Best Drugstore Highlighter Brands For Your Hair

Written by Sierra Hamilton | Reviewed by Linda Simko Last Updated: March 16, 2024

There are seven best drugstore highlighter brands that we researched. There isn’t just one best drugstore highlighter – there are some brands that you can always trust.

Highlighting your hair at the salon is even more expensive than getting full color. It is mainly because the beautician has to do more work when it comes to highlighting your hair. The bonus is that you can do your highlights at home if you have the time—the patience and the best highlighter on hand.

The quarantines and lockdowns are over. Maybe, if you want a new look or to add highlights to your hair since we are in a new season now, there are available highlighters in a drug store.

You can now easily find highlighting kits. And if you’re staying home and still staying safe, you can find them easily online. However, if you’ve never colored your hair before, you may be concerned about the products or wondering where to begin. So, check our reviews of the best home highlighter kits, along with our tips for great results.

The Best Drugstore Highlighter

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7 Best Drugstore Highlighter

There isn’t just one best highlighter. While choices abound depending on your hair type and desired effect, there are some brands you can always trust. Here are seven top products worth considering if you’re ready to do some DIY highlighting for your hair.

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If you’re looking for highlights on your medium to dark-colored hair, Revlon’s Frost & Glow Highlighting Kit. It is a great option offering all sorts of blonde shades, including honey. In addition, this option is easy to use. The kit gives you a frosted look while letting you determine how chunky you want your highlights to be.

One great thing about this highlighting kit is that it does a great job covering gray. It also comes in plenty of lighter colors, so you can get a dramatic look with this option.

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The Nice ‘N Easy Hairpainting kit is the perfect choice for summery blonde highlights, and it comes in shades that will give you a great look no matter how light or dark your current hair color is. But, of course, you’ll still be using a cap and pulling through the hairs you want to highlight. So expect a little discomfort – but you’ll be happy with the results.

This highlighting kit is a great option for people looking to get unique looks with their highlights – whether you want to do the ombre effect with your hair or want highlights that frame your face.

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From blonde and beyond, L’Oreal’s Colour Rays offers you more highlight options. These additional options are especially beneficial if you want some fun highlights that aren’t just the standard shades of blonde. They have options like Fuschia, purple, and red.

These are temporary highlights – so don’t expect the color to stick around for long. However, most people want fun colors for a short time anyway, and it frees you up to try a new color next time. So try it out for a bit of holiday fun this year.

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If you’re looking for a healthier highlighter for your hair and the environment, spend a little extra to buy Tints of Nature’s Permanent Highlights. This product is ammonia-free and comes with a conditioner that will ensure your hair stays nice and soft (instead of turning to straw with some color and highlighting treatments).

One thing that makes Tints of Nature worth a little more out-of-pocket, aside from being better for you and your hair, is that it works well on darker hair. But, unfortunately, it’s a blonde-only highlighting kit.

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L’Oreal is a brand name that often pops up in lists of best drugstore highlighters and even best hair dye. This is because they are a trusted name in hair care, in general – so when you buy their products, you know, you are getting something that will do the job you want. So you can expect the highlights you want when you pick L’Oreal’s Touch-On Highlights.

If you get frustrated using highlighting caps, fuss no longer. This kit comes with a “finger” brush, so you literally “touch” the highlights where you’d like them. In addition, the colors come with tasty names like Golden Honey, Toasted Almond, and Creamy Caramel.

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If you want an all-over color with highlights, you have a couple of options. One of those options is the L’Oreal Paris Couleur Experte Express 2-in-1 Color. This kit gives you your base color, and then you follow it up with matching highlights.

It contains the touch-on finger brush to easily apply the highlights (so no cap is needed). The only issue reviewers have had with this one is that the wrong streak color choices can appear brassy if you aren’t careful.

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If you want natural-looking highlights with no fuss at all, Feria has you covered. Their Multi-Faceted hair color with 3X highlights is an all-over color. It gives you an array of natural highlights without a second step.

Feria is a favorite for many people – especially those that love red shades. They also have some pretty sweet Power Violet shades. Yet, they also have all the natural colors you’re looking for.

​Preparing To Highlight Your Hair With The Use Of The Best Drugstore Highlighter

Picking gray hair

Before you start putting bleach or highlighter onto your hair, there are some things you’ll want to do ahead of time. First, of course, you want to open the product box and read through the instruction – these instructions will help to give you an overview of how much time it will take and the steps you need to follow, as well as whether or not you need any extra materials that aren’t included in the box.

Decide where you want the highlights. You don’t want to throw on the cap with your hair all a mess – this can make it difficult to hook your hair to pull through the cap, and it can make it, so your highlights end up nowhere near where you want them to be.

It can’t help to style your hair as you normally wear it. Have the part where you’d have it. Don’t brush your bangs back or tuck your hair behind your ears if these aren’t things you normally do.

