6 Types of Highlights and Color Techniques You Won’t Want to Miss

Written by Andrea Haynes

Summer is just around the corner, and no doubt that urge to highlight your hair peaks every time the sun comes out. But before you dive right into the salon and say “make me blonde” you may want to know what you’re getting yourself into and why.

There are so many different types of highlights that this topic is not always easy to understand. Usually reading the language will be enough to throw you off, but then when you google images of balayage, foiliage, ombre, full foiled highlights, etc. things only get more confusing.

I want to help take out the blurry definitions and give you a solid understanding of the varied types of highlights so you can look sun-kissed or platinum in time for summer. And there’s no better time in 2022 than right now to get this process going.

Amazing Types of Hair Highlights to Choose from in 2022

1. Full or Partial Balayage

Full Blonde Balayage
Full Blonde Balayage by Andrea Haynes

If you’re hoping to get something very natural-looking that might only be a couple of shades lighter than your natural color, then balayage is a good option. Each piece is hand-painted with precision and just the right amount of saturation to give you the sun-kissed look of your dreams. So what exactly do you need to know about balayage? Just a few easy takeaways.

Balayage is a naturally “warm-color” producing process. If you like golds, warm browns, reds, honey, and champagne then this will fit your aesthetic.

What’s the Difference Between a Full and a Partial Balayage?

  • A full balayage covers all areas of the head, including the back underneath the crown down to the nape of the neck.
  • A partial only covers the upper portion of the head from the back crown to the upper portion of each side of the head.

Why should you choose a partial or a full balayage? Partial Balayage creates more “dimension.” It’s a higher contrast effect where there are naturally deeper lowlights created from your natural hair color. The takeaway is if you want high contrast with balayage, try a few partials in a row spaced 8-10 weeks apart.

Toners are often needed to soften the level of red, copper, orange, or gold that might be produced from the bleaching process. These warm color pigments live naturally in the hair and become exposed once the bleach does its job. So don’t be worried in the process. Your colorist knows what they are doing.

Toners are often needed every 6-8 weeks between services to keep the tone in the right color spectrum.

How often should you get a balayage per year? This will vary but on average people do 2-5 per year.

2. Foiliage

Full foiliage by Andrea Haynes
Full Foiliage by Andrea Haynes

When you hear the word foiliage, think bright blonde with an easy grow out. With this process, you get the best of two worlds: the brightness of “foiled highlights” mixed with the easy outgrowth of a balayage. @lo_Wheelerdavis is a luxury hair artist from California who specializes in creating high-contrast, rooty blondes. For inspiration, she is a good place to start. You’ll find everything about this look on her page, plus more.

So what do you need to know about foiliage?

  1. Using foils creates deeper saturation and heat when the product comes in contact with the hair. It’s a physically more intense process for your cuticles so take care of them in a few ways: get keratins, use hair masks 1-3x per week, try the Olaplex line, and stay regular with your upkeep.
  2. Foiliage is meant to be for high contrast. If you’re torn between foils and balayage, try foiliage.
  3. It is still a rooted look, so you are growing out your highlights easier, although still not as easy as a balayage.
  4. Often needs to be color melted post highlighting service.


Often your foiliage, balayage, or foiled highlights will be followed by a color melt. Your colorist takes 2-3 colors and starts with the darkest toner at the root, then moving a couple of inches down at a time uses a slightly lighter toner for the mid-sections of the hair until the end is reached where the lightest toner is applied.

Example of Color Melt1
Example of Color Melt by Andrea Haynes

What do you need to know about a color melt?

  1. This is a toning process, not a bleaching or highlighting service.
  2. Color melting takes a lot of skills and expertise to do well. The use of three colors is slightly misleading as the color for each section as you move down in a gradient from dark to light will have multiple colors mixed in to achieve it. So for example, you’re using a dark color at the base of your hair and it could be mixed with 3 different colors to make it that shade. The same goes for the midsection color and the ends. It’s complex!
  3. It’s a conditioning process with certain brands. Some glosses act like an end-of-service shield, sealing down those cuticles and making the hair shiny and healthy-feeling.
  4. You may not need a color melt as often as you would a single toner.

4. Babylights

A good technique for the blonde that feels never quite blonde enough but still stays shy of platinum. The results of babylights are gorgeous and can be considered high maintenance.

Babylights by Andrea Haynes

So what are the key concepts for babylights?

  1. Long service. This process takes paper-thin sections and applies the bleach or lightening agent to them inside folded foils. Due to the tiny section size, the process can take a very long time. Bring a book and a snack!
  2. It’s high-maintenance blonding for a reason. You’re achieving the brightest blonde possible here just shy of a double-process platinum experience. This means to maintain that blonde, you’ll need to be booking regular touch-up services every 8-10 weeks.
  3. Aftercare is important. You’ve invested a lot of time and money into this process so taking care of it provides the best benefits. Remember to get keratins, use quality products and brands such as Kerastase, and create a solid product foundation. The foundation consists of your shampoo, conditioner, oil, and heat protectant. Make sure these are moisture-focused.

5. Double Process Blonde

Babe hair anyone? This blonding technique produces that iconic all-over single shade of blonde that symbolically screams “blondes have more fun.” (Don’t worry brunettes, your color symbolically screams the same thing, except it inserts “brunette” into the phrase).

What do you need to know about being a double-process blonde?

  1. Highest maintenance of all the blonding techniques. Time and money are important here as you’ll be in the salon for a long period of time per service. Then you’ll need to book touch-ups regularly. The harsh line that grows out is stark and getting your touch-ups is the best way to take care of it.
  2. You are depleting a lot of natural keratin on a regular basis so getting Express Keratins by Keratin Complex is a must.
  3. Make sure to tone regularly as well. If your original color was dark, your hair will want to fade to colors you might not love.
  4. Re-book touches up about every 6-9 weeks or so. This can be affected by how quickly your hair grows and how polished you want it to be. 

6. Copper Highlights

copper highlights
Copper Highlights. Photo credit by Andrea Haynes

 2022 is the year of gorgeous redheads, but not just any red. Copper-red is the look, and it’s a bit enchanting. The hues range in the spectrum from deep red-orange to pale strawberry blonde, but with copper undertones. How is this look achieved? For starters, no red color is the same so make sure to bring photos for your colorist so they can get a good idea of the copper shade you want. The look is typically achieved by doing a balayage, foiliage, or highlight and following that with copper shades of colored toners or hair dyes.

What do you need to know about highlighted copper-red?

  1. The look is not for everyone. And that’s ok.
  2. The more highlights you add in first, the more dimensions or contrast you’ll have. This also makes you lighter.
  3. It may not come across this way, but copper highlights are high maintenance. Red coppers fade quickly and will need a toner to refresh often.
  4. It’s fun! If you’re on the fence, this is the year to give it a try.

Just a simple tip, but you may want to go to a copper-red head for this service. No one knows reds like the redheads themselves. Scarlet and Co. in the Gold Coast of Chicago for example is owned by the most beautiful and talented copper-red colorist. Finding a place that specializes in reds is key.

The Main Differences Between Box Dye and Salon Dye

Written by Evelyn Davies

Home hair coloring vs a salon. You’re wondering if box dye is worse than professional dye? And I wanted to do a write-up from a professional hairstylist’s point of view. The study of hair is our profession, and we come across these box dye vs salon questions regularly. Sometimes it can be frustrating to educate.

I thought I would list down a few of our reasons so you can make more educated choices. Box dye vs professional dye is a constant battle we deal with guests in the salon. The short answer to this – is there a difference between store-bought hair dye and salon? Is yes. Check out the guide below for my why’s.

salon hair dying

Box Dye vs Salon Dye Chemically

Cheap color = cheap ingredients. Box dye will not come with the quality in production as a professional salon brand. If you’re cutting costs, it will come with a different kind of cost–quality color.

