Articles > Hair Color > Watch: French Balayage Application On Curly Vs. Straight Hair
Last updated: May 20, 2021

Watch: French Balayage Application On Curly Vs. Straight Hair


Balayage Any Hair Texture With These Tips

It’s time to step up your balayage game with these tips from L’Oréal Professionnel International Artist Sebastian Langman-Kirtley (@sebastiancolorist). Sebastian demoed the similarities and differences between sectioning and painting straight and curly textures using the French balayage technique. Follow his advice and you’ll be able to service any client that sits in your chair!


Grab Sebastian’s tips below, then watch the video above for the full 46-minute tutorial. Don’t forget to check out the finished looks and grab the formulas!


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Remove Any Metal Buildup

Sebastian lives in an area with a lot of metal deposits in the water, so his clients usually have a lot metal buildup in their hair. The first thing he does is neutralize the metal using L’Oréal Professionnel’s Metal Detox Pre-Treatment from the new Metal Detox System available in July 2021.  


It used to be believed that a simple detox would remove metal and mineral buildup, but that’s not always the case. Metal penetrates the cortex of the hair, which disrupts the lightener process causing clients to lift quicker than normal especially in areas with high concentrations of metal in the water system. The entire Metal Detox System is designed to remove metal buildup so you can color the hair without worry.


Check Out The Before & After For Straight Texture!

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Balayage Formula

L’Oréal Professionnel Blonde Studio Clay 7 Lightener + 20-volume developer


Sectioning Straight Hair Vs. Curly Hair

No matter the hair texture, Sebastian sections the hair starting from behind the ear and working diagonally forward and back. After that, there are a few differences:


Straight Textures

  • Use check mark shaped partings.


  • Sebastian prefers to take large 1½-inch subsections for a softer finish.


Curly Textures

  • Diamond shaped partings are ideal, because curls taper at the end and diamond shaped sections are more visible.


  • Take large, chunky sections, because anything too small will disappear into the hair once dry.


Note: It’s important to stay organized when working with curly hair, because it expands. Always clip away sections you’re not working with for control.


Check Out The Finished Look For Curly Hair!

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Balayage Formula

L’Oréal Professionnel Blonde Studio Clay 7 Lightener + 10-volume developer


Surface Painting Straight Vs. Curly Hair

The approach to surface painting straight and curly hair is drastically different. Here’s how: 


Straight Textures

  • Hold the hair at a 45-degree angle and apply L’Oréal Professionnel Blonde Studio Clay 7 Lightener starting in the middle, moving up toward the roots and then back down ending in full saturation at the ends.


  • As you move lower, the hair is gradually dropped until it’s at natural fall. 


  • Keep tight tension to avoid hot spots and bleeding.


Curly Textures

  • With curls and tight coils, Sebastian prefers to fully saturate the hair up until he reaches the roots.


  • This might seem dramatic, but the highlights will blend into the hair once dry.


  • Keep tension, but allow the tightness of the curl pattern to determine how much is needed.


  • Sebastian avoids holding curls too taut, because once released they spring back towards the scalp spreading the lightener and creating hot spots.


Pro Tip: French balayage allows you to paint different contours of one section for dimension, but that causes the hair to fold in on itself and create hot spots. To avoid this, use cotton to prevent the lightener from buckling and ruining your work.


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