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Last updated: October 04, 2022

3 Tips For Dimensional, Chemical-Free Balayage

Hair Painting With Extensions: How It Works & Why You Should Try It

If your client wants natural-looking color that gives off a lived-in vibe, they need dimension. But after months of summer blonding and harsh stressors on their hair, another chemical service might not be the move. What if we told you that you can give your clients the dimension they crave with a chemical-free balayage?


Hotheads® Hair Extensions expert Jesse Ray (@hairbyjesseray) lets us in on his secret to bringing in dimension while keeping hair healthy. Keep scrolling to find out how using extensions to balayage will benefit your clients—plus—get the tips and techniques all right here.


Why Should You Try Chemical-Free Balayage?

  • No chemicals means no damage from back-to-back lightening services. This is perfect for clients who are reluctant to color commitment and upkeep, or need a break from routine foiling.
  • If a client has over-processed ends, it might not take color. Chemical-free balayage is the solution.
  • It’s quicker: Use extensions to reach a client’s hair goals in just one session, instead of taking multiple appointments to achieve their desired results. 
  • Extensions can provide extra length and fullness—great for clients with finer hair, or anyone who loves extra volume. 
  • It’s not permanent: This is great for someone who changes their haircolor often (an on-season color trend client, maybe!), since you can easily swap out old shades for a fresh look. 


How To Create Dimension Using Extensions

1. First, Choose Your “Color Formulas”

For ultimate dimensional results, Jesse chooses six different shades from the Hotheads® Tape-In Balayage Line. The darker shades will bring in some depth, making the brighter sections pop.



On his demo client, Jesse created a dimensional color palette with these extension shades:
  • Natural colors: 5, 8 and 5/8CM
  • Balayage colors: 3/8, 4/4A/20 and 5/1860A


2. Sectioning 101: Use The Client’s Part As A Guide

To begin the process, Jesse works with his client’s middle part and horizontally sections both sides of the head into two. With the top half of one side clipped up, he uses the tail of his comb to lift up about two inches of hair along this parted line, then places the tape-in extensions underneath. Separating the hair with your comb will give you that clean line for a better-organized application.



See how Jesse uses the back of his comb to part and lift up a small section of hair:


3. Placement: How To Build Dimension With Shades

The goal? Keep heavy brightness around the front hairline to highlight the client’s facial features. To do this, Jesse recommends placing depth behind the ears for the money piece effect.


To build dimension in his application, this calls for layering colors and stacking balayage and natural shades. For example:


  • Jesse first applies Shade 5/1860A (balayage) underneath. Next, he layers Shade 5 (natural) on top. The lighter section will peak out underneath the darker section to keep the brightness soft and diffused. 


Jesse places the first balayage extension:


Then he places the natural shade on top:



  • On his next section, he applies Shade 8 (natural) underneath and places Shade 3/8 (balayage) directly on top—allowing the brightness to pop.


Balayage shade layered on top of the natural shade:



  • Throughout the placement, he varies the color combinations to achieve that rich dimension for a natural-looking result.


Jesse continues this method throughout the head:



Now, balayage is taken to the next level when you can accomplish the look without chemicals. Jesse says, “You are a colorist when you are an extensionist,” and we couldn’t agree more. 



Check out Jesse’s blended results!

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Achieve A Chemical-Free Balayage On Your Clients With The Hotheads® Hair Extensions Balayage Line.



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