Metallic salts, PPD, ammonia, peroxide. It’s chemical mayhem! If you want quality, you need to pay for it. Some chemicals will react with each other and even disintegrate your hair, some are suspected carcinogens, some are bad for the environment and the list goes on. It’s the same with products too, want good quality – pay for it. 

1 Box Dye Creates all – Fact or Fiction?

Before and after the chart those box dyes have on the back, you know where it’s blonde, medium, or dark. Weird how we don’t have those swatches in professional hair color ranges, and we just have a color chart.

That is because the box dye before and after is fake news for most buyers. Ever box dyed your hair and it’s not the color on the box? It’s a common occurrence. Using one shade to create similar results on everyone’s hair is obscene. Imagine how strong a box dye is, the aim is to create a very similar shade on different hair colors/types. So, the box dye will be using an unnecessary strength on hair types that do not need it. The box dye will aim to penetrate thick, stubborn, or dark hair types. Which can result in damage/buildup.

Hairdresser washing pink dyed hair

Does Salon Color Last Longer than Box Dye Color?

In short yes. The previously discussed issue of ”one strength fits all” in-box dyes and chemical quality. Salon professional hair color is tailored to your specific needs. There are so many variables in hair color formulation.

Using a strong hair dye can weaken your hair cuticle. This is a protective layer over the internal structure of the hair. Depending on strength color molecules sit in different areas of the hair. That’s why we get temporary, demi, bleach, and permanent color. Once weakened the cuticle will open and if it doesn’t close and seal, you can wave goodbye to long-lasting hair colors.

Bleaching Hair at Home vs Salon

Bleaching your hair at home is not a good idea. Box dye bleaches are going to have the issues we have mentioned in strength and quality but also in bleaching, I feel the professional knowledge and application come into play.

Bleaching, once it’s in, It’s permanent. it’s a very strong hair lightening service and we treat it differently to color because it is a lightener. When a lightener overlaps previously lightened hair repetitively, it weakens and damages hair, resulting in breakage. Box coloring with bleach is just a recipe for damage, and I do not advise it. Go to a professional colorist.

a woman with short pink hair daying and styling her hair in the salon

What is the Difference Between Home Hair Color and a Salon Color Application?

Box dye hair color is missing not only quality and strength options but application skills too. Professional colorists are trained to apply color in the salon correctly for your hair needs.

Classically lightened hair has strands – highlights. Not every client wants full blonde hair. Highlighting your own hair is extremely difficult, even we stylists would struggle to achieve that on ourselves.  Also, coloring hair has particular application methods too, repetitive overlapping can result in the buildup and permanently turn hair black, even when your chosen shade is not black. Ever got bright glow roots from box dye? Can be from scalp heat or build-up.

young woman in the salon with pink colored hair

Is it Really Cheaper to Box Dye Hair?

So, you box dye your hair medium brown, over and over and over. The ends are now black. You have roots and a weird gradient with dark ends… nice. Suppose the professional colorist has to fix it now.

You will need a color correction to even this out and fix it. Adding highlights may be an option to break it up, but you need to remove some of that stubborn depth. Hairstylists will more than likely need to use a solid professional color to do this, or lots of appointments. They are often being expensive. Or you can grow it out over years. That $10 box dye saved you so much money long term. Let alone regular appointments to top up fading color from damaged box-dyed hair.

woman in the saloon checking her short pink hair

Box Dye vs Professional Color

Box dye – cheap – for now. Professional color–guided, predictable, tailored, studied, safer, relaxing, service. I think the pros and cons say it all.

With professional color, you receive after-care advice, consultation of hair goals, guided expectations, a relaxed service for yourself, quality ingredients, realistic ideas, and a tailored hair color to suit your hair needs. When coloring your hair professionally at the salon, you are not only paying for a color, you pay for the whole service. Please don’t mistake our creative job for being easy to do, it takes years of study. This, you cannot buy in a box dye, so please if you can, go to a professional.

a woman with beautifully dyed pink hair in the salon

Lowlights vs Highlights: Are Lowlights Better for Hair?

I’m just going to come right out and say it, lowlights are sexy. They’re sort of the mysterious and understated counterpart to a highlight. Remember in the ’90s when the clothing fashion trend was a short, silky slip dress underneath an oversized blazer? The first thing you saw was the blazer. Chunky and cute, it was the obvious part of the outfit. You couldn’t take your eyes off it. But now and then that silk dress would peek-a-boo each time the wearer took a stride. You’d catch a glimpse of the delicate lace trim lining the sweetheart’s neck. Or maybe you’d see the shiny fabric glimmer with each and every step.

Lowlights do exactly what that slip dress did: they make the whole thing look better using subtle persuasion. They bring depth and intrigue to the hair, which is undeniably sexy. 

client having lowlights in the salon

So, What’s the Difference Between Lowlights and Highlights?

They really are opposites. A highlight is created when a colorist uses a lightener to get the natural color of the hair to go from darker to lighter. Bleach is a common lightener, and it works by entering the hair strand and oxidizing the pigments (colors) already in the hair. For example, dark brown hair color can be lightened with bleach to red, orange, and lighter brown. If you continue to lighten the hair with bleach, you’ll get gold, yellow and pale yellow. If the process continues to remove all of the protein color pigments in the hair, you can get platinum (white blonde).

woman in the salon having highlights

A lowlight on the other hand is created when a colorist takes a product containing color pigments in it and then applies it to the hair to make it darker than it already is. The colors deposit into the cuticle of the hair shaft and change the color you see. For example, if you want to go from blonde to brown, you can use color to lowlight the hair. The color deposits its molecules into the hair, making it darker. You can use a lowlight to make a light blonder a darker blonde or a light brunette a darker brunette. Commonly you’ll see lowlights used to create high-contrast blonde. These are the highlights that are very bright blonde, and the lowlights are a deep brown.

a woman with lowlights in hair

What Exactly Do Lowlights Do?

The goal of a lowlight is to provide depth in the hair. Instead of a solid blonde, imagine the hair is beautifully organized with darker colors intermixed with the blonde. These darker tones can be a shade or two darker than the blonde or can be many shades darker for a more dramatic effect. High-contrast hair like this is often described as having “poppy pieces.” Lowlights make blondes look blonder through an optical illusion.

When you put something bright against a dark backdrop, it makes the light color look even lighter! This trick is so incredible, that colorists everywhere are practicing something called a “Reverse Balayage.” This is when you lowlight the entire head in strategic places and the effect is the hair has these poppy pieces of blonde in the end.

Beautiful smiling woman with lowlights in brown hair

Lowlight Placement

Lowlights are meant to be understated, but that doesn’t detract from what they do in the hair. A very skilled colorist will be able to visualize “shadows” or those darker backdrops mentioned earlier. Knowing exactly where to put a shadow is what increases the brightness effect of the blonde highlights.

There are many different ways to lowlight, so I’ll just cover a couple.

The first is a traditional foil lowlight. There’s this pattern that alternates lows and highs inside the foils. The ratio is more highlights to lowlights. This adds sublet depth to the blonde who wants to be really blonde but has a small amount of depth.

Then there are balayage lowlights. It’s when a thin strand is hand-painted just near and under the hand-painted highlight. This is probably my favorite placement. It’s so natural-looking.

Then there’s a reverse Balayage. This is a form of lowlighting where the placement is approached much like a full balayage. Instead of going lighter, you’re strategically darkening certain pieces typically to make the lighter pieces pop more. Sometimes it’s done to create an overall less blonde effect as well. However it’s used, it is so lovely, relaxed, and natural-looking.

Beauty smiling woman with lowlights in her hair

Do Lowlights Damage Hair?

Deciding when to get lowlights can be done with the help of your colorist. Often, it’s used when someone doesn’t want to be a solid blonde or wants to communicate a beautiful “lived-in” feel. It can also be used when the hair over time becomes too blonde. Adding in lowlights brings the hair back to a more natural feel.

