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PSA: Dimensional color does not lack lightener coverage. If you struggle with drowning out foils when you add depth into a lived-in look, stick around for the tips below. Massachusetts-based balayage expert and BTC Team Member Sarah Cabral (@sarahzstylz) shares her best diagrams and tips to make dimensional color…actually dimensional.
1. Utilize Different Sizes Of Your Go-To Sectioning Technique
When you hear, “Take a zig zag parting…” you typically think of one standard size. While zig zag sections are nothing new, have you ever thought about adjusting the size of the peaks and valleys around the head?
“By using different sizes of zig zag partings I added a ton of coverage while leaving enough depth to create dimensional ribbons,” Sarah explained.
Here’s why you’ll need different sized:
- Small zig zag partings: Perfect for fine details around the hairline to the apex. This will keep brightness where it matters most while adding coverage where your clients want to see it.
- Medium zig zag partings: Never fuss over micro-foiling the crown for a lived-in look. Medium partings will begin to create depth without leaving a big hole from the apex foils moving down the crown.
- Large zig zag partings: This is where ribbons are seen and matter most. The largest partings should angle from the bottom of the ear down toward the nape for blended coverage without over-lightening the ends.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget, zig zags do not have to be a straight line! Curve the partings around the hairline, ears or apex for maximum coverage.
2. How To Ensure Coverage For A Partial Highlight
Once you’re done foiling a partial, the seemingly full stack of foils can be very deceiving to the rinsed outcome. If you feel like you over-foil to be safe or never satisfy a partial client, try this.
“I like to section my partial foils with a deep V-section in order to get a lot of coverage through the back,” Sarah explains. Utilizing a V-section parting to distribute coverage farther down the head opposed to straight lines from ear to ear.
Sarah’s formula & demo below (click the photo to play tutorial!)
- Lightener: Alfaparf Milano BB Bleach High Lift 9
- Gloss/Toner: Alfaparf Milano Color Wear Toners 1:1 010.32 + 010.22 (1:2 if looking for maximum depth)
Pro Tip: Sarah shares if you’re needing to flash tone, Color Wear Toners can do the job by processing for just ten minutes.
Explore the entire range of Alfaparf Milano luxury color, lightener & more for your salon—click here!
3. Use This Foil Trick For Bright Highlights (Even After Toning)
That shiny blonde hair fresh out of a foil always looking promising…until it dulls out ten minutes into toning. To avoid losing brightness after toning, build a sturdy base of foils that will pop through any shade added.
“Here’s my favorite trick to make highlights pop,” says Sarah.
- Use a double foil (back-to-back)
- First foil: Weave and tease the section, painting on a slant to avoid any holes
- Second foil: Slice and tease a bit extra, also painting on a slant
If you’re thinking that teasing will create too much darkness, remember that lived-in looks (even bright ones) need a pocket of depth to seamlessly blend contrasting tones throughout the head. “With Color Wear Toners, the results are predictable, I can flash tone in ten minutes and the smell and formula is so gentle,” Sarah says.
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