Make sure you are following the instructions that come with your highlighting kit. This process will help ensure you get highlights right where you want them.

Do’s and Don’ts of Highlighting Your Hair With The Best Drugstore Highlighter

There are things you should do, and then there are things you shouldn’t do when highlighting your hair. Once you’ve picked the highlighter, you want to ensure that it does exactly what you bought it to do.

The Do’s of Highlighting Your Hair With a Highlighter

Do – Depth And Dimension

The idea of “highlights,” by name even, is that they are meant to highlight something. In the case of highlighted hair, the highlights should enhance your base color and not be overpowering.

Another thing that assists in ensuring that your highlights give your hair depth and dimension is to make sure that your highlights match your base color – use warm colors with warm colors and cold colors with cold colors. You can have fun with drastic colors while sticking with this basic concept.

DO – Work On Face Framing

Where you put your highlights matters. You don’t want to put them wherever, and you also don’t want some to be super chunky while others are far too thin. Highlights should “highlight,” meaning they should leave your hair darker toward the roots while it gets lighter toward the tips (like a far more subtle ombre coloring).

No matter where you put highlights around the rest of your head, you want them around your face. Framing your face with highlights adds brightness to the look and your face.

Brunette woman with distinctive hair highlights

DO – Pay Attention To The Seasons

Your highlights should change as the seasons change. Think of it this way – summer is bright, and winter is dark. This seasonal change means you want lighter colors that are paler or brighter during the summer and deeper tones with more of a golden hue during the winter. Summer is a yellow light, while winter offers more blue light because the sun is farther away.

DO – Take Care Of Your Highlighted Hair

If you want your highlights to stay bright and not fade quickly, you must take care of them. Even when you do your highlights (saving money by avoiding the salon), you don’t want them to fade fast and leave you needing to buy another kit.

A few things that you need to do to care for your highlights include –

  1. Don’t wash your hair in hot water – hot water can turn highlights orange or even yellow. Wash your hair in cold water (better for all color-treated hair).
  2. Consider dry shampooingDry shampoo is less harsh on the hair and requires no water.
  3. Deep moisturize – Hair dye, highlights, and bleach dry your hair. Then, once a week, use a deep conditioner (something containing keratin will ensure the health of your hair). You can do this every other week if your hair is fairly healthy.
  4. Use protection when heat styling – Before you blow-dry, straighten, or curl your hair with a heated appliance, treat your hair with a thermal protectant.
  5. Protect your hair from the sun – Colored and bleached hair can fade in the sun, just like all things fade in the sun. Protect your hair by wearing a cute hat when spending extended time outside, or look for a leave-in conditioner or other styling product with SPF protection.
A lady with a beautiful bronze highlight using the best drugstore highlighter


The Dont’s of Highlighting Your Hair With a Highlighter

Don’t – Use Too Many Colors

While you want to dimension, you don’t want your hair to start looking unnatural (unless you do). So it’s important to pick the right highlights, to make sure they all blend well. You don’t need more than a highlight and a low light to accent your base color.

DON’T – Color Too Often

You should be going for at least two months between color appointments. If you rush back to the salon (or the box) every month, you’re seriously damaging your hair. Let your roots have some air time – it’s not the world’s end.

Over-processed hair looks unhealthy and feels unhealthy too. Dying too much can also cause your hair to break off or fall out – which adds to the unhealthy look. In addition, split ends and dryness that develop will make your hair look dull, defeating the purpose of shine-enhancing highlights.

A blonde's hair being applied by a hair highlighter

Don’t – Lighten Too Much

Watch how light your highlight is. If your hair is too light from highlighting, it will make you look washed out. The idea of highlights is to add depth, not drabness. You want some contrast between skin color and hair color, so don’t highlight a shade close to skin tone.

You also want to consider your base color. If you go past three levels lighter than your main color, your hair will look striped rather than highlighted. While striping your hair is a style all its own, if highlights are your wish, stripes are something to avoid.

Final Thoughts On The Best Drugstore Highlighter

woman with colorful ombre hair

You don’t always have to take a trip to the salon or even shop at Ulta to get a great highlighter – from Amazon to your local drugstore – there are lots of hair highlighters that are worth the money (if you have the time to do it yourself).

Take some time to find the right color for your hair, do a little research on the best drugstore highlighter brands and what people think of them (beyond what you learned here), and remember, it’s only fair – if you pick the wrong shade you can fix it, and it will grow out.


  • Sierra Hamilton

    Hi, I'm Sierra Hamilton, the founder and main author of My journey began as a salon enthusiast, and over time, I came to recognize the challenges many face when comparing services and prices across different salons. Tired of the opaque pricing in the beauty world, I was inspired to launch My mission is simple: to offer a platform where visitors can access accurate and up-to-date price listings for a myriad of beauty services, streamlining the decision-making process. I'm deeply committed to ensuring everyone can make informed and confident choices about where to indulge in their next beauty treatment. Hamilton Sierra

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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