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Last updated: August 13, 2022

Open Air Balayage On Textured Hair? Here’s How!

5 Tips To Help Master Balayaging Textured Hair

BTC Team Member Kara Williams (@haircolorkilla) is a pro at getting dimensional, bright blondes on textured hair. So of course, Matrix tapped her as one of their educators for #NationalBalayageWeek! She demoed how to create two-toned blonde using open air balayage and we pulled her best application tips below!


Check out the finished look below and grab the formulas. Don’t forget to watch the tutorial above for the full technique!


Want more blonding education? Catch the replays from #NationalBalayageWeek on Matrix’s Facebook!



1. Start With A Consultation

A consultation with any color service is obvious, but it also helps determine how a textured hair client should come in to the salon on appointment day. Kara’s model wears her hair straight and curly, so her hair was freshly washed and blowdried before the balayage application for visibility. If the client only wears their hair curly, balayage in its natural state.


Note: Add more highlights to clients who mostly wear their curls so the blonde pops. But, make sure to warn them that when they straighten their hair it might look solid blonde.



Check Out The Before & After!

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2. Section The Hair Into Quadrants

Kara prefers to work in four sections with a middle part. Why? Because a lot of her clients wear their hair curly, straight, in braids, etc. and the middle part gives them more versatility when styling.


3. Curly Doesn’t Always Mean Coarse

A lot of people refer to curly hair as coarse and that’s not always the case. REMEMBER: Course hair isn’t about the tightness of the curls, but the size of the curl strand.


4. Alternate Formulas To Create Dimension 

Kara alternates between Matrix Light Master Bonder Inside and Matrix SoColor high-lift color when balayaging to create a multi-tonal look. Here’s how she does it:


  • Starting at the face frame, part a 1½-inch section going diagonal back. Apply lightener formula in a V-shape and saturate the ends using a balayage board.


  • Next, take another 1½-inch section and apply high lift color formula using a balayage board. Make sure to wipe the board off between formulas to avoid mixing.


  • Continue this step until the entire head is finished.



Tap The Beaker For The Formulas!

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  • Formula A (Lightener)

    Matrix Light Master Bonder Inside + 30-volume developer

  • Formula B (High Lift Color)

    Matrix SoColor Ul-Aa + 40-volume developer

  • Formula C (Toner)

    Matrix Socolor Sync 10pa + 10-volume developer


5. Reaching A Level 10 Is Not Required For Maximum Brightness

Applying open air balayage to dark hair isn’t going to lift to a Level 10 platinum, but that’s OK! Achieving a Level 8 or 9 blonde will still appear super bright against darker skin tones.


Pro Tip: One thing to remember when formulating for darker skin tones is that neutral will look like ash and wash the client out. Instead use a color with ash in it for Level 3 or darker hair, and the hue will appear more brown.


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