Half head highlights | Will they suit you?

half head highlights

Nothing brings a touch of sunshine and happiness to your head like highlights. Those luscious lighter strands of hair create a brighter, multi-dimensional look that frames faces, makes eye colour pop and your skin glow. But should you have a full head or half head highlights? What’s the difference between the two? And will they really suit you? Here’s everything you need to know!

What are half head highlights?

Half head highlights (aka partial highlights) are a great way to highlight your hair without having to do your entire head. There are different ways of doing it, but essentially, it’s having highlights only on half of your hair.

Typically, root-to-tip ribbons are created throughout the crown and side of your head, but you can also lighten the entire top layer of your hair while keeping the lower layers darker and more natural.

Just like a full head of highlights, half head highlights or partial highlights are done with foils. They’re the perfect way to try out a new highlighted look without committing too much time or money.

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.

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What is a half head of highlights vs full head?

Highlighting your hair, can be a fun and creative way of expressing yourself.

However, there is often some confusion when deciding between half head vs full head. Let’s clear it up.

Half head highlights means that only the top or front section of your hair (about 2 inches wide) will be highlighted, leaving the rest natural looking.

Because this style is more subtle, it grows out well and looks on point with the grown-out root trend or root blur looks.

Full-head highlights are typically applied on the entire scalp rather than just selective sections.

If you want a more dramatic change – such as going from brown to blonde- a full head of highlights will make your dreams come true.

However, this look is more high maintenance and will need touch up sessions at least every 6 weeks as it grows out at the roots.

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Difference between half head and full head highlights.

Half head

  • Only the top or front setion of hair is highlighted
  • Takes less time
  • Costs less money
  • Less maintenance
  • Subtle change

Full head

  • Your entire head is highlighted
  • Takes more time
  • Costs more money
  • More high maintenance
  • More dramatic change

Are half head highlights right for you?

So you’re wondering, should I get half head or full head highlights? The answer lies in what you want to achieve with your colour- a natural look or a whole new you?

If you are looking for a more subtle change, perhaps with lighter hair colour or if it’s your first time highlighting your hair, then getting just one small section done would make sense as opposed to an entire head from top-to bottom.

Half head highlights are perfect if you want to add some extra dimension and texture your hair. This style is great for those who don’t have time for top-ups every six weeks, but still need a fresh new look from their hairstylist!

When you want a bolder look, or if your hair is on the thinner side and requires more volume to make it appear thicker, then going for full highlights will work best for you.

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What colour half head highlights will suit me?

The right colour highlights for you all depends on the base colour of your hair.

For a natural, sunkissed look, you’ll want to go no more than two shades lighter than the colour your hair is now.

Any lighter than that and your hair colour is likely end up washing you out or even turn orange!

Think about what colours compliment the shade and tone of your hair now. You’ll also need to take your natural undertones into account to define what colours suit you.

This is all part of colour theory that your hairstylist will be up to speed with and can recommend the right combination of shades for you.

You can also take along a picture of the look you’d like to give your salon some direction.

If you’re not sure what hair colours suit you, you can take our quick quiz! Just click on the image below!

which hair colour suits me

Best hair colours for half head highlights.

For black hair

Red, Burgundy, Chocolate brown, Chestnut brown.

For red hair

Copper, Strawberry blonde, Caramel blonde.

For brunettes

Honey blonde, Caramel blonde, Ash blonde, Dirty blonde.

For blondes

Platinum blonde, Light ash blonde, Silver blonde.

How do I care for highlighted hair?

After you’ve had your highlights done, your gorgeous hair will be fragile and more prone to breakage and split ends for a couple of weeks.

Make sure to deep condition your hair regularly and avoid a lot of heat styling if you can. When you do heat style, use a hair heat protectant spray every time.

You’ll also need to use specially formulated shampoos and conditioners to keep the colour in tip-top condition.

Purple shampoos clean your hair just like regular shampoos but they contain purple toning pigments that help to keep yellow undertones at bay. You’ll need these if your highlights are blonde!


Whether you want to lighten up your natural colour or add some dimension and texture to your locks, we hope this article has given you everything you need to know to decide if half head highlights are truly for you!

Good luck!