Partial Balayage | What It Is And Why You’ll Love It.

Evidence Based

Fact Checked

So you’re thinking of trying a partial balayage but don’t really know what it is?

This sassy look is a great way to get all the benefits of balayage without committing to full highlights. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to gradually lighten their hair or cover up gray hairs.

You’ll love the results!

It’s a sun-kissed style that gives your hair beautiful depth and dimension while still looking natural.

And because it’s done by hand, you can be sure that each and every strand will be treated with care.

Here’s everything you need to know about this awesome look to help you decide if it’s the perfect one for you!

So what is a partial balayage?

If you’re thinking of going blonde but don’t want to commit to all over highlights? This is the perfect solution!

A partial balayage is basically a type of hair coloring technique that uses painted on bleach and foils to highlight only certain sections of the hair.

It’s also known as a half head balayage.

The rest of the hair is left its natural color or dyed a different color altogether.

This technique is often used to create a more natural-looking highlight, as it allows for a more gradual transition of color.

Balayage has been around for a while, but this is a new take on the technique that’s gaining popularity fast.

Here’s why you’ll love it:

  • You can go as light or dark as you want.
  • You also have control over where the highlights are placed, so they look natural and never streaky.
  • Plus, it grows out beautifully so there’s no need for touch-ups every few weeks.
  • Additionally, it’s less damaging to the hair than full balayages, as they use less bleach.

As a result, this style is a great option for those who want to experiment with highlights without damaging their hair.

What’s the difference between partial balayage and full balayage?

Partial balayage

Ideal for those who want to add a few sun-kissed highlights without committing to a full head of color. The result is natural-looking and low-maintenance, perfect for busy people on the go.

Full balayage

Is ideal for those who want to make a bolder statement. This technique can be used to create dramatic lightened looks or customized color designs. So, if you’re looking for something a little more eye-catching, full balayage is the way to go.

Partial balayage vs full balayage

Should I get a partial or full balayage?

You should go for a full balayage if:

  • You want to go lighter all over
  • You want a more dramatic look
  • You have shorter hair and want to experiment with color

You should get a partial balayage if:

  • You only want highlights in certain sections
  • You don’t want to use foils
  • Your hair is long and you want a natural-looking balayage

Does partial balayage use foils?

It depends on how light you’re planning to have the highlighted pieces in your hair, whether foils will be used.

Foils are used in traditional highlighting techniques, and you’ll probably find most stylists will use them to accelerate the bleaching process.

With partial balayage, the color is applied by hand using a brush or comb. This allows for a more natural-looking result, as the highlights can be placed wherever you want them.

But a few foils at the ends of your hair can created a more graduated, gorgeous almost-ombre effect.

What hair colors work for partial balayage?

The great thing about partial balayage is that it can be customized to suit any hair color.

If you have brown hair

If you’re a brunette, you can go for a light brown balayage or a dark brown balayage, depending on your skin tone.

Ash brown is a cool toned brown and chocolate brown has warmer depths and richness.

You can also add in some caramel highlights or go for a more natural look with blonde highlights.

If you have black hair

If you have super dark and black hair, you can try chocolate brown shades or even add in some burgundy highlights for a pop of color.

Or, if you’re feeling daring, you can try platinum blonde or dark ash blonde lightened strands!

You’ll need to lighten your hair with bleach to get this look so have a chat with your hair stylist to see if your hair is up to it.

If you have red hair

Red heads can rock this look too. Red highlights are a great way to add dimension to your hair and give it a more natural look.

You can try a copper partial balayage, deep copper-brown or go for a more subtle, lighter look with pearl blonde highlights.

If you have blonde hair

This technique is perfect for those who want to add some dimension to their blonde hair without going too light.

You can try lowlights in shades of light brown and chestnut to add depth and dimension or even add in some caramel blonde or honey highlights for a touch of sweetness.

Is partial balayage less damaging?

Yes, this technique is less damaging than full balayage because it uses less bleach.

It also takes less time (and costs less money!).

However, any type of hair coloring technique can damage your hair if it’s not done properly.

Can I balayage my hair at home?

Yes, you can balayage your hair at home!

However, we recommend that you consult with a professional hairstylist before trying this technique at home.

This is because balayage requires special skills and training to execute properly.

If not done correctly, balayage can result in damaged hair or uneven color.

So, if you’re not sure how to do it, we suggest leaving it to the professionals.

However, if you are feeling brave! There are many balayage kits you can use to get the look. These contain bleach! So be careful when using them.

Always do a strand test before you start!

How to balayage hair step-by-step.

Watch and learn! Here’s a great video guide on how to do this technique successfully using under 20 foils.

How long does a partial balayage last?

This sun-kissed style can last anywhere from three to four months, depending on your hair type and how often you wash it.

The great thing about this style, is that it grows out so well.

Shadow root and ombre looks are great alternatives that have this natural-looking highlighted effect.

How do I take care of my partial balayage?

We recommend using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner to extend the life of your gorgeous new color.

Additionally, avoid heat styling tools as much as possible, and use a heat protectant if you must use them.

Finally, be sure to get regular trims to keep your hair healthy and looking its best.

Parting words.

There you have it! Everything you need to know about partial balayage.

This low-maintenance technique is a great way to experiment with highlights without damaging your hair.

So, if you’re looking for a natural-looking sun-kissed style, this is the way to go. What are you waiting for?

This article was written by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!