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Last updated: August 30, 2021

How To: Balayage On Short And Textured Hair

5 Must-Know Tips For Balayage On Short And Textured Hair

Who said balayage was just for long-haired clients?! Check out how Matrix brand ambassador Greg Gilmore (@greg_gilmore) creates a seamless balayage on a chic fade while sharing his hottest techniques you need to try.


1. Begin At The Nape

Although the hair may be at its shortest point, starting a short-haired balayage at the nape will allow the front of the hair to be manipulated and lay over top the previous sections. It may feel strange to begin painting on such a short hair length, but the end result will blend beautifully.


Greg says being able to stroke in money pieces near the face frame is super important to emphasize short hair texture—beginning in the back of the head and working forward is an easy way to be able to adjust and paint the front most pieces as needed.


Recap on all tips and tricks from #NationalBalayageWeek with Matrix—click here!


2. Smooth Lightener Application On Textured Hair

Greg recommends blowdrying the hair with a comb attachment before painting lightener in order to distribute the product as evenly as possible on the hair. Greg uses Matrix Light Master + Bonder Lightening Powder to achieve quick results on clients with a lot of hair texture! 


  • Section from back to front in 1/2 inch sections or smaller, depending on texture density 
  • Paint lightener in a V-shape, leaving hair in the center to add a natural dimension
  • Heavily saturate the hair. Greg emphasizes that textured hair soaks up product, so thoroughly paint on lightener to define every curl


Pro Tip: As you move forward in the sections, the sections will become larger and harder to control. The outer most pieces of hair a section can be blended into the balayage with a lightener board! Greg says the board will lock the pieces that could not fit into the section in place to finish painting for a seamless blend. 


3. Transition To Free-Hand Painting

Greg recommends adding Light Master Additive to your Light Master Lightening Powder to transform the lightener texture into the perfect free-hand painting consistency. This technique is a great way to evenly paint lightener onto short hair since there is not a lot of surface area to blend any harsh lines into–having a thin consistency helps to blend out lightener with little effort when you don’t have much as much hair length to work with.


Greg recommends adding one scoop Light Master Additive to about four scoops of Light Master Lightening Powder for the perfect ratio of silky, smooth lightener. 


4. How To Schedule Appointment Times 

A short-hair balayage would not take as long as a long-haired client, right? WRONG—Greg explains that short hair can still require a 4-6 hour balayage appointment!


He says to keep in mind that just because the hair is short, does not mean the appointment time will be. The attention to detail on short-haired clients is super important because the hair does not have as much leeway to hide imperfections—making the time it may take to be super precise and blend seamlessly a little longer than expected.


5. Touch-Ups On Short Hair

Just like appointment time, most would assume touch-up appointments for short hair would be more frequent—wrong again! Although each client is different, Greg assures that the visible hair growth only accentuates a balayage with a heavier root contrasted against lighter ends. 


Pro Tip: We’d recommend having an honest convo during your short-haired client’s balayage consultation to make sure they know long-term upkeep still applies to their short hair!


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