Partial vs Full Balayage – Which One Is Right for You?

So, you’ve decided to either get a balayage for the first time or to switch from foiling to the more lived-in color look. Great, but that’s just the beginning. What happens next is in the details and will leave you wondering, what type of balayage do I get and how much of it?

Thinking through the nuances of your balayage is a good first step before you find yourself sitting in your colorist’s chair utterly confused. Because everyone has had that moment when face-to-face with a colorist where they hear the words “would you like a full balayage or a partial balayage?” The responses can range from sitting tongue-tied with confusion to declaring “just do what you think is best,” only to be disappointed with the results.

So, here’s what you need to know about this beautiful color service and how much of it to get.

partial balayage vs full balayage photo

What is a Partial Balayage?

A partial balayage means you’re getting less of your hair colored. The general areas revolve around the face, the part line (or inches from it for the rooted look), and the crown of the head. Lightening only these areas will leave you with less of an overall blonde look, and more of a rooted, dimensional feel with higher contrast.

Should I Get a Full Balayage of a Partial Balayage?

To answer this, think through just how blonde you want to be and how much contrast between your natural color and the highlighted blonde you want to have. If you love seeing that “swirl” of colors when you wave your hair, stick with a partial balayage. If you want a more overall blonde look, shoot for the full balayage.

What is the Difference Between a Full Balayage and a Partial Balayage?

Largely it’s the placements of the highlights. A full Balayage will cover everything from face-framing to all of the interior portions of your hair in the back and on the sides, including the nape of the neck. This means when you pull it up into a ponytail, you’ll see blonde.

A partial balayage does not cover the interior portions of the hair. Partial Balayage primarily covers the crown, pieces around the face, and the top outermost layer of the hair. This means when you pull up the ponytail, you’ll see your natural color in the back and a mixture of natural and blonde in the front.

smiling woman with partial balayage

Is a Partial Balayage Worth It?

A partial balayage is worth it if you’re after dimension. Blonding this way means contrast. If you love contrast and don’t want to be too blonde, a partial balayage is the perfect service for you. The grow-out is amazing as well, so you’ll find yourself in the salon less and with a natural look until your next appointment.

How Do I Care for my Hair after a Balayage Service?

There are so many wonderful ways to care for your partial or full balayage post service. For starters, wait to wash your hair for about 24 hours. This way the color molecules have time to lock into your hair. Then when you go to wash with a color-safe and high-quality shampoo/conditioner, your hair will be ready for it.

The next care method for preserving your color is creating a foundation of products you trust. This means your shampoo, conditioner, heat protectant, and your oil. Other items can be added in later but creating a good package of 4 quality items will preserve your partial balayage.

Next is keratins. These treatments can build keratin protein back into the hair from root to tip. By filling in the porous spaces in your hair, it means your hair can receive a full or partial balayage with even, healthy coverage. Getting these treatments is one way to ensure your colorist is happy doing your hair!

back view of woman with partial balayage hair

Disclaimer: All content on this blog is created for informational purposes only. It would be best if you didn’t use it as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Last Updated on September 11, 2022 by Gaga

About the author

gaga@softerhair.com | Website | + posts

Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing.

 

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