Then there’s the health of the hair to consider. When blondes are highlighted 6-8 weeks apart, the hair can become stressed. There are times when breakage can occur. At this point, many people decide to lowlight to help their hair have a break. Lowlighting during recovery periods helps the hair heal. There’s something so refreshing about painting over damaged blonde hair. You can almost hear the hair say “Ahhh, that’s better.”

If you’re considering lowlights, make sure to check with your colorist about the effect and what you’re going for. Making a mistake in this department isn’t fatal, but you do want to be in good hands as there are unfortunately many things that can go wrong. Don’t let that hold you back though. Remember, lowlights are sexy and healthy for your hair. Kind of a win-win! And who doesn’t need a few of those?

Beauty smiling woman with lowlights in brown hair

Should Keratin Treatment Come Before or After a Color Service?

Growing up there were so many little sayings my parents had. Probably the one that stuck with me the longest was “work hard play hard.” As a child, I’d try to skip outside unnoticed and get caught. I bet you can guess exactly what my mother liked to say each and every time. Working hard didn’t actually bother me. It was the order I couldn’t stand.

Why work hard, then play hard? Why couldn’t I play first? Of course, my parents knew that any kid who played first usually didn’t do their work after. What I didn’t understand back then was the order of things really matters. Like it’s an incredibly important part to make things flow in just the right way.

Can you Do a Keratin Service on Bleached Hair?

An elegant blonde woman with keratin-treated hair

It’s no different in the world of hairstyling where clients are constantly having to think through hair products, services, and what it is they may need next. I’ll let you in on a secret, the one you need next is formaldehyde-free keratin treatment. I know the word keratin has been a big buzzword for a while, but it’s for good reason.

Keratins are beautiful, restorative treatments that can actually fill in the little “holes” or damaged spots on every hair strand. You might be wondering, how exactly does this kind of damage occur? There are a lot of different reasons, which we can go over some time. For now, I’m going to look at a very significant one: Highlighting your hair.

Yup, you heard right. The service you love the most gets your chestnut-brunette locks to have the perfect sunkissed look, making you the bronde of your dreams. Or for you blondes, it’s that level of tone and brightness that screams “bombshell!” The upside is that you look and feel great after all that bleach has worked its magic. The downside is you need to take special measures to ensure the health of your hair.

Remember the little holes? Unfortunately, they can lead to dryness, brittleness, or even breakage. So what can you do? The classic answer is moisture. Get your foundation chalked full of moisture-encouraging products. This means your shampoo, conditioner, hair oil, and heat protectant (go for a cream one). It helps tremendously. But the better answer is to get keratin.

How does Keratin Treatment Prep Damaged Hair to Take Color?

You see the holes from the bleach deep inside the hair strand. Many surface products just can’t reach them. Now you’re starting to get why they’re such a buzzword. Keratins are designed to heal hair from the inside out. If you are looking to truly restore the amount of protein and strength in your hair, this is it. These treatments get right down to the damage that products just can’t heal. They make each strand stronger from root to tip, shinier, and less frizzy.

Another cool magic trick they do is actually help your color spread more evenly throughout the hair. If you think about it, what if you have one spot near your bang area that is more damaged than say the back of your hair? This is called porosity (think tiny pores all over the hair strand). By reducing hair porosity, keratin treatment helps you get more consistent coloring results. But, don’t hurry.

The color you apply then will affect these areas differently, providing different results at times when you are going for even and seamless. By filling in all the holes, keratins can help your hair take its color evenly, and guess what? It only yields more accurate results and really helps out your stylist!

A beautiful brunette with smooth hair

Can I Get Keratin Treatment Immediately after the Color Service?

I know what you’re thinking at this point, “I’m going to book keratin ASAP. I’m due for color anyway!” Before I can say hold your horses, you’ve already dialed your favorite colorist’s number. How are you this fast? You keep her number on the speed dial of course. “Hello,” she says. But before she can ask how she can help you, you have already squeaked at a rapid pace “book me the keratin right after my color appointment because I heard they are magic and I want the magic!”

She now can get a word in as you sit breathlessly waiting for her yes. But much to your shock, she says “no.” Not to your services, but to the order and the time frame you requested for them.

Why Can’t I Get Color and Keratin Service on the Same Day?

a woman with colored and keratin-treated hair

She goes on to explain, much like my mother, that the order of things matters immensely. It matters so much, I’m going to say ALWAYS book your keratin AFTER your color service. Why you may wonder? Well, each hair strand has this outer shell called the cuticle. The nature of keratin is that it seals this down after the proteins are embedded. This is why it looks so strong and shiny.

But the nature of the bleach your colorist uses to get highlights has a chemical partnered with it that blows open the cuticles for the bleach to get inside. As you can see, keratins and bleach services operate on the hair in exactly opposite ways and your hair needs some time to recover.

How Soon Can I Dye my Hair after Receiving Keratin Treatment?

So once the cuticles are sealed from the keratin, you’ll have to wait 2 weeks before getting a color or color-lightening service done. Once your stylist explains this, your breath returns to you and you say “Then book my color service before my keratin please.” And that’s when your stylist gives you one more small recommendation. Don’t book your keratin and color service on the same day. Why is that? Didn’t we just cover that it’s safe to do keratin BEFORE color? Yes. But there’s something called a clarifying shampoo that is used before each keratin service.

a woman with highlighted and keratin-treated hair

Does Keratin Treatment Lighten your Hair Color?

Clarifying shampoos are very strong and help open the cuticle in order for the keratin proteins to get inside the hair shaft. Let’s say you’ve just had your color put on or your demi-permanent gloss after your highlights. The clarifying shampoo can actually strip off the color that was just added! So, while the keratin complex is safe with color, the clarifying shampoo is a bit too strong. To recap: Get color or highlights before keratin. It’s recommended not to book the same day as the clarifying shampoo is strong and can strip the color.

How to Get Most of your Color and Keratin Service?

Not all keratin products are formulated equally.

Some straightening products (Express Keratin by Keratin Complex, GK HAIR Smoothing Keratin Treatment, and Silk Touch Keratin Treatment by Hair Bar NYC) don’t tend to strip your color. On the contrary, they work to enhance color vibrancy and shine. However, let your color set for at least ten days and then book an appointment for keratin service.

The results are simply lovely. Even lovelier when the first 3 keratins are booked 4 weeks apart, then they can be done seasonally or 4 times a year. Some do it as needed. Whatever way you go with your keratin, always remember that the order of things matters. 

To avoid possible disappointment, consult a hair professional about the product you are going to use and let your stylist do the job for you.

A beautiful woman with long straight blonde colored hair

All You May Need to Know About Balayage Hair

Written by Evelyn Davies. Hairdresser. Creative writer. 

What is Balayage?

Balayage Is a French word, meaning sweeping. The technique we use to balayage color hair is a sweeping effect. Like freehand painting. Balayage can vary so I’m here to clarify some terms and misconceptions. You can get partial balayage, reverse balayage, ombre is a different look and highlights are different too. Usually, the balayage effect is darker at the root and lighter at the ends, but balayage can be created with lots of different color transitions.

Balayage Vs Highlights

Balayage can be done in a foil, meche, or paper like a highlight. It can look like we are creating highlights, but they’re different. A balayage in a foil is blended out at the root with the sweeping effect. This can also be called foilyage. Some stylists use backcombing too in this technique. The reason we use foil can be down to a few things.

  • Foils achieve a lighter blonde; you may need the incubation for more lift.
  • Control – This stops lighteners and colors from transferring onto sections of hair.
  • Bleach, some balayage bleach is for a free hand, and some is better in foil.

Highlights are vertical strands weaved in that are consistently the same from root to tip. Done in foil, meche, or paper. Sometimes you can get a dark-to-light effect in your hair from having a buildup of highlight history in the hair. So, we understand why this gets confusing. The picture below shows highlights that have built up to become a dark-to-light effect.

