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Balayage, Hair Painting, and Babylights, oh my!

Remember the days when you could simply schedule a highlight appointment and you had one option? Scheduling highlights simply meant that your stylist weaved pieces of hair and painted them in foils to produce an overall lighter effect. Then all of us hairstylists got creative and decided to give you so many options! It can be confusing to understand which type of verbiage is correct to communicate to your stylist, so we decided to give you a little guide. Here are the most common types of highlighting services, in no particular order.





CLASSIC HIGHLIGHTS these days will look like this. You can jam pack foils all throughout the hair (full highlights), or leave more of the natural color (partial highlights) as shown. These strands of color will go all the way up to the root area. Your stylist may opt to hand-paint these pieces and ditch the foil. Every client is different... or should be.


Common Myths: 1.) You will leave with 1990's "streaks"... You should not have this issue unless you specifically ask for that look.

2.) Full or partial highlights determine the placement of the foils. False. It determines the amount of foils. Placement should be determined by your stylist, based on the look you are aiming for. A full set can be all over the head, and so can a partial. There are endless ways to section and place hair with foils. :)



HAIR PAINTING is the full saturation of each section of hair to achieve lighter pieces, specifically placed. What is the difference between Hair Painting and Balayage? To keep it simple, balayage is more of a surface painting technique for a sun-kissed look. Hair Painting saturates each section selected, instead of just the surface of that section.


Common Myth: Hair Painting is simply painting hair by hand with lightener. Sooooo much more goes into it. Sectioning and placement are key. Each client may need to utilize different additional tools for various reasons, such as plastic wrap, cotton, color or paint brushes, etc. These helpers are needed on some, yet not others depending on hair color, desired level of lift, density and stylist preference.



BALAYAGE is a hand-painted technique used on the surface of the hair to achieve a more subtle, sun-kissed look. This technique provides no hard grow out lines and is suitable for almost every style and texture. Balayage + curls = EVERYTHING!


Common Myth: Balayage is a newer hair technique. False! This technique originated in France decades ago. It started to surface in the US in the 70's... think about Farrah Fawcett. It's been around for quite a while. An experienced stylist should know this technique.





BABYLIGHTS should mimic the hair of a child, quite literally. Our tiny ones seem to naturally exhibit loads of very fine pieces of lighter hair, all done by Mother Nature. This service was designed to create that very effect. You can foil or hand-paint this type of highlight.


Common Myth: Babylights are just a fine highlight weave. Wrong. They require extremely small sections of hair, and are a veeeeeeery fine weave. This project takes some time!





Hopefully this guide will clarify all of this verbiage for those of you who can't keep up. We know it can get confusing! Educating our clients is very important to us. A client can use hair terminology like a champ, but when used incorrectly it can lead to unexpected results. Stylists better make damn sure they know these terms to avoid any misunderstandings as well. If you are looking for great Balayage services in Phoenix, you are in the right place! We are obsessed! I personally enjoy getting all O.C.D. on some foil origami and hair painting applications as well. Unsure of which avenue to go down? Feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation with any of our stylists to discuss options and devise a plan. We want to be your #1 salon for hair services. Come and see us!

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