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Last updated: September 24, 2020

Balayage: 3 Tips For Formulating & Controlling Brightness

Jack Winn @jackwinnpro 4 Balayage Tips For An Even Better Blend Lightener Lightening Formula Brilliant Paint Lightener Money Piece Dry Brush Trick
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3 Balayage Tips For Formulating And Manipulating Brightness

You know your balayage is borderline perfection if everything is seamlessly blended with just the right amount of dimension and brightness. So below, we’re sharing three tips from Jack Winn (@jackwinnpro) that’ll help you achieve that every time. From how to formulate if you’re hand painting vs. using a balayage board to how to control where the most brightness lays, keep scrolling to learn more!


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1. Formulating The Lightener

Think of sour cream at room temp—not because we want to gross you out but because that’s what the consistency of the lightening formula should be. Just mix 1 part Jack Winn Color Brilliant Paint Lightener to 2 parts activator and whisk. It’ll look thin and runny at first but should start to thicken up after about 30 seconds of whisking. “When you first mix it, don’t add more lightener because you think it’ll be too runny,” advises Jack. “If you mix to consistency without knowing that…you’ll have mud.”


2. Prefer To Paint With A Balayage Board?

If yes, then skip the whisking part when formulating the lightener and, instead, gently fold the mix using a brush and let it be clumpy. Why? It’ll give more lift. Think of it this way: Because it’s not perfectly mixed, those clumps still have a small amount of powder in them. When scooping them out and smoothing them onto the paddle, you’ll break those down and really activate the lightener right when it touches the hair.


Balayage isn’t reserved for natural colors only! Click through the slideshow for examples of sun-kissed blends and dimensional fashion colors.


3. The Best Place To Start

It all comes down to preference but for Jack, there are two reasons why he starts his full balayage in the front: He likes his clients the most at the beginning of the appointment (so relatable 😂) and he also wants the face-framing area to have more brightness than the back so it needs the extra time to process. Of course, we can’t talk about the face-frame and not talk about the money piece. The trick is to create brightness that is also soft and diffused. Scratching your head? Click here to learn Jack’s technique! 


Pro Tip: Always keep a dry brush nearby on your tray for times when you apply too much lightener or just need to smooth out a transition area.


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