Woman with balayage hair in a saloon

Balayage vs Ombre

Ombre is a French word too. The word means ”shaded”. We use the word ombre in hairdressing to describe the gradual transition of color. All the ends are one tone there’s a more gradient effect. Again, this can be created with lots of colors, but usually, it’s a dark–light tone.

I understand why these terms are confusing but here we have pictures for a visual of an ombre look. As you can see there’s more of a fade and the ends are the same tone. When the hair is a balayage like the first picture the hair has a more vertical stripe from dark to light and multi-tones.

Balayage Highlights

Free-Hand Balayage

This is another technique we hair colorists use. There are a lot of lighteners we use for these effects. Generally, these looks do not get as light as in foils. Free-hand balayage can look a little gentler and more natural. We paint panels with our product and soften the area near the root by using a sweeping effect. We can also do this by painting strands on the root when we top up the balayage.

So again, lots of techniques. I have to say It takes skill knowledge and a creative eye for us to decide what step we need to take on you. Check out this free hand I created for a client.

reverse balayage hair

How Often to Touch-Up Balayage?

Well, this is a question with quite a lot of answers. It all depends on the look you have had, your natural color, and how rooty you like a balayage.

Some clients like to top up every 6-8 weeks, some come in every 6 months, some like to keep a sparkly toner and top it up every 3/4 weeks and some want the ability to grow it out until they fancy a change. The beauty of balayage hair is that it can suit high and low-maintenance looks and can fit into different budgets. If you want to top up regularly, tell your stylist, if you want low-commitment color, also tell your stylist.

How Long Does Balayage Take?

Again, this is a changeable answer. Something I have found with balayage is – It generally takes longer than highlights to create.

From the colorist’s point of view, balayage is a bigger job than highlights. It needs to blend nicely so we have to do more sweepy strokes, especially if we use foil. Now, this isn’t always the case – Sometimes free hand can be a pretty fast application, so it depends on what you want. If you’re thinking – of super fine blended strands and super light then be prepared to be in the salon a long time. Once you throw backcombing in too it adds time to our application.

Have a chat with your stylist in advance, send them your hair goal pictures and be honest about your color history, these factors can affect time in the salon and on balayage. Also, time = money so the bigger the job, the bigger the price tag. Be prepared to spend if you want super light detailed balayage.

What is Reverse Balayage?

This is a technique we use to add dimension and tone, usually darker. I love a bit of reverse balayage.

If your hair has got super light it can end up looking one color and need some low tones to pop out your light. I love this because personally, I think balayage’s should have that dimensional look to give them a natural feel. I even love it when we use this technique with fashion colors pastels and brights, you can add multi tones by working different shades through instead of lifting the hair.

balayage highlights on red hair

Partial Balayage – What Is It?

So, this is also a balayage technique but we don’t do the full head of hair.

Maybe you want to balayage around the face only like a natural money piece, or maybe you just want some lighter tones up top. The partial balayage is great for topping up a full balayage or creating a small change in the hair. Some people like to lift up edges only and some like a scattered effect. I hope this has cleared up a lot of your balayage questions and will help you decide on your new look. Happy coloring.

Professional hairstyle with balayage hair color

Taking Care of Rainbow Hair: Colorist-Approved Tips

Written by Jessica Bernard, hair colorist. Beauty Salon

A lot of people are eyeing rainbow hair these days, whether it is the working-from-home careers taking over or bosses have stopped enforcing once-strict dress and appearance policies; whatever it may be, we are here for it!

Here are a few tips for getting ready for the journey, because let’s be honest, your hair is most likely already permanently colored with professional or box dyes. Rainbow hair comes in a variety of tones and patterns, however, pre-existing color on the hair will most likely prevent the wearer from achieving those baby-soft pastels. Dark, more jewel-toned semi-permanent colors will be a great caveat.

Preparing Hair for Coloring

a girl with beautiful rainbow hair
  1. Patch test the products you will be using if you have unknown allergens, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions. If allergies to things like PPD are an issue for you, a lot of color brands have formulas suitable.
  2. Prior to your appointment or at-home lightening, clarify your hair of all the products you use, Malibu Undo Goo is a great salon-quality shampoo. Apple Cider Vinegar rinse also works well. (Clients have personally recommended it for shine and scalp clarification.)
  3. Skip shampooing your hair about 24 hours before lightening to avoid scalp irritation. Mild itching or tingling is normal. It’s always a priority to watch for a change in skin tone or swelling, indicative of allergic reactions. Consult with your physician if symptoms persist.
  4. After lifting the hair to a palette suitable for your rainbow color, you will want to shampoo the hair thoroughly without conditioning. Use a porosity filler spray instead to make the hair more manageable without undoing all that cuticle lifting you did during the lightening process.
A girl with long rainbow hair

How to Dye Hair Rainbow?

Before you can dive deep into the paint, make sure you have all the tools. Three to ten hair clips depending on how strategic your rainbow pattern plans are as well as the number of color bowls and brushes to match. It’s the rainbow, after all. In a pinch, get creative and mold bowls from highlighting foil you may already have on hand.

You can apply your semi-colors to dry or damp hair, water mixed with your semi’s will help to lower product use and spread easier. Color may be softer than if applied to dry hair. It is your personal preference at this point. The wearer can customize their own perfect style this way.

Once the color has been applied, at a minimum you will need to wait twenty minutes before rinsing. Processing the color on your hair for up to an hour is not uncommon, a lot of clients swear by this method in getting the most vibrancy and longevity from their rainbow hair color.

The Best Aftercare for Multicolored Hair

After coloring, scrub the color of the scalp and rinse until the water is mostly clear. It is not necessary to shampoo and may alter the effects of the color placement and hold. Condition the hair and use a pH-balancing rinse to close that cuticle back down. Redken is in the headlines currently with their new sleek line for just this purpose. Color longevity is what everyone wants and needs, and products for aftercare become more so relevant.

Salon quality products will give you optimum results and are worth the investment. With rainbow hair, preservation is key, so products like cleansing conditioners and dry shampoos should be staples in your beauty toolbox. These products gently mattify and absorb your natural oils leaving your hair and scalp feeling and looking clean while holding intact the color molecules underneath that cuticle layer. Once or twice a month, clarify the scalp. Fading may occur but like any color, maintenance is necessary over time. You will want to do as little heat styling as you can get away with. If necessary, a heat protection product is a must. Apply as directed by the manufacturer. Not protecting the hair can actually evaporate the color molecules and you can instantly lose the vibrancy.

How Long Does Rainbow Hair Color Last?

Rainbow hair fades and grows out, it’s inevitable. When you formulate your plan, taking into consideration your future color goals is important. If you want to invest time and money, expect to recolor your rainbow pattern in six to eight weeks. Pre-lightening the hair is not always necessary and skipping every other color application is healthier over time.

If your idea is to change into something new or different, think in terms of complementary colors, utilizing the color wheel will help you with this. Opposite colors neutralize, and side-by-side colors create tonal shifts while red, yellow, and blue can be mixed to create your secondary color palette. Normally color masks are great, which are pigmented conditioning masks that put color back in the hair temporarily; but in terms of caring for the rainbow, you carry like a crown, skip them, and go straight to reapplying the full semi-permanent colors.

Stretching Out your Next Color Rainbow Application

If you want to wait three to six months to recolor your hair, hiding your color pattern under a veil of your natural hair will be a great way to stretch that next color application farther out. Your regrowth will be well hidden and this placement provides a bit of intrigue. It is also perfect for personality types that do not want to attract a ton of attention to themselves. If you are looking for a head-turning placement for your perfect rainbow-colored hair, lookup terms like color pinwheel technique, peekaboo rainbow hair, or even rainbow money-piece. This is the same exercise used in salons to craft the perfect results for color clients.

Coloring your hair into a rainbow masterpiece will take time, money, and patience. Although expensive, the results are phenomenal. If you are going to do it, it is worth the investment for high-quality at-home products or an experienced professional application.

