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Last updated: June 13, 2018

Balayage and Blonding: Tips, Techniques and Formulas

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When in sunny SoCal, do as the Cali kids do—and go blonde. Whether it’s a multidimensional balayage or a full-out foil, blonde hair is always in style in La La Land. And who better to talk us through two of the most on-trend techniques for blonding than the 2016 #ONESHOT Hot Shot Ombré Shot of the Year Winner @prettylittleombre and celebrity colorist Justin Anderson?! Here’s a look at everything we learned when the two took our second BTC “On Tour” Stage.


See all the pics of Justin and Jamie onstage!



Balayage With @prettylittleombre
It was her first time teaching on a stage this big, and we have to say—you crushed it, girl! And, while she may have been new to the stage, @prettylittleombre is no newbie to dropping excellent education. Here are four tips and two of her coolest formulas she shared with the crowd.


Your Products Are Everything
Use different lighteners for different purposes, Jamie says. A balayage masterpiece requires a clay-based balayage lightener because it has a certain glide to it, whereas a regular foil lightener can get kind of gritty and dried out—and that can create splotches in your work.


 Balayage Is Not For Every Client
Some clients come in and show you a rooty, balayaged color and tell you that’s what they want. But, if they’ve always been super blonde, they might not realize how a rooted look will change their color, and they could be upset at the result. It’s your job to figure this out before you start.


Keep The Integrity Of The Hair
You’ll notice in Jamie’s formulas she often uses a lower developer on the ends of the hair. It might be a little extra work when creating your formulas, but it’s worth it in the end if your client can keep her blonde ends looking super healthy.


How-To: Quick and Bright (in the back!)



Honey Blonde Color Formulas


Formula A (balayage mids): 1 full scoop of Scruples Power Blonde + 40-volume developer

Formula B (balayage ends): 1 full scoop of Scruples Power Blonde + 20-volume developer

Formula C (gloss): Equal Parts Redken Shades EQ 9V + 9RV + Equal Parts Processing Solution


Pastel Pink Color formulas


Formula A (face-framing babylights roots): Oligo Cool Blonde Lightener + 20-volume developer

Formula B (face-framing babylights ends): Oligo Cool Blonde Lightener + 10-volume developer

Formula C (foilayage): Oligo Cool Blonde Lightener + 10-volume developer

Formula D (gloss): Joico Peach + Joico Light Pink



Blonding With Justin Anderson
This Cali native (the man behind Katy Perry’s blonde chop and celebs like Miley, Jen and Emma Roberts) took his second BTC “On Tour” stage to share the reason he likes to foil instead of balayage. Plus, he shared two go-to formulas for Hollywood’s hottest blondes.



Get The Baby Hair
While his go-to method is foiling, he usually avoids foils at the front hairline. Instead, he paints on the lightener (usually 40-volume) covering all the fine baby hairs to kick the color up a notch after everything else has processed. Then he washes the hair and adds a quick root gloss to help it grow out nicely. “This is one of the most fragile parts of the head—lightening this way keeps the hair healthy and super blonde.”


Not A Toner Kind Of Guy
Justin doesn’t usually go for a toner when finishing up a blonde transformation. “I like my blondes super bright and to keep the color as raw as possible. Toners can take away from that feel,” he says.


 Balayage Isn’t For Every Stylist
Just like Jamie said that balayage isn’t for every client, Justin took the stage saying balayage isn’t for every colorist. “I sometimes feel like balayage can be a little unpredictable,” he said. “I still balayage sometimes, but I like knowing that when I foil in super-small, super-fine sections, the end result is going to be exactly what I want it to be.” 



Formula A (tight-weave highlight): Redken Up To Seven + 10-volume developer

Formula B (hairline): Redken Up To Seven + 40-volume developer

Formula C (root gloss): L’Oréal Professionnel Dia Richesse ½ 9.11 + ½ clear + 9-volume (10 minutes at bowl)


Instead of toning, Justin rinsed and shampooed
with his own dpHue Cool Blonde.


Formula A (highlights): Redken Up To Seven + 30-volume developer + Olaplex

Formula B (highlights ends): Redken Up To Seven + 20-volume developer + Olaplex


Want to see more of Justin? Check out him
and George Papanikolas on BTC University!