Can you highlight over highlighted hair? Yes, and a colorist explains when to do it

woman with highlighted hair strength smile

  • Yes, you can highlight over highlighted hair.
  • If you want to disguise your gray hair, you can highlight over highlighted hair because the gray will be perfectly concealed.
  • You can also highlight over already highlighted hair if you want to achieve blonder hair more gradually and with less hair damage.
  • As a colorist, I recommend you go to a salon to achieve a harmonious color and avoid damaging the hair irreversibly.


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How to gradually turn your hair blonde with highlights


 Do you want to know if you can highlight over highlighted hair? 


Of course, you can! What’s more,  maintaining highlights just means highlighting over already highlighted hair. 


As the hair grows, the contrasting effect between the colors of different hair strands is maintained.



Highlights are applied by bleaching small strands of hair leaving a few centimeters off the roots. As the hair grows out with its natural color, it’s necessary to bleach other sections of hair to maintain the coloring technique.


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No professionals can select the same strands to color every time. Therefore, the colorist will always recommend that you go to the salon to touch up the highlights after six weeks.

hairdresser observes hair with highlights of female client

So, there are three reasons for doing highlights on hair that already has highlights:

  •  You want to maintain the technique. 
  •  You want to disguise the gray hair. 
  •  You want to achieve blonder hair  creating different shades.

We’ll go into these last two options in more detail below.


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Applying highlights to highlighted hair to hide gray hair

woman shows gray hair with highlights

If you have very gray hair, highlights on highlighted hair are ideal for concealing the grays. 


As you repeat the technique, you can achieve higher levels of blonde with gray hair to conceal them for longer.

In that case, you should go to the salon. Your colorist will evaluate your hair to know how to apply highlights on highlighted hair to hide gray hair.

The colorist will decide on the best technique.

For example:

  •  If you have gray hair only in one area of your mane,  such as the frame of your face, your colorist will focus the lighter highlights in that area and the rest of the highlights will be darker. This way, your highlights will be blonde and gray hair will be concealed.
  •  If your hair has centralized sections with gray hair and the rest of the gray is scattered,  the colorist will apply very blonde highlights throughout your highlighted hair to disguise them.


older woman's hair with several highlights to hide gray hair

This coloring job requires knowledge and experience from a professional colorist. They can design a “highlight map” to decide where to apply more or less highlights, and where to apply the new highlights to perfectly disguise gray hair.


You can apply highlights on top of highlights to lighten your hair

 Do you want to achieve the highest blonde levels gradually? 


Highlights will allow you to do so without bleaching your hair.


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You can stop the process when you reach the blonde level you expect. A colorist should also achieve even color highlights.

Usually, a colorist applies highlights on 60% of your hair and leaves the remaining 40% unbleached.

When she applies the highlights again, she’ll separate 60% of your hair again and leave 40% unbleached.

What will your colorist achieve with this process?

hairdresser in salon combs hair to make new highlights


It’ll make your hair look different shades of blonde without the need to apply a dye. Eventually, if unwanted tones such as orange or yellowish appear, the colorist will apply toner, which contains less ammonia than a dye. Therefore, it’s not as damaging.

As you can see,  applying highlights to highlighted hair allows you to have blonder hair without bleaching your entire mane. 


Eventually, after applying highlights on highlights, , you’ll notice that your hair is too blonde all over.

In that case,  your colorist will recommend applying lowlights  which is a similar technique to highlights. Instead of separating some strands to bleach them, you separate them to apply a darker dye.

For example:

  •  If your highlights are in extra light blonde 10,  they’ll apply lowlights light blonde 8.
  •  If your highlights are in a very light blonde 9,  they’ll apply lowlights blonde 7.

This way, you won’t lose the blonde tone and you’ll keep the highlights in different shades.



Highlights are always applied over highlights because it’s the right way to touch them up. Also, apply highlights over highlights to conceal gray hair or lighten your hair gradually without bleaching it all.

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