A woman getting her hair multi-colored in the salon

Rose Gold Hair: Color Variations

Written by Evelyn Davies. Hairdresser. Creative writer. 

Rose gold hair is a hot trend that has been dominating the warm color pallet.

Blonde Rose Gold Hair

Blondes have the ability to guilt-free experiment with color.

Rose gold is great for those blondes with yellow tones in their hair. Instead of fighting it, a rose gold tone will work with it, meaning you don’t have to lift out those yellow tones that make your hair look brassy, leaving it in better condition, but also with a unique eye-catching color.

Rose Gold Hair Variations

Is it red? Pink? Or gold? This color leaves people struck on what to call it. It’s a mix of metallic gold with pinky-red hues. The color has the ability to be executed in many ways but I find the most popular is blonde rose gold. With so many different variations of rose gold, I decided to make this a simple guide.

Vintage rose? True Rose gold? Champagne? There are a lot of variations.

It is a hard color to a cocktail at the color bar. So, take a picture to your hair stylist if you have an image in your head. True rose gold to me looks like, well rose gold! But I have experienced clients asking for a champagne tone, and not having the result they asked for in their head. So always take pictures. There’s a huge spectrum of warm blondes.

1. Vintage Rose Gold Hair

This is my favorite version of rose gold.

Vintage rose gold hair has an undertone to mute it down a little. Giving it an aged vintage effect. Almost a matt neutral hint to move away from bold obvious reflections of color. It’s not as dense as some rose golds. I think it has a more expensive finish. With a really nice two-tone iridescent feel. Now, these words could mean anything to you as I’m a hairdresser but check my image below for a visual:

A woman with rose gold hair in a salon

2. True Rose Gold Hair

This is a classic mix of gold, red and bronzy.

True rose gold to me has a bronze undertone.

This gives it a bit more ‘spice’ than the vintage muted tone. It’s a little closer to warm metallic hair color. It’s a light bronze with a red/pink hue. Like a light copper. Making it subtle and unusual at the same time. Again, check out the image below for a visual of what I mean by true rose gold.

true rose gold hair color

3. Rose Gold Champagne Blonde Hair

This gives a nice more natural classy tone.

Now this color is not classed as a rose personally but it’s in the warm blonde family and it often gets tagged as a rose gold, so I want it to be featured. The champagne tones are a more yellow-golden-based tone. They can have a reflection of pinky silvery hues, which is why this tone kind of crosses into the rosy family. Check my image below for a clear visual.

Rose Gold Champagne Blonde Hair

4. Rose Gold Peach Hair Color

The bolder variant I see popping up on Instagram.

Peachy pinky hues are so delicately beautiful. They add a veil of sparkly warm fun to blondes. I have also seen these tones referred to a ‘rose gold’ and it’s a warm blonde so I can see why. There are no rules to what you want to call a tone, but I think it’s nice if you and your stylist can speak the same language. Check out what I’d call a peach below:

Peach pink rose gold

5. Rose Gold Brunette Hair

So, this is even MORE complex.

The problem with going a darker tone is you lose the brightness of the orange-red-pink hues in there. So, in order to have these tones peeping through, it may be realistic to lighten pieces of your hair for it to appear more obvious. It’s achievable but let me show you an image of rose gold brunettes. It loses the light behind the tone and doesn’t look as unusual.

Rose Gold Brunette Hair

As you can see, the brunette roses have multi-tones. To get that color to appear in your hair you may need to lighten it up. Also, we still have the different variations – though more subtle on a brunette tone. These tones can have more golds, reds, oranges, pinks, and even slight violets.

Looking after Rose Gold Tones

Getting rose gold can be hard and keeping rose gold can be hard.

I always recommend professional quality products for hair care. Washing less frequently in cooler temperatures helps with longevity. Also, heat protection and less heat styling can help. To top it up, toner conditioner treatments are perfect for adding hues at home whilst conditioning your hair.

Rose gold hair is a challenge.

Confusing right?? Try cocktailing it in the salon! We tailor every color.

We have to come up with the right formula for you. I’m hoping this guide gives you more clarity on what you’re looking for. Maybe even helps you and your hair stylist choose what’s best for you. And you’re ready and prepared to understand the process of getting rose gold hair.

Peek-a-Boo Hair Color Ideas

Written by Evelyn Davies. Hairdresser. Creative writer. 

blonde peekabo color in dark hair

Interested in the latest color trend? Need a new look? Peek-a-boo hair color peeked your interest? Below you’ll find some hidden hair color ideas to try.

First of all, this trend is fresh off the catwalks. The peek-a-boo hair trend is so recent, and if you want to be one of the cool kids I suggest jumping on the peek-a-boo bandwagon.  It’s a look that was about in the 90s returned in the 10s and is back in the 20s. An edgy alternative to the money piece trend, check out our blog to help you decide on your peek-a-boo hairstyle.

1. Peek-a-Boo Bangs

I think the look works really well for those of you that have fringe/bangs. A peek-a-boo panel adds an edge to a hair color that needs an injection of fun.

It is hidden hair color, that peeps through the rest of your hair. When you add a peek-a-boo hair color in bangs well, it complements the cut. Especially if you work a panel into the hair length and bangs. It draws the eye to different levels in your hair cut, gives a cool edge to your hair color, and expresses a quirky side to your personality. 

A girl with hidden hair color

2. Hidden Hair Color on Long Hair

This color technique works so nicely on you long-haired readers too.

The idea behind the peek-a-boo trend is it’s a little hidden. And long hair is great for this. Adding panels of peek-a-boo color underneath is very effective. You can hide it if you have a professional image to maintain, or you can style your hair to show it off!

3. Peek-a-Boo Highlights on Short Hair

a girl with hidden rainbow hair

The peek-a-boo trend can be more obvious on hair that’s layered or short. You want to tailor it more to your look.

If you want it more on show, ask your stylist to layer you up. If you are layered or short and want something subtle ask your stylist for finer panels for gentle pops of color. Really short hair can look patchy if there’s not enough length so best to work the panels in areas with length on shorter styles.

subtle highlights in short hair

4. Peek-a-Boo Hair Color on Dark Hair

I personally love the idea of peek-a-boo on dark hair. Sometimes we can get a little bored with our natural dark brunettes.

As beautiful as a brunette is, sometimes we want a little fun with our hair color. Peek-a-boo hair color is perfect for this. Dark hair can stay dark and you can add slices of colors you wouldn’t dream of doing usually as a natural dark. Because the color is partially hidden, you can play with tones that hairdressers would normally ban on your skin tones. YAY.

peek-a-boo color in dark hair
Image credit: @haircolorandsoul

5. Blonde Hair with Color Underneath

Blonde Hair with Color Underneath
Image credit: @angsbeautyworld

Blondes have so many color options with the peek-a-boo trend. Peek-a-boo highlights? Yes, please.

a woman with blonde peek-a-boo hair in a beauty salon

You guys are already light and bright, meaning you could have a peek-a-boo pastel, a vivid or a dark. You don’t need to pre-lighten the hair because you’re already light!! I quite like the non-commitment of having a toner color over your peek-a-boo hair panels. Something gentle for an interesting contrast. They fade out eventually so your back to blonde ready to try something new!!

Hiden underneat colors in blonde hair

6. Underneath Hair Color Ideas

There are a few color trends I noticed for the peek-a-boo shades, so you best get your hair stylist to pull the charts out for you.

Peek-a-boo copper hair. So coppery warm tones have to be the most ‘in’ choice on the peek-a-boo popularity list. It’s a versatile tone. Peaches are great on blondes, Vivid orange-reds in brunettes and sandy warms on redheads. But as always with color, these are just suggestions and sometimes the best looks are the ones not following the crowd.

