Articles > How-To: Hair Paint the Perfect Blonde
July 25, 2016

How-To: Hair Paint the Perfect Blonde



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2017 was the year of the blonde—hand-painted, multidimensional, effervescent—each more unique than the last. Here’s one of our faves, courtesy of Katlin Green (@hairbykatlin), stylist and co-owner of M&K Studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Katlin’s client was previously a heavily-foiled, highlighted blonde, but recently decided she wanted to make the switch to a more natural, lower maintenance balayage look. After growing out her hair for about six months, she had 4 inches of regrowth—just right for a trendy shadow root. Add some hand-painted dimension, a few, bright face-framing pieces and some glamorous waves and voilà! Blonde perfection.


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Natural Level: 7, dark blonde


Color Formulas
Formula A:
2 oz. Wella Professionals Freelights + 2 oz. 30-volume developer + ¼ oz. Olaplex No.1

Formula B: 2 oz. Freelights + 2 oz. 40-volume developer + ¼ oz. Olaplex No.1

Formula C: Matrix Color Sync ½ oz. 8P + ½ oz. 8V + 1 oz. 10N + ¼ oz. Olaplex No.1


1. Start by separating the hair into four sections, two in the back and two on the sides.

2. Starting at the nape, take 2-inch sections and split them in half, dropping the bottom half and painting the top half with Formula A, lightly feathering to the root.

3. Alternate sides in the back until you reach the top. Then continue the same sectioning for the side sections, this time using Formula B. “The one thing I did different in the front is I made sure to grab each main point around her face to ensure there was a lot of blonde to frame her face,” says Kaitlin.

Katlin used foils to keep her sectioning clean while
painting, but removed them before processing.

4. Process for 45 minutes without foil or heat until a Level 9-10 is achieved.
Note: Because the color processed without foils or heat (in a cool, air-conditioned salon), Kaitlin used higher developers.

After the foils were removed, the hair
processed in open air for 45 minutes.

5. Rinse and shampoo, then towel-dry the hair.

6. At the bowl, brush Formula C onto the roots, and process for 5 minutes. Then pull through to the ends and process for another 3 minutes. Rinse with cool water and condition.

7. Apply Olaplex No.2, and process for 10 minutes.

Total process time: 3.5 hours

Haircut: $45
Toner: $25
Balayage: $120
Medium length: $15
Olaplex: $20
Total price: $225