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Last updated: December 16, 2022

WATCH: Reverse Balayage To Transition From Platinum Blonde

Reverse Balayage: Tutorial To Add Depth To Grown-Out Platinum Blonde

Your allover platinum client texts you her Pinterest inspo for her next appointment…and she’s suddenly seeking organic, rooty depth and a lower-maintenance look. What’s your game plan? Reverse balayage! Watch this step-by-step above from Cassie Siskovic (@cassiskovic), U.S. National Artistic Director for Alfaparf Milano, as she explains four key things to know about the reverse balayage technique, including her formulating rules AND how she skips the repigmenting process.


1. What Is Reverse Balayage?

Reverse balayage is a method of re-introducing depth to the hair, using hair color instead of lightener to balayage. Cassie uses reverse balayage to transition a grown-out platinum blonde into a “sexy beige” shade using a combination of a tri-foil technique at the face frame and part line for brightness with surface-painted demi-permanent color throughout.


Think of reverse balayage as a type of lowlight. You simply apply the lowlight with the sweeping balayage technique and surface paint to achieve a more organic result.


2. What Type Of Client Is Right For This Technique?

Besides adding dimension back to previously lightened hair, Cassie explains you can also use this method on a darker starting level. It’s also good for clients who want a balayage result but require gray coverage, since the Alfaparf Milano Color Wear demi-permanent line offers up to 100 percent gray coverage.


3. Should I Repigment the Hair To Achieve This Technique?

Nope! If you are depositing three levels or less, you do not need to fill the hair if you use Color Wear. It’s pre-formulated to take care of that step for you, minimizing the client’s chair time AND maximizing your time.


4. How Do I Formulate For Reverse Balayage or Lowlights?

Rule of thumb for formulating lowlights or reverse balayage: Formulate a half to one full level lighter than the client’s new growth. For the “client” (aka a mannequin named Olivia) in the video, the new growth is a Level 7. So this is how Cassie formulated the lowlight:


  • Equal parts 7 + 8 in Color Wear (from the no-letter color series, these tones are neutral to slightly cooler)
  • 5 pumps of Bronze Pigment, a concentrated pigment that has a warm reflection and champagne finish, to achieve beige
  • 5-Volume Oxid’o Developer for color deposit only (no shifting of the base)


Get More Video Techniques, Education and Inspo From Alfaparf Milano: Click Here!


After the reverse balayage technique, Cassie applied a base + toner. Swipe through to see the steps!


Tap the beaker for the formulas!

reverse balayage on blonde hair
open color formula
close formula
  • Formula A: Face Frame

    Alfaparf Milano BB Bleach Easy Lift 7 + 20-Volume Alfaparf Milano Oxid’o Developer

  • Formula B: Reverse Balayage + Base

    Alfaparf Milano Color Wear 7 + Color Wear 8 + 5 pumps Alfaparf Milano Bronze Pigment + 5-Volume Oxid’o Developer

  • Formula C: Toner

    Color Wear 10.21 + 3 pumps Bronze Pigment + 5-Volume Oxid’o Developer


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