Luminescent peek-a-boo. NEON is so cool on this look and there’s been a lot of neon peek-a-boos popping up on the gram. Electric blue? Zingy yellow, UV green? Do it! I dare you. Maybe this is a more summery look but we can work towards it to get our rave hair color prepared.

7. Subtle Peek-a-Boo Highlights

subtle peekaboo hair color

Going not too far from natural adds a beautiful dimension with a peek-a-boo color technique.

Go 1 shade up or down from your natural tone. It adds enough interest without being too ballsy. The panels can go a little chunkier with it being a subtle change and I really like the ‘is it? Or isn’t it’s colored, leaves a lasting impression anyways, and the best hair icons are the ones having you question what they did to get that.

subtle underneath color in long hair

8. Alternative Peek-a-Boo

a girl with peek a boo hairstyle

Weirdo that doesn’t follow the crowd? Hidden hair color ideas for you. Everything works. More is more.

Even though it’s a hot trend and you like swimming upstream, you can make your peek-a-boo color cool enough for the alternative kids. I’ve seen stylists play with root shading, hidden rainbow hair, clashing colors, and even emo-inspired raccoon tail peek-a-boos. Go wild, if it doesn’t work, it probably works for you.

Well, hope my writing has peeked your interest. (not sorry for using this twice or using it at all for that matter) Get peek-a-boo color planning, It’s a versatile trend for everyone!

Blonde hiden color in long dark hair
Bright highlights in long hair
Teenaged girl with peekaboo hair in the salon

Money Piece Hair Trend for all Hair Colors

Written by Evelyn Davies

Money-piece hair is the strongest color trend at the moment. This look can be as striking, subtle, and fun as you like! It’s been around since 2020, and it’s here to stay in 2021.

This trend re-started recently, super subtle on blondes, back when balayage’s boomed. It’s a face-framing effect that adds dimension to your hair. This has evolved recently into a more block color effect – It’s a stronger fashion look.

This evolvement then took on inspiration from the ’90s. With a stronger stripe, contrasting colors, and a blocky-looking finish, it has a real edge.

cute girl with money-piece hair outdoors

Let’s take a look at the cool different options for the money piece highlighting technique below.

Money Piece Balayage Hair

This look tends to have a more sun-kissed natural look. The money piece gently glows up the balayage you have. So, think face-framing highlights. The money piece is lighter or more prominent than the tones in the rest of your hair. Giving you a beach babe look. Who needs a holiday? Just go to your hairdresser and fake it till you make it! (Or at least till COVIDs over.)

Face Framing Highlights on Dark hair

Painting money piece on the dark has so many options.

There really isn’t a rule for this trend. However, natural blend money pieces are quite complimentary on you guys that are super dark. Say if you’re a nice deep chocolate brown think cool toffee tones. Or maybe on the warm spectrum delicious golden caramel hair color. Yummy. Feeling daring? The 90’s original dark hair and blonde money piece should have you itching to get to the salon.

money piece highlights on dark hair

Red Hair

It can be daunting choosing a money piece color on red hair.

If you’re a redhead and your dark/vivid depths, I like to work with coppery red oranges. These tones complement the existing color and add an equally exciting flare. Then, if you’re a more natural medium warm-to-sandy, I believe light warm peachy golden blondes look great on the money piece. Or you’re ready for something different. How about a bright red? Go all out.

The Perfect Money Piece with @Mirella Manelli | Kenra Professional

Blonde Hair

Money piece on blonde hair has a few tonal options.

Usually, I think the most complimentary look is a cleaner blonde around the face. Bright and sparkly. However, it does depend on your skin tone, and generally us hairdressers tone blondes for the desired result. Get your hairstylist to help you select the correct tone for you. Silver and platinum can be SOOO beautiful. Or maybe a pastel? Check out the next paragraphs.

Money Piece Highlights I YouTube video by Hair.com

young woman with money piece hair working on laptop

Money Piece Edge

The striking looks for the money piece in the hair are so versatile.

It can be a look that has a beautiful pastel hue on blondes to accentuate the hair around the face. Check out this striking yellow-blond money piece by Emily Davies hair. Or once the pastel faded Emily played with a more peachy tone. It- Pretty fun right?

a client with money-piece hair in the salon
a woman with money piece highlights

Money Piece ’90s

So, unfortunately, I’m old enough to remember the period this was first around ???? in the ’90s the classic was dark hair with a striking blonde blocky money piece. Think spice girls, boy bands, and platforms. We had all the good stuff then!!

A young woman with blue eyes and money piece hair

Money Piece Striking

Yup the block of whatever the hell you like on your face-framing streaks.

The money piece trend literally works with EVERY COLOR. That’s why I love it. There are no rules… Just a little guidance here and there. Sometimes if the colors clash, they can look even better. One thing I would say to be aware of is your skin tone. So, hold it up to your face. See how it looks.

Reverse Money Piece

So, this look is pretty much when your light at the back and dark around your face.

I like this option for you guys who maybe like blonde hair but the color isn’t the best for your skin tone. Solution? Have a complimentary darker or more tonal-appropriate money piece around your face. Pretty cool that it actually can allow you to try colors that maybe don’t suit you.

Well, there you have it, the money piece history tones on balayage’s, dark, reds, blondes, and fashion colors. Whatever you choose, have fun with your money-piece hair!

young woman with money piece hair in a black dress

Hair Color Trends for Winter | According to a Hairstylist

Written by Evelyn Davies

Wanna know what’s now? Got an appointment and can’t decide? Let me break down our current color trend for you.

So, we’ve been trawling through our resources for this year’s winter current trend inspo and it’s time for balayage to go to block, multi tones to turn opaque and dull to super shine.

One thing I noticed that was a general influence for this season was our favorite edge era – the 90s. We all knew our face-framing highlights had evolved into the chunky money pieces over summer, and be prepared to see more colors with a monotonal look or color panels emerging through. Like our money pieces, going are the multi fine-highlights and were bringing back block. Wave goodbye to those delicate balayages and say hello to solid color if you want to stay on-trend.

Woman with a trendy hair color


Timeless, elegant, and bold. Cliché for winter, right? True, but hey, we love a classic. Shiny darks with a super high-end gloss are a dominant color gracing the hair industry. Dark is the opposite of… well, light! So, you got more chance of light reflection, giving you a high shine. Not only that, but the hair color tends to hold longer than your toned blondes, vivids, and medium tones. Making this color a great option for those clients looking for longevity and simplicity. Not only that, but it can cut your appointment time in the salon, leaving you free to spend more time doing whatever it is that fills your soul.

However- the fact it lasts so well in the hair can prove a little problematic in a salon if you decide to change from this tone. Bare in mind the future you. If you’re a hair color chameleon I’d suggest avoiding a permanent dark color.  Removing dark permanent color can be a thing of a nightmare for us hairdressers… It can be quite a slow process – Timely and costly. It’s best with a dark color to go for something less invasive than a permanent color. Plus, I find demi/semi-permanent gives a much higher gloss effect. Which is what we’re after, right?


Are you a fan of fantasy hair? And happy to rock something a little different? This is the trend for you. This technique doesn’t have to be super bold in contrast, and you can make it as subdued or as daring as you fancy. 

Split block color emerged over the summer, and it’s here to stay. Colors tend to be more on the warm end of the spectrum executed in salons, and it’s kind of a cool way of going half-sies. Can’t make your mind up? I’ll have my left side dark and my right side caramel, please!  However, influencers all over social media have been going very contrasting, and I’ve seen velvety black against baby whites, acid greens, deep purples, and whatever cool-concoctions they can get their hands on for something a little different.

a client with peek-a-boo hair in the salon

Also under this trend category is the peek-a-boo panels. Slices and panels of fashion color are the perfect way to give your hair a funky pop. Without the commitment of a full hair overhaul, the placement can vary to be hidden for a secret flash or striking for an all-bearing obvious streak – Pardon the pun – I think this trend gets me a little excited.

