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Last updated: May 11, 2021

3 Shadow Placement Tips For Achieving Depth And Dimension

balayage, brunette, blondes, long hair
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3 Shadow Placement Tips For Achieving Depth And Dimension

Ever wonder how to achieve that lived-in, dimensional color you keep seeing all over Instagram? Here’s a hint: It’s not about what you put in, it’s about what you leave out. Need more info? We had BTC Team Member Caitlin Dugan (@coloredbycaitlin) stop by The BTC House to share her techniques on creating that dimensional depth you (and your clients) are craving. Scroll down to get Caitlin’s tips and go-to styling products and click here to purchase her full Shadow Foilayage class on BTC University.



Slide To See This Dramatic Before & After 

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1. Use A Natural, Bricklay Pattern



Since this look is all about keeping things natural, Caitlin uses a “baby bricklay” pattern for her sectioning:


  • Take diagonal partings at the nape and work towards horizontal partings getting up to the occipital bone.
  • To make it a “baby bricklay,” use the natural curve of the client’s head for the sections, Caitlin advises.
  • Take the weaves right off of the head, ensuring that enough hair is left out for natural dimension.


2. Painting Placement



Like we said, creating dimension isn’t about what you paint on, it’s about what you leave out. Working with the client’s natural hair is key to creating a seamless blend with depth. Caitlin broke down her painting process like this:


  • Take large, deep weaved sections, leaving out baby hairs.
  • Do ONE tease up the center of the section.
  • Place lightener in the center of the weave and fully saturate from mid to ends. Use a patting motion to bring the lightener up just a little bit into the top.


Pro Tip: If the client has a little bit of warmth in their transition area, don’t worry! Caitlin uses a shadow root formula to break up the warmth. “Honestly, I always go in with a shadow root,” she explains, “it richens up the client’s base and gives such a pretty melt.”



3. Create a Working Visual With Foils



To create a visual roadmap for her dimension, Caitlin drops down her entire middle section before painting. “Once I’ve finished my diagonal partings and am ready to go horizontal,” she explains, “I let the middle section fall completely down so I can really see where the dimension will live.” But she doesn’t stop there, Caitlin advises to keep checking the amount of hair left out even while painting foils. “This technique is all about visualization,” Caitlin explains. “Lift your foils and see where your blonde is going to live.”


The Finished Look One More Time With Caitlin’s Styling Products From SEVEN haircare!

long hair, balayage, brunette


BONUS: Don’t Forget To Educate Clients On At-Home Care

Sending your client home with quality care products not only helps prolong their color, it also keeps their hair healthy between appointments, making their next lightening service as seamless as that balayage you just created. If the hair needs some extra moisture, send them home with the SEVEN haircare RINZU® COLOR shampoo and conditioner. If the client needs protein or help restoring life back into their locks the KENTE® BOND system is essential. It includes a shampoo, conditioner hair mask and spray, all available for take-home care. 


Caitlin’s Styling Products:

  • Before glossing, Caitlin cleansed with SEVEN haircare CUBICA® CLARIFY shampoo. 
  • After clarifying, Caitlin used the KENTE® BOND SYSTEM to keep the hair healthy after lightening. 
  • Styled using GAZAR® DIAMOND serum for natural shimmer and CUBICA® SWEPT texture spray for volume.
  • Finished with GAZAR® POLISH.


Want to know more? Click here to purchase Caitlin’s class on BTC University and have lifetime access!

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