk of hair through a cap it’s not necessarily coming from that exact spot.

It appears that hair is being pulled from your front hairline when in fact it is being pulled from the area behind your ear. This results in half of a highlighted strand of hair and a huge mess! I could keep going with the reasons….but I think you get the idea, it’s not okay at home or at the salon!

Whether it’s cap highlights, box color, or special “streaking technique” boxes….it’s not a good idea. If you still don’t believe it read 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Box Color or contact me for specific advice!

About The Author


Professional Hairstylist | American Board Certified Haircolorist | Makeup Artist | Beauty Blogger

11 Responses to Why You Shouldn’t Do Cap Highlights

  1. Edna says:

    Wat is the other way than cap highlights?foil comes out in clumps?

  2. Beth says:

    I started cap highlighting by myself. Two different friends who are stylist thought I found the best colorists in town. Both own their own salon…both wanted to ask her how she got the depth and detail of my depth. Both want to hire her. If I told them, I am the mystery colorist…sudden shame . Well my best fronds would charge me $200-$250 for my colors …well my friend no more!

    Long story short- with quality products and time- great results can be achieved…using a cap.

    • Erika says:

      Good for you….I hope that cap treats you well! I’m sure all of your friends would trust you to work some cap highlighting magic on their hair….skies the limit right?

  3. Laura says:

    I would rather have baylayage but at 170-200$. So,people that cant afford turn to the BOX at store.

  4. Gloria says:

    I prefer cap than foils! foils doesn’t look as natural as the cap

  5. Bridgette says:

    I haven’t done a cap in years. I had the exception when a older lady with a tight perm came in. Her hair was basically all dark without any color on it. I pulled with the smallest pick every hole. I put a toner of 9nv and it came out beautiful and natural. The smalles needle didn’t leave and lines at her scalp. Her hair was very thick. My problem with foils and a tight perm is that the hair shrinks while on the foil. I use foils primarily. The exception was that a professional did this and it was toned. You can’t get this at home.

  6. JennaR says:

    Plus it hurts really badly… i remember doing this as a kid and wanting to cry cuz the lady would pull my thick hair through the little holes… 🙁

    • Erika says:

      I forgot about that part! I’m always so focused on the results when it comes to hair color topics and I forget about the possible discomfort! Yes, foiling takes longer, but that’s the only complaint anyone could have. No jabbing at the scalp, and certainly no spotty color!

  7. […] are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t use cap highlights at home or in the salon.  I hope this technique slowly slips out of all stylists and clients […]

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