Still a big favorite in fashion, chunky face-framing money pieces! It’s a great way of highlighting your skin tone and trying something a little different. 90s-Esque and super quirky can be rocked in a more subtle-similar-toned effect, or, if you’re feeling bold, give it a vivid punch of color. Either way, the trends bang on, and it’s definitely the most popular of the block techniques emerging.


Now, who’d have thought this whole virus is affecting color trends emerging? Well, it’s a thing. Covid had us in lockdown for so long that we began to embrace our natural pigment. (eek) I’ve seen some beautiful icy greys and silvers on clients with natural grey. I’ve got the feels for this winter color, and there’s nothing more I love to see than people embracing their natural beauty.

As well as icy, the fully dark trend is a technique that is a little easier to maintain if we go into another wave of lockdown. As I mentioned, it lasts well, it’s less commitment, and if it does get to the point where people are desperate to cover their roots, it’s an easier attempt than home hi-lighting. (I personally do not advise home coloring at all.) It’s not ideal for my fellow stylists, but we totally get we are all in difficult times.

So, there you have it. Our tonal trends. The fantasy techniques and even the situational factors affect our color fashions. Whatever you decide to opt for on your hair – stay colorful 🙂

Five Foam Hair Dyes for Convenient At-Home Hair Coloring

Coloring your hair at home can be messy and stressful, especially if you’ve never colored your hair yourself. However, when stuck at home because of the pandemic, you may have to opt for a convenient at-home hair coloring kit. Some types of hair dye can make the application easier and your dye job more efficient. Ready to try foam hair dyes with any cries? 

Foam hair dyes are mess-free and easy to use. Newbie friendly, they’re brilliant for beginners who have never dyed their hair before.

For best results, opt for a shade that is close to your natural color.

Advantages of Foam Dyes over Conventional Hair Coloring Products

Easy to use: The foam is surprisingly easy to apply even if you have zero experience with at-home hair dyeing. Simply rub the foam into your hair like shampoo and then spread it evenly over the entire head.

A woman applying foam hair color to her hair

Quick application: It takes just a few minutes to apply foam dye to your hair. The coloring process as a whole can be completed in 30 minutes, which makes the application a bit quicker compared to using regular dyes.

No stress, no mess: The foam is easy to control as it doesn’t run and leave a mess like traditional liquid dues. Plus, it’s suitable for any hair length. It’s thick enough to hold long hair on top of your head so that the dye won’t drip onto your clothes or towels. Foam is also much easier to rinse than cream colors.

Even coverage: The foamy texture makes it easier to distribute the dye all over your hair without worrying about missing spots. The foam is easily absorbed into the hair and ensures a more cohesive application than cream/liquid hair dye.

All-inclusive: The color kit comes with everything you need, so you don’t need to buy separate bowls, brushes, gloves, or after-color conditioners.

Grey go-away: Most brands cover greys sufficiently, but carefully read the product description before purchasing it to cover your gray hair. Also, aim to apply a good coat of foam to cover all gray hairs and leave it in your hair for a sufficient amount of time.

A happy blonde woman after using foam hair dye

Steps Without Mess: How to Apply Foam Hair Color


  1. First, apply to dry hair that hasn’t been washed for at least 24 hours.
  2. For best results, perform the coloring process in a warm room.
  3. Apply Vaseline around your hairline to prevent staining.
  4. For high-porosity hair, use a neutral protein filer to even hair porosity and achieve a more uniform color.


  1. Pour the color from the container into the other container with the developer and rotate the bottle as directed.
  2. Pump the foam into your gloved hands and then apply it to your hair.
  3. Apply the foam to the roots first before distributing the remaining foam throughout the hair like a shampoo.
  4. Leave the product on for the recommended application time.
  5. Rinse your hair with lukewarm water to wash the color out.
  6. Apply a color sealing conditioner and leave it on for the recommended time.
  7. Rinse again.

Post Care Flair and Tips:

Avoid frequent washing and use a color-safe shampoo to extend the life of your color. Color-protecting shampoo and conditioner will provide extra nourishment and keep your color gorgeous and glowing. Color glaze/gloss treatment will also enhance the color and add a glossy shine.

A blonde woman after using foam hair dye

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1. Free Color with Frieda: John Frieda Precision Foam Color

John Frieda’s foam color is extremely easy to apply. Because the foam stays in place during application, there’s no mess or stress. The color holds longer than most other brands and does a decent job of covering grays. Try to stay within 2 shades and it works best if you want to go darker.

The kit comes with coloring creme, a developer, a pair of gloves, and a nice-smelling conditioner that seals the color in. Gently turn the bottle a few times to mix the product and get a thick foam. Then just squeeze the bottle to get the foam out.

The whole process takes no more than 30 minutes from start to finish. If you want to cover your grays, apply the product to the roots first, and process for 10 extra minutes to cover the gray more thoroughly. If your hair comes out darker than you wanted, a few shampoos will make it a bit lighter and closer to the shade indicated on the box.

The instructions indicate that if you have long thick hair, you need to use two boxes for full coverage. Feel as free as bird with Frieda!

Dyeing my Hair While in Quarantine – YouTube video by Tiana Lauren

2. Garner Glam With Garnier: Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Foam

This at-home foam coloring product smells great and doesn’t sting your eyes. It covers gray hair exceptionally well. The application is quite easy to do yourself.

The results can vary, depending on the actual color of your hair, and don’t always match the box color. If the color turns out darker than expected, it’ll usually lighten up after washing the hair a couple of times.

The downside is that this dye doesn’t foam up very well and can become runny after application. You should massage the foam into your hair from time to time to keep it from dripping. Who needs a red carpet? Garner Glam Color Today With Garnier!

A blonde woman after coloring her hair with foam hair dye

3. Arigato: Liese Prettia Bubble Hair Dye by KAO

This brand of foam hair dye comes from Japan and works best on virgin, black, and Asian hair. It makes dark hair look lighter or gives it a nice subtle tint under sunlight and indoor lighting. If you have bleached hair, the color you get will match closer to the color on the box. However, the color fades faster from bleached hair than from unprocessed dark hair. Another downside is that this dye doesn’t provide good coverage for gray hair.

The instructions are written in Japanese, but the animated steps are easy to follow. Arigato!

4. Mousse on the Loose: Schwarzkopf Perfect Mousse Permanent Color

Perfect Mousse is ammonia-free formula enriched with argan oil and amino acid. The product comes in multiple color options, provides good gray coverage, and leaves hair with a nice shine. It’s easy to use and has a pleasant mild scent due to the absence of ammonia. The color lasts a few weeks, but then gradually washes out. Unfortunately, Perfect Mousse isn’t a paraben-free product.

Schwarzkopf Perfect Mousse Tutorial by SchwarzkopfAustralia

5. Keep all the Windows Open: Clairol Nice ‘N Easy Color Blend Foam Hair Color

This drip-free foam color is easy to use and provides good gray coverage. The results last up to 8 weeks.

This product may not work if you don’t follow instructions meticulously. You need to shake the mixture 3 times only and leave it to settle for about a minute to get a foamy texture. Keep the bottle upright during the application. Leave the dye on for 25 minutes. Leaving it for longer can result in a darker color than what the picture on the box shows.

The biggest downside of this dye is an extremely unpleasant chemical smell that tends to linger. The smell is strong and eye-watering, so open windows to ensure good air circulation. You also may experience an itching sensation on the scalp.

Final Thoughts

Color foam is a convenient and affordable alternative to expensive salon hair coloring. This at-home coloring product saves you time and money while providing you with salon-like results. Foam hair dyes are faster, easier, and cleaner to use than regular dyes. Once you give them a try, you won’t go back to standard liquid dyes. Take center stage and let your personality roam with hair dye foams!

