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Last updated: March 10, 2021

Watch: Finger Painting Balayage Tutorial

Create Depth & Dimension Using Your Fingers

Balayage using your actual fingers? SPARKS Color Educator Ellery Dougherty (@ellerysparkshair) demonstrates how you can quickly add depth and get to the toning sooner with minimal clean up. Intrigued? Keep scrolling to get Ellery’s application tips and then watch the video above for the full tutorial!


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Finger Painting Application

This literal hand painting technique is perfect for adding soft dimension to the hair for a low maintenance look. The most important thing you need to remember when applying the lightener is saturation. This will determine how much lift you’ll get. Here’s how Ellery get’s started:


  • First, section off the face frame area. This is saved for last.


  • Next, simply section where you want to add highlights and apply lightener starting at the midlengths to the ends with a finger. Make sure to hold the hair at a 90 degree angle and blend upward for a soft, low maintenance finish.


  • Continue this step until you finish the rest of the head. Use a towel to clean your hand between sections. The application doesn’t have to be perfect, because the toner will blend everything out.


  • When you reach the face frame, mix a fresh bowl of lightener for a faster lift so the client doesn’t have to wait longer.


  • Take a weave section at the hairline, tease the hair and sit a foil underneath. Apply lightener starting at the root going down and close the foil. Repeat this step. 


Pro Tip: Instead of dipping your fingers into a bowl of lightener, you can spread a little lightener on a foil so it looks cleaner and more professional to the client.


Lightener Formula

(1:2) SPARKS Powder Lightener + SPARKS 20-volume Developer


Check Out The Different Looks You Can Achieve Toning With SPARKS Color Transformer!


The Toning Process

SPARKS doesn’t have a demi-permanent color line, but it doesn’t need one. Ellery used SPARKS Color Transformer to turn permanent haircolor into demi-permanent for toning. This was achieved by mixing SPARKS Permanent Creme Color, SPARKS Developer and Color Transformer on a 1:1:.05 ratio. 


Check Out The Toner Formulas!


Products Used

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