Half head highlights | Will they suit you?

Nothing brings a touch of sunshine and happiness to your head like half head 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?

Choosing between these two sunkissed vibes can be a tricky decision.

The truth is, both are gorgeous and will make you look amazing!

But it’s also important to consider your face shape, hair type and lifestyle before making the choice.

That way you’ll end up with an awesome hairstyle that fits your personality. Let’s take a closer look at each option!

The best place to start is by considering whether you want all over lightness or if you’d prefer just some lighter strands in certain areas of your hair.

This depends on how much maintenance you’re willing to commit to as well as what kind of style suits your personal taste better.

You should also think about which one would suit your face shape the most because this will help ensure that it looks good for longer!

Here’s everything you need to know!

What are half head highlights?

Half head aka Partial highlights are a great way to lighten up your hair without having to do your entire er…head.

There are different ways of doing it, but essentially, it’s having lighter strands only on half of your hair.

Typically, root-to-tip ribbons are created throughout the crown and side of your hair, 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, partial ones are done with foils. They’re the perfect way to try out a new look without committing too much time or money.

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.

half head highlights collection

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 these two.

Let’s clear it up.


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

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

Full-head 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 this full on option 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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Half head vs full head highlights.

Half head

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

Full head

  • Your entire hair is lightened
  • Takes more time
  • Costs more money
  • More high maintenance
  • More dramatic change

Are half head highlights right for you?

If you’re wondering which hairstyle is best for you- the answer lies in what you want to achieve with your colour.

Do you want 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 all of it from top-to bottom.

This technique is 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 foils will work best for you.

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What colour half head highlights will suit me?

The right colour 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.

Will half head highlights cover grey hair?


If you have a good colourist then they will make sure that your style looks as natural as possible by blending them in with the rest of your hair.

If you opt for ashy blonde colours, they will blend in and hide the grey tones of your natural hair really well.

Warmer, golden blonde colours can be mixed with lowlights to cover the grey.

How long does a half head of highlights take?

This look can take anything up to 3 hours to complete.

The time depends on things like the texture and length of your hair, and if your colourist is increasing or decreasing the level of lift/lowlights.

What you can be sure of is that it takes less time than a full head of foils – and costs less too!

Can I do half head highlights at home?

There’s a reason hairdressers are trained to do this process – it’s tricky!

But if you’re feeling brave, you can have a go at doing them yourself by purchasing a home highlighting kit!

Some brands that offer at-home kits include: L’oreal, Garnier, Clairol, and more.

Check out our highlighting kit reviews.

These kits come with the colour cream and conditioner for your hair all in one package, making it easier to apply and look after your hair!

If you’re feeling adventurous or want something specific then go to a professional who will be able to give you a unique colour.

Watch and learn: How to do highlights at home.

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How long does it take for half head highlights to grow out? ​

Once you’ve got the colour in your hair, it takes about 6 weeks for them to start to grow out.

Because you haven’t lightened all of your hair, this look can grow out pretty well. Especially now that blonde hair with dark roots is so on-trend.

You can also consider going for a t-section touch-up where your roots are refreshed along your parting and crown to brighten and update your look.

How do I care for highlighted hair?

The key to maintaining beautiful locks lies in preventative care and a few simple precautions before and after colouring.

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

First off, always use shampoo that doesn’t contain harsh sulfates or parabens.

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 you’re going for blonde!

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.

Secondly, make sure to cleanse with cool water instead of hot water as this can strip colour faster than warm or cold water.

Lastly, avoid washing your hair every day; doing so will lead to fading and dryness. Instead try washing once per week at most!

These easy steps will help maintain healthy-looking colour that lasts longer than ever before!

Parting words.

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 this style is truly for you!

Good luck!