Articles > Copper > Cowboy Copper Reverse Balayage Dos & Don’ts
Last updated: December 13, 2023

Cowboy Copper Reverse Balayage Dos & Don’ts

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Photo Credit: Instagram via @sarabotsfordhair

How To Incorporate Trending Cowboy Coppers Into A Reverse Balayage

Just like the seasons, hair color trends come and go. And this season, Cowboy Copper—a term forecasted by Evo artist Tom Smith (@tomsmithhd)—is plastered across all the trendy clients’ inspo pics. However, since we all know going red is a big commitment, we’re discussing how your clients can embrace the popular shade safely so their hair is still in good shape by the time the next TikTok hair color comes along. The answer? Cowboy Copper via reverse balayage using demi-permanent shades.


Ahead, BTC Team Member Sara Botsford (@sarabotsfordhair) breaks down her tips for achieving a subtle yet impactful take on the trending tone.


These 4 Steps Are Crucial To Avoid Going Too Dark:

With reverse balayage, the goal is to reintroduce depth back into lightened hair with lowlights and a gloss while blending into the existing canvas. This means you want to build rich contrast using the natural base, and not end up going too dark that you lose dimension. Sara’s key: Saturate the hair with water while painting—here’s how.


  1. Begin by creating sections for balayaging. Then, start painting the copper lowlight formula about an inch from the root.
  2. Next, mist the hair with water from the transition point to the ends.
  3. When the lower part of the section is damp, brush the color down through the ends.
  4. Then, use your hands to drag the color through the ends to make sure the section is completely saturated.


“When I pull this color down, it’s not going to get too dark—it’s going to be a nice transition from dark to light,” says Sara. “I melt where the two meet and slightly drag it down.”


A look at each step:


Have clients asking for Cowboy Copper? Click here to purchase the best shades for the look!


When doing a traditional balayage, you know those sections you’d normally leave untouched in order to create depth? According to Sara, that’s exactly where you want to paint the bulk of your copper when reverse balayaging. “Between the parietal ridge and hairline in a ‘V’ pattern where I’m going to put my lowlights,” she says. 




The Exact Formula For A Cowboy Copper Reverse Balayage:

For a stunning Cowboy Copper that is gentle yet long-lasting, Sara reached for Alfaparf Milano Professional Color Wear Demi-Permanent shades to achieve the look. Here’s the exact formula she used on her model who started out as a Level 6:


  • Root Melt: Alfaparf Milano Professional Color Wear Demi-Permanent 5.34 + 5-volume developer (1:3)
  • Sliced Lowlights: Color Wear Demi-Permanent 6MRB + 10-volume developer (1:1)
  • Toner: Alfaparf Milano Professional  Color Wear Gloss Toners 08.34, 08.6 and 010.02 + 10-volume developer (1:1)


See Sara’s model’s before & after here!

Photo Credit: Instagram via @sarabotsfordhair


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