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Last updated: November 05, 2020

Watch: Express Chunky Highlights Technique

Create Modern, Chunky Highlights In Less Time Than A Partial Highlight Service

If you haven’t noticed, chunky highlights are back! We know your clients are asking for them, so we had Ulta Beauty Pro Team Member Sean Godard (@seangodard) break down how to create the look in less time and with less work using overdirection when sectioning and foiling. Watch the video tutorial above, then keep scrolling for the finished look and the formulas!



It’s All In The Sectioning

The key to this technique are three simple sections in the front. Those sections are the only places where foils will be applied.

  • Start by creating a rectangular section right through the center. Make it as wide as a peace sign, from finger-to-finger, so you can fit a foil comfortably between.


  • Next, take a section from the front corner of the head and drop it down to behind the ear. Overdirect the entire section going forward to the front. Secure using a plastic twist tie or an elastic band and repeat on the other side. Sean prefers to use plastic twist ties to hold his sections because they give you more control and are easier to take out than elastic bands.


Note: Overdirection is a great method used to create softness and movement in the hair without placing a lot of foils. Make sure you’re standing directly in front of your client when overdirecting. Just like with cutting, you want to bring the hair towards the center of your body.


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Foiling The Sides

When foiling the two side sections, keep the hair in the plastic twist ties or elastic bands. If you use a twist tie, make sure it’s plastic so the metal doesn’t react with the lightener. Sean used one foil per section, but you can use another foil if you think you don’t have enough room.


Pro Tip: When painting, Sean likes to take fine, thin sections and alternate where he paints the starting line of lightener on each to create softness and to avoid a harsh straight line. 


Check Out The Before & After!

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The Face Frame

Once the sides are in foils, you can start on the middle section. Sean completed the face frame using three foils with varying lightener placements to get a very soft face frame with the boldness and impact of three back-to-back foils.

  • For the first horizontal slice, paint as close as you can all the way up until the hairline. 


  • For the second slice, you want to start further down for a natural transition since the first slice is close to the scalp. Tease the hair up starting an inch or so away from the scalp and clip the teased hair away. Then elevate the hair straight up and paint on the underside of the section for a nice blend, then pull it down and paint overtop. Place the foil and fully saturate the section and seal.


  • For the third slice, start teasing further down from where you started in the second section to pull up more hair and clip the hair away. Elevate the section and start painting from the bottom and blend to get a transition. Then lower the section and continue blending on the opposite side. Place it it over the foil, saturate as you normally would and seal.


Note: If you brush too much product on the section, use your pinky finger to blend the hair up to smooth out any chunky sections.


Pricing This Service

Sean recommends you charge for a partial foil highlight service with this technique. You’ll be able to get through the service faster, make more money and save time for you and the client. “I know in the past people say, ‘Time is money.’ That’s an easy thing to say. But it’s also, ‘Time is value for the client,’” he remarked. Remember the client is busy too, so getting them in and out is valuable for you and for them.


Tap The Beaker For The Formulas!

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  • Formula A (Foils)

    Redken Flash Lift Bonder Inside + 20- or 30-volume developer

  • Formula B (Glaze)

    Redken Shades EQ 09M + Clear + Shades EQ Processing Solution


Products Used


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