A woman with blonde hair after using foam hair dye

What Are The Best Purple Toners for Blonde Hair and How to Use Them

When you are dying your dark hair blonde, the bleaching process cannot eliminate all underlying dark and red pigments in your hair. Your color may look bright and beautiful for a few weeks, but your hair may likely start revealing warm undertones and lose your desired hue over time. Other factors that may lead to discoloration and the appearance of brassy tones include hard water in your home, exposure to smoke, and the use of harsh hair care products.

One of the most efficient ways to eliminate these unappealing tones from bleached hair and maintain the desired color is to use a hair toner.

Blonde hair that needs toning treatment

What Does a Toner Do to your Hair?

A bleaching process removes most of the natural pigments, resulting in yellow-blonde hair. A hair toner is designed to tone pre-lightened hair to achieve the finished look and to correct unwanted brassy, yellow, and orange tones.

Most of the toners need to be mixed with a developer to work. Hair toners only deposit color, and for that reason,  they are ideal if you want to change your hair color but you are afraid of commitment.

If you use a toner to remove unwanted pigment, you need to use a shade opposite the color you’re trying to treat on the color wheel. Unlike purple shampoos which remove brassiness gradually over time, purple toners remove unwanted warm colors in just one application.

Toners can’t be used to lighten your existing color. They are meant to be applied to pre-lightened or blonde hair. If your current color is dark and you want a light ashy or platinum color, your hair has to be lifted to the right level before toning.

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blonde woman after using purple toner on her hair

Other Uses of Hair Toners

  1. Hair toners can make your highlights look fresh and more natural. They help blend your highlights with the rest of your hair.
  2. They are also used to refresh and maintain your hair color between color appointments.
  3. Toners are sometimes used to even your shade and fix a bad dye job.
  4. A hair toner can also brighten dull hair and enhance its shine.
  5. This is a great product for making gray hair brighter and more beautiful.
  6. Hair toners are a gentler alternative to permanent hair color and can be applied biweekly without causing serious damage to your hair.

Why do Blondes Need a Toner?

Although toners can be used on all shades of color, they are most commonly used on blonde hair. If you’ve recently bleached your locks, or have gotten highlights, the toner will remove any remaining brass and give your shade a more finished look.

Hair toners for blondes are usually purple or blue-tinted and they add gold, ash, or neutral tones to blonde locks. A violet toner will eliminate yellow tones, while blue toner helps combat orange tones. If you have a blend of yellow and orange brassiness, you should combine both toners.

Purple toners can sometimes add a bit of a lavender hue, which will fade after a couple of washes.

cute girl with beautifullz toned blonde hair

The Best Purple Toners for Maintaining Blonde Hair

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1. Wella Color Charm T18 Lightest Ash Blonde Toner

If you decide to go platinum blonde, this toner will be your best friend. This easy-to-use blue/violet toner is the perfect alternative to an expensive salon visit.

This is the best toner for maintaining an ash blonde or silver shade. It kills brassy and orange undertones in just one application while enhancing a white-blonde color.

This toner will only work if your hair is level 8 or higher. Your hair has to be bleached to a pale yellow before toning to get a platinum/silver/white shade.

How to use: Towel dry your hair until it is slightly damp. Mix 1 part of the toner with 2 parts of the 20-volume developer and leave the mixture on your hair for up to 30 minutes. Start from your roots and work down to your ends. If your roots are dark you should avoid the root area because the toner can make your roots brassy. One bottle should be enough for medium-length hair.

Check frequently as your hair processes, because this toner develops very fast. If left too long it can turn your hair purple, especially if you have high-porosity hair. To prevent over-toning, mix it with a low-volume developer and apply a clear protein filler.

To get rid of excess T18 in your hair you just need a few hair washes. Use a clarifying shampoo if you have a lot of buildups.

Use a purple shampoo to counteract the brassiness and keep your blonde looking cool.

a woman with cool blonde hair after toning

2. Kenra Brightening Treatment

Kenra Brightening Treatment is formulated with violet pigments and conditioning ingredients to take the brassiness out and nourish over-processed hair. It has a creamy texture and a very nice smell.

This treatment helps to eliminate brassy tones and leaves your hair bright and soft. You can notice increased brightness after the first use and your hair will feel softer and healthier. It is less drying than purple shampoos and less damaging to hair than permanent dyes. This treatment also can brighten and soften gray hair.

Apply the product to freshly shampooed hair and leave it for 3-5 minutes. Use it once a week.

3. Redken Shades EQ 9V Platinum Iceir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B005JFUWCC

This demi-permanent toner can be used on bleached or natural blonde hair to remove yellow/brassy tones, enhance the color, and add a glossy shine.

The results are long-lasting. Unlike semi-permanent toners, this toner can last up to 24 shampoos.

To achieve the desired results, you must use the proper developer. Mix the toner in a 1:1 ratio with the Shades EQ Processing Solution. Apply the mixture all over your damp hair using an applicator bottle. You have to work fast, as the mixture can process very quickly. Leave it to develop for 5-20 minutes. You need to keep an eye on the color, as it will turn your hair purple/gray if left too long.

4. Brilliant Silver White Hair Toner Blonde & Grey Hairir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00U7WPN8U

This purple toner can be used on bleached blonde or grey hair to remove brassiness and add softness and shine. It especially works great on grey/silver hair

This gentle, water-based product will not dry out your hair. It is short-lasting and washes out in just a few washes. However, this toner is very concentrated and effective, so you can get the desired results using only a few drops.

Suggested use: Instead of mixing with a developer, you need to dilute 10-25 drops into a liter of warm water. Then pour the solution over your freshly washed hair. It could be hard to get the product over your hair evenly. No need to wash out your hair. Just dry and style as normal!

If your hair is quite dry, or porous, use fewer drops, as the product may turn the driest and most damaged parts of your hair purple.

5. Pravana Chromasilk Express Tones – Violet

This ammonia-free toner for highlights and blonde hair works perfectly if you have a lot of brassiness. It adds incredible shine, evens porosity, and leaves your hair looking healthier.

This toner works fast and offers long-lasting natural tones in less than 5 minutes. Apply to previously highlighted hair at a level 8-10. If you leave it to process for longer, you will get a violet color that washes out in a week or two. It is formulated to be mixed with ChromaSilk Zero Lift Developer and it can be mixed with other shades in the Pravana ChromaSilk Express Tones line if you want to customize your beautiful blonde.

fair-haired beautiful woman with broad smile

How to Use Hair Toners

Bleach your hair to one level lighter than your desired shade, then shampoo thoroughly to remove the lightener. Don’t condition your hair because a conditioner will close the cuticle, interfering with the pigment penetration. If your hair is overly porous, use a porosity equalizer such as a neutral protein filler before toning. This will help produce a more even color result and slow down the fading process.

Wear gloves to prevent staining your hands. Mix the toner with a developer according to directions (5-20V at the most) and apply the mixture to damp hair. If you have a sensitive scalp, use a 10-volume developer.

Apply the toning mixture to slightly damp hair using a tint brush and make sure to work it quickly and thoroughly. The toner needs to be applied to your lightened roots first, and then to the mid-lengths and ends. This gives extra time for the roots to process and prevents over-toning your dry and damaged ends.

Check the instructions on the bottle and leave the mixture in the hair for the recommended time. It takes 5-30 minutes to work, depending on the product. Check frequently as the toner processes to prevent over-developing.

After achieving the desired tone, rinse out the product, and apply a regular conditioner.

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How to Keep Your Hair Brass-Free for Longer

Don’t wash your hair for 48 hours after toning because it will start to fade. The color washes out and becomes duller with every shampoo. To keep the brassiness at bay, use a purple shampoo once a week.

If you don’t use purple shampoo, it takes about 2-3 weeks before the brassiness reappears. Using a purple shampoo occasionally will prolong the effects of hair toner and keep your color more vivid and beautiful.

Use a sulfate-free shampoo that is meant for color-treated hair. Use lukewarm water to rinse your hair.

 young woman in casual clothes with blonde dyed hair