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Last updated: June 17, 2019

How To Balayage For Brighter Blondes That “Pop”

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Balayage isn’t a one-way-or-the-highway kind of technique—it allows the colorist to take control and get creative when painting. But, there are some fundamentals that every colorist should know, and if the goal is to build brighter blondes that really “pop,” we’ve got the tips you need. Check out what @prettylittleombre and Redken artist Lori Zabel have to say about balayaging for brighter blondes!



Know This:

  • With traditional balayage, colorists should paint only the surface of the section, leaving the underneath untouched.
  • The untouched part of the section essentially equals a built-in lowlight.
  • So, with thinner sections, colorists will create less of a built-in lowlight, and instead will create an overall brighter and more saturated end result.


But, Be Careful:

  • When working on small/thin sections, make sure to still paint ONLY on the surface of the hair.
  • If the lightener seeps through to the underneath side of the section, but doesn’t fully saturate it, the end result will look spotty or marbleized.


For A Blonde That Really Pops, Try This:

  • Apply a darker color on the back side/underneath side of the balayaged sections.
  • This will create a shadow behind the lightened hair and enhance the blonde.
  • Think about it like this: If you have a tan when you wear a white dress, the tan becomes more apparent. The same is true for balayage—if the underside of the section is painted darker, the lightened area will pop more, says Lori. 


For Customized End Results, Try This:

  • Alternate section sizes and placement patterns when balayaging.
  • Use fine, medium and thicker sections throughout the head, then change up the placement pattern and the technique being used, says @prettylittleombre. 
  • Alternate between a 1-point, 2-point or 3-point application method (learn more about this here!). 
  • This will create a super dimensional color effect.